Sing Out! An OKC Gay Men’s Chorus
by Rob Howard
“I’ve always loved singing and karaoke and things like that,” said Oklahoma City activist and businessman Monty Milburn. “So, I put out the idea of having a gay men’s chorus in Oklahoma City, to see what the response was and the response was great.”
So far, “18 of us really had an interest.”
He named the group the Oklahoma City Gay Men’s Chorus, and using Facebook, Milburn set up a page and asked those interested to share it. He also has secured a website, but it’s still under construction. “I’ve been shocked at the power of Facebook,” he said.
Milburn attends church at Mayflower Congregational UCC, so he approached the church about using their facilities. He says, “Mayflower is 1,000 percent behind us. They have asked that we do a concert there when we are up and running. They are going to provide the sanctuary for us, they provide the choir room with a piano on Saturday mornings.”
Although he originally thought that the chorus would rehearse during the summer. “I had never done this before, so when I started this one of the first things I learned is that most of the choruses around the United States take the Summer off. People are busy due to softball. I had to kind of work it around my schedule, Saturday mornings are the only time I could do it.”
The group rehearsed twice in April, then is taking May, June and half of July off to accommodate already full schedules. Then Milburn plans to hit it.
Milburn is excited about the talent that has shown up. “Some of us have been in the Turtle Creek Chorale, some in the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. Like me, most of us have never been involved at all. Some of us don’t even know what we are [as far as singers]. ‘Are we a tenor, or a bass?’ We don’t know, we are learning all of this. But we have some really great guys who have participated in choruses and choirs and they are really helping us and mentoring us as we go.”
Milburn and the rest of the chorus is actively recruiting members. Milburn says, “Right now I want any and every one – I don’t care if you haven’t sung in 40 years - to get involved because that to me is the most important part, that we do something as a community that is fun, that brings out your talents and kinda scares you a little bit.
“It stretches your horizons,” he concluded. “I would like to have a membership of 25-30 and to be able to set our foot on a stage in October and do a concert.”
The OKCGMC is planning three concerts; one in October or early November, a Holiday themed one in December and one in the Spring of 2018.
In addition, they intend to do caroling during the holiday season and possibly a performance at Gay Pride events in the future.
If you are interested in joining the OKCGMC, visit their Facebook page at Oklahoma City Gay Men’s Chorus, or email OKCGMC@gmail.com.
Copyright 2017 The Gayly – May 25, 2017 @ 11:05 a.m.