Greetings again to all my faithful readers and friends,
I hope you are all well and staying safe and getting vaccinated so we can all get back together and sing. This week I want to write about early 1998 when we were under the artistic direction of Trente Morant. We were preparing for our Spice It Up! concert with two dates on March 13 and 14 at the Cowell Theatre at Fort Mason. This was the beginning of our 18th Anniversary Theatre and Trente wanted to bring together several styles of music to this concert. We had three special guests, Jill Togawa of Purple Moon Dance Project, Jackeline Rago of Crosspulse and Jonnie Pekelny, who was a friend of Jill Tallmer. The chorus at this point was at 48 strong and three of our altos, Deb, Yolanda and Linda were on the roster and Deb was part of a solo ensemble who sang "Oughta Be a Woman" by Sweet Honey in the Rock. The chorus also sang another Sweet Honey in the Rock song "Breaths" which was arranged by Trente. He also wrote and arranged a "Gloria" for us, and arranged a song by Oscar Peterson, Jr., called "Afro Blue". Jill Togawa danced and choreographed for us "Una Like No a Like" and Jackeline gave us excerpts from her "Spiritual Procession", which were "Sangueos" and "Calypso" so we were all moving to these rhythms as we sang. This is just some of what we sang. In our rehearsals for this we really worked on learning not only the music and words and also the rhythms for the various songs. We had a really great out of town retreat weekend where we worked hard on all of this along with the memorization of everything so we would be ready for the concerts. These concerts were advertised in the Fort Mason March 1998 newsletter and we also had flyers that we distributed throughout the City.
In the Leadsheet that came out on March 26 after our concerts, Trente thanked all of us for a fun concert. He said there were many former members of the chorus in the audience who said they were pleasantly surprised. He said that we all did a very good job with all of Jackie Rago's compositions. The only sort of negative thing Trente mentioned was where was the audience? Even with all of our efforts and advertising we all agreed that we need to do more. So with our preparations for the upcoming 20th Pride Concert we had tickets to sell the first week of May. The mailing list will be worked on and flyers and information will be sent out the last week of May. Flyer and poster distribution will begin the first week of June and we will have all the information for Chorus members to sell ads in our program.
The point of all this I think is that we as a chorus have struggled to sell and get a full audience to our concerts on a consistent basis. And I am wondering going forward how will we be marketing our concerts to get our audiences back and to let them it is safe to be in our performance venues to hear us and of course for all of us to feel safe. Let's all think about this and work together to show that we are strong and ready to lead with love. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones and I will have more on the glorious history of our Chorus.
In love and harmony, Michael Lucer