GMCSF Ends Season On A High Note

Photo by JR Davis.

Pride will not be silenced. Not then, not now, not ever.

The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida (GMCSF) ended their 14th season with their annual Pride concert. This year’s theme was Pride: Then, Now, and Forever. As the title suggests, the music reflected different eras of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement.

Selections ranged from the fun and campy (“It’s Raining Men” and the ubiquitous “YMCA”) to the serious (“Let Me Listen” and “You Will Be Found”) and a pair of new songs commissioned for the chorus.

“It was a magical evening and one that we will hold close to our hearts,” Gabe Salazar, GMCSF’s artistic director, said the morning after the show. “I could not think of a better way to end an incredible season 14!”

Music wasn’t the only thing spanning and connecting generations of LGBTQ. Nearly every number was introduced by chorus members of different generations. The message was similar throughout: each generation has something to teach the others, and this sharing of perspectives will only make us stronger.

Nearly every seat inside The Parker was filled and, by the end, there were nearly blisters on hands from applauding. The main thing conveyed through the performances was a sense of community.

The songs written for the show were especially poignant. “We’ve Come Through the Storm” was penned by Tom Nichols and Dan Chadburn. As the penultimate selection of the night, it served as a motivational piece to send the crowd back into the fight.

The other original number was “Don’t Say Gay” by David Volpe. It took a light approach to the recent trials and tribulations of LGBTQ Floridians. It touched on book bans, trans oppression, and of course, “Don’t Say Gay.” This was far and away the most memorable moment of the first act and arguably the night.

The second act was punctuated with the song “Drama Queen” by Lane Barnes. Campy, comical, and self-effacing, the song made you laugh and think... and then laugh some more.

The show was dotted with several soloists, dancers, and guest conductors. It’s common for choral shows to have a very distinct sense of separation between the musicians and the audience. But this production removed that mental barrier to the point where the edge of the stage just seemed to melt away and the energy of the crowd invaded every performer on the stage.

“I’m beyond proud of my singers for working so hard and singing with all of their heart and soul. They sang with Pride and that truly touched our audience, and they felt their energy the entire night,” Salazar said.


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