Philadelphia Voices of Pride Celebrates 10 Years
It’s been 10 years since The Philadelphia Voices of Pride was formed, and since then, they’ve conquered a wide repertoire of both classical and modern music, ranging from a death-themed concert titled Game Over (the first half was a formal requiem, the second half was funny songs about dying) to an entire British invasion show.
“It’s a large mix of everything,” says Artistic Director Daniel Schwartz, who is currently leading the group toward their ambitious upcoming concert Brahms and Broadway. Schwartz, who has been with the company for four years, is excited about the June event which will feature a string quartet. He’s also thrilled that, in September, The Voices of Pride will celebrate their 10th anniversary.
The obvious question comes to mind: what exactly is the difference between The Voices of Pride and the other well-known vocal group in town, The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus?
“Well, there’s the obvious: We have lesbians and straight people,” Schwartz jokes, although it is the truth. The company, which consists of close to 40 members, is comprised of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and straight allies (they’ve also had transgender singers).
The other big difference is the work that the choir performs, according to Schwartz. “We do more of a classical repertoire,” he says. Schwartz holds a masters in Choral Conducting and was recently featured in Opera Philadelphia’s Oscar; the company’s accompanist, Rob Blackwell, has worked in professional musical theater productions under the supervision of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurent.
Of his ensemble mates, Schwartz says, “We get along very well. These people have become my best friends in the gay community.” The choir rehearses once a week at William Way Community Center, and their June concert will play the Trinity Center for Urban Life.
So far as the future goes, the choir is looking to commemorate their anniversary with some sort of special engagement, perhaps with a chamber orchestra. They’re also looking for new members: If you are interested in belting your LGBTQ heart out, contact the choir via email at [email protected].