After a very successful world premier of Where is Love, Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus performs “Winter Before the Fire” at the GALA Choruses 2008 International Festival in Miami.
It was an extraordinary moment. We completed the third piece in our set and then John-Philip Mullinax, our Artistic Director, Announces “Winter Before the Fire” and the soloist, Kevin Tillman, the composer. I step up to the microphone. For me, this is one of those moments I’ve worked for the past two and a half years...
We’d premiered the full work Where is Love two weeks prior. It went extremely well and to get the opportunity to sing the Tenor Solo next to Tim Seelig’s sublime Baritone was just incredible!
So for the GALA performance, it was decided that we would perform “Winter Before the Fire” as we had done at the premier. Tim and I would sing our respective parts. How wonderful that would be!
The day before we were to perform, I got a call from Tim. Tim ended up with a very bad throat infection that pretty much ruled out our initial plan.
I was pretty nervous at that point - well let’s face it, I was a nervous wreck the moment we got in Miami just wondering how well it would all go, and by all, I don’t just mean my song, but the whole set. Sure we sounded great and we presented ourselves well - it’s just a personal thing I go through nearly every big performance we have.
Fortunately, everything was on our side. Though the final work was written for Tenor and Baritone, initially, it was written for a tenor (me) as a “Wedding-Cake Party” present for my friends, Sally and Amy. So we were good there. In the end, our AD spent some time talking me down, helping me relax and finally saying, after critiquing part of my solo, “Believe me.” I’m not sure if he meant that I should trust what he was saying and relax in that section of the piece or if he meant to project an earnest reflection of the song in my manner. I decided to take it both ways, and in the video, I think that shows (thus the indelible grin on my face.)
So the music begins. The chorus moves to their new positions. From that point, I’m in the moment. I’ve spotted David, my boyfriend, in the forward rows video taping the performance.
And so, here we are. Here I am. Here we all are - a hall full of people who are singing to make change. And here we are singing a love song about a commitment between two women in front of the fire place in the midwinter.