The men of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) are not letting a pandemic stop them from singing. While live performances of the SFGMC are not a possibility right now, members of the 41-year-old organization are finding a way to perform together virtually while maintaining physical social distancing.
In April, the SFGMC launched an online platform called SFGMC TV featuring performances, interviews, and behind-the-scenes media from the organization. The platform is divided into four channels: Behind the Curtain which features interviews from notable icons and performers, In Concert which spotlights performances from the SFGMC, Out in the Community promotes the organization’s interactions with the Bay Area through educational initiatives, and Inside the Chorus focuses on a behind-the-scenes look at the SFGMC and its members.
In a statement on the organization’s website, Dr. Timothy Seeling, artistic director for the SFGMC, explained:
“SFGMC thrives on connection, both within the Chorus during our rehearsal process and with our broader community through performance. We are thrilled to provide a platform to connect us all digitally for the time being and beyond. We just couldn’t go another moment without putting our music and activism out there for people to enjoy!”
One of the first videos put up for SFGMC TV was a performance by the SFGMC Virtual Chorus of a song called ‘Truly Brave,’ a mashup of ‘True Colors’ by Cyndi Lauper and ‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles. The performance was dedicated to the medical professionals on the front line fighting the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.
On Thursday, July 9, SFGMC posted a virtual performance by the Lollipop Guild of ‘Seasons of Love’ from the Broadway musical Rent.
“During the height of the AIDS epidemic, the men of SFGMC faced the crisis head on, raising awareness through music, becoming caregivers, clothing, feeding, and supporting hundreds of sick and dying gay men. They stood by bedsides and held their hands, comforting many of the scared and lonely dying men that had been abandoned by their families. “Seasons of Love”, from 1996’s musical RENT, talks about measuring life in love against the backdrop of HIV/AIDS. It reminds us that life is short and to cherish every minute. To celebrate, remember and measure our lives in love. A generation later, faced with escalating racial tensions, massive political division, and the coronavirus pandemic, the song’s meaning is more timely and relevant than ever.”