You think I’m deluding myself that I can get you to believe my headline, don’t you? But I’m talking about the Salt Lake Men’s Choir.
Thirty years of a (mostly) gay male chorus in Salt Lake City. We tell people that and their eyebrows reach their hairline.
But yes, it was about this time of year in 1982 when 13 men met in the living room and began rehearsals for a holiday concert. Their vision was (ad is) to sing and unite in camaraderie and friendship.
In 1982 there were not a lot of avenues for gay men to meet each other other than bars and cruising places. These men wanted to build a constructive, enriching environment. They hoped their voices would build bridges of understanding between our community and those we live among.
The choir’s 10th year was a pinnacle of sorts. The choir had grown tremendously and the anniversary concert was held in Abravanel Hall. Internal debates over how “out” the choir should be, among other things, caused a rift among the members. At that time, the choir was performing on Temple Square in the Assembly Hall. A splinter group formed and then died and the group has been rebuilding ever since.
The 15th anniversary was a sold-out concert at All Saints Episcopal Church, where we continue to rehearse to this day.
I joined the choir during its 20th year, which took the group to Sydney, Australia, to sing in the 2002 Gay Games and Cultural Festival to a sold-out Sydney Opera House as well as the opening and closing ceremonies and venues around the city.
The choir also represented the state of Utah at the Washington National Cathedral in celebration of its quadrennial Utah Day in 2005.
The choir quickly became a second family to me once I joined. Many people will come up after a concert and say that it’s obvious the members love each other and are having a great time producing music for the community.
I have sung in every concert but one for 10 years. Some have been in the choir for all 30 years. Many for over 20 years. There is that strong of a bond that keeps singers singing with the group.
Our 30th anniversary concert will be in the temple on conference weekend. Yes! We will be singing at the Masonic Temple at 650 E. South Temple on Saturday, Oct. 6.
The concert is a list of audience and singer favorites from throughout the years.
I hope you will come help us celebrate turning 30.