Last year, Harold Dioquino was selected to become the artistic director of the critically-acclaimed 150-voice Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida. Born and trained in the Philippines, Dioquino had served for five years as associate director and then one season as interim artistic director while the chorus initiated a nationwide search.
Already, the chorus has embarked on an impressive musical journey under his leadership, including holiday performances at the Hard Rock Live and efforts to expand the chorus audience with concerts at larger venues across the region, including the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, Lauderhill Performing Arts Center and Parker Playhouse.
“I’m a firm believer of quality over quantity. We started (this season) by tightening the audition process, requiring our current members to undergo vocal evaluations and musical assessments so we can determine best placement and how to support our members with individual vocal coaching,” Dioquino said.
While the gay men’s chorus movement rose during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, Dioquino still feels the ensembles are as relevant as ever in the era of marriage equality.
“Besides performing great music, gay choruses around the world demonstrate acceptance to the young and scared gay person. In fact, to some members of the chorus, we’re the only family they’ve got,” he explained.