Ho, Ho, Ho-liday concerts
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and Oursong sing for the season
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)