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NEIU Alum performs with the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus

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 CGMC’s holiday performances begin on Dec. 1st with an ASL interpreted show.

CGMC’s holiday performances begin on Dec. 1st with an ASL interpreted show.

CGMC’s holiday performances begin on Dec. 1st with an ASL interpreted show.

Robin Bridges, Staff writer

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Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus started in 1983. The group of more than 150 chorus members and a small army of volunteers put together two main performances during the year and smaller performances almost weekly. Not every member performs every show, but they try to meet up as often as possible.

NEIU interdisciplinary studies alumna and chorus member Khara Williams said, “It’s a family. Everyone has your back. If you have a problem, everyone is there to help you. Everyone is involved with something and they’re willing to help you out.”

Williams joined CGMC this past spring season. His debut show was “B-town: From Barbershop to Boy Bands.”

The group performed songs from N’Sync, New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys. Williams says his favorite song to perform was “Step by Step” by NKOTB. His days are packed rehearsing and performing and he said he’s doing the things he really wants to do.

“I love it,” Williams said. “It’s so much fun. It was overwhelming because for me growing up I hung out with a lot of straight people. Male and female. And I really couldn’t express how I feel and how I want to be.”

He said, “Joining this chorus helps me a lot because I can see it’s okay to be yourself. Even though I never really had a problem with [discrimination and homophobia]. But being in the chorus just makes it more acceptable for me to be myself.”

You don’t have to be LGBTQ to join the chorus, however, the CGMC has been a visible representative for the LGBTQ community since it’s beginnings.

“We’ve had a heterosexual couple meet and get married. It’s a really good place to be and they’ll welcome you with open arms,” Williams said.

The CGMC blends a traditional chorus show with musical theater for an unforgettable show. The holiday show is no different.

Artistic Director James T. Morehead said in a press release that “the idea for the show is a throwback to the beginnings.” The title is similar to previous titles used by CGMC from 1983 to 1996. Some suggestive song choice makes the show recommended for a PG-13 audience.

“I’m grateful that they accepted me into their family, I love it,” said Williams. Tickets are $25 – $40 and vary in price by the venue. To buy tickets or for more information go to: CGMC.org

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