Greetings to all of my faithful readers and I hope you are all in good health and staying safe and keeping abreast of all the changing guidelines as we go about our lives. I wanted to write this week a little bit more about what the chorus was going through as I observed it. As I said last week we now had a new Artistic Director in the person of Pat Parr. At that time I was the music librarian so I worked closely with Pat as to what music would be passed out at the start of a concert rehearsal time. I included in the attachments to this the cover for our program "LGCSF Rides Again," which was our country western concert featuring us and our own Fiddlesticks and Menage small groups, four different country western dance groups, Men About Town from SFGMC with Danny Williams as our emcee. Also attached are photos of the poster from the first Gay Musical Celebration held at Grace Cathedral in June 1979 and two posters from our 1991 season, "Bobby Sox to Beatles" and "A Not So Silent Night."
I would now like to write about some of what was happening behind the scenes of the chorus. We had a great Board of Directors and also a wonderful Chorus Advisory Board. The people on the Advisory Board were from the gay business community as well as members of the chorus and held quarterly Advisory Board meetings and I read through the minutes from their meeting of March 14, 1987.
At that time the chorus had lots of connections with these gay business owners and they helped us with fundraising and publicity. They talked about insurance for the chorus, the Pride concert which we would be producing for the first time, obtaining corporate grants from large liquor companies, contacting large PR firms for their SF client lists, and contacting Jeff Jones - a professional grant writer who specialized in gay/lesbian grants. Also talked about was growing the chorus to 50 singers and how to maintain the membership. In regard to the Pride concert, we would sending solicitation letters to prospective patrons who would receive a special invitation after confirming and sending their money and having their name and amount in the program as well as being able to attend the reception after the concert.
As for getting publicity for the chorus, Jerry Coletti, one of the members of the Advisory Board, owned the Galleon Bar & Restaurant and would be creating a Cabaret Room and have Menage and other singers from the chorus perform there to promote the chorus. The members also suggested that for any future major fundraiser at a large venue that they plan to spend a year to develop all the plans and details, such as if there would be special guests performing and contacting them for their fees or anything else they would need. Also discussed at this meeting was the participation of LGCSF in the National March on Washington. Money was eventually raised for Menage to go and sing on the main stage.
So as you can see this was a busy and exciting year for the chorus and also we see that some of the important things for us now as then are fundraising and publicity, recruitment and maintaining our membership, advertising for the chorus for any concerts or events that we produce. In the Leadsheets from June 1987 there is a plug for the chorus retreat and the retreat talent showcase as well as the chance to pass out flyers in the Castro for the Pride concert on Saturday afternoons leading up to the concert. Menage sang at one of these Saturday afternoons as part of the fun we had doing this. Besides the Pride concert, the chorus would also be riding a cable car in the Pride Parade.
And as always please provide me with any feedback about my blog and let me know what you like or what you might want to read about in the future. I love you all so take care of yourselves and share your love for the chorus online however you can. See you next week as I write about the chorus in 1988 with more background and what was being talked about in the Leadsheets.
Always in harmony, Michael Lucero