Our True Colors
Dec 1st, 2010 by Mike

I’m in my third season singing with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. It’s a lot of work, and it’s also incredibly rewarding.

Next weekend, we begin our December concert series, Joy. It’s going to be an incredible concert, certainly not one to miss. Reuben has pulled out all the stops for this one, including a brass quintet. Chad has written an incredible arrangement that includes my favorite piece in the entire concert. And we’re the first to perform the TTBB arangement of Gwyneth Walker’s “Rejoice!” Go get your tickets now while good tickets can still be gotten.

As excited as I am about the December concert series, I’m jumping out of my skin over what we have in store for March.

A few weeks ago, Reuben dropped a bombshell on us. The concert he had planned for March is being put on the shelf for a while. Something more important has come up. There has been an epidemic of suicides by gay teens in the past several months, and we needed to respond. It’s our own way of saying It Gets Better. We’ll be filling Jordan Hall with Defying Gravity from Wicked, Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful, and of course, Cyndi Lauper’s classic True Colors. Both Joy and Our True Colors will be concerts you won’t want to miss.

Come to think of it, with our Beatles concert in June, this might be a good time to buy a season subscription.

I’m really proud to be part of this organization.

In Need of Music
Dec 10th, 2009 by Mike

The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus has a new CD called “In Need of Music.” It’s the first recording the chorus has done since I’ve joined.  Most of the pieces are from our March 2009 concert series, Outside the Box. One piece is from our December 2008 concert series. There are two pieces that are from series prior to my joining the chorus.

I bought my copies of the CD last night. It’s pretty amazing. Honestly, I had forgotten how much really great music we did for Outside the Box. My absolute favorite piece is track 7, Chad Weirick‘s brilliant arrangement of “A Love that will Never Grow Old” from Brokeback Mountain. We performed that with a string quartet and Chad at the piano. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

In listening to the CD this morning on my way to work, “What Matters” from the Matthew Shepherd story had me in tears. It’s fantastic. I remember thinking how difficult that piece was, and it came out amazing. It has a lot of syncopation, and with 150 voices, that’s not easy to do.

I think everything was recorded at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory of Music. As I’ve stated before, Jordan Hall is a sacred place to me.

I could blather away for quite a while about this CD. Instead, head over the chorus’ website and listen to some of the clips yourself. And while you’re at it, buy yourself a copy of the CD.

After every concert, I say that I’m so proud to be part of such an amazing group of men. This CD has to be one of the proudest moments in my life. It feels absolutely amazing to be part of a group that has performed such stunningly beautiful music. Perhaps, I’m just a bit biased. If that’s the case, I’m perfectly okay with that.

Jordan Hall
Dec 4th, 2009 by Mike

One of the best things about being part of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus is rehearsals. Sure, they’re a lot of work. They’re also a lot of fun.

Tuesday night, we had a rehearsal on stage in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory of Music. I hold Jordan Hall with a great deal of reverence. It’s a beautiful hall, and the acoustics are incredible. Like many members, Jordan Hall was the site of my first concert with the BGMC.

Jordan Hall brings out the very best in us. The acoustics are so amazing that if we don’t get something quite right, it sounds sloppy. Reuben will occasionally have us sing something incorrectly so we can hear just how bad it sounds there. And that makes us get it right.

For our upcoming concert series, Our Home for the Holidays, we’ll be performing Fred Small’s “Not in our Town” with our guest soloist, Kerry Dowling. It’s going to be fantastic in Jordan Hall. This concert series has a lot of really good stuff. We have lots of good seats available for the December 18-20 concerts. Seats for the December 13 concert are limited. Tickets and more details are here.

Let the River Run
Jun 14th, 2009 by Mike

My first season with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus will be over in less than 12 hours. This makes me a little sad. At the same time, it’ll be a huge relief. It’s a big commitment, and the past week has been rough. This has been one of the best times of my life.

I say it after every concert, and I seriously mean it. I’m so honored and a bit humbled to be part of such an amazing group of men.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS1Fh-xx4T0

This video is how we opened the second act of our show. It’s my favorite number in the entire show. And there is a lot to love in this concert.

Ready for the Eighties
Jun 5th, 2009 by Mike

Next week is the last concert series of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus’ 2008-2009 season, and we’re Ready for the Eighties! Next week, we’re presenting Boys Just Wanna Have Fun: Totally 80s. What could be more fun than the BGMC singing your favorite songs of the decade of sweatbands, big hair, and Duran Duran? The concerts are June 11, 12, and 14 at John Hancock Hall. Tickets are on sale at http://bgmc.org or by calling the Chrous office at 617-542-SING.

I’m really excited about this concert. The music is absolutely iconic. Reuben tells us this is a very challenging concert to sing. We haven’t even noticed that because we’re having too much fun singing it. And you’ll have fun listening to it.

Want to know more? Let me give you a little inside tidbit. We come on stage with the Village People’s Ready for the Eighties. The opening medley starts with “I Want my MTv” and “Video Killed the Radio star.” That’s just how it starts! The second act opens with my favorite song in the concert, Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run” from the movie Working Girl. The harmonies in this song are stunning. We have a medley of tv theme song that features the theme song from Amen. The finale is touching, and the encore would make Patti LaBelle proud as we do “New Attitude” as only the BGMC can do.

Seriously, this concert is going to be so much fun. There are plenty of tickets available, and they’re affordable. Every week at rehearsal, I’m continually thrilled and slightly humbled to be part of such an amazing group of gay men.

Are You Ready for the 80s
Mar 25th, 2009 by Mike

Tonight is the first rehearsal for the BGMC‘s next concert, “Boys Just Wanna Have Fun: Totally 80s” and it’s going to be a blast.

We haven’t seen the music yet other than getting little hints via e-mail from Reuben, our director. We have exactly 11 weeks to get this show ready. It’s going to be a lot of fun. This is the music we all grew up listening to.

All we know at this point is that the show opens with The Village People’s “Are You Ready for the 80s.’

I’m not sure which will be more fun, the concert or the rehearsals.

Tickets are on sale now at bgmc.org. You might want to get your tickets very quickly. This one is going to sell out for two reasons. First, it’s going to be an awesome concert and will rock in a way that only the BGMC can do, and second, it’s happening during Boston’s Gay Pride week.

He Vas My Boyfriend
Mar 15th, 2009 by Mike

In the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus’ Outside the Box concert series, we did a few comedy numbers. It didn’t take long for them to get posted to YouTube.

The first one was from the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein. It’s He Vas My Boyfriend/Deep Love. My friend, the theatre critic, says these were the only two decent songs in the musical.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_dDYeM_pjQ

The big gag in the concert was from Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life”, Every Sperm is Sacred.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQKI6zFfqZA

Good god, I love my chorus.

Solid as a Lesbian in Birkenstocks
Mar 13th, 2009 by Mike

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said how much I enjoy being part of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. Wednesday nights are the best. Rehearsals are always a ton of laughs, and we work hard making great music. This week was our last rehearsal prior to our “Outside the Box” this weekend.

Here is a YouTube clip from Wednesday night while we’re working on “Come to My Window” from Melissa Etheridge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY5sqrtryMo

Unfortunately the audio doesn’t give you the full, rich sound of the BGMC when we’re singing at Jordan Hall. Still, it’s a great preview of what you can expect this weekend. You DID buy your tickets, didn’t you? If not, go on over to bgmc.org and support us. There are still plenty of great seats available.

If you keep watching the clip, you’ll catch one of the best Reubenisms I’ve heard in my time with the chorus. He’s always saying the funniest things. Frequently he’ll say things without realizing just how funny he is.

Outside the Box
Feb 22nd, 2009 by Mike

Yesterday was an all-day rehearsal for the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. Our spring concert, Outside the Box, is in three weeks. This is incredibly exciting news. The show is coming together, and we’re sounding good. Heck, we sounded good singing in a church basement yesterday, so one can only imagine what we’ll sound like in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory of Music.

If you live in the metro Boston area, I strongly encourage you to get your tickets now at http://bgmc.org. We’re only doing two shows, Saturday night and Sunday matinee.

We’re doing a set of Rufus Wainwrigh pieces, and a set of Billy Strayhorn pieces. Some of the Strayhorn pieces are simply amazing. On top of that, we’re paying tribute to our lesbian sisters with three pieces, including Come to My Window and Big Boned Gal. And then there is a piece called I Am in Need of Music. We’re also doing a piece called Love My Sweet Rain. It’s stunning. My two favorite pieces are A Love that Will Never Grow Old from Brokeback Mountain and Take Me to the World/Never Get Lost.

I’m excited about this concert. Come see us. You’ll enjoy it.

Outside the Box
Feb 4th, 2009 by Mike

I sing with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. Our Spring concert, Outside the Box, is rapidly approaching. Tickets are on sale at http://www.bgmc.org/tickets_individual.php.

As the promotional material states, “This is not your father’s choral concert.” This concert is going to be a lot of fun. It’s music you wouldn’t expect the BGMC to perform.

Several pieces pay tribute to gay and lesbian composers, including Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Ethridge, and Billy Strayhorn. You may not have heard of Billy Strayhorn, but if you’re a jazz fan, you may know his work. He wrote several pieces for Duke Ellington.

We’re doing a piece from the Mel Brooks musical, Young Frankenstein. That’s potentially my favorite piece in the whole show. And in typical BGMC fashion, the finale will leave you in stitches. I’ll only tell you that it comes from a Monty Python film.

Have I mentioned that tickets are on sale at http://www.bgmc.org/tickets_individual.php?

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