May 24, 2016
MLB investigating San Diego Gay Men's Chorus controversy at Padres' game
Los Angeles Times:
Major League Baseball said Monday it was investigating why a San Diego Gay Men's Chorus performance at the Saturday San Diego Padres game was drowned out by recorded music.
The San Diego Padres said late Sunday that they had disciplined an employee and stopped working with a contractor who the team said was involved.
The choir's Saturday performance was drowned out by a recording of a woman singing the national anthem that was broadcast in the stadium.
The incident generated outrage, partly because the chorus was singing during "Out at the Park," a special LGBT pride event at the stadium. Members of the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus accused the Padres of homophobia and called for an investigation by the team as well as Major League Baseball.
MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was also gathering information.
“It’s difficult to say a timetable,” Courtney told the paper. “It depends how long it is, in terms of where the information takes you. The plan is and the goal is, as expeditiously as possible.”
The Padres said in a statement that they had conducted an internal probe and concluded that there was "no evidence of malicious intent" by any of the individuals involved in the mishap, but the organization faulted personnel for not immediately intervening and correcting the situation.
"We once again sincerely apologize to members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, their families and those who came out to support their Pride Night performance," the team said in a statement. "The Padres organization is proud of our longstanding commitment to inclusion – within both our sport and our community. We deeply regret that a mistake on our part has called this into question, but accept full responsibility.”
May 18, 2016
Stiletta wins the Harmony Sweepstakes
It was indeed a grand evening of harmony singing at the Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals this past weekend and each and every group brought their very best to the competition. For the third time in four years it was the ladies who took top honors with New York's Stiletta winning both first place and audience favorite. I was confident it would be a good show as every group was strong, but boy, did the groups step it up a notch and each and every set was a knock out. Thanks to all the groups for being so darn entertaining and to our audience for supporting us all these years.
National Champions - Stiletta
2nd place - Double Date
3rd Place - Mc Celleneous
Audience Favorite - Stiletta
Best Original Arrangement - "Royals" - Judy Minkoff , Stiletta
Best Original Song - "Get Pumped" - Stiletta
May 11, 2016
Sweet Honey proceeds with concerts in North Carolina
Rather than canceling their upcoming concerts in North Carolina Sweet Honey in the Rock will instead protest in song to express their opposition to the passage of the HB2 anti-transgender (so-called "bathroom law") that has embroiled North Carolina in a national controversy. They put out this statement:-
"Sweet Honey in the Rock has always stood for justice, freedom, dignity, and basic human rights for all people, regardless of race, religion, age, ability, economic status, political affiliation, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and our diverse audiences reflect these principles. In 2010, we joined many other artists in the boycott against the unjust policy in Arizona (SB 1070) By declining to perform, however, we were constantly reminded by those in the struggle that they needed our voices for support."
"Although we do not endorse the recent passing of the unjust HB2 anti-transgender law in North Carolina, we will honor our prior commitments (Goldsboro, May 13; High Point, May 14) to offer music which will uplift and inspire all those who believe it is imperative to stand together against injustice. We who believe in freedom cannot rest."