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Another chorus prepares for its swan song

The Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Washington announced yesterday that after 26 years, it will take an indefinite break from performing at the end of this season. Its final concerts will be “Just Married - The Musical” on April 23 and 24, and “The LGCW Farewell Concert - Our Love Song to You” on June 20 (with a public preview on June 12).

The LGCW has existed since its founding in 1983 as a non-auditioned, volunteer group with a social conscience, commissioning new work, raising money for charity, appearing at rallies like Capital Pride and the March for Women’s Lives, performing for World Aids Day at the Clarice Smith Center. It’s capitulating, now, to the same problems that are affecting so many other institutions: “decreasing membership, revenue and resources,” according to a statement.

We critics are fond of hearkening back to a time when music was a part of the social fabric of life. Yet the nature of our jobs means that we don’t often encounter the ensembles that epitomize this notion: groups like the LGCW that actually do set out to make a difference and create a spirit of community around musical activity, but which are not often reviewed. A critic largely writes reviews of professional musicians; but professional performance is only a segment of the healthy musical life of a city, which ideally is supported by amateurs in the true sense of the word, lovers of music. The LGCW helped create new works (including commissions by Mark Adamo and Robert Maggio, the latter a work about the Aids Quilt) and give voice literally and figuratively to things that the community needed to say. Its passing may not make waves at the Kennedy Center, but it will certainly leave Washington diminished.

By Anne Midgette  |  March 19, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Washington , news  
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Anne - it is very nice that you posted this notice, but I have to say that WaPo pretty much ignores groups like LGCW and the Gay Men's Chorus. With the multitude of professional groups that make DC a regular stop on the international circuit, I know you have your hands filled. But IMHO at least a small slice of your time/money budget should be dedicated to local performance groups. They are what make the city a unique and interesting place to live.

Posted by: kashe | March 19, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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