Hello to all my faithful readers out there. I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy and if you are going out to eat or see friends that you are careful in what you do. This week I was inspired by an email from Kelly Sundin. Kelly wrote that they were doing archival research in their university's newsletters and came across an advertisement for LGCSF's "Music by Women Composers" concert from November of 1995. That was the year of LGCSF's Crystal Anniversary - 15th year - and we had a season brochure. Our three concerts for this year were "A Grand Night for Singing!" which celebrated the 100th birthdays of Lorenz Hart and Hammerstein in March. In June, we presented the 17th Annual Pride Concert and the concert I will concentrate on was "Music by Women Composers." We did two evenings with the first on November 3 at First Congregational Church in Oakland and November 4 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in San Francisco. I have included four photos, one of a flyer for the concert, one of our season brochure cover and the other two are of the program cover and the program itself.
Our artistic director, Pat Parr, made it his mission to feature music by living women composers as well as music by gay men and lesbians to share with our audience the wonderful music these composers were writing. The women whose music we performed were Emma Lou Diemer, Gwyneth Walker, Felicia A. B. Sandler, Libby Larsen, Jane Marshall, Alice Parker, Ysaye M. Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Holly Near, Joan Hoffman, Crystal Juelson, and Naomi Judd. May I suggest that you research some of these women to learn more about them. I think it always helps to know more about the composers and their music you are singing.
The first half of this concert featured more serious music as we sang madrigals by Emma Lou Diemer, a song titled "I Will Be Earth" by Gwyneth Walker, a set of five songs titled "A Creeley Collection" by Libby Larsen, and a set of three songs by Alice Parker titled "Stars & Stones," among others. This was the first concert we produced that featured orchestral accompaniment with violins, cello, string bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon and percussion.
The second half of the concert featured more popular and fun songs. We sang "On Children" by Ysaye M. Barnwell, Joan Hoffman's "Chocolate Lover's Song," which had the audience and us wanting chocolate, as well as a beautiful arrangement of "Shenandoah" by Gwyneth Walker. We also performed "Change of Heart" by Holly Near, "Pulse" by Crystal Juelson and ended the concert with "Love Can Build a Bridge" by Naomi Judd which was the title of Naomi and Wynonna's 8th album which went to number 13 on the country charts and won a 1992 Grammy Award.
From what I remember as we rehearsed these songs and really learned this music and learned about the composers was a strong feel of accomplishment and pride that we were presenting this music to our audience who were very appreciative of what we performed.
If there are any other concerts or accomplishments that the chorus has done over our 40 years please let me know as I always like to hear from you and welcome any feedback. Our chorus has such a rich history and I will bring more to you next week. Take care of yourselves and send love and hugs to your friends and families.
In love and harmony, Michael Lucero