Collaboration with noted composer John Bucchino, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus aims to further LGBTQ acceptance, equality
BOSTON—The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) announces today that it has been awarded a $10,000 Equality Fund grant from The Boston Foundation to adapt the LGBTQ-themed children’s book “A Peacock Among Pigeons” into a multimedia stage performance. BGMC will collaborate with award-winning composer John Bucchino; a local children’s chorus; and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus on the project.
“A Peacock Among Pigeons” is an LGBTQ-themed children’s book that tells the story of learning how to stand out when you don’t fit in. Written by Tyler Curry and illustrated by Clarione Gutierrez, the book has been named the 2016 Top Children’s Book by The Enchanted Page, and won the 2016 Cultural Issues and Inspirational/Visionary categories by Early Reader.
The Equality Fund grant will fund about 10 percent of the costs to develop the children’s book and commission Broadway composer John Bucchino to write the show’s music for both men’s and children’s voices. Bucchino is best known for scoring the Broadway musical “A Catered Affair,” which won the New York Drama League’s Best Musical award and received 12 Drama Desk Award nominations. Bucchino has been recognized with multiple songwriting awards and his music has been recorded by a range of artists from folk pop icons like Judy Collins and Art Garfunkel to theater luminaries like Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, and Liza Minnelli.
“With its theme of celebrating differences in ourselves and others, “A Peacock Among Pigeons” tackles bullying in a powerful way. Our response to the spike in bias-motivated assaults against LGBTQ people, Muslims, and other minority groups this year is to create a musical experience that shows that love and acceptance always win” said BGMC Executive Director Craig Coogan. “While legislation and law enforcement are obviously critically important in responding to these acts, neither can change hearts and minds. But music can. It builds bridges, breaks down stereotypes, and humanizes the ‘other’ in powerful ways. That’s what we aim to do in adapting ‘A Peacock Among Pigeons’ for the stage, and we’re grateful to the Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation for supporting this project.”
The adaptation will include vibrant imagery and set pieces, and a local children’s chorus will perform with BGMC.
“This production will be engaging and entertaining. And you can be sure that our costumes will out-shine the feather displays on the brightest of peacocks,” said BGMC Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds, III. “We’re incredibly excited to partner with a children’s chorus. The symbolic power of filling a stage with 175 LGBTQ performers alongside young singers will be rivaled only by the music we make together.”
BGMC is also working with the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) on the project. SDGMC is committed to bringing music to the classroom and has a close working relationship with the author and illustrator of “A Peacock Among Pigeons.”
Established in 2012, the Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation is the first permanent, endowed fund for the benefit of members of the Greater Boston LGBTQ community and their families. Its grant-making priorities and growth strategies are guided by an Equality Fund Advisory Committee, which includes members of the community, donors and professional advisors in law, real estate, financial planning, philanthropy and related fields.
The BGMC production of “A Peacock Among Pigeons” will be developed in 2017 with a premiere in Boston and San Diego in 2018.
About the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus
Boston Gay Men’s Chorus creates musical experiences to inspire change, build community and celebrate difference. The BGMC is one of New England’s largest and most successful community-based choruses. Founded in 1982, the 175-voice ensemble is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming, and groundbreaking community outreach. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds III, the BGMC sings a wide spectrum of classical and popular music and creates social change by providing a positive, affirming image of the gay and lesbian community. The Chorus is heard live by more than 10,000 people each season and thousands more through recording, television and internet broadcasts. In November, 2013, CBS-WBZ named The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus one of the “top five” choruses in the city of Boston. In June 2015 BGMC became the first LGBT chorus to tour the Middle East. In June, 2018, the BGMC will become the first LGBT chorus to tour South Africa.
[From a News Release]