Calling all LGBTQ music lovers!
Next week, Kansas City will be rocking because of the annual Lesbian and Gay Ban Association Conference.
Every year, the Lesbian and Gay Ban Association joins together to celebrate LGBTQ people performing music. Multiple organizations around the country and globe build communities of musicians that perform in their local towns and areas, and then every year they all join together to celebrate LGBTQ life and the love of music.
Cliff Norris, the president of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, talked to news source KCUR 89.3 about the annual conference.
“There are people who perhaps didn’t have a good experience in their high school or college band," Norris says. "There are people who tell us that they were bullied. But yet, their interest in music was still there and our bands offered an open, welcoming space that they could come and rekindle their interest in music.”
Norris also noted the beautiful moment when all the bands and musicians join together for the first time to perform.
"But for me I think of all these different paths that come together in that one moment and intersect, and then we all breathe in the same air in that one breath and make that one note together. I think of it as a moment of unity.”
One particular band that’s excited for the upcoming conference and concert is Kansas City’s Mid America Freedom Band.
Lee Hartman, the artistic director for the band, told KCUR 89.3 that he’s excited for the conference to be hosted in their home town. He wants to show the members flying in from other cities in the US, as well as Australia and the UK, that the Midwest is a thriving place too.
Just look at how the band's grown to see Hartman's point. The Mid American Freedom Band band started 16 years ago in 2002 with only 14 members, and now they boast about having 80 members and counting.
As for the music they’ll be playing, the band plans to perform songs by composers like Ingrid Stoltzel, John Kander, Chen Yi, and Derek Jenkins.
“We really focus a lot on the works of women composers, LGBTQ composers, trans composers, and composers of color," Hartman says. "It’s been a wonderful, wonderful thing to be like look it, there’s great music out there, you just have to do a little digging to find it.”
If you want to hear the Mid America Freedom Band, or the other Lesbian and Gay Band Association members, perform, you should get yourself to Kansas City next week.
The Lesbian and Gay Band Association Conference Jazz Concert and Gala kicks off on Friday May 25 at the Richard J. Stern Opera Center, 1725 Holmes St, Kansas City, Missouri 64108.
In addition the Conference Concert takes place the next day on Saturday, May 26 at 7:30pm at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri 64108.
h/t: KCUR 89.3