I woke up today back home in my own bed and I have that familiar melancholy that always accompanies returning to your life after experiencing the extraordinary.
So much positive energy. So much love. So much kinship. So much GAY.
It’s like living in a magic bubble where everyone is just like you and you are the normal ones and you can truly be yourself and just relax.
I think many of us forget that by being gay in this society (especially given recent events) we are never truly relaxed. I mean, we live with it every day so that tension just sort of disappears into the background noise of our lives.
But it’s always there.
But then you go to a place like the GALA festival where you are around friends and supporters and you feel insulated and safe.
I wish every one of you could have such an experience.
And the music?
Well, the musical performances are just such a lovey bonus. So many good things happening in gay choruses around the country– and world.
And so many good performances!!
Denver’s chamber ensemble did this wonderful arrangement of Dolly Parton’s “clear blue morning” that has remained with me.
Boston and their outreach trip to Istanbul was amazing. The Josh Shank pieces commissioned for that trip are gorgeous!
DC did Carmina Burana– with dancers (who were choreographed by a guy I went to college with!)
LA was so polished and theatrical with all Latin music. The costumes– and the dancing!! My god. And they sponsored Cuba’s only gay chorus “Mano a mano” and performed with them. Brilliant!
San Francisco was huge and crazy good. And when they sang “Sunday” by Sondheim I wept.
Atlanta was amazing with a whole set built around the relationships between fathers and sons with all the feels.
Seattle was funny and brilliant.
Chicago was fun pop.
Schola Canterosa from Germany did a vampire theme and stripped down to harnesses and bat wings for the finale.
Una Voce from Florida slayed me with a brilliant original piece that featured 4 ballet dancers singing about when last we touched. It was entrancing.
Homonics (from Ireland) was the smallest gay choir at 3 people. But so damn good. And they left not a dry eye with “and I suggest”. Holy ballz.
And the piece that destroyed me to my core I saw at the closing ceremonies. One Voice Chorus Charlotte performed “A Love That Will Last Forever” — based on a true story of two women (Glenda and Lauree) in love but timing never worked. Then one died from cancer.
I was absolutely reduced to ugly crying. Tears streaming down my face— and then they brought out Glenda who was in attendance.
And I was heaving sobs.
And there were others– so many others. And so may feelings shared. It was… Beyond. Simply beyond.
Oh! And the news?? Minneapolis is hosting GALA in 2020!!