Sounds of Columbus (September 2012)

For 23 years the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus (CGMC) has been one of the elite musical organizations in Columbus, and this upcoming season they plan to continue that tradition. The main chorus is 80 voices strong, and also produces two smaller ensembles, Vox and Illuminati, that go out into the community for separate performances. Between all three groups, the CGMC will be making a lot of music this year.

Tim Sarsany, in his third year as artistic director, said the he has seen the choir continually improve. “The artistic level continues to increase,” said Tim. “Our position in the community has grown as well.” The choir collaborates with many other performance groups in the city, and this fall the ensemble Vox is working with BalletMet for the show, “American Songbook.” The show will run the weekends of September 21 through October 7 and will be held at BalletMet.

The musical partnerships that CGMC have made in the past have proven to be successful. In March 2011, they performed with the Columbus Children’s Choir and the YouTube video of their version of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” has over 25,000 hits, and is used by the Trevor Project, an organization that works to prevent suicide for LGBTQ youth. “The guys loved it and the kids had a good time as well,” said Tim.

Also this fall, the choir will give their annual holiday show, “Joy to the World,” December 7-9 at King Avenue United Methodist Church, where they have held the show for 12 years. “It’s almost a tradition for a lot of people. Their holiday starts when they come to the show,” said Tim. “It shows how the community supports us and we support the community.”

In February, Vox will perform a Valentine’s show, “What I Did for Love,” and in March the main chorus will put on “Until There’s a Cure.” The performance will focus on the effects of HIV/AIDS and the songs “will be both inspired by, and insightful of, the history, losses and turning points of this pandemic.” The show will be March 22 and 23 at the Lincoln Theater. “Social justice is a big part of what we do as well. If we can just change one mind it’s worth it,” said Tim.

Illuminati, CGMC sacred ensemble, also performs a spring concert performing spiritual songs. This ensemble was created about 10 years ago and is conducted by Michael Crandall. They sing at various churches around town, throughout the year, and typically per the request of a congregation. “It’s a way we can go out into the community when they can’t come to us,” said Tim. “Those guys love to sing that music, but they also love to do the outreach.” The Illuminati concert is May 19, at Worthington United Methodist Church.

The main chorus plans to wrap up their season with the “Motown in Our Town” show. Tim said this will be one of their liveliest performances with dancing, an aspect that the members always have fun with. “We’ve had to add a more visual element, just because that is the way things are going,” said Tim. The Motown show will be June 28-30.

Tim said that outside of all the performances and practices, the friendship of the chorus is one of the most rewarding. “We are a family, we always help each other. The camaraderie and spirit is just great,” said Tim. “The music is important but the camaraderie and the community is vital. It’s a great bunch of guys to lead. They work so hard at what they do.”

Interested in joining Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus this season? All experience is welcome! Auditions, or voice placements, are Sept. 16 and 23 at Ohio Theater, 5:30p. New singers are invited to sit through rehearsal first and auditions will be held afterward. Visit CGMC.com for more information.

Link to article online: http://outlookcolumbus.com/2012/09/sounds-of-columbus-september-2012/

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