ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus will kick off Pride Week in Rochester this year with a concert entitled “Iconic” this Saturday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hochstein Performance Hall.
Ben Meixell is the Guest Conductor for “Iconic.” He discussed the upcoming performance along with Chorus member and Marketing Director Kennan Beckstrand Monday during News 8 at Noon Monday.
“I think we tried to pick songs that were iconic to the LGBT community, things that would really resonate with our friends and family,” said Meixell. “We’re doing songs like ‘Perfect’ by Pink, which all have great messages. You’re perfect the way you are. We’re doing this beautiful song called ‘Truly Brave.’ We’re doing ‘What Makes You Beautiful,’ and – of course – we’re ending, to keep it iconic, with a medley of The Village People. Everybody knows the ‘Y.M.C.A.’ I didn’t know much beyond that, but I’m a proud ‘Macho Man’ now, so it’s going to be great!”
The RGMC will welcome other performers as well. “We’re going to start off the concert and then we’ve got the Rochester Women’s Community Chorus who will be singing, followed by The Rochettes which is a dance troupe,” Meixell said. “We’ve got the ROC City Pride Band, and then – of course – at the end we have our Big Gay Sing.”
There’s excitement about having the performance serve as a kick off for Pride Week. “This is the first time that we’ve had our concert back in July,” noted Beckstrand. “It’s usually in June. But we are working with the Out Alliance now and we are going to be doing this concert to kickoff the Pride festivities that will go the rest of the week. It’s a really significant thing for us because it’s the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall and the gay uprising to protest and to fight for our civil rights, and so it’s really just a special time – the fiftieth anniversary and Pride – so we’re really happy to be a part of it.”
Beckstrand said the Big Gay Sing will help bring everyone in attendance together. “Rochester is famous for Mitch Miller and the little bouncing red ball. This is a karaoke-style sing-along of familiar songs that we can all sing along to and have fun singing, and unite in our voices on our pride in our mission of being LGBT.”
For Meixell, “Iconic” is about building a sense of community. “This is such a beautiful place to be living in Rochester to be LGBTQIA, all of those things. So I’m hoping people just see us and hear us. You know, part of our mission statement is to give a voice to those who haven’t found theirs yet. We just want to be a big, happy family who enjoy being together and invite the audience to be a part of our family.”
For tickets to “Iconic,” find a chorus member, go to Parkleigh, the Out Alliance or Equal Grounds, or you can get them at the door. You can also order them online.