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June 17, 2004

Think of a choral recital and a rather dull image might spring to mind - rows of singers dressed in white shirts and navy pants, standing stiffly on risers and droning hymns in Latin. Come to a performance of the Detroit Together Men's Chorus, however, and your view of choirs will never be the same. For example, one year, the group mulled over the appropriate attire for their aria about Valkyries - female spirits beloved by Viking-era northern Europeans.

"We thought, how will we pull that off - we just can't stand there and sing it," said Tad Green, vice president of the DTMC. "We made plastic breastplates. We got out the hot glue gun and we decorated them with everything we could think of, including kitchen implements." Their Madonna-like conical breast coverings and colander "helmets" with long blond braids helped make the number the hit of the evening. The 28-voice chorus likes to blend humor and serious music to bring their message to their audiences. Their spring and holiday performances might include anything from a medley of civil rights ballads to an onstage "melting" wicked witch of the West, visiting from the land of Oz.

The group will go international when they attend the seventh annual GALA International Festival in Montreal, Canada from July 17-24. During the quadrienniel festival, up to 10,000 singers drawn from the organization's 200 member LGBT choruses in Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America gather together to perform, attend workshops and socialize.

"We thought, 'Wow, we're taking the Detroit banner to the show, why not do Motown?'" says Green. Green was cagey when asked if sequined evening gowns were packed in the group's costume trunks. "You never know what you will see, but I'm sure there will be something for everyone," he said.

Posted by acapnews at June 17, 2004 10:11 PM

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