SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s a new singing group in southeastern KELOLAND.
Once a week, the Rainbow Chorus of Sioux Falls gathers to make music.
“I was looking for something to get involved in that was not just based around the bar scene because I feel like for adults in smaller towns a lot of what circulates around for activities has to do a lot with the bar,” Chorus member Alice Hanmer said.
This chorus offers a different option for the soprano.
The Rainbow Chorus of Sioux Falls bills itself as South Dakota’s first LGBTQIA2S+ friendly chorus.
Executive Director Beau McGregor says the idea came about early this year.
“I was at Club David singing karaoke, and I was singing with a bunch of friends we were like, ‘This is something we need. We love music, we love singing,’ but we want people like me who are gay, queer, transgender, allies within the spectrum to come together and sing and have a place where we can call home and share our favorite songs and share that with the community,” Chorus executive director Beau McGregor said.
The Rainbow Chorus’ repertoire includes Broadway, pop, and spiritual songs.
“A lot of our members have been in choir before whether in high school or college and so everyone knows how to read music pretty well and pick up on things really well, so we’re actually moving pretty fast,” McGregor said.
In fact, the group of about 40 singers is getting ready for its first performances in June.
The chorus has already made a lot of progress since starting rehearsals in March.
“I have been really thrilled with the blend and the sound and tone that the group has been producing already in a very short time,” Chorus artistic director Del Hubers said.
Gilbert Gaskins sings in the tenor section.
“Everyone has been very friendly, very supportive. No one judges you. You don’t have to have a pitch perfect voice, but everyone is so welcoming. It’s been amazing,” Chorus member Gilbert Gaskins said.
McGregor wishes he would’ve had something like the Rainbow Chorus when he was younger.
“When I came out back in college, I went to college at SDSU, the coming out experience was a little difficult for me as well and to help me cope I logged into YouTube and found the LA Men’s Chorus and they were singing True Colors by Cyndi Lauper and their message was, it gets better basically, and I want that for other people in Sioux Falls,” McGregor said.
Now the Rainbow Chorus is setting the stage for more voices to be heard through song.
“It’s not just singing, it’s what we’re singing. Some of the songs we sing, it really resonates with our community because we’re singing about everybody coming together, that we can all join together,” Hanmer said.
The Rainbow Chorus’ first performance is at the Sioux Falls Canaries’ Game on June 3rd.
They’ll perform the national anthem and sing between innings.