5 Questions is a feature by Steve Duffy –
Reuben M. Reynolds III has been the Music Director of the BGMC since 1997.
SD: Each Christmas show that I have attended over the years has been wonderful. How do you create a unique experience for the audience every year?
RR: I ask myself that every year (he laughs). This year the show is more theatrical. It’s hard to showcase the same Christmas songs in a different way, so we created it to be campier than ever. Also, the chorus is larger than it has ever been. We usually have about 150 members, this year we have 185 members.
SD: What is the process when it comes to deciding which songs are going to be sung?
RR: In January, all the directors of the gay choruses get together and brainstorm. We usually try and find a place with lots of sun. This year we are going to the Mideast. Choosing the songs and music is like a kernel of corn and then it grows from there.
SD: Music is such a wonderful gift for all. What is it about Noel that you wish to give to the audience?
RR: Music is a two-way street. Without the audience, we would just be singing songs. I love the sense of feeling that is created when the audience is having fun. We really try to create a community. It is all about a feeling of coming home.
SD: What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?
RR: You want an answer you can put in print? Every Christmas, the chorus sings for two services at the Arlington Street Church and after they all come back to the house and we celebrate. We are a family and those are some of the fondest memories that I have.
SD: As you think about the many great moments of making music with the BGMC, what is your favorite?
RR: It would have to be my very first concert with BGMC. It was called “Naked Man.” It was 18 years ago, and we interviewed several different members of the chorus and had them tell their stories. Besides being very powerful, it woke up a new way of making music for me.
For more information on the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and to purchase tickets to their holiday concert Noel visit www.bgmc.org.