By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Photos courtesy of Voices of Note
With the 2023 season, Voices of Note is not only planning spectacular shows and concerts. The organization has also started a partnership with the House of Heralds to promote the choruses and launch an ambitious capital campaign. DAVID spoke to David Aurilio, Interim Director for Voices Note, about the season ahead.
Although most people know about the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and the Atlanta Women’s Chorus, some may not know about Voices of Note. Can you tell us a little about it?
Voices of Note, the not-for-profit organization governing both choruses, is a catalyst for social change and was created in late 2012 as an umbrella under which the AGMC and any future programs would operate. The renowned Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and Atlanta Women’s Chorus comprise the largest community music organization in the Southeast. Each chorus presents three annual concert experiences defined by musical excellence and a commitment to promoting equality for all people. It provides an opportunity to be inspired, a journey to places in hearts and minds that have yet to be explored, and a voyage into the perspective of our neighbors, teachers, siblings, and friends. Above all, Voices of Note believes that the most effective way to deliver the message of equality for all people is with music. Through music, we are changing hearts and minds and hopefully opening hearts and minds as well!
You teased two upcoming concerts in a recent press release announcing the 2023 season. Tell us more!
Two amazing shows that will truly resonate for ALL people navigating the hills and valleys of life. Our 2023 season begins with the Atlanta Women’s Chorus celebrating its 10th anniversary with its show “Finding Light and Resilience.” As the title suggests, songs elicit feelings of light and resilience in the human experience. Moving choral pieces such as “Where the Light Begins” by Susan LaBarr, “Does the World Say?” by Kyle Pederson, “Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli, and “Song for Justice” by Kim Andre Arnesen represent both beauty and struggle.
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus premieres the “Songs of the Phoenix,” a large 10-movement choir work featuring original compositions by some of today’s most renowned composers like Stephen Schwartz, Ingrid Michaelson, and the late Stephen Sondheim. The piece will center on themes of triumph, rebirth, and joy, all of which are common responses to a devastating loss. The songs explore personal stories and anecdotes from the Lyricists and composers, reflecting their respective backgrounds in culture, religion, and the human experience. When tragedy strikes, we are given three choices: FIGHT, FLEE, or FREEZE. Songs of the Phoenix is about the beauty of the fight. It’s about the heart and the return of laughter, light, and the lifting of voices locked together in love and music. When we return to music, we ALL rise together!
Although they are a very unofficial part of Voices of Note, will the gals from the Ho Show also be gracing the stage this year?
Oh, the Gals are still around, and I have heard rumblings that something might be brewing! Since they are big fans of David Magazine, I promise you will be the first to know! You’ve been warned.
You’ve partnered with House of Heralds this year. Can you tell us more about the collaboration?
We’re thrilled to have House of Heralds join as our creative partner because we see the need to amplify the brand of Voices of Note by helping us tell the story and rich history of both choruses. Chris and his team are known for their outstanding creative capabilities and unique ability to connect with the LGBTQ community. The team at House of Heralds aligns perfectly with us in their commitment to serve those underrepresented audiences and help create equity and pride in the communities in which we live and work.
Besides promoting your concerts, another focus of the partnership with House of Heralds is an ambitious capital campaign. Can you tell us more?
For more than 42 years, the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and Atlanta Women’s Chorus have been an integral part of Atlanta’s artistic landscape, providing audiences with important and thought-provoking performance works and significant and impactful community service work. As we look ahead to the next 42 years, we recognize there is still so much to be done. The pandemic exposed many outdated and inefficient processes within our organization. We weathered the storm better than many other non-profit organizations through thoughtful leadership and innovative artistry. However, we recognize that to maintain our leading voice in Atlanta’s diverse arts community and to serve our members and donors more accurately and efficiently, this ask for help, and support must be intentional and focused. We’ve set this year’s campaign goal at $250,000 to help us begin fixing immediate needs and set the stage for larger future goals. Through the help of new and previous grants and a heightened concentration on corporate partnerships and individual giving, we’re confident that focusing on our mission and intention WILL create our reality.
Anything you’d like to add?
I truly believe that how you leave one situation is how you enter the next. This year, we are excited to continue to build on the momentum and high we left 2022 on, and a good practice is to always start in gratitude and recognition of our accomplishments from the previous year.
Visit www.voicesofnote.org for a complete listing of performance venues and ticket prices (participating show locations are subject to change). Use the handles @AGMC and @AWC to join the discussion on social media. Use #VON23, #AGMC23, and #AWC23 as the official hashtags.