LGCSF History Corner: 1981 Part 1
Greetings to all my faithful readers. There is one more thing I want to add from last week's blog. As I said at our Premiere Concert we were accompanied by Lamba Pro Musica. This orchestra was founded by Jon Sims, the godfather of all gay musical organizations, and held its first rehearsal on January 24, 1980, the day after our first rehearsal.
As I have been going through the early archives of the chorus I keep discovering materials that I have never seen before. One thing was the Golden Gate Performing Arts spring concert series brochure. Our first concert was titled "Our Time and Place" which was held on May 30 at the Trinity Episcopal Church and May 31 at the First Congregational Church at Post and Mason which became our sort of home performance space through the later 1980s and 1990s. We sang music by Schubert, Liszt, Faure and Scott Joplin.
I would also like to write about the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. The next concert in the series was the "National Tour Concert" of the SFGMC and was held on June 4 at the Warfield Theatre. This was the kickoff concert for their tour which took them to Dallas, Minneapolis, Detroit, New York, Washington, D.C., Lincoln, Boston and Seattle. This tour encouraged all the audiences in these cities to think about starting a queer chorus in their city. The tour was an historic first: the opportunity to proclaim from coast to coast the talent, the joy, the love and the resourcefulness of the national gay community.
The next concert that LGCSF performed in was the "Gay Musical Celebration at Davies Symphony Hall." This was held on June 26 and featured the two gay choruses of San Francisco. We were supported by the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and the Bay Area Women's Brass Quartet. With SFGMC, the concert was opened with "Gloria in excelsis Deo" by Joseph Dreschenmeier and "Song of Galilee." Then our set began with "Somewhere" from "West Side Story." This was the first time we had performed this and it became our signature song for many years to follow. We also sang excerpts from "Treemonisha" by Scott Joplin. Our director, Robin Kay, whose photo I included, was considered a leading interpreter of Scott Joplin's work and had performed them widely in person and on radio. We ended our set with "Budavari Te Deum" by Zoltan Kodaly.
Two days after this concert, we marched and rode in the Pride Parade on a float which was sponsored by the Sutro Bath House. Next week I will write about what we did in the second half of 1981.
In love and harmony, Michael Lucero
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