On Saturday 31 March a small but enthusiastic group of men associated with the Hamilton Gay Men’s Chorus Project attended the cabaret Constant Craving performed by Forte–The Toronto Men’s Chorus at The 519 Church Street Community Centre in Toronto, followed by dinner at Zelda’s Restaurant. I asked the attendees what they thought of the event. You may read their answers below. I hope their experience entices many more of you to our next event, a meet-and-great to be held in downtown Hamilton, which we hope to announce for mid-April. Stay tuned!
How did you enjoy the concert?
- RF: This is the second time I’ve seen Forte and I have to say it was a great day.
- LG: I loved going to the Forte Cabaret on Saturday! What a fine group of gentlemen having so much fun with music! And I won two prize packages!
- TM: I’m so glad I made a day of going to Toronto for the Forte concert and meeting with you guys.
- MW: I had a ball! It was fun, it was moving, it was inspiring!
What were your favourite highlights from the concert?
- RF: The range of material and styles as well as the imagination that went in to this show were quite an eye opener. Especially in light of what you are hoping can be done in Hamilton with the birth of a new gay men’s chorus.
- LG: I appreciated the diversity of music, from show tunes to classical. It was clear that everyone involved was responsible for so much more than music.
- TM: I was surprised by the variety of music in the programming with the various solos, and small groups taken from the chorus. It helped to create a contrast which in turn showcased the quality of the blended voices when the full chorus presented its pieces. It was great to see the group having fun.
- MW: Personal favourites included the modified English madrigal Cute Kenneth I Saw; Phil Doiron’s rendition of Jason Robert Brown’s Stars and Moon; and the haunting choral rendition of k.d. lang’s Constant Craving.
How did the concert inspire you regarding having a chorus in Hamilton?
- RF: Looking forward to the next step on the road to building Hamilton’s own group.
- LG: I know we will catch the same community spirit when we launch the HGMC.
- TM: I look forward to the development of a Hamilton Chorus. It has been a few years since I have been involved in a choir or men’s singing group, I look forward to both the music and the fellowship that makes being part of a chorus worth while. Thank you for all the foundational work you have already done to make the vision of a Hamilton Gay Men’s Chorus a potential, or dare I say, certain reality in the not too distant future.
- MW: I hope that the existence of a gay men’s chorus in Hamilton will provide an outlet for the same calibre of music talent and community engagement as that which I saw clearly with Forte.
How did you enjoy the social aspect of the event?
- RF: It was a pleasure to have time after [the concert] to meet one of the first official invitees and I hope [he] will be the first of many. Many thanks again for a great day.
- TM: It would be difficult to say which I enjoyed more, the concert itself, or our social time at the restaurant afterward. Even though I hadn’t met any of you prior to attending the concert, there was a sense of comfort in our social time together, perhaps because we came to share a common interest. Visiting at the restaurant afterward made a good afternoon even better—good food and good company. It was nice meeting you and getting to know you a little.
- MW: Although we were a small group, it was fun sharing stories about our past musical and life experiences, and finding some unexpected connections as well. And the food at Zelda’s was, as always, delish!