Portland Gay Men's Chorus to Perform in Salem

Portland Gay Men's ChorusThe Portland Gay Men's Chorus will perform Saturday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Hudson Hall at Willamette University. The concert will feature "Metamorphosis," an expansive choral/orchestral song cycle that centers on the struggles of coming out within families and communities of faith. Admission is free.

The Salem performance follows the recent premiere of "Metamorphosis" in Portland, Boston and New York. The 2004 composition, by composer Robert Seeley and lyricist Robert Espindola, was written for the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus, of Minnesota. The work consists of a series of soul-searching, thought-provoking songs about personal identity, relationships with loved ones and changes across the life span, and is accompanied by full orchestra. Also on the program are humorous works by Eric Lane Barnes of Seattle and the "AIDS Requiem" by Portland composer David York.

Under the direction of Artistic Director Bob Mensel, the 100-voice Portland Gay Men's Chorus was founded in 1980 and is the fourth oldest gay-identified chorus in the United States. More than 700 men and women, some now deceased, have been members of the chorus during its history. The recipient of numerous awards for musical excellence and community service, the chorus aspires to redefine and perfect the choral art through eclectic performances that honor and uplift the gay community and affirm the worth of all people.

The group has commissioned more than 40 new choral works and has three CDs: "Breaking the Silence with Song" (1995), "Millennium Mosaic" (2000) and "Holiday Serenade" (2003).

Concerts by the Portland Gay Men's Chorus frequently feature innovative choreography, creative staging and visual media. Performances are appropriate for youth, and the chorus welcomes families.

The concert is funded by Willamette University's Lilly Project, which supports the study and pursuit of vocation.