BY BTL STAFF
The LanSINGout Gay Men's Chorus presents Christmaspalooza Dec. 2-3 at the First Presbyterian Church, 510 W. Ottawa St. in Lansing. Tickets for the Saturday show at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday show at 3 p.m. are available for purchase from chorus members or at the door.
Founded in December of 1988 as the Greater Lansing Gay Men's Chorus, the organization changed its name in 2011 to LanSINGout Gay Men's Chorus. This change, according to its website, was a reflection of the organization's growth and vision for the future. As its new mission statement states, "LanSINGout exists to enrich those around us through music, fellowship, and community involvement."
When the chorus first began, its purpose was to not only portray a positive image of the gay community, but to also provide a safe place for gay men to socialize. After more than 20 years, members of the chorus are thankful to say that much has changed in the Lansing community in regards to views towards gay men.
After undertaking a strategic planning process several years ago, the chorus widened its focus to enhance the lives of the Lansing community. This is being accomplished through two distinct paths: entertaining a more diverse audience at the concerts and special events and actively supporting other non-profits in Lansing through fundraising and volunteering.
The chorus uses its talents to entertain a wider group of Lansing citizens. Whether it is singing at Silver Bells in the City in the atrium of Lansing City Hall, giving a special performance at Turner-Dodge House for its holiday celebration, or moving the audience at the World AID's Day ceremony at the Hannah Center, LanSINGout is a reaching a larger audience than ever before.
The chorus has also been active in the community as well. For the past five years, the members have provided and served lunch for the participants in the Lansing AIDS Walk. It has also held a concert with proceeds going to the Lansing Area Aids Network. The chorus was honored by the Lansing Area Aids Network with its 2010 Champaign Award at its annual Red Ribbon Gala.
In the past years, the chorus has donated a portion of concert proceeds to three deserving local charities: Ele's Place in 2008, Lansing Food Bank in 2009, and Lansing Community College Music Scholarship Fund in 2010.
LanSINGout is currently comprised of around 30 members, with several having been with the chorus for over 15 years. Its music selection ranges from Broadway musicals to African processionals. The chorus has seen a consistent increase in the musicianship of its members as it strives to provide not only entertaining performances, but ones that reflect high quality.
For more information about LanSINGout Gay Men's Chorus, visit http://www.lansingout.org/.