Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus performs at local church

Zachary Keilholz

Sat., April 14, the award-winning Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus made the trek to Trinity Lutheran Church to provide a fantastic, inspirational performance to the Appleton community.
The TCGMC, the fourth-largest gay men’s chorus in the country, was formed in 1981, but it wasn’t until 1991 that “gay” was added to the title.
The group was built on the idea of community building through music.
Pursuit of musical excellence is the primary goal of the 140 chorus members, but as a whole, they find happiness in healing and educating through the language of music.
With the mission statement “Gay Men Building Community Through Music,” the TCGMC aims to dissolve stereotypes, caricatures and exaggerations of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual communities.
The members of the chorus come from a multitude of professions and backgrounds, and they all have an endearing attachment to the chorus.
“I love the crazy, creative weekends, and it gets me out of the shoe factory!” said chorus member Mickey O’Shea, the owner of a shoe repair store.
Performing 13 songs under the direction of Stan Hill, the TCGMC’s preformance proved to be a thought-provoking delight.
Many of the song melodies sounded as though they came from the Trinity Lutheran hymnals, but the lyrics were fresh and progressive.
“I ain’t afraid of your Yahweh, / I ain’t afraid of your Allah, / I ain’t afraid of your Jesus, / I’m afraid of what you do in the name of your God!”
The chorus also sang a couple contemporary pieces such as “Imagine” by John Lennon.
Soloists were featured in the majority of the songs, but the most awe-inspiring aspect of the concert was most definitely the collective 140-man chorus, which moved through the music like a single entity. They sang with merriment, passion, and most of all, excellence.
For the last piece, the chorus encircled the audience and encouraged everyone to join hands. Remarkably, the listeners moved together to form an astonishing bond, something that doesn’t happen every day.
“It was an impressive message of tolerance and joy,” said freshman Mike Korcek.
After the concert, the chorus welcomed the audience to a reception in the church basement. At the reception, Downer cookies in hand, the men of the TCGMC sat down with concert attendees not only to spread their message further, but also to shoot the breeze.
The benefit concert was hosted by GLOW and the Lawrence University Diversity Center.