At the Vancouver Men’s Chorus’ first performance in 1981, the group’s original conductor – at the last possible minute – refused to take the podium. The chorus was the first gay choir in Canada, and he was terrified of the public backlash.
Times have changed. Now celebrating its 30th year, the Vancouver Men’s Chorus overcame those initial obstacles and is now one of the city’s most respected and longest-running choral groups. Their repertoire includes an unlikely diversity of music, from Lady Gaga to Broadway hits and serious choral works. Among the chorus’ biggest showstoppers is their annual Christmas concert. This year’s show, featuring a collection of holiday classics from TV, movies and cartoons, proved the group’s biggest seller to date.
But it isn’t all fun and games. In choral circles, the chorus has earned a reputation for its custom-made arrangements of the classics for men’s voices. It has performed across Canada and the United States and collaborated in groundbreaking projects in Vancouver, including contributions to the AIDS Walk for Life fundraiser and the YouTube-based It Gets Better Project to help young people facing harassment.
Want to see the chorus live? Planning has already started already for the group’s next show, Queens. Scheduled for May 10-May 13 at Performance Works on Granville Island, Queens is a salute to rock and pop’s most fabulous divas and divos: from English queens Elton John and Freddie Mercury to The Village People and Barbara Streisand.
Any fans of the Vancouver Men’s Chorus out there? What did you think of the holiday show?