Gay Men’s Choruses Sing with Pride; First Concert June 14

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The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Gary Keating, kicks off Pride festivities with a concert at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale this weekend. Submitted photo.

In addition to parties and parades, this year’s traditional pride festivities will also include concerts by the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus and the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida.

The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus (FLGMC) will kick off the celebration on Saturday, June 14 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 15 at 7 p.m. with “A Ticket to Paradise,” a fun musical journey departing from the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, 1 Las Olas Ave.

According to Keating, the program, complete with a script by program coordinator Tim Gibbs and the concert production committee, will take the audience to exotic destinations both near and far, along with the dramatics and camp audiences have come to expect.

The concert program includes works commissioned by other gay men’s choruses, including San Francisco (“San Francisco, I’m Coming Home Again”) and the Colorado Chorale (“You Can’t Take the Color Out of Colorado,” written during the Amendment 2 battle). The latter piece points out, “You can’t take the K-Y from Kentucky….and you can’t have New York without Queens,” he said.

With just 23 singers, FLGMC can devote more time to theatrical elements and the chorus even hired a choreographer to assist with the program.

Keating, who formerly also conducted the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus, pointed out, “Our community is so fortunate to have so many outstanding local performing ensembles. We all do different things, but the important thing is the quality each brings to the stage. All three choruses could do Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody wonderfully and then turn around and use those musical skills to do a tribute to Judy Garland.”

Tickets for the FLGMC concerts are $25-40 at TheFLGMC.org or by calling 954-832-0060.

The following weekend, Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21 at 8 p.m., the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, more than 150 voices strong, will present “Believe! Wishes Do Come True,” at the Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale.

The program, under the baton of artistic director Gordon Roberts, will feature the music of popular Disney cartoons, as well as other animated classics and show tunes.

Roberts and assistant director Harold Dioquino arranged many of the songs for the chorus, nine-piece orchestra and guest soloist Kristen DiNonno Noffsinger.

Together they will sing selections from Disney favorites “Mary Poppins,” “Snow White,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Lion King” and more recent films, including the hit, “Maleficent,” currently in theaters. Tropical Wave, the group’s select ensemble, will also take the stage.

“Kristen is truly the perfect Disney princess,” Roberts said. “She is not only lovely, but has a soaring voice that is perfectly suited for so many of the songs.”

One of the highlights for Pride, according to Roberts, will be a medley — with twists — on “Some Day My Prince Will Come,” “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and “Once Upon a Dream.”

To close the concert, the chorus will perform an arrangement of “It’s a Small World After All,” which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and presented as a “theme and variations” as composed by a wide range of familiar classical composers.

“It’s one of those songs you just can’t get out of your head,” Roberts explained, “but I think the audience will hear and appreciate it in a new way.”

The Saturday performance is sold out, but general admission tickets are still available for the Friday concert for $35 at GayMensChorusOfSouthFlorida.org.


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