It’s nice when a concert season meets your expectations. Even better when it exceeds them. That’s why we’re glad to report on the HOME season that concluded in June. Over the course of the year, we enjoyed an abundance of singers, packed houses and one-of-a-kind moments in our shows. Thank you to everyone who came to hear us! Here’s a recap of some stand-out elements.
New Faces. New friends.
We started off the season last fall with a record number of new singers (see “As Good as New”), and that trend continued through the concert season. But singers are only part of the One Voice family. Our audiences make our mission possible, and we were fortunate to perform to full houses at nearly every performance and many of our community engagements! The Hollywood Squares: Divas shows were sold to capacity within minutes of opening the doors, and there was standing room only at Sotto Voce’s From the Ranks recital honoring LGBT service in the military.
We also made lasting connections with many of the organizations and people we met along the way: Urban Ministries, Time Out Youth, the Veteran’s Association, the Bechtler Museum, Charlotte’s Roller Girls, LGBTQ activist and Internet celebrity Ash Beckham, and of course the LGBTQ homeless youth we featured at the Home concert.
It would take all day to list every memorable moment from the HOME season, but here are a few.
At the holiday concert, Naughty & Nice, our original piece “Very Merry North Carolina Christmas” comically skewered some of the right-wing legislation coming out of the state legislature this year. In the same concert, we combined the sacred piece “O Come, O Come Emanuel” with “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” featuring a powerful solo by Kymberly Randall Jones, to evoke the call of people longing for a place of welcome.
Active and retired military personnel narrated Sotto Voce’s recital, From the Ranks, with historical and personal accounts of gay and lesbian military service.
The spring concert, Home, featured stories and guest performers from our own families. Among the special appearances were One Voice president Liz Fitzgerald’s husband Scott playing guitar and singing and Pam Young’s and Dana Bennett’s 11-year-old boy, Alex, dancing solo to the song “Fly.”
No one who was at Hollywood Squares: Diva’s is likely to forget Ken Caulder and Robbie Furr (and their sky-high hair) in the Vestal Goodman classic “Looking for a City”! Prior to that, Sotto Voce brought down the house with their a’cappella rendition of the Lady Gaga – Beyonce number “Telephone.”
But perhaps most memorable was the centerpiece of the HOME season: the debut of the mini-documentary and original music One Voice created to draw attention to the issue of LGBTQ homeless youth (see “Voices from the Home Project”). Funded by a grant from the Charlotte Lesbian Gay Fund, the video captured stories from area youth have been homeless because of their sexual orientation. The music, composed by One Voice artistic director Gerald Gurss, told the story of once-homeless young person Jonathan Green (See the video of Jonathan’s Song). Jonathan was kicked out of his home at 17, left with nothing but his car, a suitcase and some pictures of his mother. There were very few dry eyes in the hall as Jonathan himself joined One Voice onstage as the soloist for this piece.
If you missed any of this, never fear. We’ll bring back some of the best pieces for our performance at the LGBTQ arts celebration in the lobby of The Bechtler Museum August 16 during Charlotte Pride (more info to come).
What’s Next season’s theme? Stay tuned for our big reveal at the Pride Festival! (You’ll love it!)