1989 - a GALA Festival year
Our Own Kind of Music, Pride, GALA Festival III, You and the Night and the Music, kickoff of our Tenth Anniversary Season, and Now Sing with Hearts Aglow.
A member of the chorus last Thursday told me that 1989 is his favorite year - Madonna and company. This was another busy year for the chorus. Our spring concert, Our Own Kind of Music, was the first we had done featuring music by living lesbian and gay composers, including two songs by two of our members and music by our Assistant Director, Marty Stoddard. The music we sang was exciting and challenging.
Next up on June 23 at Mission High School was the Pride Concert - a GALA Chorus Preview. This featured all of the Northern California gay and lesbian choruses - SFGMC, LGCSF, Golden Gate Men's Chorus, Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus, Sacramento Men's Chorus, Sacramento Women's Chorus, Santa Cruz Men's Chorus and VOICES: Bay Area Lesbian Choral Ensemble. This concert gave all of these choruses a chance to preview what they would be singing at the GALA Festival III in Seattle.
This was my first GALA Festival and what an eye opener it was. In July, we all were on our plane to Seattle for the GALA Festival III. It was held on the University of Washington campus and we all stayed in the dorms. What a great way to meet singers from other choruses in the hallways and at breakfast in the cafeteria. There were 43 choruses there to perform over a week of concerts in Meany Hall, the university's concert hall. We decided that we would show our audience of singers the San Francisco attitude. We were dressed to the nines - long gowns and dresses and tuxedos. When the curtain came up we got a standing ovation before even singing a note. One of the pieces we sang was Three Charms from Shakespeare by Conrad Susa. The last movement, "Fairie's Lullaby" from Midsummer Night's Dream featured a bombastic entrance by one of our basses as Oberon on a motorcycle as he cursed and cast a spell on the fairies. One other highlight of this GALA was singing in the Festival SATB chorus which was conducted by Vance George, the director at that time of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. We all learned a lot from him in our rehearsals. After the Closing Ceremonies we all stood outside the theatre in the square and sang along with Holly Near that she had written for all of us. What a way to get energized by hearing all of these choruses and coming back to San Francisco with all sorts of artistic ideas.
Next up for us was You and the Night and the Music, an evening of cabaret to benefit LGCSF. Marga Gomez was the mistress of ceremonies and featured an array of local cabaret singers, including our own Morgan Aiken, Scott Johnston and Menage. This was held in the fabulous Venetian Room of the Fairmont Hotel. What a fun night that was getting all dressed up again.
Next was the kickoff concert of our tenth season which was called Broadway, Brahms & Bernstein and a Birthday. This concert was a Broadway blockbuster. Our special guest was Lynda Bergren. We were once singing and dancing to these Broadway melodies. One of the highlights was a Duets Medley which featured twelve duets from various musicals. The big finale was Hello Dolly with Lynda as Dolly. This was a lot of fun for us and for our audience.
To finish out the year we were once again the guests of SFGMC in their Now Sing With Hearts Aglow holiday concert at the Herbst Theatre. One of the pieces we sang with SFGMC was John Rutter's "Gloria."
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