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BGMC Holiday Concerts Return (AUDIO)

By Charlotte Robinson, December 01, 2022

This week I talked with Sarah Shoffner the new Executive Director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) about their upcoming holiday concert series entitled “Joyful & Triumphant & Gay.” Founded in 1982 this fabulous 200+ voice ensemble is presenting their first live holiday concert since 2019. Performances under BGMC Music Director Reuben Reynolds are December 4th at 3P at Mechanics Hall in Worcester & evening performances December 9th, 16th, 17th & 18 at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, MA. The title of the show is a tribute to Dean X. Johnson the accompanist & assistant director of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC) who died of AIDS in 1998 at age 42. Johnson composed “Joyful & Triumphant!” with fellow NYCGMC member Jeff Baron at the height of the AIDS crisis in 1992. “Joyful & Triumphant & Gay” opens with the traditional French carol “Sing We Now of Christmas” & features classics like Bruckner’s “Ave Maria” & “Locus iste” alongside modern holiday fare that includes Cyndi Lauper’s “Christmas Conga”, “A Place Called Home” from “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” & Kylie Minogue’s “Christmas Isn’t Christmas ’Til You Get Here.” The concert will also feature two pieces by American composer Jacob J. Narverud including “Sisi Ni Moja” which means we are one in Swahili & a performance of the powerful “Ukrainian Bell Carol” as a reminder of the horrible human costs of war & our capacity for joy despite them. The chorus will also debut a new suite by BGMC Principal Accompanist & Assistant Music Director Chad Weirick which draws on classic carols & Christmas music to reflect his experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. I talked to Sarah about what she hopes to accomplish with BGMC & her spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

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