It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love. Every song you hear seems to say, Merry Christmas. So says my favorite holiday caroler Karen Carpenter with her alto sublime, in three-quarter time.
Without a doubt, we are in the marvelous midst of the holiday season. For music lovers like us, it’s like a twinkling string of wonderful sounds from the classics of old to the merriment of today. Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute! So, thank you for joining with us in this, our 32nd year of holiday shows. We love to sing for you and we hope you leave with a heart full of happiness, a festive step to your stride and a smile of peace and joy on your face.
We have enjoyed a magical year in 2017. For those of you who know us well, our all-volunteer singers continued on their mission of changing lives one voice at a time. Most recently, we performed as part of the opening ceremonies of San Diego’s biggest civic event December Nights before thousands of our neighbors and friends. The same night, we performed for the Mama’s Kitchen World AIDS Day, this time before a Tree of Life in memory of those we’ve lost. From there, we took Jingle on the road for our second sold-out performance at Sycuan Casino, making new friends and fans in all parts of the county.
Earlier this year, our nationally acclaimed Chamber Chorale made its Lincoln Center debut with our co-commission of the landmark Tyler’s Suite. With music directed by Wicked’s Stephen Schwartz, the piece conveys an anti-bullying message through the tragic story of gay music student Tyler Clementi’s life and loss. Back at home, the masterworks ensemble followed up with its Faith & Freedom concert series to standing-room only audiences at St. David’s Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and a very special audience of military veterans at Sycuan.
We have been especially excited this year about the launch of our newest youth outreach program, the musical retelling of the award-winning children’s book A Peacock Among Pigeons. Working in partnership with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and Broadway composer John Bucchino, we are co-commissioning this wonderful book with an anti-bullying message of celebrating what makes us each different—including those of us with especially colorful feathers! San Diego’s own noted artist Clarione Gutierrez illustrated the book written by Tyler Curry. If you are able to donate toward this project, we guarantee you it will make a world of difference in many young lives.
As we enter into 2018, we have much to look forward to, both musically and within our community. Mark your calendars now for our spring show Movie Night (April 21 & 22), our Hollywood extravaganza in tribute to cinematic masterpieces from Selma’s “Glory” and La La Land’s “Another Day of Sun” to everyone’s favorites from James Bond, Willy Wonka and white-suited disco king with a fever for Saturday nights! We see lots of wigs, makeup and costume changes in our future!
I’d like to close by wishing you and your family the most wonderful and holly-jolliest of holidays. Thank you for all of the love and support you give to each one of us. We love singing for you and we hope you keep coming back to see us again and again!
Bob Lehman Executive Director, San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus