Hello and greetings to all of my faithful readers out there in the world. I hope you are all well and have gotten your vaccinations or are planning to get them. The more who do this the sooner we can be back together in person again.
This week I thought I would do something a little different, because I can, and write about some of what went on behind the scenes in 1992 which was a busy year for us.
The chorus was going to the GALA Choruses Festival IV in Denver in July, 1992. Jack Hamilton, who was the GALA liaison at that time, presented a memo on July 25, 1991, a year in advance, to all chorus members of what to expect at Festival. This included the cost of everything, including airfare, the GALA registration fee, food and lodging. Jack wrote that the cost to attend Festival would cost a minimum of $700 per person. He said that the chorus hoped to raise enough money to subsidize some of the cost for everyone, and most of the cost for people for whom paying $700 would be a hardship. We wanted as many people to go to Festival as possible, so it was important that everyone participate in fundraising activities. The breakdown of the projected costs were:
Air fare $350.00
GALA registration 65.00
The chorus had set up a savings plan to help members put away money in advance, and to make it easier for them to handle payments to airlines and hotels. We encouraged everyone who plans to go to put as much money in as soon as possible.
As far as travel and hotel arrangements went for this Festival, the chorus was planning to travel and fly together to Denver and stay in the same hotel. The chorus would be making the arrangements for all of us. The dates for the Festival were June 28 to July 5. The Festival Committee was asking all attending choruses to arrive on Saturday, June 27, to have a day to settle in before Festival began and to also participate in their Pride Parade. This is what we did as well as many other choruses to the great joy of the people all along the parade route which ended at the park in front of the Colorado Capitol building. This was a great way for us to begin our week at Festival and we had a 4 pm rehearsal and the Opening Concert that night at 8 pm. We also had another rehearsal at 9 am Monday morning and there would be three blocks of concerts Monday through Friday and small groups concerts late nights. Obviously this was our biggest event for the year and most, if not all, of the chorus went to Denver and we all had a great time enjoying the music, the people we met from the other choruses, the food, and of course the socializing.
Next I would like to share some of what our PR committee was up to in 1992, what they were planning for the year which included a three year plan for chorus goals through 1994. They would be preparing calendar notices for the gay papers. One of the members had all the necessary information for this, including the deadlines for the papers, copying the information of upcoming concerts and events, and contacting concierges at various hotels in town. Another would supervise development and distribution of a monthly or quarterly calendar to send out. They also talked about our involvement with the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). As far as the three year plan went, in 1992 would be a nurturing and wooing year to make inroads into CVB and the press, especially the straight press. They would be getting more photos of the chorus for publicity and would promote Menage. Also they talked about producing a video for publicity. The concept was to develop an 8- to 10 minute videotape to use for fundraising and audience development. This would include archival stills with voiceover, show clips and talking heads who will talk about the history of the chorus, and the members talking about being "Together in Harmony" as men and women working together. There was more detail about what it would take to get this project done. As far as I know and for whatever reason this video unfortunately never got made.
For 1993 they would develop and produce a first class brochure of the chorus. We will look at doing some cooperative pieces. They would continue to promote Menage. They were pursuing getting a regular TV show on CATV (cable to you) developing this idea with the Outreach and Fundraising committees. And for 1994 they were looking toward developing the PR support for a national tour.
Our Administrative Director put out a year long calendar in January. As I looked through this we were busy with rehearsals, which included chorus socials before rehearsals from 7 to 7:30, meetings of the Board of Directors, the Board retreat, dress rehearsals for our spring concert and the concert in April, an Eagle beer bust, rehearsals both regular and dress for the Pride concert in June, off to Denver and Festival, Folsom Street Fair beer booth in September, another Eagle beer bust in October and an in-town retreat to get ready for our fall concert, rehearsals for the Holiday Concert with SFGMC in December and we finally had time off after that concert. I included two photos, one of the cover of the Denver GALA Festival program and the cover of our 1992 Pride concert so enjoy those. That is it until next week so be on the lookout for the next History Corner. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones until then.
In love and harmony, Michael Lucero