A Tale as Old as Me

I grew up with my buddy Walt. So much so that I can’t remember a time in my childhood when Aladdin, Simba, and the Beast didn’t play critical roles in both what I watched and in my imagination. From the puzzles that I put together to my kindergarten Halloween costume, from the songs I sang in the car to our Florida family vacations—Mr. Disney was always along for the ride.

Photos from one of our biggest fans…at Disneyland!

Miss Caroline is among the most faithful fans the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus has ever found. Caroline and her compadres from Oakland have been cheering us on for season after season and Caroline is always eager for whatever we might cook up next.


By some strange coincidence, Part of Their World leads directly to another of Caroline’s favorite subjects: ANYTHING DISNEY! It’s a miracle!


So when asked for a guest blog post from friends of the chorus, here’s what Caroline proposed: a Pictorial Travelogue.


She’s on her way to Disneyland for one of several annual visits. Here’s a series shots as Caroline warms up for the concerts July 21 & 22. Enjoy!



Caroline having a blast at Disneyland!


How about a selfie!


Tale as old as time. True as it can be. Barely even friends…then somebody bends…unexpectedly.


The seaweed is always greener In somebody else’s lake. You dream about going up there. But that is a big mistake. Just look at the world around you right here on the ocean floor. Such wonderful things around you…what more is you lookin’ for?


Up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the sun. Wanderin’ free, wish I could be…Part of that world.

Howard Ashman: Part of His World

Composer Marvin Hamlisch, right, is shown at the piano with lyricist Howard Ashman in New York City on Sept. 9, 1986. Hamlisch wrote the music for the new Broadway show “Smiles,” and Ashman wrote the book, lyrics and directed the show. (AP Photo/Nancy Kaye)*

“To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman 1950–1991.” 



(Sixth in a series.)

By Denis Whitaker 

“I conceive all music…vocally.
Whatever my music is written for—
tuba, tambourine, tubular bells—
it is always the singer within me crying to get out.”  

“Arguably no artist grows up: if he sheds the perceptions of childhood he ceases being an artist.”
Ned Rorem

“If you want to know how much I love Lenny,
listen to my songs.”
—Ned Rorem, speaking about his friend
on Medal Day at the MacDowell Colony, 1987.

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.

Lenny on Broadway

Lenny on Broadway

(Fourth in a series.)

By Denis Whitaker

“The song ‘Some Other Time’ is full of emotion.
In wartime, it had a tremendously
poignant feeling.”
—Betty Comden

“To achieve great things two things are needed:
a plan, and not quite enough time.”

—Leonard Bernstein