The award-winning, all-gay American choir will perform songs from Broadway, movies, pop culture, and spirituals.
“South Africa is a country of rich musical and choral traditions so we’re very excited to perform for audiences there and to honor those traditions,” said Reuben M. Reynolds III, music director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. “Because protest songs were an integral part of the anti-apartheid movement, we know that South Africans believe deeply in the transformative power of music and its use as a tool to effect social change. BGMC was founded on those same beliefs and we hope our concerts will be received in that spirit.”
The mission of Boston Gay Men’s Chorus is to create musical experiences to inspire change, build community, and celebrate difference. Its international tours have entertained audiences in Germany, Poland, Israel, and Turkey. In June, the group will be proud to add South Africa to that list.
The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus has at times faced opposition from people who do not understand why the group performs as openly gay men. In 2005, the group performed at the Siegessäule monument in Germany before a jubilant crowd estimated at 700,000. But that concert was followed days later by a smaller one in Wroclaw, Poland that drew massive protests by people opposed to gay chorus. Riot police protected singers as they entered the performance hall and audience goers had to walk past protesters to take their seats. Its performance of the Polish national anthem earned a four-minute standing ovation. The concert was covered by media outlets around the globe and a common headline was “Music Triumphs Over Injustice.”
In 2015, the chorus performed in Istanbul, Turkey at Bosphorus University after the Turkish government forced the group’s first concert venue to cancel the performance because it did not want an openly gay group to perform. Local LGBTQ student activists helped to organize the concert at Bosphorus University and the group sang before an enthusiastic crowd of 5,000 Rainbow flag-waving music-goers.
“We have never been afraid to engage in difficult conversations, and music is a universal language,” said Craig Coogan, executive director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. “Our concerts are about sharing our stories and our humanity through song, enabling others to find common ground in our experiences.”
In South Africa, the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus will partner with local nonprofit organizations to help raise money and awareness about issues such as HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ youth, and LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers.
On June 15 at 7pm the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus will perform at Soweto Theatre, cnr Bolani Link and Bolani Rd, Jabulani, Soweto, 1868. The Mzansi Gay Choir will join the Chorus on stage for a portion of the show. Proceeds from the performance will benefit the Kliptown Youth Program.
Tickets for all concerts at available at https://www.webtickets.co.za
Interviews with Boston Gay Men’s Chorus Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds III can be arranged by Anita Myburgh (firstname.lastname@example.org)
About the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus
Boston Gay Men’s Chorus creates musical experiences to inspire change, build community and celebrate difference. The BGMC is one of New England’s largest and most successful community-based choruses. Founded in 1982, the 175-voice ensemble is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming, and groundbreaking community outreach. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds III, the BGMC sings a wide spectrum of classical and popular music and creates social change by providing a positive, affirming image of the gay and lesbian community. The Chorus is heard live by more than 10,000 people each season and thousands more through recording, television and internet broadcasts. CBS-WBZ named The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus one of the top five choruses in the city of Boston. In June 2015 BGMC became the first LGBT chorus to tour the Middle East.
The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus is generously supported by Bank of America, JetBlue, and Reproductive Science Center. BGMC is a proud partner of the Massachusetts Cultural Council.