Blockbuster Concerts

By  GALA Expert 

 May 27, 2023 


Evening Blockbuster concerts incorporate chorus performances, choral collaborations, Festival Choirs, new commissions, spoken word, video and guest artists – all tied together by theme.

A stylized line drawing of a bird made from a treble clef, and staff paper


very gay choir in Mexico city with flags

Each evening features two Blockbuster concerts programmed by a GALA Artistic Director and their Creative Team. These concerts are a great chance for your chorus or ensemble to SHINE and perform a song or two on one of the designated themes in addition to your 30 min concert block.

GALA Festival – Minnesota Mosaic
Wednesday, July 10 – Peavey Plaza
From 12noon-10pm this outdoor stage features bands and performers from across Minnesota along with food trucks and interactive art displays.
At 5:00 pm join us for a high-energy sing-along with over 7,000 local and visiting singers as the opening event for Festival 2024 along Nicollet Mall!

Mní Sóta Sings– Minnesota Welcome Concert
Wednesday, July 10 – Orchestra Hall Stage
6:30pm & 8:15pm
Following the Festival Opening in Peavey Plaza, audiences are invited into Orchestra Hall for Mní Sóta Sings (Lakota for “clear blue water”). The concert honors the water, land and music of Minnesota featuring Calliope Women’s Chorus, Twin Cities’ Gay Men’s Chorus, and One Voice Mixed Chorus. Enjoy life-sized puppets, Minnesota composers, poetry by Andrea Jenkins, and Indigenous artist and activist Sharon Day.

The Peace of Wild Things
Thursday, July 11 – Central Lutheran Stage
This vibrant concert honors the music of communities fighting against climate change, and in support of healthy land, air and water. Singing bowls, movement, group singing, Indigenous Two-Spirit voices, and guest artists lead the celebration of LGBTQ and allied voices in support of our environment. 

Thursday, July 11 – MCC Auditorium Stage
An exploration of our LGBTQ+ legacy through song, the Legacy Blockbuster concert features songs and stories to honor, name, and amplify voices of our movement including tributes to Bayard Rustin, Robert Seeley, Catherine Roma and Pauli Murray. Legacy highlights movements from commissioned works about LGBTQ+ change-makers in the shadows and those at the forefront, honors queer communities, social justice, and queer joy.

Choral Carnival
Friday, July 12 – multiple venues
GALA’s Choral Carnival is designed to engage Festival delegates, as well as the broader Twin Cities’ community, in 45-60 minute rotating performances across downtown Minneapolis. The Choral Carnival reflects the variety of Minneapolis’ music community in addition to highlighting visiting choirs and artists. Festival delegates and local choral enthusiasts may attend any Choral Carnival event for free!
– Queer Beer Choir
Cantus Vocal Ensemble (concert and meet & greet)
– TransFusion Cabaret
– Composer Fair with the America Composer’s Forum (your chance to mingle with composers, check out scores, and chat about commissions)
Key of T
– Drag Queen story time
– Song Circles
– Outdoor performances all evening in Peavey Plaza

Harmonies of the Sphere
Saturday, July 13 – Orchestra Hall Stage
Celebrate LGBTQ+ choirs from across the world in an evening of collaborative performances across cultures. Harmonies of the Sphere highlights the rich musical vibrancy of our global community featuring the Voces Latina Festival Chorus, guest artists and LGBTQ composers from the Global Majority.

Saturday, July 13 – MCC Auditorium Stage
Throughout the world, legislatures are trying to ban books in schools, transgender athletes, women from control over their bodies, drag queens, and many other elements of our LGBTQ+ community’s independence. Banned features the 2024 Dr. Catherine Roma Commission (“Disenfranchised” by Elizabeth Alexander) and the Trans/Nonbinary Festival Chorus.  Join us for a Blockbuster concert uniting chorus’ by protesting in the best way we can, by using our voices!

Rise Up Singing! – Festival 2024 Closing Concert
Sunday, July 14 – MCC Auditorium Stage
GALA Festival 2024’s concert event honors the struggles and victories of our queer community from the perspective of many generations of GALA singers. Stories, photos, and music guide us on a journey through the decades celebrating the resilience of our community. Professional lesbian and non-profit champion, Joan Garry, is our keynote speaker; and performances of the Prime Time Festival Chorus, the Gen-Z Youth Chorus, and a Festival video montage round out the program.