TransFusion Cabaret 

By  GALA Expert 

 May 24, 2024 


GALA’s first ever TransFusion Cabaret on Friday, July 12, 7pm–8:30pm. This show will uplift trans, nonbinary and intersex voices, and feature GALA Festival singers performing with folks local to the Twin Cities!

Drag performer


Friday July 12 from 7:00-8:30 PM
Westminster Hall
Hosted by Dick von Dyke and curated by Gillian Gauntt

Join us for a cabaret featuring transgender, nonbinary and intersex performers from across the GALA Choruses and Twin Cities communities. This event is part of the GALA Choruses Choral Carnival and is FREE to all audiences.

Featured Performers

Dick von Dyke (host)

Dick Von Dyke (he/him/hey girl) is thrilled to be a part of the 2024 GALA Choruses Festival! As a seasoned drag performer and emcee, Dick has dazzled audiences in over a dozen cities across the country spreading love, joy, and the gay agenda. You can catch him performing weekly at Lush Lounge & Theatre, the Black Hart of St. Paul, and with Flip Phone Events. Out of drag, Dick is a classical musician and wishes a big gay “break a leg” to all the singers performing this weekend!

Trans & Nonbinary Festival Chorus – Never One Thing

The Trans & Nonbinary Festival Chorus is an ensemble made up of people from all over the country who identify as Transgender or Nonbinary. Lead by nonbinary guest conductor, Kimberly Waigwa, this ensemble has been brought together to celebrate their identities, make community, and sing together in joy.

Jo Lee – Everything

Jo Lee (they/them) is an award-nominated singer, songwriter, and producer who brings a luxurious voice and a unique blend of R&B, Soul, and Pop, influenced by their Brooklyn roots. They’ve been featured in BuzzFeed’s BLACK/OUT digital festival and Genderbands’ Utah Trans Pride digital festival. In 2023, Jo was nominated for a Wavy Award for Best Live Performance. As a recurring soloist for the NYCGMC, they’ve directed and programmed concerts, including the inaugural Juneteenth Concert and the first member-led Trans Day of Visibility concert. Jo is also an alum of the Youth Pride Chorus and a founding member of the award-winning vocal group TONEWALL queer a cappella.

Devin Dolquist – Lonely House

Devin Dolquist (he/him) is a Minneapolis-based trans singer and voice educator. He holds a master’s degree in speech-language pathology and is currently pursuing a master’s in vocal performance, both from the University of Minnesota. His mission is to learn everything he can about trans voices and share it all with his community. You can attend his and his voice teacher’s GALA workshop, “Masterclass for Trans Voices,” Sunday at 10:30am in Hilton Conrad A.

Becca Louisell & Alana Balagot – Carinhoso

Serenade and Keys is made up of vocalist Becca Louisell (they/them) and musician Alana Balagot (she/her). Alana Balagot is a founding member and co-interim music director of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles (TCLA) and composes for film and television.  After singing chorally in high school and college, Becca also joined TCLA as a founding member. Alana and Becca are married, have collaborated on many film and music projects, and have performed together at The Renberg Theater in Los Angeles. Originally from MN, Becca is excited to be performing in their home state.

August Gorman – What You’d Call a Dream

August Gorman (he/they) is a non-binary trans man from Detroit who sings Tenor 2 with Prism Gay Men’s Chorus and its select ensemble, Men of Note. He has an extensive community musical theatre background as both a performer and a director. When not performing, he’s teaching philosophy at Oakland University, making art, or dancing. Special thanks to his family–Sam, Sage, Jaylen, London, and Landen– for their support.

Lauren Gripenstraw – I/Me/Myself

The Sandy Theygos are a vocal quartet based in San Diego, CA. Elle, Lauren, Rajitha, and Sam met while singing in the San Diego Women’s Chorus and bonded over their shared experience as non binary singers in a treble chorus. For these four neurodivergent humans with greatly varied life and music experience, this ensemble is an outlet for boundless creativity and a collaborative circle of belonging where all ideas are valued. The Sandy Theygos bring a colorful vibe and a straight-from-the-beach energy to their performances which is sure to delight. They are thrilled to have this opportunity to perform at GALA in the TransFusion Cabaret!

Ellen Ducarpe – Most Girls

Ellen Ducarpe is a 28 year old trans woman with a love for music, performance, and her community. She has performed in more than 15 shows so far: some cabarets, some comedy shows, and some musical theater productions at the late Orlando REP theatre. She lives with her fiancé, River, and their tuxedo cat Panda. Ellen would like to thank her family for supporting her, her fiancé for changing her life, her friends and polycule for giving her courage and support, and the transgender community for giving her hope. River, Veronica, Henry, and Aurora, this one’s for you.

Ari Agha & friends – Gentleman Jack

Ari Agha (they/them), transgender/genderqueer singer, and Mackenzie Lyn Marr (she/her), pianist, met and have been collaborating since they were in grad school together at Arizona State University. In tonight’s cabaret, they are excited to welcome Twin Cities violinist Martha McDermott (she/her), who regularly performs with the Boom Island Quartet. Ari, Mackenzie, and Martha will be performing “Gentleman Jack,” a song about Anne Lister, who is described as “the first modern lesbian” written by English folk duo Heidi Tidow and Belinda O’Hooley. Tomorrow at 10:30 AM in Westminster Hall (same place as the cabaret!) Ari and Mackenzie will be sharing Key of T, an interactive performance centered on Ari’s singing voice change with testosterone. Come explore your vocal range and genderful freedom!

Sarah Hansen – What Was I Made For

Sarah Hansen (they/them/she) is a genderqueer, neurospicy human who has often felt like a weird puzzle piece looking for where they belong. Sarah lives in Pittsburgh with their husband and three cats, and they sing and play percussion with the Renaissance City Choir, western Pennsylvania’s only LGBTQIA+ choir. After 20 years of working to advance equity and inclusion in nonprofit, education, and consulting roles, Sarah is applying all of their growth and experiences to community building and novel writing featuring an ensemble of neurodivergent, LGBTQIA+ characters. Sarah believes music, writing, and related artforms are essential to express and inspire the changes we need for a more just and sustainable world. Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn!

Gillian Gauntt/G. Alexander – Somebody to Love

Gillian Gauntt (they/them) is a Twin Cities-based actor, singer, and educator. Since graduating from St. Olaf College in 2019, they’ve performed with several local music/theatre orgs including Minnesota Opera, One Voice Mixed Chorus, and Opera on Tap-Twin Cities. Gillian has also enjoyed independently producing, programming, and performing in their own projects, including making their drag debut as G. Alexander in “Bosom Buddies: a Titillating Cabaret” this last February. They are deeply passionate about creating more safe and affirming spaces for queer, trans, and plus-sized artists in the performing arts. Connect with Gillian and find more of their work on their Instagram and YouTube accounts!

Erin Shinabargar – Hot Sonate

My name is Erin and I’m from Minnesota originally. I am a Saxophonist and soloist. I played in the Army National Guard bands for 4 years before I had an injury and was medically discharged. I currently reside in Denver and play with The Mile High Freedom Bands and sing with enthusiasm with the Denver Women’s Chorus.

Aria Huizenga ft. TRANScendent – Unruly Heart

Aria Huizenga is a transwoman living in Des Moines, IA.  She is a member of the DMGMC and a founding member of TRANScendent Iowa’s only trans/nonbinary ensemble who are providing supporting vocals today.  When not singing, she is a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community in the nonprofit world and at the Iowa state capitol.  She serves on a number of boards with emphasis on queer scholarship, queer rights, and the intersections of queerness and music.  In her sparse free time, she loves to perform on stage in musicals or as her drag persona, Tessa Tura.

Jay Johnson/Mama Bare – For Good

Jay/Mama Bare is a nonbinary drag artist currently residing in Chicago, IL. They have a Master’s in Human Communication from Arizona State University and a Bachelor’s in Music from a private Lutheran college. Music is a passion which runs deep within the essence of their spirit and encourages them to create an emotional experience with their audience using a combination of pop, rock, R&B, classical, acoustic, and electronic techniques and aspects, depending on the song’s requirements. This usage of fusion genres pushes the norms surrounding standard expectations, which you will hear today in this musical interpretation. Jay/Mama Bare is the creator and host of “In This Together,” a drag show at Ten Cat Tavern as well as the booking manager for Drag & Spirituality Summit, which is preparing for its next season in Toronto, Canada this November.

Phoenix, Colorado Trans Community Choir – I Am Human

Phoenix, Colorado’s Trans Community Choir is a collaborative intergenerational social justice arts collective founded in 2015 and based in Denver with singers from all over the Front Range. Not exactly a traditional chorus, Phoenix is more of a safe space to take risks of self-exploration around gender and identity, creativity and voice, and leadership and community building. Although many of its members are trans-identified, the choir is home for anyone who does not fit neatly into the gender binary, as well as all those touched by trans issues, including partners, parents, friends, and allies. Phoenix performs frequently at community events, often material composed by choir members, and has taken its original play, Raven’s True Self, to various elementary schools in the Boulder Valley School District as well as schools in Salt Lake City and Portland.