South Coast Chorale
In the late 1980s, founding director Bob Phibbs sought to create a place where music was used as a vehicle to remind us all that we are more alike than different. Having previously served as the director of the Long Beach Gay Men’s Chorus, Phibbs and some friends began recruiting people who simply enjoyed singing and socializing together. The foundational vision for the Chorale referred not only to the LGBTQ communities, but the straight community as well, creating an organizaiton that was inclusive and welcoming of everyone. The music is what brought people together and in April of 1990, a small group of singers gathered for their very first rehearsal as the South Coast Chorale.
Over the years, the Chorale has established a reputation of performances that are distinguished for their diversity and artistic excellence, receiving community nominations and audience praise. From traditional choral concerts to youth-focused educational outreach, premieres of new works to original musical parodies, the chorale’s performances have told many a story. Stories of ordinary people celebrating love, of actual chorale members embracing their identity, of leaders paving the way or significant events that have helped shape a shared narrative.
Public understanding of gay life has evolved quite a bit since 1990, but there is still a long road to lasting change for LGBTQ equality. SCC has more than doubled in size to nearly 60 singing members and expanded artistic programming to include more new works and commissions that seek to highlight the interconnectivity between communal entities. Chorale members participate in close to 10,000 volunteer hours annually, further enhancing a commitment to community partnership and building bridges.
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