Charlotte’s One Voice Chorus and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte traveled to Denver, Colo., July 7-11 to participate in this year’s GALA Festival 2012, held at the Boettcher Concert Hall. GALA, an international LGBT choral association, represents more than 170 choruses around the world. GALA’s Festival is held every four years. This year, the event attracted 45 ensembles, 130 choirs and 6,000 delegates for more than 200 performances over four-and-a-half days.

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The quadrennial GALA Festival is not competitive. One Voice Chorus Artistic Director Gerald Gurss described the event as “somewhat of an LGBT choral olympics,” but no judging, scoring or awards are presented.

“[It’s] only the music shared and inspirational memories and messages to bring back home,” Gurss said.

One Voice Chorus said its concert set at the GALA Festival was designed to tell the story of contemporary life an LGBT person living in Charlotte. Their performed pieces included “Domicilium,” a selection commissioned for One Voice from composer Greg Gilpin for the chorus’s 20th anniversary in 2010. The chorus also premiered a new composition from composer Jeffrey Horvath. “The Letter” opens with excerpts from the texts of gay teen suicide letters and ends with the words of actress Roz Michaels’ letter to her deceased son.

Other pieces included the humorous “Santorum: ingoramus est,” written by Gurss, “Somewhere out There” from “An American Tail” and an arranged Indian raga, “Desh,” by Ethan Sperry. Soloist Caroline Cave was featured in “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.”

One Voice’s small auditioned ensemble was also featured at the festival, where they performed an original staging of “Internet is for Porn” in front of “Avenue Q” writer Jeff Marx.

One Voice begins its 24th season in September. For more information, visit

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.