An Interview with William Sauerland on Lenny & Friends

The Artistic Director of the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, William Sauerland (known to the chorus as Billy), easily expresses his passion for the music of the 2018 spring concert, Lenny & Friends:  A Centennial Celebration of Leonard Bernstein. His emotional connection to the music on the program stems from early childhood when he immersed himself in the music of the stage—both musical theatre and opera. One of the first shows he remembers listening to was West Side Story. As a child, he knew it was escapism; it was not until he was a teenager that he began to understand that West Side Story along with much of Bernstein’s work pointed a truth at life as a response to oppressive ideologies and social injustice.

OEBGMC Gives Back!

Did you know that the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus uses part of all ticket sales for a community cause? For the Summer 2017 Concert, “Come Swing With Us,” the chorus Board decided to support a cause close to our hearts, and one with which we have partnered for more than three years, the music program at the Willard Middle School (Berkeley Unified School District) afterschool LEARNS program. This music program is run by member of Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, Billy Lawley (Bass), and this summer, I sat down with Billy, to discuss his career and how he got interested in this kind of teaching.