Inclusive Salt Lake Men’s Choir shows its pride at St. Luke’s
The Salt Lake Men’s Choir will perform at the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, June 24, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4595 Silver Springs Drive. For information, visit http://www.stlukesparkcity.org.
For the past 35 years, the Salt Lake Men’s Choir has spread its message of diversity, acceptance and unity.
The celebration continues when the group — composed of singers from across the spectrum of sexuality — perform Sunday in Park City at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in honor of Pride Month, said director Dennis McCracken.
“We have a mission to bring our music out to people so they can understand a little more about diversity and inclusion,” McCracken said. “We want the public to see that we all get along and work as a unit and that they should, too.”
The choir, which gives LGBTQ men an inclusive and artistic outlet that is not barbershop music, will perform during the church’s service given by Reverend Charles Robinson, St. Luke’s rector. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., said church leader Ted Clayton.
“They will sing six songs in the course of the service from prelude to postlude,” Clayton said. “One of the songs will be part of the homily that Father Charles will give.”
The songs are culled from a 35th anniversary program the Salt Lake Men’s Choir presented earlier this year, McCracken said.
“The program gave a sample of what we had been singing for all those years” he said. “We have classical works, Broadway tunes, gospel and spirituals, and Charles was gracious enough to tell us that we could sing whatever we wanted to sing.”
The choir will open with “If Music Be the Food of Love,” which is based on a Shakespeare sonnet, and then continue with “America the Beautiful.”
“Throughout the service we will add the spirituals and folk songs,” McCracken said. “We’ll add in some spirituals and American folk songs.”
The service will end with the choir’s performance of “This Is Me” from the 2017 musical “The Greatest Showman.”
“That song has become a real anthem this year,” McCracken said, referring to the continued discussion of same-sex marriage, discrimination, profiling and diversity. “The message of the song is no matter who you are and what scars you carry or what you look like or what you do for a living, it is you. And people need to take you for who you are.”
Clayton said Pride Month was the inspiration for asking the Salt Lake Men’s Choir to perform Sunday.
“A few weeks ago in vestry meeting, we talked about the different things we could do to broaden our outreach,” Clayton said. “Since June is pride month. There are a handful of us who attend St. Luke’s who are LGBT, and many of our parishioners and members of the diocese participated in the Pride Parade in Salt Lake. So we decided to do something special and reached out to the Salt Lake Men’s Choir.”
Clayton said it was important to invite the choir to sing during the Sunday service.
“Father Charles is very proactive in wanting to reach out to the LGBTQ community and let them know they are welcome at St. Luke’s,” Clayton said. “Many people in my experience have been disenfranchised from the church they grew up in, and while some churches say they do welcome all, their doctrine and dogma won’t truly support that. But Father Charles genuinely wants to reach out to everyone, especially those who have been disenfranchised.”
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