Happening in Kansas City
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On the last weekend in March, Kansas City’s Heartland Men’s Chorus and Gateway Men’s Chorus of St. Louis will combine their voices to perform the Midwest premiere of the oratorio I Am Harvey Milk. Part choral performance and part theater, the piece celebrates Milk’s life, from his childhood to his public career in San Francisco to his assassination.
A preview concert was held in Columbia, Mo., on March 8, and an encore concert is scheduled for April 5 in St. Louis. San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus artistic director and conductor Tim Seelig, who conducted the June 2013 world premiere in San Francisco, will serve as guest conductor along with Dustin S. Cates, director of Choral Activities at Olathe East High School. The Kansas City concerts will be at 8 p.m. March 29 and 4 p.m. March 30 at the Folly Theater.
I Am Harvey Milk, with music and words by Andrew Lippa, was co-commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, along with Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, Vancouver Men’s Chorus and Heartland Men’s Chorus.
The newly formed San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus was scheduled to rehearse on the evening of Nov. 27, 1978, the day that San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated. Instead, members gathered on the steps of City Hall. There, during an impromptu vigil for the fallen leaders, the group’s blended voices were first heard in public.
For the Missouri performances, Tom Lancaster of Heartland Men’s Chorus will play the adult Harvey Milk. He said his appreciation of Milk’s work grew throughout the project:
I don’t have any personal memories of Harvey Milk. I was only 9 years old when he was assassinated. But I have vivid memories of Anita Bryant and her Save Our Children campaign, which fought so bitterly against the gay rights movement. I remember seeing her interviewed on television and seeing my parents nodding their heads in agreement with what she said. I learned later that Save Our Children helped introduce Proposition 6 in California, the proposed law that would make firing gay public school employees mandatory. The proposition failed, largely due to the work of Harvey Milk. It was his first major political victory.
I’ve learned a lot about Harvey while doing research — most striking was his connection to music. He loved opera from the time he was a child, and in the early 1970s he assisted the director of “Jesus Christ Superstar” on Broadway. I love that we’re telling his story in a medium that resonated with him.
I hope audiences respond to the piece the way I did when I first heard it. It’s so easy to become complacent — to become apathetic about the struggles we still face. Experiencing Harvey’s story told in this music sparked a fire in me — I wanted to get up and march in protest, I wanted to write my congressman, I wanted to make my voice heard as a member of the LGBT community. It helped me connect to a passion that had dulled over the years. I hope everyone who experiences the concert will react as passionately.
To learn more about the composition, go to I Am Harvey Milk
Just Before the Concert, a Chance to Hear About 1970s Gay K.C.
If you like local history, you should arrive early to one of the Heartland Men’s Chorus concerts in late March. Thirty minutes before each show, Stuart Hinds, co-founder of the Gay &
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.