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Triad Pride Men’s Chorus enlighten, enrich and definitely entertain

by Heather MacIntyre

Men walk up to the front in a beeline in brightly colored, casual, yet sharply dressed button-up collared shirts and dark khaki slacks. At first it feels like a Gap commercial. Why? Everyone is happy and smiling, and all I can think about for the first two minutes is how great those shirts look.

Behind them stream down huge rainbow-colored banners from top to bottom, causing the entire front of the room to say (with no words at all): “True Colors.” Tonight’s performance was booked as a part of the Triad Pride Festival, which was held earlier during the day.

Tonight, we’re in the Greensboro Cultural Center (downtowngreensboro.org) in room 100. Seats are set in about eight rows of 20 or so, and for the most part, it’s filled up. The smaller ensemble known as NoteWorthy has a few ditties and then the rest of the chorus joins in for some outstanding covers of classic numbers. My favorite piece is a Patsy Cline arrangement mixed with “She’s Got You,” “Walkin'” and “Crazy.” The harmonies are beautiful, and my favorite are the rich and full sounding baritones that really bring everything together.

The pianist, who had broke his hand less than a week before, has had the cast taken off that day just so he can play for the performance. I don’t notice; I only assume he has the perfect dose of painkillers to play without the agony. He makes a few jokes that bring the overall mood relaxed and joyful and announces some upcoming shows for the men, and stars playing. Every other song brings a standing ovation from an excited and impatient audience that cannot wait until the end to express the impression the music’s had on them.

Another very popular piece of the evening was originally done by composer Mark Haze: “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “Wally, Wally”. Tonight’s special guests, the Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus (tgmchorus.org), join in for the last part of the program.

A soloist sits in front on a chair with a cowboy hat and a forlorn expression. He sings even sadder than he looks, and the audience gets caught up right with him when he belts out the original song of the movie soundtrack, “A Love That Will Never Grow Old.”

The most impressive song is a hilarious tune, “You Need Us To Make The USA.” The song is full of quirky-cute and rather risqué jokes, a no-holds barred-approach is funny, it takes everything for the performers not to laugh in between lines.

The Triad Pride Men’s Chorus practices every Tuesday in the Greensboro Cultural Center with two main shows a year: one in June and one holiday show in December (their most popular concert of the year). Anthony Moore and Ale Kiger started the group about 10 years ago when they were driving back and forth to sing for another chorus in Durham.

“I was just thinking, how can I go about starting one closer to home here in the Triad?” Moore said. “It didn’t take long to work out and I was so glad we didn’t have to drive an hour and a half away for something we were so passionate about.”

The main objective since day one has been to enrich, enlighten and to entertain the community. All the members hold this part of their social life very dear to them, whether it’s to have something to share with their partner, participate in the community, fellowship or promoting awareness – it’s become a favorite among everyone who attends the shows.

There will be some upcoming opportunities to experience this music extravaganza. The group sings the National Anthem May 30 at the Grasshoppers game at NewBridge Bank Park. The next day they hold their annual diversity ball ($25 a couple). Later on this summer in July, the Germany Gay Men’s Chorus is going to be stopping by on its way from Buffalo, NY to Florida. Stay updated by visiting the website: triadpridemenschorus.com.

For questions or comments email Heather MacIntyre at heather@yesweekly.com.

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