Crescendo!, Autumn 2012

Volume 10  Issue 2  Autumn 2012

GALA: An explosion of music, entertainment, advocacy, and community! Norm Duttweiler, GALA Committee Chair

The Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus has had one of its busiest years, celebrating our 10 th Anniversary, welcoming a new Artistic Director (AD), and attending our 3 rd GALA Choruses Festival in Denver. Our singers showed strong commitment to a hectic but amazing season, so kudos to our members’ dedication! Held every four years, the GALA Festival is the largest LGBT choral festival in the world. The July 2012 Festival drew a record-breaking 6000+ delegates from around the world. This festival is not about competition. We perform just for the fun and pride of it. The 2012 festival offered workshops, Coffee Concerts, Blockbusters, Small Ensemble performances, Sing-a-Longs (including the Big Gay Sing hosted by Miss Richfield 1981), and spectacular performances by youth choruses. Each day was packed with music from sunrise to sunset, often sending us scrambling to grab a bite to eat before the next concert block started. During each concert block, three separate venues within the Denver Performing Arts Complex hosted choruses, making it hard to choose which one of the three concerts to attend. Some of us wished we could divide ourselves to see it all. As one member said, “This was an amazing experience. I was constantly moved by either the beauty of the music or the impact of the words or performance.” Choruses delighted us with a “Sound of Music” rendition (Men Alive, Laguna Hills, CA) and pieces from the past: “Alexander’s House” (Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC). The festival also attracted icons of the LGBT and music communities such as Dan Savage, Vanessa German, and Stephen Schwartz. Going to GALA strengthened the bonds of the BGMC. Over 50 BGMC members attended the festival, sharing a laugh, a cry, a hug, or a drink. This conference brought old and new friends together, both within the chorus and from other parts of the world. Another welcome experience was seeing our new AD’s excitement and enthusiasm as the festival progressed. We reflected on our history, missed members and our founding AD, remembered where we came from, and felt excitement for where we are going. We were proud to take the stage as representatives of the chorus and the City of Buffalo. Don’t think that the trip was all business. Members delighted in the local cuisine, danced it up at the clubs, enjoyed parties hosted by other choruses, and, as if we didn’t sing enough, did some karaoke. This festival inspired, invigorated, and re- energized us for our mission. Even the Closing Ceremony solidified our commitment as a larger community as we sang “Born This Way.” We all walked out of the concert hall and into the streets in song.

BGMC banner on the 16 th St. Mall in Denver

Posing under our banner

Waiting for our rehearsal

BGMC on stage in Denver

Learn more about GALA Choruses at www.GALAChoruses.org.

51 Colonial Circle ■ Buffalo, NY 14222 ■ 716-883-1277 ■ www.buffalogaymenschorus.org ■ Page 1

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