This May, the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus celebrates its 20th year of spreading love, acceptance, and the gift of music in the Creative Capital. Founded in 1995, the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus has been inspiring and empowering the local community through music for the past two decades. “We want to use the power of music to create social change,” explains Kim Kuda, the Artistic Director of the group. “We believe that our message is delivered more effectively and emotionally through song rather than speech.”
The approach of their 20th anniversary season is an opportunity to reflect on the ways in which the acceptance of LGBT rights has grown since the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus was founded. “One of my most favorite concerts was our spring series two years ago where we did an entire concert of love songs,” Kuda shares. “It was men singing love songs to, about and for men. I was so proud of each of them for not only singing so well but for having this safe, welcoming place where they were free to express themselves.” Though things are different now than they were in 1995, Kuda explains that there is still a long way to go. “One of my biggest goals since I became the Artistic Director four years ago has been to get the PGMC more ‘out’ in the public eye,” she says. “The PGMC is a chorus of musically talented men who are gay. But I never want that fact to limit where, what, and how we sing.”
Above all, the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus is about inclusion and acceptance. “The PGMC provides a musical home for anyone looking for one,” Kuda explains. “We want to show all of the communities how a group of men (and women) from different ethnicities, religious beliefs and educational levels can come together in a productive, fun and safe environment and make beautiful music together.” The commitment of the Providence Gay Men’s Chorus to spreading the message of equality for not only gay men, but for diverse populations of all sorts is readily apparent by their enthusiasm for their art and their dedication to the local community.
As far as the future goes, Kim Kuda is thinking bigger. “It’s my dream to see the PGMC continue to grow both in size and scope. I’d like to have more singing members. I’d like to have more volunteers. I’d like to have the financial resources to possibly do a tour, to make performance CDs, and to expand our overall outreach.” The Providence Gay Men’s Chorus has had a busy twenty years, playing at venues all over the state, including Providence Performing Arts Center and Waterplace Park. “And yet,” Kuda muses, “there are many more places where we need to sing and many more ears that need to hear us.”
The Providence Gay Men’s Chorus 20th Anniversary Show is May 19, 21, and 22. Tickets are $25. Visit www.provgmc.org/