Defying Rigid Sectionality…

I consider myself a baritone with a wide crazy range. I’m not a true bass, but I can sing quite low without getting a scratchy throat. I’m not exactly a tenor either, but I can sing high tenor notes if I breathe properly (or wear tight pants).

When I joined the choir in 2006, I sang with the tenors, believing that I have the range to hit the high notes. The problem was I had pitch issues.

The following season, I went down to baritone/bass. I found it easier, and had less problems with pitch. This earned the ire of my fellow tenors. They jokingly called me a turncoat and traitor, then said I was bisectional. I found that hilarious.

I sang baritone/bass for the next three or four years, but recently I’ve discovered the joys of singing in my head voice. I was enamoured by Chris Colfer’s version of “Defying Gravity,” and actually attempted to hit that ridiculous high F.

I did.

This season I’m rejoining the tenors. It was challenging getting back to singing the upper registers, but I had to try and learn. Who knows, if I train my voice well enough, I may be able to join the sopranos next season!

by Nelz A, member since 2006

New Name unveiled at “What’s In a Name” Concert

In 2010 the choir changed its name to Out in Harmony from Vancouver Lesbian & Gay Choir. This is the “unveiling” announcement made by choir member Denise Garzon at our June concert, “What’s in a Name?”

In the fall of 1990 when this choir was founded, the choir’s vision and purpose was clear – to give gay people a place to be themselves, to sing together in a mixed-gender choir, and to do so while being highly visible.  The name Vancouver Lesbian & Gay Choir was chosen specifically because it made it blatantly obvious at a glance that this was a group of women and men, who primarily identified as lesbian or gay, who sang together, -publically and proudly.

Much of that is still true today.

  • We are a mixed group of people who love to come together, blending our voices in song.
  • We are people who know that everyone is different, everyone is unique, and everyone needs a place to belong where they can feel safe and free to be themselves.
  • We are people who feel that it is very important to have a choir where everyone is welcome regardless of gender identity; of sexual, romantic or affective orientation; of musical ability or background; of physical ability, or of economic status.
  • We are people who know that being Out is an ongoing process, and that there is still a need for a choir that stands up proudly saying ‘This is who we are.  We are proud of who we are, & we are part of this community’.

What we are NOT, is that we are NOT only limited to Lesbians and Gay men, and THAT was the impetus for the name change.  We don’t want anyone to look at our name and think, “oh, that choir is only for lesbians and gays, & I wouldn’t be welcome there.”  We truly strive to be a community choir, welcoming and encouraging everyone who understands the importance of, and wanting to be part of, a supportive and public singing group that actively identifies as ‘Non-Straight-&-Narrow’.

[The main problem we ran into when coming up with a name was how to express all that in one catchy phrase that would both include everyone we currently have singing with us, everyone we hope will join us, and all those who we would be sure to accidentally leave out if we were to actually write down a list.  Because really, calling ourselves “The  Vancouver Lesbian, Gay, Sexual, Bisexual, Pansexual, Omnisexual, Queer, Questioning, Curious, Asexual, Heterosexual, Gender-Queer, Gender-Variant, Gender-Fluid, Trans, Transgender, Transsexual, Bi-Gendered, Pan-Gendered, He-She, FtM, MtF, Two-Spirited, Intersex, Cis-Gendered, Monster, Butch, Femme,  Polysexual, Monosexual, Other, …and Friends Choir” - that’s just going a bit too far, don’t you think?]

Therefore, after a year-long process of brainstorming and then winnowing down zillions of ideas and possibilities, we are proud to present to you

The choir formerly known as the Vancouver Lesbian & Gay Choir,

Out in Harmony! Vancouver’s Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, Lesbian & Friends Choir