The Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus performed the opening night of “Fairy Tales” at the Lafayette Christian Church on Saturday, December 3 at 7:30pm. A sold-out show, the audience was packed with eager attendees excited for the concert to begin.
Pastor Steve Borgard welcomed the audience, introducing OEBGMC’s Artistic Director, William Sauerland. William took the stage and welcomed the crowd, requesting first a moment of silence for those affected by the tragic loss of life in Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse fire on December 2. Some of the young musicians and artists were students and friends of Chorus members.
Mr. Sauerland also let the audience know that 10% of the ticket proceeds for all three OEBGMC concerts will be donated to the Rainbow Community Center in Concord, which has been vandalized repeatedly in recent weeks. RCC provides social, health and advocacy programs for the LGBTQ community, and their representatives were in attendance.
Mr. Sauerland then welcomed in the Chorus, a line of 50 burgundy-vested gentlemen who proudly processed down the aisles and took the stage. The crowd cheered, then quieted in anticipation.
Sounds of Christmas piano filled the air as narrator “Melvin the Elf” began storytime, guiding us through choreographed scenes that wove a musical journey. Baby Bear was on a quest to find the BEST holiday song, and Papa Bear and Daddy Bear were there to help. The Three Bears started by asking Goldilocks, then found Little Red Riding Hood, the Fairy Godmother, Snow White, the Tooth Fairy and the Three Little Pigs. Each shared their holiday favorite!
The Chorus performed an astounding variety of almost two dozen holiday favorites, woven together ingeniously by Sauerland’s creation. The show included traditional songs like “Frosty the Snowman,” “Jingle Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “O Holy Night,” as well as more modern additions like “The Dreidel Song,” “Turkey Lurkey Time,” and “Believe,” from the Warner Bros. movie, The Polar Express. The audience was invited to sing “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen, and “Silent Night” gracefully ended a beautiful performance.
Saturday’s concert and the Sunday show at Montclair Presbyterian Church sold out in advance, with standing room only. Tickets for the third and final performance of “Fairy Tales” on Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 at the Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church are available at www.oebgmc.org/tickets
All photo credits: F. Reber Brown