Since 1985, the San Diego Men’s Chorus (their original name) has been an institution of San Diego’s Gay and Queer community with massive concerts for everyone’s enjoyment. Their fabulous themed presentations have earned them an impressive following which usually sells out the historic Balboa Theater in Downtown. During their start, about 55 applicants became members, and today around 300 men compile this successful organization.
The choir has performed numerous official concerts in acclaimed venues like the Shrine Auditorium and Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Denver’s Buell Hall, and the University of Washington, Seattle, as well as local houses like the San Diego’s Copley Symphony Hall, Spreckels Theatre, Mandeville Auditorium at UCSD, Mandell Weiss Theatre (La Jolla Playhouse), The Grand Ballroom of the Cafe del Rey Moro in Balboa Park, Bahia Hotel, the First Unitarian Universalist and University Christian Churches. The non-profit organization has also partnered with relevant artistic organizations like the San Diego Opera, Pacific Chamber Orchestra, Three’s Company Dancers, and San Diego Symphony.
As influential members of the Gay and Lesbian Community, the group has joined forces with other notable choruses and bands, such as the San Diego Women’s Chorus, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Turtle Creek Chorale, Portland Lesbian Choir, South Coast Chorale from Orange County, Desert Voices from Tucson, Long Beach Men’s Chorus, Orlando Gay Chorus, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and America’s Finest City Freedom Band.
You may also recognize the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus members for taking the field at some of the San Diego Padres games, as well as some events in The White House during the 90’s, and even the pregame show at the Super Bowl! The Chorus has performed with superstars such as Carol Channing, Barry Manilow, Nichelle Nichols, and Grammy-nominated Westwind Brass.
Back in 2004, the group made its international debut as they performed at the GALA Choruses International Choral Festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to thousands of audience members from around the world. Notably, in 2006, the Chorus became the first Gay chorus to be featured as mainstage entertainment on a major cruise ship when it presented “On the Good Ship…” onboard Princess Cruise Line’s Diamond Princess. Now that’s what I call an impressive resume!
This Spring, they are bringing a variety spectacle called BRITPOP, showcasing music from Britain’s greatest pop stars, including Elton John, Queen, David Bowie, Sam Smith, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Stones, and Coldplay. No Gay Brit themed extravaganza could happen without some divas sprinkled in, such as Adele, Jessie J, Dua Lipa, Shirley Bassey, and Leona Lewis, to name a few. The choir is known for arranging clever song medleys that will give everyone in attendance a taste of the ample repertoire that Great Britain Pop music has to offer. The chorus also features a subdivision group of members that display high-energy choreography and interpretive dance to marry the stellar sounds of the chorus’ voices. I mean, we gotta make it extra fabulous and spectacular, am I right?
When I first moved to San Diego back in 2016, my roommate and I decided to try out for the chorus as a way to meet people in our new hometown. The theme for that year was Broadway Now, which we were stoked about, both being Musical Theatre actors. The way we were welcomed on day one of our rehearsal process was incredible. We didn’t really know anyone in town, and now, we had hundreds of new friends, just like that! We had an absolute blast performing with the group, and to this day, members come to support my Theatre performances regularly. That’s the magic of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, the sense of brotherhood and community through stunning choral arrangements and social gatherings.
The chorus’ mission statement is “To create a positive musical experience through exciting performances which engage our audiences, build community support and provide a dynamic force for social change.” This is the reason why we need to continue to support organizations like this, that bring a message of inclusion and representation to the general public.
So, tell your family and friends to come together and join the incredible San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus for their concert BRITPOPat the historic Balboa Theatre on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 8pm, and Sunday, April 23, 2023, at 3pm. They will, they will ROCK YOU!
For tickets and more information, visit https://sdgmc.org/
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