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William Southerland: Chorus Pride

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William Southerland is in his fourth season as artistic director of the Triad Pride Men’s and Women’s Choruses.

As an artistic director, Southerland is the leader of a group of dedicated volunteers, though he himself is not a volunteer. For Southerland, the finished product of the choir’s work is the greatest reward. So far he has only worked with men because the women’s chorus is new.

“Watching the men perform at a very high level, watching and seeing people really enjoy themselves and the incredibly positive feedback they get from our audience is incredible,” he said.

The second most rewarding part is having an outlet to make a difference.

“Being an LGBTQ organization in this day and age right this very moment is so rewarding to me personal. Frankly if I didn’t have this, I would feel very lost right now. We’re kind of struggling. We are in a place we aren’t really sure where we are and what we’re doing and where we’re going.”

A highlight of Southerland’s career was this past July at the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses. In Denver, he and the men’s choir gathered with a hundred other choruses from as far away as China and Germany to perform.

“We were there for a week,” said Southerland. “I just get goosebumps thinking about it. There were times when the choir on stage would be singing a song that would be…an anthem for the gay and lesbian movement. Everybody just starts singing along. The crowd loves it and the director just turned around and invited everyone to sing.

“Sometimes you feel a little isolated living in a small/medium city like Greensboro. Thinking that the 25 singers that you sing with are the whole world. It’s life changing when you get into a room where there are thousands and thousands of people that feel the same way that you do.”

The Triad Pride Men’s and Women’s Choruses hope to be more visible in the community.

“Now more than ever, it’s time for us to be out there. We are your neighbors, we are your friends, we are your business owners, we are your waiters, your waitresses, your bus drivers, these are who we are. We’ve always been here, we are not going anywhere so you might as well just get used to us being here.”

The organization is also looking for more singers. For the next two weeks, anybody who is interested in singing is welcome to show up to The Triad Pride Men’s and Women’s Chorus’s rehearsal and sing. Allies are welcome.

To learn more, you can email Southerland at ad@triadpridemenschorus.org

You can also learn more at www.triadpridemenschorus.org.

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