Love of Music is Common to Everyone
|by Christopher White|
|Returning to Rehoboth on June 25 the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware performs "PRIDE," in celebration of Gay Pride. The First State's first GLBT (...and straight) chorus to represent the State of Delaware, they have received international acclaim. Performing at Epworth United Methodist Church on Baltimore Avenue, the chorus surprises and delights their audiences with their rich, vibrant, resonant sound. Running the gamut from classic to contemporary, the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware can literally rock the house. Not your grandma's Sunday choir, these people are performers! If you have experienced their sound, you know that they always leave you wanting more. If not, know that just like a fine Belgian chocolate; one taste and you'll be hooked.
At their 1999 debut performance, 34 people including founding Artistic Director, Elliot Jones, stepped upon the stage as The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware. Today, in their 6th season, they number 65. The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware, a volunteer, non-profit community chorus, strives to present the positive face of Delaware's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community through high quality musical performance. All inclusive, their roster also includes members of the heterosexual community.
Their growth is a result of the vision they communicate through song. Love of music is common to everyone. "When we sing about our lives, we hope to impart the ideals, dreams and aspirations of the gay community through the music we perform..." Their tag line, "Eliciting Change Through Music" represents well the Rainbow Chorale's appeal. ELICIT: to draw out that which is not immediately evident. As self appointed ambassadors, they hope to communicate, through song, that the GLBT community is not unlike their audience. The first and to date, only GLBT chorus to represent the state of Delaware; these diverse emissaries come together as one voice that speaks the voice of all.
At Governor Minner's invitation, the chorus performed for a second time at the inauguration ceremonies. A consistent supporter of the GLBT community, Minner was serenaded in part by an arrangement of The Sound of Music's "Climb Every Mountain"appropriate for a Governor who has conquered so many obstacles. Daniel Gallery, Chorale President, thanked the Governor and presented her with a gift basket including their recently released CD, Sing Me to Heaven, a compilation of the first five years and featuring members past and present. The CD is available for sale at Attic Treasures and Beach Essentials in Rehoboth Beach.
Invited for the first time by the corporate sector to celebrate diversity, the premier performance itself was inspiring. Standing in the corporate headquarters of Wilmington Trust Company in June 2004, the chorus, unsure how they would be received, awaited breathlessly as the last note faded. Thunderous applause erupted. Soprano Rhonda Ferguson whispered in awe, "Can you feel the ENERGY...the POWER...in the room?" Their efforts resulted in a return invitation for June 10th of this year.
The impact of the organization is not limited to the GLBT community or to Delaware for that matter. In July 2004 they traveled to Montreal to participate in the International Gay and Lesbian Choral Festival. Joined by 150 choruses from around the world, they lifted their voices in song. This exposure led to an astounding invitation from Dr. Timothy Seelig, conductor of the prestigious Turtle Creek Chorale. The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan in February of 2006! They will participate in the world premier of When We No Longer Touch, a cycle of songs for survival by Christopher John Anthony. It's not everyday that one receives an invitation to trace the footsteps of icons such as Judy Garland, Maria Callas, Martin Luther King, and George Gershwin! Georgette Wait, RCD secretary exclaims, "OH MY GOD! It's a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Philanthropy is a way of life for the choir. Partnering with AIDS Delaware, The Metropolitan Community Church and Pride Delaware, eight times a year they come together in Wilmington and Rehoboth for the ever-popular fundraiser, Bingo-a-Go-Go; benefiting several community outreach programs. Sponsored by a myriad of businesses including WAWA, Jake's Hamburgers of Wilmington, Attic Treasures and Partners Bistro, the event is replete with cash prizes, couture-laden drag queens and the occasional surprise guest. Governor Minner dropped in to call a game in October of 2004. Says Sue Green, of Hockessin, a regular attendee, "It's for a good cause! It's a HOOT!" Siobain Moran of Wilmington, says simply, "Fantabulous!" Returning to Rehoboth May 28th, is "Patriotic Bingo." Kristen Nicole and Claire Voyant, sultry co-hosts, will be there resplendent in shades of Red, White, and Blue, looking for a "few good men." Tickets for this Bingo-a-go go are a hot item and can be purchased at Camp Rehoboth, Lambda Rising or Partners Bistro in Rehoboth.
The Rainbow Chorale season is chock-full of excitement. On February 26th, their sold out cabaret, Magic to Do, included repertoire from Brigadoon, Pippin, The Secret Garden, and Wicked. They close the semester on a high note, celebrating Gay Pride in Rehoboth on June 25.
Tickets for the June 25 performance are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and will be available at CAMP Rehoboth. They can also be purchased by calling 888-512-5093 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 5 May 20, 2005