Bloomington's Quarryland Gay, Bisexual, and Ally Men's Chorus
The Quarryland Men’s Chorus is a Bloomington-area affiliate of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA). GALA is part of a national musical movement taking its stylistic and organizational cues from lesbian and gay music of the past.
The Quarryland Chorus was founded in 2002, at the prompting of Sam Troxal, a Bloomington resident. Early in its existence, the chorus engaged in Christmas caroling as a way to maintain group momentum. On May 10th of 2003, the chorus
performed as guests at a Blommington Feminist Chorus concert. The members of the chorus decided in June of 2003 that the experience they were having was positive, and through the summer provided music for services at the Unitarian Universalist congregation in town as well as local cultural events, to maintain cohesiveness. On January 24th, 2004, the group performed its first full concert with ten members.
As the chorus aged, it attracted more members and larger audiences. Following an April 2005 appearance on the BloomingOUT radio show, the chorus performed for an audience of around 100, with 15 members on stage, at the Bloomington Unitarian Universalist Church. The chorus also began offering its services to activist groups, performing for World AIDS Day and the Bloomington Pride Picnic in 2005. More recently, the chorus has performed at the Bloomington Pride Film Festival, in addition to holding independent concerts drawing audiences of up to 230. Most recently, the Quarryland Chorus performed a concert, "A Tribute to Al Colbine", in April of 2010.
The Quarryland Men's Chorus's stated mission is "To provide a Positive Performance-based Community for Gay and Bisexual Men and their Allies in South Central Indiana". However, the chorus's practical goals reach beyond its mission statement; in November of 2005, for example, chorus Director Barry Magee gave a presentation on "Performance as a Social Action" to an IU anthropology class, with a focus on the role of performing in raising awareness about AIDS. The music committee also works to expand the musical horizons of the performers and audience; a recent performance included a religious piece from Zimbabwe sung in the native language, Shona.
Quarryland Chorus rendition of "No Bad Hair Days in Heaven", for which they won the Fox59 Summer of Glee contest.
Bauder, Doug. Interview by Jurion Jaffe. Bloomington, Indiana. 11 November 2009.
“Quarryland History and Archives.” Quarryland Men's Chorus. http://www.quarryland.com/apm/issue.php?id=3.