ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Before New Orleans gets to officially celebrate Mardi Gras this year, the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus will present “Mardi Gras” at the Memorial Art Gallery on Friday, February 22 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.
The RGMC Artistic Director Wilson Southerland and Board member/Mardi Gras Chairperson Bob Neale discussed the upcoming concert Monday during News 8 at Noon.
“We’re so excited to bring this celebration to encapsulate the spirit and the energy of The Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus at the Mardi Gras event, which we will be performing at,” Southerland said. “We offer several selections from our upcoming Elton John concert. It will also feature a group, a smaller group within the chorus called the Teddy Bears. This is an elite group that had its debut at the ‘Treasured Traditions’ Holiday Concert. We will be featuring them as well at the Mardi Gras event. And this event will feature hors d’oeuvres, dinner, a cash bar, a silent auction, and our honorary event chair is Thomas Warfield, nephew of William Warfield, the acclaimed baritone, from Rochester. So we’re so excited to have him on board as well. And many area businesses have donated items that will be featured in the silent auction.”
The Memorial Art Gallery will provide a festive setting. “We picked it last year for a major fundraiser, and have come back to it again this year,” said Neale. “We open up the gallery for our attendees so that they can tour the gallery at their leisure during the evening. We’re trying to make it as much Mardi Gras as possible. We’ll be giving out masks and beads and all the rest of it. There’ll be dinner, there’ll be dancing, there’ll be music throughout the whole thing, and entertainment. We expect it to be a lot of fun.”
Mardi Gras will also serve as a fundraiser for The RGMC. “We use the funds that we generate from it to cover our mission to get out into the community for LGBTQ issues,” Neale said. “We’ve got a mentoring program coming forward, for young students where Wilson’s group, the Teddy Bears, will be going out into the various colleges and places like that to mentor. So it’s important. It’s very important for our community.”
For advance tickets to Mardi Gras, visit The RGMC website.