OurSong’s summer concerts present diverse songs with a common lunar theme

A little night music

The moon will only be half full this weekend, but OurSong offers two whole evenings of lunar-themed music with concerts on Friday and Saturday at Emory University.

Atlanta’s gay and lesbian chorus will present a diverse array of songs, all tied together by the theme of “Lunar Essence.”

“I love the moon and its wonderful influence on our lives and love,” said Robert Glor, who serves as OurSong’s artistic director with Ellen Chase.

“When we started looking for music on this theme, we discovered there is so much really great music about the moon and night,” Glor said. “I am really looking forward to sharing a night of moon music. This concert will be out of this world.”

Songs for “Lunar Essence” range from familiar show tunes like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “It’s a Grand Night for Singing“ and “Music of the Night” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera,” to an Indian ragu and “Prayer Before Sleep,” which is sung in Hebrew.

A song based on a poem by Emily Dickenson and pop tunes like Billy Joel’s “Lullaby (Good night my Angel)” are also on the set list, providing plenty for patrons to enjoy regardless of musical taste.

“It’s a really good and diverse mix of music,” says chorus member Eren Thibadeau, who has performed with OurSong for four years. “Some people might think they don’t like choral music, but with this kind of concert, I don’t see how you can not like it.”

Glor and Chase strive for OurSong to produce shows that are rooted in the history of choral music, but not limited by it.

“We perform many styles of music from a choral state of mind,” Glor explained. “Our concerts combine a love of wonderful choral singing with a twist toward modern music. We also highly value humor, differing styles of music, and the unexpected.”

The “Lunar Essence” show, he teased, could include “even something from the ‘King of Pop.’”

“There is truly something for every listener in most of our concerts,” he said.

For Glor, the beauty of OurSong is enriched by the range of voices the group includes, and also goes beyond the music that members create.

“Working with women and men singers is one of the things I value most about this group. I love the ability to utilize the ranges of an [soprano, alto, tenor, bass] chorus,” he said.

“There is also something extremely fulfilling with lesbians and gay men working together to not only create music but to also create community.”

The camaraderie of OurSong is part of what drew both Thibadeau and fellow member Stephen Fusco to the group.

“It is a small choral group in terms of size, and that invites a lot of interaction and depending on people to be there,” said Fusco, who joined the chorus in 2004 after missing the singing he did in high school. “It’s a very close-knit group of people, and that’s one of the really positive things for me.”

Thibadeau agreed, noting that OurSong helped her “find my niche in the community.”

“We really are a family,” she said.

When OurSong takes the stage, that family expands to include the audience, and Thibadeau and Fusco noted how the chorus feeds off the energy of attendees to produce a wonderful show.

“The more people who come, the better the concerts are and the more we have a good time,” Fusco said.

This weekend’s shows also include an auction of several gift certificates from Urban Body Studios, with proceeds to benefit OurSong, which is a non-profit group made up of volunteer performers.

After this weekend, OurSong performers will enjoy a break over the summer before beginning rehearsals in August for their holiday concerts.

OurSong: “Lunar Essence”
June 4-5, 8 p.m.
Emory University
Cannon Chapel
515 Kilgo Circle
Atlanta, GA
Tickets: $20