OEBGMC and Friends In Concert
April 26-27, 2014 | Laney College Odell Johnson Theater
OEBGMC and Friends in Concert will be one weekend only, April 26 at 7pm and Sunday, April 27 at 5pm. Performances will be held at the Odell Johnson Theater at Laney College in Oakland – guests will find ample street parking and easy access to the Lake Merritt BART station. Tickets range from $10-$25.
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This Spring, the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus is proud to perform with friends from around the Bay Area by hosting an invitational concert! Held over the course of two days, “OEBGMC and Friends in Concert” features performances by The Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, Oakland Youth Chorus, SWAG Small Ensemble of SFGMC, Voices Lesbian A Cappella for Justice, Singers of the Street and GAPA Men’s Chorus. A portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the Oakland Youth Chorus.
OEBGMC is thrilled to partner for the first time with Oakland Youth Chorus. The Oakland Youth Chorus (OYC) was founded in 1974 and is the oldest and longest running youth chorus in the East Bay. OYC provides a multicultural music education and performance program for youth, fostering talent, confidence and community. Under the direction of La Nell Martin, OEBGMC is thrilled to have the opportunity to stand on stage with these bright young singers. As a highlight to these concerts, OYC and OEBGMC will combine to present movements from Robert Ray’s “Gospel Mass.” The groups will be guest directed to Rev. Ann Jefferson of Pacific School of Religion and City of Refuge UCC.
On Saturday night, guest choruses include SWAG and GAPA Men’s Chorus. SWAG, under the musical direction of Jeff Benson, Michael Sese and Sanford Smith, formed in 2013, and is the newest small-ensemble to emerge from the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Their focus on the gospel, R&B, and pop genres brings a unique soulful beat to their performances! OEBGMC is also proud to welcome the GAPA Men’s Chorus of San Francisco back to the Spring Concert program under the direction of Randall Kikukawa. GAPA Men’s Chorus was formed in 1989 to provide a showcase for the vocal music talents of gay & bisexual Asian Pacific men. Particularly effective in outreaching to the mainstream Asian Pacific population, as well as the mainstream LGBT community, the Chorus promotes GAPAs goals by promoting diversity and gay Asian Pacific visibility at its every appearance. GAPA is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with us and will receive a presentation by GALA Choruses!
On Sunday night guest choruses include Singers of the Street (SOS) under the direction of Garry Hanna and Voices Lesbian A Cappella for Justice under the direction of Orchid Pusey. SOS was founded September 2010 by Dr. Kathleen McGuire. SOS is a community choir of San Franciscans affected by homelessness and those who support them, raising voices for justice, healing, and joy. Wowing audiences since 1988, Voices Lesbian A Cappella for Justice is an Oakland based a cappella group that strives to use musical excellence and the messages in their repertoire to promote lesbian visibility and social justice. If you’ve never heard Voices, you’re in for a real treat.
Stephanie Lynne Smith returns as Interim Artistic Director for the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus. “It is always a gift to have the opportunity to work with the Chorus and getting to experience the diversity of the East Bay through these guest groups and the partnership with Oakland Youth Chorus is very meaningful for me,” says Smith, who stepped in at the beginning of January following a parting of ways by the Chorus and former Artistic Director, Jeremiah Selvey. The Chorus also bid farewell to Principal Accompanist Grace Renaud and welcomed Lynden Bair to that position. Continues Smith, “During a time of transition such as this, it is most comforting to be amongst friends and family. One of the things I love most about OEBGMC is the strong sense of community. They are friends and family to one another, and these concerts are going to be a great, big family reunion. It’s going to be an absolutely wonderful weekend and I’m really looking forward to it!”