Choral Milestone

LGCW celebrates 25 years with a new commission

by Yusef Najafi
Published on January 22, 2009, 12:00am | Comments

What comes to mind when you think of human warmth? That's the question Robert Convery asked members of the Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Washington to answer. Convery then used the responses to weave together inspirations from nine different poets, including Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman, ending up with a song titled ''Under the Greenwood Tree.'' It's a piece commissioned by LGCW and the centerpiece of the group's upcoming 25th Anniversary Concert this weekend.

''We're doing new pieces, old pieces, and a piece that features a solo from every single chorister,'' says Musical Director Paul Heins of the concert, which includes about 40 GLBT and straight singers from the D.C. area.

The evening kicks off with ''Sing'' and will include audience and chorus favorites such as ''Everything Possible'' by Fred Small. But with the inclusion of ''Under the Greenwood Tree'' and other new material, Heins says he wouldn't necessarily call the show a ''Greatest Hits'' performance.

''Maybe it's a 'Best of LGCW' as far as who we are as an organization, but not necessarily a retrospective. We're basically celebrating our history and we're also contributing something to music by commissioning 'Under the Greenwood Tree.'''

LGCW's 25th Anniversary Concert is at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, and at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 25, at the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, 201 Fourth St. SE. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at door. The Jan. 25 concert will be interpreted for the deaf. For tickets, call 202-546-1549 or visit www.lgcw.org.