Before I get to telling you about the concerts we were a part of in 2000, I want to write about a couple of community events that we were participated in. In March, we sang as part of the entertainment at the Academy of Friends Oscars gala. We were all in our best glamorous dresses and suits and tuxes and after we sang got to stay and watch the Oscars. In April, on a Saturday morning, we took part in a clean up day at the AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park and sang for the crowd who showed up for this event. We also took part in the Pride Parade with the folks from the Best of Broadway and the musical Titanic. One last thing - we released our second CD "Wish You Were Here", a collection of live recordings with Michael Carlson. And we
Mission: ImPOPSible! This concert was held in late April at Mission High School. This was the kickoff concert for our 20th Anniversary season. The first concert of the chorus on May 17, 1980, was held in Mission High School. The music was some of the best 20th Century pop, rock and musical theatre. The concert ended with three big anthems, "A Chorus of Lovers and Friends," "With One Voice," " and "You Are The Light."
22nd Annual Pride Celebration. This concert was another one in which we invited some of our LGBT performing ensembles to join with us in song and celebration. This was held on June 17 at First Unitarian Church. The groups who our guests this night were Out on a Clef which our accompanist, June Bonacich, sings baritone. We performed June's "The Second Harvest" as part of our set. Also the SFGMC sang a preview of "Exile" which was written for them by Robert Seeley. Rounding out the lineup was the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.
Across the Ponds. The theme for this concert was diversity in style and content and yet it was all wonderful and funny and stirring music by lesbians and gay men. The show was held on July 20 at First Unitarian Church. Our guests were VOICES: Lesbian Choral Ensemble and Schola Canotrosa, Gay Men's Chorus of Hamburg, Germany. Our chorus hosted the men from Hamburg so we got to know them. This concert was a preview of what these three choruses would be singing in San Jose at GALA Festival VI. Let me tell you about Schola Cantorosa. All of their shows are fully staged, costumed with makeup, choreographed - in other words they just like to have fun and make wonderful music as well. Their show on this night was "Dressed to Kill." From their program "Will those Divas ever learn to make their exits? Do they know that their lives are just one big intrigue? Have they ever met their ballet troupe rivals? ...and if, God forbid, something horrible should happen to them ... This question must be asked! Who will be the new Diva??? Needless to say they brought down the house.
GALA Choruses Festival VI. The chorus trekked down to San Jose to participate in and perform in this GALA Festival. Our future director, Stephanie Smith, filled in as accompanist for the chorus. One of the pieces we did was something new - "Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun." I remember there was some conflict since our director signed extra musicians for this without consulting the board. Oops. Anyway, we persevered.
Our former director, Trente Morant, was commissioned to write music for the TTBB Festival Chorus. This was obviously quite an honor for him and for the chorus. The piece was called "Ache3" and is described as a mini musical triptych. The first movement, "Look Into the Mirror," talks about accepting and feeling comfortable with yourself, and having fun while making improvements. The second movement, "Live All Your Joys," reminds us that time is a luxury so treasure the good stuff. The last movement, "Look Ahead," reminds us not to carry excess baggage. Give honor to the past and learn. Be conscious of the present, and move toward the future.
There were 110 choruses with 4,000 singers there for the week of July 22 to 29. Each chorus performed twice, once in the Civic Auditorium and again in the Center for Performing Arts. It seems at every Festival there is a chorus that everyone talks about and wants to hear. This time the chorus to hear was Lavender Light: The Black and People of All Colors Lesbian and Gay Choral Choir. They were amazing, awe-inspiring, moving, and everyone in the audience was on their feet the whole time and we were all exhausted after their performance. This is what GALA Festivals are all about - to hear choruses you might not hear again, to hear new and exciting music by lesbian and gay composers, to come together with singers and make connections. A GALA audience is the best to perform to because they know what it takes to get up on stage and sing.
joined the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco in August of 1984, after seeing them sing in the Pride Concert the previous June and their director, Matt O'Grady, announced that if anyone in the audience wanted to join the chorus that auditions would be coming up so he joined. During his time in the chorus he has always sang in the bass section. He has served as Music Librarian, on the Production Committee, the Artistic Advisory Committee, as a bass section leader, as the GALA liaison and currently as chorus historian. He is glad to create this blog for the chorus to get the history out to anyone who looks at our website.