Maine Gay Men’s Chorus Roars Back With Record Attendance for Its Thirty Years

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The Maine Gay Men’s Chorus, Directed by Larry Jackson, at First Parish, Portland.  Photo Taken During  The Grand Finale – “Christmas Toys for Girls & Boys”

Tenor Tommy Waltz, Looks Over the Long List of Responsiilities He is Assuming as the New President of the Board, Succeeding Steve Floyd, Who is Retiring From That Post.

Jeff Zamboni, of Old Orehcard Beach, was One of the Hundreds at the First Parish Concer This Evening.  The Balcony was Also Filled With Concert Goers.

Steve Floyd, (L) Retiring Board President with Artistic Director Larry Jackson.  The Two Have Been Married for 30 Years.   Jackson is Also a Junior High School  Music Teacher in the Falmouth School Department.

Welcome Back – You’ve  been gone too long – that was the message from an adoring crowd at First Parish, Portland, when a packed sanctuary gave repeated standing ovations to the Maine Gay Men’s Chorus in their first concert since December 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The beloved Maine Gay Men’s Chorus roared back – with a vengence at the pandemic pause  that robbed these talented musicians from their stage – under the Artistic Direction of Larry Jacksom.

Director Jackson announced at the outset of the 2 l/2 hour concert that he had selected “best loved” songs from past perfomances as determined by members of the Chorus through a poll Jackson conducted.  Previously, Jackson took pride in never repeating a song. But in order to get singers back into the swing of singing after a long layoff, he sought their favorites.

A dramatic entry occurred when the singers proceeded down the church’s center aisle singing – ending with a joyous medley of Christmas music.

Among those “best loved” selected by Director Jackson were Canon of the Bells, Simple Gifts, I Saw Three Ships, and African Noel, during the first half of the performance.  Some of the favorites following the Intermission were:  Gloucestershire Wassail, An Evening in December, the Little Drummer Boy; Peace on Earth, We Need a Little Christmas, Who is She That Travels with a solo sung by Darren Labigiolini.

Shifting the holiday focus briefly was an extremely moving and popular rendition of “The Man That Got Away” with a solo by Jennifer Miller.  She teamed up with Tenor Tommy Waltz, to produce  a  highlight  among many highlights in this memorable “Winter With You” concert.

“I have to keep checking to see if my socks are still on,” said a laughing Sylvia Ouellette, of Portsmouth, NH, as she and her husband, David were in awe of the holiday concert provided by the Maine Gay Men’s Chorus.  Their son, Jason, was a tenor in the front row of the Chorus.  “Our son is the handsome guy in the front row,” Sylvia, a retired nurse said grinning.  They own a company, Vault Solutions LLC, Portsmouth.

The three concerts over the weekend set a new attendance record for the 30 year old Chorus.  Attendance at tonight’s concert was 295 people with a grand total of 654 for all three weekend concerts.  Happy  Holidays. Everyone!

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