Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reveille Triumphant in Miami

TUCSON (Observer Update) - Reveille Men's Chorus returned recently from a week in Miami Florida where they proudly represented Tucson at the GALA Festival VIII. The men from Reveille were part of over 5,000 GLBT men and women from around the country who came together for a week of choral music, solidarity and fellowship.

"Just imagine being in a concert hall with 2,500 Gays and Lesbians listening to Gay and Lesbian choirs sing, the experience is hard to put into words," remarked Jeffrey Bracker, Chorus President. "When the music is good you're moved to tears because everyone remembers a time when they were all alone and you felt you were the only Gay person on the planet." This year GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses) celebrated their 25th year in existence. It was actually 30 years ago when the Gay choral movement began when Gay men and women in New York and San Francisco came together to sing and realized what a powerful tool they had for change. Today there are over 150 GLBT choruses across the country and in England, Ireland, France and Germany. The motto of GALA is "changing hearts thru music" and most major cities have a Gay, Lesbian or mixed chorus reaching out to their community just as Reveille and Desert Voices does here in Tucson.

For 7 days choruses sang in two, hour performance blocks simultaneously in two theaters in downtown Miami. Each chorus was given 30 minutes to present their program. Reveille's time slot was 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday just before the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus (one of the larger choruses in attendance). "My guys should be very proud of what they accomplished in Miami," enthused a very animated conductor, Linus Lerner. "We had already seen some of the very best that GALA has to offer, those large city choruses are big, most with over 100 singers and we were only 21. But I'm happy to say we were the little chorus that could! Members of New York, San Francisco, Golden Gate,Turtle Creek (Dallas) told me that they were very impressed with our sound and those are some of the best choruses out there. Conductors from Boston Gay Men's Chorus, Heartland Men's Chorus, Cincinnati Men's Chorus also came to talk to me about our sound and performance. We worked very hard before and it showed."

"This was my first GALA experience and I was blown away by the love and support everyone gives each chorus," said Shawn Cullen, assistant conductor for Reveille and the band director at Magee Middle School. "These are our peers who are listening to us sing, they know what good singing is all about, they know the hard work that goes into putting a show together so when they give you a standing ovation it really means something. And we got three standing ovations during our performance."

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