Love Bites, February 13, LGBT Community Center. This cabaret was the brainchild of Stephanie and the Artistic Advisory Committee to present "LGCSF sings the flipside of love." It has evolved into our annual anti-Valentine's Day cabaret which has showcased the many talents of our chorus since this first one. This evening was hosted by The Living Dolls, Liz Matthews & Diane Merlino, a Bay Area duo. The chorus was 52 strong as we began our 25th season. We started off with a "Love Bites" medley which included "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "I Get Around," "It's My Party," and "Stop In The Name of Love." We all had fun with this show and so did our audience.
Composers in The Mist, April 23 & 24, St. Francis Lutheran Church. As part of our mission, this concert featured original music by living Bay Area LGBT composers who were all at the concerts. We were joined by the Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus. We sang three pieces by Jack Dubowsky, one each by Caroline Smith, Kathleen McGuire, and our own June Bonacich, Richard Link and Jesse Lanou. It was challenging and inspiring to learn and perform this music and it was great to get to know the composers.
Celebrating Our Champions!, June 19, San Francisco Jewish Community Center. Also as part of our mission, this was one of our outreach events. The evening was all about the Lesbian Health Research Center and their Annual Gala Benefit. The chorus was honored to be part of the entertainment for this important and inspiring event.
26th Annual Pride Concert: All You Need Is Love, June 25, Mission High School. This Pride concert was a tribute to Brian Epstein, the first manager of the Beatles, who also happened to be gay. Brian added some panache to the act of the Beatles - the theatrics of the mop tops, the suits and their characteristic bow. Our chorus, SFGMC, and the SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band welcomed our special guests - Beatles' aficionado Martin Lewis, who is the webmaster of the official Brian Epstein website, and the SF LGBT Pride's Celebrity Grand Marshal, Alan Cumming. It was great fun to learn and perform the music of the Beatles and of course the audience was singing along with all of us. One of our singers, Maya Lara, did a knockout performance of John Lennon's "Oh Darling."
GALA Festival VII, July 17-24, Place des Arts, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This was the first GALA Festival to be held outside of the United States. The chorus traveled to Montreal to join and perform for 6,000 delegates representing 175 choruses from around the world. It was great to hear all of the wonderful choruses from Canada. Comedian Kate Clinton performed in the Opening Ceremonies. One of the important highlights of this festival was the Transgender/Gender Queer Festival Chorus. Ever since this festival, each succeeding one has featured transgender and gender queer choruses. Their stories and music has inspired all of us. Another highlight was the Voices of Women concert, which was a celebration of women's voices in GALA Choruses that was being presented for the third time at GALA. For you newbies in the chorus, GALA is the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses and every four years there is a choral festival with LGBTI choruses from all over the world come to perform for each other. The next one will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota in July, 2020.
Fifth Annual Invitational Pride Concert, August 21, Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland. In this concert, we were guests of the Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus in their Pride Concert. Also on the program were Out on a Clef and VOICES: Lesbian choral Ensemble. This was another wonderful opportunity to join together with three amazing performing organizations and make music with them and to share it with the audience. We sang part of our set that we had sung at GALA in Montreal.
Somewhere Over The Top: An Adult Cabaret, September 17-18, LGBT Community Center. Under Miss Smith's guidance, she wanted the chorus to present two cabarets a year to showcase the many and varied talents of the chorus. This one featured some music with "naughty" lyrics and the finale for this was a Monty Python Sing Along. This was another fun evening of music for us and our audience.
Something's Coming, November 13, St. Aidan's Episcopal Church. This concert was a look ahead to the 25th birthday of the chorus. Our special guests were Voices: Lesbian Choral Ensemble. We sang some South African freedom songs, music by Samuel Barber, "Who Will Buy" from the musical Oliver!, among other songs and the finale we sang with VOICES was "Hold On."
Home for the Holidays, December 24, Castro Theatre. Once again we were the guests of SFGMC at the 9:00 pm show in their wonderful set of Christmas Eve concerts at the fabulous Castro Theatre.