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(Editor's note: Ben Cartwright is the executive director of San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus and a staff writer for San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.)
SAN DIEGO -- Music filled the air of Downtown Denver earlier this month, as thousands of singing members from groups affiliated with the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA) attended the 2012 GALA Choruses Festival, with a contingent of over 150 people from San Diego participating. Taking place over a five-day period – July 7 through 12 – participants spent the week attending workshops, watching fellow choruses perform, celebrating and spreading the joy that music brings throughout the city.
While GALA holds annual leadership conferences for staff and board of LGBT choral organizations, the festival only takes place every four years, so member choruses spend much time – even years – preparing for the gathering.
The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC), which sent a delegation of over 100 to the festival, spent most of its rehearsal time since its last major production in April preparing for the trip. One of the thrills for most participants is sharing their work with singers from around the world, so much effort is put into making sure that each group looks and sounds their best.
Besides rehearsing, SDGMC spent over a year and a half fundraising and planning for the task of making travel arrangements. Starting with their “Jailed at the Rail” fundraiser in April 2011, the group was able to raise enough money to cover the costs of members who were not able to pay on their own.
Read the full story in Gay San Diego, a SDGLN media partner, HERE.