WANT TO GO?
"A Winter Tapestry"
Charleston Gay Men's Chorale
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Bream Memorial Presbyterian Church, 317 Washington St.
ADMISSION: Free, donations accepted
INFO: facebook.com/CharlestonGayMensChoraleCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Gay Men's Chorale made its debut in June at the West Virginia Pride Festival. The rapid harmonic progress the group has undergone will be on full display at a Saturday concert of multicultural holiday music.
"I never dreamed in less than a year it would have taken off to this point," said chorale director and founder Billy Burdette.
The group, which features 18 singers led by Burdette along with a piano accompanist, presents "A Winter Tapestry" at 7 p.m. Saturday at Bream Memorial Presbyterian Church, 317 Washington St.
The chorale will perform a blend of African, English and American selections, including an American folk tune, traditional Christmas songs, a Hanukkah piece and some songs with the audience.
The group represents a kind of a benchmark for how far the gay men's community in Charleston has come, Burdette said.
"The big idea behind this -- and we do have a mission statement -- was to be a positive light on the gay community as a whole, to overcome some of the stereotypes that folks think about the gay community."
The chorale was also a way for Burdette to get back to doing what he loves after returning to West Virginia to be closer to his family. Burdette, a music teacher who taught for years in Virginia, had made a career change into educational non-profit work. Then, in August, the 33-year-old took a job as a school chorus leader and music teacher in the area.
He wanted to put some live performance back into his own Charleston existence.