Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida's ‘Then, Now, and Forever’ June 29

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The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida is hosting its “Pride: Then, Now, and Forever,” show at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, at The Parker in Fort Lauderdale, which the group is touting as a multigenerational concert celebration.

The first gay men's chorus in the state was founded by Gary Keating more than 30 years ago. Initially called the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida, the group eventually changed its name and became the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus. In 2010, singers who wanted to take a different approach adopted the name Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida since the vision was for this group to be a regional cultural force. A few years ago, the two choruses merged. That unity led to the GMCSF to “Pride: Then, Now, and Forever,” which the group is touting as a multigenerational concert celebration.

“We look at a range of different songs covering a few generations,” says Mark Kent, executive director of the GMCSF. “They help show how much we have in common and the unique flavor each generation brings to its music.”

The chorus will perform songs that have resonated in past pride parades, such as "It's Raining Men," "Dancing Queen," and "Y.M.C.A" alongside beats from songs like Cher’s "Believe" and Heather Small’s "Proud" that echo the dreams of newer generations, the concert isn't just a showcase of melodies but a heartfelt tribute to diverse journeys, shared struggles, and the boundless joy of the LGBTQ+ community.

After losing nearly a whole generation to the AIDS crisis, the LGBTQ+ community comprises more generations existing together than ever before. GMCSF will embrace the vibrant tapestry of its history and future in its multigenerational concert celebration.

The concert will also feature the world premiere of "We've Come Through The Storm,” words and music by Tom Nichols, a folk artist from Fort Lauderdale, and Dan Chadburn, a composer and pianist, also based in Fort Lauderdale. It will also feature the original "Don't Say Gay," a jaunty yet robust show-stopping number crafted exclusively for GMCSF by Los Angeles-based composer Dave Volpe, a singer, choral arranger, and composer who has been commissioned by LGBT choruses across the country.  

“There is an incredible amount of planning that goes into our concerts,” says Gabe Salazar, artistic director for GMCSF. “Music has to be selected, copied, and scanned for the chorus before the first rehearsal. Along with music, we also provide vocal practice tracks to our members so they can sing along with their music outside of our rehearsals. Along with coordinating with our leadership team, our staff, and our artistic planning team, then we have a plan in place to make our artistic vision a reality. The chorus has a set schedule of rehearsals, every Tuesday from 7:15 to 10 p.m., along with monthly Saturday rehearsals and sectional rehearsals to learn music. But each concert cycle has a different time for preparation. We began rehearsals for this concert on April 2.”

Salazar joined the chorus as a singing member when he moved to Florida in 2019. Not knowing anyone in Florida, he was hoping to network with other musicians. “I always dreamed of directing a chorus of this magnitude but had no idea that I would soon take over as their artistic director,” says Salazar. “After my first season as a singer, the position was posted nationwide. I applied and went through several rounds of interviews and auditions with the chorus before I was hired.” This month will be the end of his third season in his role as artistic director.

“The culture of our chorus has changed in recent years. Our membership has diversified at a rapid level and I thought it would be amazing to showcase that and lean into that idea,” says Salazar. “We have chorus members who have lived and really experienced life, we have chorus members who are just beginning their adult lives, and we have chorus members from all over the world. The biggest reward is to see them learn from each other and encourage each other along this road called life. And the special gift that we have is that we get to convey this message through our music, which can be a life-changing experience.”

He says that the chorus is more than a group of singers, but that it is a sanctuary where every voice matters, where individuality is celebrated, and where the power of togetherness shines through every performance.

Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida’s “Pride: Then, Now, and Forever”

The Parker, 707 NE 8th St., Fort Lauderdale 

8 p.m., Saturday, June 29 

Tickets: $43.75, $48.75, and $58.75  

Information: 954-763-2266,

This story was produced by Broward Arts Journalism Alliance (BAJA), an independent journalism program of the Broward County Cultural Division. Visit for more stories about the arts in South Florida.


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