It isn’t unity without U

Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus’ Pride weekend performance at the Victoria

By Gary Spencer

Dayton Pride weekend kicks off this Friday with many events planned for the entire weekend. While everyone knows about the Pride Festival and Parade on Saturday, one annual event during Pride weekend that seems to fly a bit under the radar is a performance by the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, who are set to do it again this coming Saturday at the Victoria Theatre. Over the past 13 years of its existence, the DGMC have gone from a modest local endeavor to one of the Gem City’s treasures of the LGBTQ community.

“The DGMC got together a small group of 15 guys to sing at local events under the songs of the Cincinnati chorus in a combined concert,” explains DGMC President David Moyer. “The DGMC then made its true Dayton debut on the spiral stairs of the Victoria Theatre Association Wintergreen.”

The DGMC is a proud 501c3 nonprofit performing arts organization that holds true to a profound mission: “To encourage and sustain excellence in the choral arts … to achieve a gay-affirming presence in the greater Miami Valley … [to] educate the community at large about the value of diversity… [and] to open minds and eliminate prejudice by honoring and celebrating our differences.” This direction, attention to the fine details, performing chorus and focus on including people of the many different communities of the Gem City has paid dividends for the ongoing existence of the group and its growth.

“The DGMC has always prided itself on being a professional arts organization in Dayton appealing to everyone including the LGBT Community,” Moyer says.  “That’s what makes the organization so successful.  Through music we not only entertain, but also change hearts and minds. By remaining a mission-based organization and focusing on the quality of our performances, we have continued to attract new talent and leadership that has helped forge the way to where we are today.”

Another thing that the now 40-50 members strong DGMC prides (pun intended) itself on is having a broad repertoire of material that they perform seemingly at the drop of a hat.

“Our music varies each show and from season to season, from classical pieces to just plain fun songs—rock to jazz, Broadway to gospel,” Moyer explains.

The DGMC’s dedication to thinking big and being able to perform music of any style of any era has led the group to some great successes and collaborations along the way.

“One of the largest undertakings in our history was co-commissioning an oratorio by Broadway composer Andrew Lippa titled ‘I am Harvey Milk’ about the life and times of the legendary LGBT activist and spokesperson,” explains Moyer.  “This was one of the largest pieces we have ever done and were joined onstage by members of the Dayton Philharmonic, something never done before with our group.  Then of course there is last year when we welcomed Tony Award-winning performer Jennifer Holliday to the stage to perform with us, which was an over the moon moment.”

For this year’s Pride performance on Saturday and for their final concert of the 2015-16 season, the DGMC has planned yet another ambitious concert that keeps with the season theme of “Telling Our Story,” as created by Artistic Director Kathy Clark.

“The show is entitled ‘Unity: The Missing Piece is You,’” Moyer further explains.  “Being mission based, much thought goes into song selection, and Kathy continues to mix [our] message with challenging music to keep both the members and the audience on their toes and asking for more.  This year’s Victoria [Theatre] Concert will feature traditional songs as well as beloved pop numbers.  Audience members can expect to hear selections from ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ to the late great Prince’s ‘Purple Rain.’ We bring the theme of Unity home by bringing the Louisville Gay Men’s Chorus on stage with us as well this year, putting nearly 70 men on stage at the same time.”

As previously mentioned, The DGMC likes to stress that their concerts aren’t just for the LGBTQ community but for anyone who enjoys choral music, showmanship and a good time.

“I like to think there is something to take away from each performance, and each audience members perhaps takes something different away,” says Moyer. “Whether you are looking for a message, a musical movement, or just a night out with some awesome singing and overall fun, the DGMC offers something for everyone of all ages and backgrounds.”

This welcoming of people from all walks of life is central to this “Unity” themed concert and getting their message across of the importance of working together to create a better world for everyone.

“In the climate our country faces today, the message of unity could not be more important,” Moyer says. “We hope this concert encourages a movement of acceptance and tolerance.”

The Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Unity: The Missing Piece is You” at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 4 at The Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main Street in downtown Dayton. Tickets are $22-32 in advance. For more information, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at

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