The Dayton Gay Mens Chorus is ready to take us all camping, sort of. “It is a great play on words” says David Moyer, the chorus President. “We are definitely focusing on camping, and of course ‘camp’ing.’ And what group can bring you showy, deliberate exaggeration better than the chorus! 13 years into their existence, the chorus has grown strong not only in numbers but in fans! “We now have around 50 total members. Even more exciting is the fact that we have a dedicated, growing fan base.” The concerts, featuring everything from a moving tribute to Harvey Milk, to an all out Broadway Bonanza, have expanded greatly since the inception. “The original chorus was known as the ‘Frightened 15,’ which got their start with the Cincinnati chorus. DGMC’s first real appearance, more than a decade ago, was on the steps of the Schuster Center in the Winter Garden.” Moyer said.
Much of the growth is credited to Kathy Clark, the DGMC director. “She brings her own spin to the chorus. She writes original mash-ups, brings new material, and incorporates music theory into the mix. She not only directs, she teaches us about music.” Along with the only other female member, their much-beloved pianist, Raymonde Rougier, the chorus brings a dynamic, diverse performance each and every time. This concert will be no exception.
‘Let’s Go Camping,’ which will be performed at the Dayton Art Institute on April 2nd, is a variety show wrapped in a chorale performance. “We found people wanted more of our performances at our shows, so this concert contains duets, trios, solos and production numbers. We are encouraging people to dress for the great outdoors. We are.” quips Moyer, “the chorus plans to wear flannel, jeans and hats!” And the camping doesn’t stop there. The music reflects the theme as well. “We are doing a lumberjack song and even a Civil War tenting number.” Moyer added.
The chorus, a not for profit organization, adheres to their mission to drive their passion. “We sing to inspire, encourage, and sustain excellence in the choral arts and to achieve a gay-affirming presence in the greater Miami Valley.” The chorus is housed at Westminster Presbyterian church in downtown Dayton. Practices are serious, but for this ‘Band Of Brothers’ it always has a light-hearted edge. “Our crowd, which is only about half LGBT, knows our family dynamic. We love that our audience is made up of friends, family, art lovers, and especially allies of the LGBT community.” Moyer remarked.
Doors open at the Dayton Art Institute campground at 7:00pm, with the concert kicking off at 8:00pm. There will be themed food and a cash bar. The cost for the concert is $40 and you can buy your tickets online. If you cannot catch the concert but would like to donate to the DGMC, email [email protected] or call the DGMC hotline at 530.0642.
Next for the DGMC will be a performance at Dayton’s Pride event slated for June 4th at Court House Square. Joining them will be Louisville’s Chorus, bringing a total of 70 voices to the Pride Event! But for now, it is time to pitch a tent, secure a hammock and relax with s’more great DGMC music!