Crescendo!, Spring 2013

Chorus Appears at GSA

President's Message

Gregory Ciupak, Baritone

Photo by Don Yager

I am not sure that there has ever been a better time to be a member of the LGBT family in America, than right now. In what other inaugural address were the rights of gay and lesbian Americans addressed fully without reservation? Homosexuals serving openly in the armed forces, and two United States Supreme Court cases heard in one week, debating with conviction the rights of gay and lesbians to legally marry in America. We are becoming more and more the fabric of America. as we sing The Great American Songbook. We’ve Got Rhythm will feature wonderful classic American music sung by a proud group of gay and gay-affirming men who embody what America is meant to be. We rightfully take our place, maybe some of us for the first time, feeling that we are the voice of America. We are the faces of your relatives and neighbors, co-workers and friends, service men and women and professionals, and we will perform for you some of most influential music written in the 20 th century. You will hear amongst others, Gershwin and Berlin, Arlen and Porter in the great tradition of brass and jazz arrangements. Think beautifully smooth music accompanied by a brass ensemble. What a time indeed! I promise that you will leave our concert feeling proud of American music, proud to be a supporter of the arts, and very proud be part of the BGMC family, a truly American family. Thank you for all that you do to inspire us to strive to higher levels, to bring the music that you want to hear alive in our performance…especially for YOU! In this spirit and with great pride we celebrate our spring seasons concert

Looking down from the balcony at Hamlin House, there was a sense of calm and splendor that was almost ethereal. A dimly lit room, a glow with a couple hundred candles, lovers canoodling, holding hands, arms interlocked in embrace. That truly was the scene at the BGMC’s Valentine Cabaret show Hooray for Love , which took place at Hamlin House on February 16 th . Revived from years past, the BGMC set out to produce a wonderful evening to celebrate the theme of Love. The evening included a 2-hour open bar, hors d'oeuvre, endless desserts, and thirty wonderful baskets for raffle.

Forty-three members of the Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus plus Artistic Director Ciaran Krueger and Accompanist Debi Overton participated in the 5th annual Gay-Straight Alliance Conference (GSA) on March 20 at Amherst High School. Twenty-six GSAs participated in the after-school event. Some schools chartered buses for their students. Motivated by "Think what it would have meant to you to have a chorus like the BGMC come and sing at your high school when you were a teenager," the Chorus opened with Seize The Day , reminding the 300 students that "Nothing can break us, no one can make us give our rights away!" Workshops included "Writing Letters re: DOMA," "How to Pick a LGBT- Friendly College," and "Sing with the Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus!" Two dozen students met BGMC members and learned about our backgrounds and career paths. Ciaran taught the group to follow choral direction and sing pop phenomenon Lady Gaga's hit Born This Way ("I'm beautiful in my own way/'Cause God makes no mistakes/I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way"). They also heard about exciting plans to form a Youth Chorus. Closing ceremonies ended with 20 students joining us on stage, leading the entire room in a rocking rendition of Born This Way. On the final verse, singers ran into the crowd, dancing and clapping and bringing the entire assembly to their feet. Students left for their buses singing and dancing. Over forty students have since inquired about joining the planned youth chorus. --Mark Smith

Photo by Hanford Searl, Jr.

Most important however, were the 20+ performances featuring the men of the BGMC. Some had never sung solo before. Endless cheers of support for each performance filled the room. We were among friends, which made the night truly magical. The BGMC is striving to make this our signature event going forward and a date for February 15, 2014 has already been set. If you missed this year, put a big circle on your calendar for next year. You want to be part of this night. --Greg Ciupak

51 Colonial Circle ■ Buffalo, NY 14222 ■ 716-883-1277 ■ ■ Page 2

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