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Holiday Hullabaloo

The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus celebrates 35 years of making music with their upcoming 35th Anniversary Holiday Hullabaloo.

The chorus will be joined by 11 additional Chicago-based LGBTQ+ performing arts organizations, including About Face Theatre, Allegrezza, Artemis Singers, Chicago Pride Guard, Chicago Spirit Brigade, Chicago Tap Theatre, GayCo, Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles, Lakeview Orchestra, Pride Films & Plays, and Windy City Gay Chorus.

With 22 musical numbers performed by members of 12 organizations, CGMC will contribute 150 singing voices with 20 dancers. Holiday Hullabaloo will be performed November 30 - December 2 at three different venues in the Chicagoland area. Visit for more information and tickets.


The 35th Anniversary Holiday Hullabaloo combines GGMC traditional favorites such as Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," "Wrapping Paper," "Hot Hanukkah" and Tchaikovsky's "Waltz of the Flowers" with some new contributions like "Solstice Carole" by the Weird Sisters and Jay Althouse's "Going to Bethlehem."

"This show will be big," said CGMC's artistic director James Morehead. "This is one of the few chances to see almost all LGBTQ+ performing arts organizations in one two-hour show!"

This will be one of the largest to date. Past large-scale performances include A Show of Concern: The Heart of America Responds (1987), National Women's Choral Festival (1986), 10th Sister Singers Network festival (2010), and Gay Games VII (2006).

Preparation for the show has been fast and furious, according to Morehead, with new members learning organizational traditions while all members build relationships with new pieces and repertoire.

Morehead said he is looking forward most to the finale of the holiday show. "We are closing the program with 'This Christmastide' by Donald Fraser, a Chicago native, with all performers joining together," he said. "This moment will bring us all onto stage at the same time for a glorious moment together."

CGMC's members are buzzing about the anniversary celebration and upcoming show. "I think it's a milestone for any non-profit, but for the Chorus it represents 35 years of raising our voices for acceptance and change, and we have seen mighty change," said CGMC member Michael J. Anderson. Anderson has been a member for seven years, served as President on the Board of Directors, and currently serves as Governance Committee Chair. "I sing because it makes me feel part of a larger community that is breaking down barriers with a voice for social justice and acceptance."

CGMC continues to be a voice for the LGBTQ+ community while also functioning as a safe place to sing and build lifelong relationships for members of the community and allies. The shows have always shed light on current issues. "When the chorus was founded in 1983, near the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, we doubted how long we would survive," said Morehead. "Let's continue to celebrate our steadfastness and commitment."

"The need for this group is much different now than 35 years ago, so it's heartening that it has thrived and is still relevant," said Larry Olson, chorus member of 13 years and chair of CGMC's Alumni Committee.

The entire 2018-19 anniversary season celebrates community. The fall cabaret "Banned Together" highlighted censored songs to give voice to the voiceless. The holiday show brings together members from many performing arts organizations to celebrate the holidays. The live singing drag show "Lipstick & Lyrics: Band Together" in February celebrates the right to protest and demand equal rights for all. And finally CGMC's spring show "Stonewalled: 50 Queer Years" honors the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots while urging us to do better in the next 35 years.

CGMC delivers performances that combine theater, choral artistry and musical theater into one musical experience. Audiences are sure to have the time of their life, enjoying beautiful music and laughing hard.


Friday, November 30, 8 p.m.
Harris Theater for Music & Dance, 205 East Randolph Street

Saturday, December 1, 8 p.m.
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie

Sunday, December 2, 7 p.m.
Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W 111th St


Comments welcome.


Posted on October 18, 2018

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