Ho, Ho, Ho-li­day con­certs

At­lanta Gay Men’s Cho­rus and Our­song sing for the sea­son

GA Voice - - Holiday Guide - By Ryan Watkins rwatkins@the­gavoice.com

It’s just not the hol­i­days with­out mu­sic to put you in the fes­tive spirit. At­lanta’s gay and les­bian cho­ruses are poised to host their an­nual hol­i­day con­certs with in­clu­sive mes­sages of peace and hope.

The At­lanta Gay Men’s Cho­rus re­turns to the Cathe­dral of Saint Philip for its an­nual hol­i­day con­cert, this year called “And on Earth, Peace.” The con­certs are set for Dec. 7-8, in­clud­ing the tra­di­tional ice cream so­cial af­ter the 2 p.m. show on Dec. 8. The cho­rus also of­fers a pre­view show Dec. 1 at Red Clay The­atre in Du­luth.

Kevin Robin­son, artis­tic di­rec­tor for AGMC, said this year’s theme of peace goes hand-in-hand with the sea­son.

“It is al­ways an ap­pro­pri­ate time to sing about and cel­e­brate the prom­ise of joy to the world and good­will to all per­sons,” Ro­bi­son says. “But per­haps it’s es­pe­cially im­por­tant to sing th­ese uni­ver­sal mes­sages of hope dur­ing an elec­tion year, where the vol­ume of the rhetoric can get in the way of re­mind­ing us all of what we most de­sire — peace.”

The con­cert is slated to in­clude such hol­i­day clas­sics as “Deck the Halls,” “O Holy Night” and a re­make of the fa­mous “Lit­tle Drum­mer Boy/Peace on Earth” duet be­tween Bing Crosby and David Bowie. It will also fea­ture spe­cial guest Me­gan Mash­burn.

Robin­son praises the Cathe­dral of Saint Philip, call­ing the venue a “guest star” of the an­nual show.

“The Cathe­dral it­self must be con­sid­ered one of the re­cur­ring ‘guest stars’ of our De­cem­ber hol­i­day con­cert,” he says. “Its rev­er­ent beauty and ring­ing acous­tics greatly add to the ex­pe­ri­ence for both our au­di­ences and the cho­rus it­self. We feel ex­tremely priv­i­leged to be in­vited back year af­ter year.”

The AGMC, now in its 32nd sea­son, also has a new hol­i­day CD that will be avail­able at the con­certs. It can also be down­loaded from iTunes and the cho­rus web­site.

Our­Song gets ‘Twisted’

Our­Song, At­lanta’s mixed gay and les­bian cho­rus, will host its hol­i­day con­cert, “Twisted Hol­i­day,” on Dec. 14 at Can­non Chapel at Emory Univer­sity and Dec. 15 at Spivey Hall at Clay­ton State Univer­sity.

While many of the songs Our­Song will per­form dur­ing the show are rec­og­niz­able, Robert Glor, artis­tic di­rec­tor, says that the cho­rus wanted a new take on mem­o­rable clas­sics.

“It was born from try­ing to find dif­fer­ent ar- At­lanta Gay Men’s Cho­rus ‘And on Earth, Peace’ Pre­view on Dec. 1, 1:30 p.m. Red Clay The­atre, Du­luth Con­cert on Dec. 7, 8 p.m. Dec. 8, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Cathe­dral of St. Philip www.agm­cho­rus.org Our­Song ‘Twisted Hol­i­day’ Dec. 14, 8 p.m. Can­non Chapel at Emory Univer­sity Dec. 15, 8:14 p.m. Spivey Hall at Clay­ton State Univer­sity www.our­songat­lanta.org range­ments of tra­di­tional things,” Glor says. “It’s a fresh new look to the mu­sic. We re­al­ized th­ese were ‘twisted’ from what they orig­i­nally were.”

That in­spi­ra­tion led to the con­cert’s theme. Glor notes he and his as­so­ciate artis­tic di­rec­tor, Ellen Chase, spent many hours dur­ing the sum­mer look­ing for new ar­range­ments.

“I spent a lot of time in the sum­mer, lis­ten­ing to mu­sic,” Glor says. “I’d go to YouTube and I’d go to the mu­sic ven­dors’ web­sites. We look ev­ery­where we can to find dif­fer­ent ar­range­ments.”

While the cho­rus prom­ises new takes on clas­sics, there will be some mod­ern mu­sic in­cluded, as well, Glor says. Works from con­tem­po­rary com­posers Kevin Mem­ley and Bob Chilcott will also be fea­tured. “It’s really great, beau­ti­ful mu­sic,” Glor said. Our­Song, now in its 11th year, will per­form in two dif­fer­ent venues: one in­town at Emory Univer­sity and the other out­side of the city at Clay­ton State Univer­sity.

The At­lanta Gay Men’s Cho­rus of­fers De­cem­ber con­certs fea­tur­ing both tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary hol­i­day tunes. (Photo by Brent Cor­co­ran/ RNZ Pho­tog­ra­phy)

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