Heartland Men's Chorus Announces 2018-29 Season

Heartland Men's Chorus Announces 2018-29 SeasonDustin S. Cates, Artistic Director of Heartland Men's Chorus (HMC), announced Monday their 33rd year will again present three distinct concerts, all with the show stopping productions for which HMC has become known and all created to change hearts and minds. But Season 33 is also incredibly unique. "In our 33 years," said Cates, "We've not done something this big, produced by two dozen gay choruses, including the largest gay choruses in the U.S., where WE get to perform it first. It's quite an honor. We are basically telling the story of the Gay Rights Movement through song, poetry, pictures and videos. And it's quite an undertaking."

WORLD PREMIERE EVENT - Stonewall 50: All of Us - March 2019

Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24, 2019, in the newly renovated Folly Theater, HMC will premiere "Quiet No More: A Choral Celebration of Stonewall 50." This eight-movement work is co-commissioned by 24 LGBTQ+ choruses from across the U.S., including project co-founders, Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles and New York City Gay Men's Chorus. It commemorates the Stonewall rebellion, widely seen as one of the most pivotal moments in LGBTQ+ history. "Quiet No More" not only tells the story of the Stonewall Inn that took place in New York City on June 28, 1969, but more importantly, it encourages and sings for all of us. Stonewall may have sparked an uprising, but the movement continues to this day, not only for LGBTQ+ individuals, but for victims of bullying, hate, intolerance, and violence.

Seven composers are involved in the project:
Jeff Marx - American composer & lyricist of Avenue Q
Michael Shaieb - Co-Founder of FatLab, composer for theatre, film, TV
OurLadyJ - American classical pianist, TV writer, singer & song-writer
Julian Hornick - Composer, lyricist & librettist based in Brooklyn, NY
Ann Hampton Callaway - Jazz singer, songwriter, actress
Michael McElroy - Composer, Tony Nominee & College Professor
Jane Ramseyer Miller - Artistic Director of GALA Choruses & One Voice Mixed Chorus

The work will have some classical elements but will also feature musical theater, jazz and other popular styles, with women and other minority composers' central to the project. One movement will contain a newly composed anthem that all choruses involved in the project will sing and record on YouTube with the goal of creating a national social media campaign taking place in May and June 2019. In addition, some members of HMC will travel to Los Angeles and New York in June 2019 when the two co-commissioners present the work to create multi-choir massed performances in both cities.

Stonewall 50 combines the Stonewall story with previously unheard voices and the latest historical insights. It will be balanced with the stories of The Stonewall Inn's lasting impact, combining the work with messages of love, acceptance, joy and celebration, in a collaborative effort whose size has never before been experienced in the LGBTQ+ community. Tickets to Stonewall 50 at the newly renovated Folly Theater are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338 beginning December 3rd. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7.


HOLIDAYS 2018 - Sleigh!-Dashing Through the Holidays with HMC! - December 2018

In December, HMC will once again bring their exciting blend of familiar carols, choral classics and hilariously zany twists on your favorite holiday music in Sleigh. At the Folly Theater, December 1-2, and at the Carlsen Center's Yardley Hall, December 9th, HMC is excited to once again be coming back to Johnson County for the third holiday season. This season we'll don our bells and our Santa Suits to present a holiday extravaganza worthy of ringing in the New Year. "The hilarious performances by members of the Heartland Men's Chorus are truly what bring this portion of the holiday concert to life," exclaims Artistic Director Cates. "This annual holiday production has fast become one of Kansas City's favorite non-traditional holiday traditions."

Tickets to Sleigh at the newly renovated Folly Theater are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338 beginning October 15th. Yardley Hall performance tickets may be purchased through the Carlsen Center Box Office at 913-469-4445. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7 (some ticket fees apply and vary by location). Come as you are, dress is casual, be ready for fun, but visit hmckc.org today!


SUMMER 2019 - Rock You! A Wild Ride Through the Music of Queen! - June 2019

Who better than to bring one of the greatest rock bands in the history of music to the stage than Kansas City's gay men's chorus? With too many iconic hits to list them all, Rock You! pays homage to the creative genius of Freddie Mercury all while rocking out to everyone's favorites including "We Are The Champions," "Another One Bites the Dust," "Somebody to Love," "We Will Rock You," "Don't Stop Me Now," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and so many more. The list of super hits literally goes on and on.

Forming in London in 1970, Queen's earliest works were heavily influenced by heavy metal and hard rock. But they eventually grew into a more radio-friendly pop sound and developed elaborate stage productions and innovative recording practices. By 1975, they had become an international success with the help of their front man, Farrokh "Freddie" Bulsara, "Freddie Mercury," eventually skyrocketing to one of the biggest selling stadium bands in music history by the mid-1980s. The last concert featuring their original line-up took place in England in 1986. Mercury died of bronchopneumonia, a complication of AIDS, in 1991. Estimates of their record sales range from 150 to 300 million records. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and in 2018 received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Produced with the flair that only Heartland Men's Chorus can deliver, Rock You! will include everything in the Queen repertoire from their greatest hits to the ballads we croon like Freddie Mercury. This concert will take you on a wild ride through rock and roll history and will be a fun-filled, visually stunning ending to the 2018-2019 Season that you won't want to miss! Tickets to Rock You!, in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall at the Folly Theater, are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338 beginning March 25th. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7. Come as you are, dress is casual, be ready for fun, but visit hmckc.org today!

Heartland Men's Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City's gay men's chorus, now in its 33rd season. Founded in 1986 with 30 singers, HMC quickly became a safe oasis for a community scarred by fear and hatred, while plagued by a virus. Now with 120 singers, HMC is a vital part of Kansas City's robust arts and cultural scene, making the historic Folly Theater its performance home for 25 years. HMC also presents regional outreach concerts in a five-state area and has performed nationally and internationally in joint concerts with other GALA choruses. They regularly perform at GALA Choruses International festivals. The Kansas City Star has called Heartland Men's Chorus "one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City."

Visit www.hmckc.org for more information about Heartland Men's Chorus' 2018-2019 season. High-resolution photos of the chorus can be obtained by visiting hmckc.org.

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