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For their Christmas concert, the Triangle Gay Men's Chorus chose to celebrate love through the seasons of the year. With artistic director Jeff Whicker, accompanist Jennifer Wolfe, and cello and guitar enhancement by Ethan Rodger-Gates, the eighteen-voice chorus launched into an array of pop, Broadway, and classical pieces, well-rehearsed and presented under the title of "Seasons of Love."
For summer, the selections included "Seasons of Love" by Johnathan Larson, arr. Roger Emerson, from the Broadway show Rent. Warm, rich harmonies and very nice solos were an ideal start to a program such as this. Also included under the label of summer were "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Good Vibrations" from the Beach Boys. The summer season was topped off by "Sealed with A Kiss" by Peter Udell and Gary Geld, arranged by TGMC's artistic director and conductor, Whicker. Most of the selections in the first half of the concert was sung from memory. Not having to hold music, the chorus was free to use hand and arm choreography and other movements to enhance the text of the music they were singing.
The Autumn section began with "September" as performed by Earth, Wind & Fire. "Calendar Girl" got a lively and fun rendition. "When October Goes" (with "Autumn Leaves"), arranged by Paul Langford, was given a special romantic performance with Ethan Rodgers-Gates' cello joining pianist Wolfe in accompaniment. "The Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show was sung with the chorus spread out and several of the singers wearing masks.
Intermission featured tables of scrumptious refreshments and soft drinks plus an opportunity to meet old friends as well as new ones.
After intermission, the season of love was winter, starting with an outstanding rendition of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Also featured in this block was Franz Biebl's gorgeous "Ave Maria," sung a cappella, with solos sung by members of the chorus. The haunting "Tum Balalaika," in an arrangement by Jay Broeker, was sung with beautiful cello accompaniment by Rodgers-Gates. Closing out the winter season was a nod to the Mamas & the Papas with their hit "California Dreamin'."
The last cluster of selections, spring songs, began with a rip-roaring performance of the ever popular "June is Bustin' out All Over" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. Steven Foster's lovely "Gentle Annie" was beautifully sung in an arrangement by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw that included Rodgers-Gates' guitar accompaniment. The program closed with the bewitching chorus "In Whatever Time We Have" from Children of Eden by Stephen Schwartz and arranged for male chorus by Mac Huff. It is an extended chorus, beginning in a wistful mode and gradually rising to a triumphant conclusion.
Triangle Gay Men's Chorus is an enthusiastic and entertaining vocal ensemble. With their outstanding piano accompanist, Wolfe, and occasional guest artists, they have traveled widely, proclaiming the power of music to communicate important truths about shared human conditions and the value of all people. They are committed to fostering an environment of professionalism, respect, pride, and unity. They are a joy to hear.
Triangle Gay Men's Chorus will celebrate 25 years of making music in January. That concert will include choices of the best from the last 25 years and will be something to look forward to.
This program repeats Sunday, December 8, at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church at 3 pm. See our sidebar for details.