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VIDEO: Boston Gay Men's Chorus Releases Performance Dedicated to Everyone Struggling with Isolation

The song premiered on the Chorus’ YouTube Channel on December 2 and will be seen on “Holiday Lights".

VIDEO: Boston Gay Men's Chorus Releases Performance Dedicated to Everyone Struggling with Isolation

Just in time for the holiday season, the Boston Gay Men's Chorus (BGMC) announces the release of "Up on the Housetop," an incredibly playful rendition of the second-oldest secular Christmas song ("Jingle Bells" is the oldest). Composed in 1857 by Benjamin Russell Hanby, who was the son of a minister active in the Underground Railroad and Abolitionist movement, the song is one of the first to depict the rooftop delivery of Christmas gifts by Santa Claus. BGMC is dedicating "Up on the Housetop" to everyone struggling with isolation during the on-going pandemic.

The song premiered on the Chorus' YouTube Channel on December 2 and will be seen on "Holiday Lights," WCVB's annual broadcast of the City of Boston's tree-lighting ceremony on Boston Common. "Holiday Lights" will air on Thursday, December 3 from 7-8PM on WCVB Channel 5 and stream on WCVB.com.

Watch below!

"We just love this song. It's fun, it's light, and it captures the sillier side of the holiday season-which is something that we all need right now," said BGMC Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds III. "We are also delighted that the song will premiere during "Holiday Lights." Although nothing can match the experience of coming together on Boston Common to light the city of Boston's Christmas tree and enjoy live performances, "Holiday Lights" is a way for people to connect, albeit virtually, and immerse themselves in holiday cheer."

"Up on the Housetop" is the latest in a series of BGMC@Home videos released by BGMC since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the chorus to halt live performances for public health reasons. Using their smart phones and other at-home recording equipment, BGMC members individually recorded their parts in "Up on the Housetop." The song is presented in BGMC's signature virtual video style which recreates the experience of seeing the chorus onstage by grouping the individual cells of singers according their assigned section (Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Baritone, Bass). As viewers watch the video, the section that is primarily carrying the song during the performance dominates the screen. It's also why BGMC's ASL interpreter, Dr. LeWana Clark, is visible throughout the performance.

"The Boston Gay Men's Chorus has been sharing stories through song about our community to audiences around the world for more than 38 years now," said BGMC Executive Director Craig Coogan. "We can't perform for live audiences right now, but we can still sing and share our stories in other ways that inspire change, build community and celebrate difference."

Other BGMC@Home virtual videos include "From Our Home to Yours: Everything Possible," "Pride 2020 Selections by Music Director Reuben Reynolds III," "Black Lives Matter," "Born This Way: Virtual Boston Gay Men's Chorus, "Reuben's Picks, Fourth of July," "Reuben's Picks for Halloween," and the web series "Celebrity Spotlight." BGMC Online also features highlights from BGMC's archive of more than 400 video performances that are viewed more than 1.5 million times annually. Playlists include BGMC's most popular videos from YouTube, its most recent Pride concert titled "God Save the Queens," its most recent spring concert, titled "Raise You Up," and playlists from its tour of the Middle East in 2015 and tour of South Africa in 2018.

The City of Boston's official Christmas tree is a gift from Nova Scotia to Boston as a thank you for having sent emergency aid to the province after the explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax Harbor 103 years ago. This is the 49th year that Nova Scotia has given a tree to the people of Boston as thanks for relief efforts following the December 6, 1917 explosion. This year's tree, a 45-foot spruce, was donated by Heather and Tony Sampson of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. In addition to honoring Boston's emergency assistance over a century ago, Nova Scotia is also dedicating this year's tree to healthcare workers and others who are working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each year, the city organizes a tree-lighting ceremony on Boston Common that is broadcast live by WCVB. This year's program will be pre-recorded to adhere to public health guidelines for social distancing. In addition to BGMC, other featured performers include Multiple Grammy-Award winning, global reggae and pop music icon, Shaggy; Winchester's own Nicholas Christopher from the musical "Hamilton"; featured artists from Nova Scotia's Celtic Colours International Festival-The Barra MacNeils and Sarah and Elizabeth MacInnis with Jenny MacKenzie; and Maestro Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra. The broadcast of "Holiday Lights" will culminate with a virtual countdown and lighting of the tree by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. In addition to this Thursday's broadcast, "Holiday Lights" will repeat on Christmas Eve on Thursday, December 24 from 7-8PM.


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