Greetings to all of my faithful readers on this last Sunday of November, 2020. I hope you are all safe and sane and healthy and hope you were able to celebrate Thanksgiving virtually with friends and family. Phil and I had a quiet one here in Alameda and shared a dinner of ham with a bourbon, cherry and pomegranate glaze, mashed sweet potatoes with Grand Marnier, a glass of Pinot Grigio and strawberry rhubarb pie.
This week for you I am continuing my look back at the Pride Concert program and poster art. The four program covers here are from 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. These four concerts were produced by LGCSF and sponsored in part by PCW Communications, Inc. and the Galleon Bar & Restaurant.
On Friday, June 24, 1988, was the 10th Annual Gay Musical Celebration, A Decade of Pride. In the Welcome our Business Manager, Linda K. Rohde, wrote, in part, "Tonight, on behalf of the members, staff and advisory board of the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, I welcome you to the continuation of that tradition - THE ANNUAL GAY MUSICAL CELEBRATION - A DECADE OF PRIDE. Some of the faces have changed, both in the audience and within the ranks of the performers, but the warmth and enthusiasm of that first concert still prevails, giving us that comfortable feeling of 'returning home' after a year-long journey."
In the list of Production Staff for Art Design was by Jack Klaus. I was listed as the "Right Hand Man" and Judy Tauber, a soprano, was listed as "Right Hand Woman".
At this time we were at 48 strong voices almost equal in all four sections. In this concert LGCSF opened and closed the show. Our guests included the San Francisco ARCAIDS Theatre, the Chamber Singers of SFGMC, Menage, our jazz octet. After intermission the SFGMC were on, then Fiddlestix, our country-western quartet, then Jennifer Berezan, a singer/songwriter/guitarist whose first album "In the Eye of the Storm" was due that summer. Then as I said we were on to close the concert.
On Friday, June 23, 1989, was the 11th Annual Gay Musical Celebration which was A GALA Chorus Preview and held at Mission High School. LGCSF was at 54 strong. In this concert were the eight Bay Area choruses who would be participating in the GALA Choruses Festival in Seattle the following July. There were choruses from Sacramento and Santa Cruz who were making their San Francisco debut. This was a wonderful night of music as we shared the stage with these amazing choruses and heard some of the inspiring music we would be performing and singing in Seattle.
First onstage was the Golden Gate Men's Chorus, then the Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus of San Jose, and then the Sacramento Women's Chorus. Next was the Men's Chorus Commission conducted by Gregg Tallman followed by SFGMC. Next came the Women's Chorus Commission conducted by Sonni Zambino. After the intermission was the Mixed Chorus Commission conducted by Pat Parr and followed by LGCSF. Next was the Santa Cruz Men's Chorus, then VOICES: Bay Area Lesbian Choral Ensemble, the Sacramento Men's Chorus and the concert with all of the choruses combining to sing our own Jesse Kane's wonderful song, "Hand in Hand".
On Friday, June 22, 1990 was the 12th Annual Gay Musical Celebration - "The Lesbian/Gay Chorus Turns 10". This concert was sponsored in part by Grants for the Arts. The program was put together by Marsha Seeley and our publicist Jackie Hicks. The design of the ten candles were carried over to all the program covers for this season. Yes this concert marked the conclusion of the Tenth Anniversary season of LGCSF. It was our great pleasure to reach out to thank the individuals and groups that were instrumental in our creation in January, 1980. Through the vision of Jon Sims and the support of SFGMC, our founding director, Robin Kay, accepted the challenge to create a "mixed" chorus. There were 60 men and 7 women who met at the first rehearsal.
LGCSF opened the concert opened the concert followed by the San Francisco Winds of Freedom. Then Vocal Minority, formerly a small pop group of LGCSF, but then on their own, performed. They were followed by the then current small groups, Menage, Naugahyde and the Dinettes and Menage. After the intermission the SFGMC were onstage. Then LGCSF and alumni from the first ten years sang together - "I'd Rather Sing Soprano", "Somewhere", which had been our signature song, "I Sing the Body Electric" and "Hand in Hand". These were conducted by Robin Kay. This was followed by the big finale with all the performers onstage singing "Not a Day Goes By/If We Only Have Love". This was a wonderful night of music and hanging out with alumni of LGCSF and sharing our music with our wonderful audience.
On Friday, June 28, 1991, was the 13th Annual Pride Concert - "The Musical Event of the San Francisco Pride Celebration!" The publicist in the program is listed as Carol Northrup so I believe she created the cover for this program. Our Master of Ceremonies was Hank Plante, journalist and anchor of KPIX Channel 5 news. This concert was dedicated to Robin Kay, Founding Director of the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco. As Pat Parr wrote in the Welcome "As producers of this concert it has been the goal of the Lesbian/Gay Chorus to include representation by different performing groups from the Lesbian/Gay community each year. We are very excited about this evening's program. The diversity in membership, styles and sizes of the groups performing is possibly the greatest we've ever put together. From Broadway to Gospel, traditional to contemporary, jazz to songs of protest, comedy to drama, the works presented tonight all have one thing in common - the dedication and hard work from each member of each organization to bring the music to life."
The concert opened with the wonderful Glide Ensemble, who were followed by the Golden Gate Men's Chorus, then Vocal Minority who were followed by VOICES: Bay Area Lesbian Ensemble. They were led at this time by our good friend, Melanie DeMore. So our connection with her goes back to 1991 and this concert. After the intermission the Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus took the stage and were followed by Menage. Then LGCSF were onstage and the night ended with the Combined Choruses singing "Brothers and Sisters". Once again this was a night of wonderful and inspiring music and performances by all of these talented musicians.
Next week I will continue my look back at the art of our Pride Concert programs and posters. Take care of yourselves. Remember this Tuesday, December 1, is World AIDS Day and #Giving Tuesday. Sending my love to you all.
In love, peace and harmony, Michael Lucero