New logo, new look

Out in Harmony has a new logo, and you should be able to see it at the top of this page! I say should, because the mighty Web Team is tweaking the site to go with the fabulous logo, and so you can expect to see things changing here and there over the next few weeks as we settle on a look.

The logo was designed by Mark Germani, more of whose fabulous work can be found here.

Mark your calendar for our upcoming concert!

Come join us for Out in Harmony’s upcoming concert “Looking Back, Looking Forward” in which we’ll be celebrating our greatest hits from the past twenty years. Those who have attended our concerts over the years will recognize many familiar favourites, and those who are joining us for the first time will find that their toes are tapping, too!

Where and when:
Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7:30pm at Central Presbyterian Church, 1155 Thurlow Street

Retro, Antique, Timeless, Historic, Blast-from-the-past, Nostalgic, Renew-Reuse-Recycle, Memory Lane, … Whatever you want to call it, it means picking the best songs from the past, and polishing them anew for the present. Our choir was founded 20 years ago this fall, and during the past year we have looked at who we’ve become over the years and how the group has changed since we began in 1990. We have re-imagined our name, our mission, and our hopes for the future. In choosing the theme and music for our upcoming concert, we took a look back over the repertoire of the last 20 years and picked out the best of the best: the gems, milestones, and the favourites of both audiences and singers. We’ll be dusting off such classics as “Some of My Best Friends are Straight”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Va Pensiero”, along with many more. We hope you will come join us as we take a trip down memory lane and enjoy this glimpse into where we’ve come from and how we’ve transformed over the past 20 years.

Ticket prices are still $15 for adult admission and $10 for Students & Seniors, plus subsidized tickets are available for $7. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

If you are interested in volunteering, advertising, singing with us, or basically want to contact us for any reason, drop us a line at outinharmony@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Member profile: Meet Lauryn!

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Lauryn began singing like an angel when she was just a toddler. Growing up on the East Coast, where music was an important part of daily life, she was frequently in demand with requests to do renditions of “The Bluenose Sails Once Again.” Later, she joined choirs in school and church, and carried over her love of singing to her migration to Toronto, where she was a member of Singing Out! and a women’s choir.

Upon moving to the West Coast, Lauryn promptly joined the VLGC, now Out in Harmony, and sings her heart out at practices and concerts. Lauryn works in communications and fundraising and has brought soome of those skills to her position as a new OIH Board member.

Everything old is new again!

I saw a young woman on the street today who looked like she had stepped out of a magazine – from about 1986.  I don’t think she was alive when her look was first in style, but she looked back, found elements that spoke to her and made them her own.  While there are some ideas (and fashions) that are best left in the past, there is also a lot worth keeping from times gone by.

Our choir has a new name – we are newly and outwardly expressing who we are and who we want to be.  We are also hitting a milestone: our choir formed 20 years ago this fall.  This is a perfect time to take a small pause, and look back over the life of our group, bringing forward some of the elements that have worked for us and helped us grow into the group we are today.  So our next concert, taking place January 22, 2011, will be comprised of some of the great music that we have sung and enjoyed throughout the last 20 years.  I’m looking forward to revisiting some favourites, and introducing our newer singers to some gems from our early days.

This is where you, our singers both past and present, and our audience, come in.  Which songs have been your favourites, over the years?  Is there a tune you heard us sing once and wish we would do again, or an encore that keeps bringing a smile to your face?  I’d love to hear about it.  I’d especially appreciate input from those who were at our concerts in the early days!

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