The Bufalo Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) was founded in 1999. Since that time, the group has played at countless events, and has become a cherished part of this city’s cultural backdrop. After reading about the group’s beginnings (in this article), and its first rehearsal, with 50 men making the final cut, I was astounded to discover that the rehearsal was scheduled to take place on September 11, 2001. There were talks about not meeting up for practice, but in the end, the decision was made to be strong and carry on. From their website:
As they and conductor Ms. Wagner held hands for the first time in a community circle, there were anguished murmurs of meditation, grief and prayer. They sang ….(From you I receive, to you I give, together we share and from this we live”). They learned that long-lived and classic American hymn, “How Can I Keep From Singing?”. It remains to this day the Chorus theme song and a continuing reminder for its members of mutual family togetherness and inspiration that the Chorus always aspires to attain.
To think that the formation of the BGMC was surrounded by such tragedy. Ever since, the chorus has been such an inspiration for so many, playing to sold out crowds, winning awards, and even gracing the stage at Kleinhans Music Hall.
Despite the lack of finances, the chorus has also played a number of benefit concerts in Buffalo. It is the mission of the singers to do their part when it comes to helping to open the minds of the community, and to enjoy the group for what it is – a talented ensemble of singers who have set out to make an impact on the place that they call “home”.
The Chorus understands the need to create a positive social impact in the affected communities as effectively and meaningfully as possible. It finds itself in a relatively conservative environment, a factor that, if anything, should make its efforts and impact all the more important, and, it continues to hope, all the more effective. In addition to its influence on the community at large, it is clear that the Chorus has helped raise the self esteem of an historically marginalized portion of our society. Its high profile has helped to create a positive model for those who are grappling with the negativity that is too often imposed on GLBT people.
Today the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus is asking for your help so that they may be able to purchase a set of concert risers on which to sing. So far they have raised $300 toward their $3000 goal. You can follow their campaign, and contribute what you can, at this website. Hopefully the community that has benefitted so much from the efforts of the now 70+ singers, will see the benefit of donating toward this worthy cause.