Sunday, December 09, 2018

Gay Mens Chorus of Washington DC performs Holiday Show, pays tribute to LGBT people who serve in or are veterans of the military



The Washington DC Gay Men’s Chorus held its first “The Holiday Show” at the Lincoln Theater on U St. in Washington DC last night.

OK, yes, the beefcake pictures on p. 7 of the program are sexy. (The Blade has a wider shot on p. 30 of the Dec. 7 issue, including the orange tights.) You see a lot of this in Fort Lauderdale.  (Sorry, the pic is copyrighted.) 

The entire Gay Men’s Chorus was supplemented by subgroups: “Potomac Fever”, “Rock Creek Singers”, “Seasons of Love”, “GenOUT Chorus”, and “17th Street Dance”.

  
Part One emphasized some popular carols.  One of the most interesting was “Silver Bears” based on “Silver Bells” (the 2005 CBS Hallmark TV film which my late mother liked).  Then Potomac Fever continued with “Silent Night”, with Kevin Thomason as a soloist.  There followed a dialogue about (gays in the military) Army soldiers on watch in Afghanistan.  Then there was an adaptation “12 Days of Christmas/Africa” with a retrospect of volunteer (faith-based or university research) work in Africa, which reminded me of Jack Andraka’s summer in Sierra Leone as a Truman Scholar. It also reminded me of Trinity Presbyterian (Arlington – a congregation that gave an early warning in 2016 on the asylum seeker problem) and its youth projects every summer in Belize.
  
After the intermission, the GMC performed the only original classical work of the evening, the “Ad Amore” (a cappella) by Lee R. Kessleman, text by Dante Alighhierl. Soloist William Boyce followed with Stephen Schwartz’s “The Chanukah Song”.  Then speaker Romm Gastongay narrated “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” as a tribute to veterans, and asked all veterans in the office to stand by service branch.  I did so as having been in the Army.  This seemed like a delayed tribute to the end of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” under Obama in 2011.  There was no direct reference to the issue of Trump’s attempted transgender ban in the military, but the indirect implication of the exercise is clear.
  
At the end, we passed another informal drag show in the Lincoln Theater lobby where GMCWDA sold CD’s, $20 cash a piece.  I’ll review one soon.

It is common for "Gay Mens Chorus" groups to record certain works with international orchestras, especially Liszt's "A Faust Symphony" and Shostakovich's Symphony #13. 

(Note: non-flash photo-taking without recording music was permitted.)

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