The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus - Shine

December 17, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

This past weekend I had the great pleasure to be invited to a holiday concert.  While all festivities are special this time of year, I was in for a treat.  My good friend, Allan, who I have known since high school but more importantly have kept in touch via Facebook inspired me to not only watch talented men sing their hearts out but donate my talents for a great group of gentlemen.  Secretly, I had the best seats in the house as I got access to a balcony to take one amazing shot.  In addition, all the good people at First Congregational Church of Santa Cruz were very helpful and sweet. The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus performed their holiday concert called Shine in Santa Cruz.

So I invited my buddy, Steven from Higher City Films and off we went.  On a brisk cold night, we were excited of the unknown.  You see, in the heart of the wedding season, professional wedding photographers need to prepare and be ready for anything and everything.  There's anxiety that comes along with that kind of unique opportunity.  In many fashions that adaptation then results in an artistic approach.  That's usually the approach R&R Photography comes with in covering wedding and engagement photography.  This night was different and it was fun.

As we arrived at the church, Steven and I were warmly greeted by everyone.  I got to see my friend Allan and we checked out the venue.  The church is beautifully decorated with holiday cheer and certainly can fit a good amount of people.  I checked with a church official and asked if they were expecting a full house and he responded, “Oh yeah”, with a nice smirk implying a majestic series of song will be upon us.  The church’s parish administrator, Brooke helped me the week prior in just getting some of the logistics but even that was warm-hearted and informative. 

So what’s next?  I told Steven we should meet the guys.  With no hesitation we headed downstairs to the music room where all the preparation was taking place.  We go to meet some of the gentlemen singing that night and snapped off a couple of photos for the blog.  Camera shy? Not at all, we were welcome to take a few quick pics.  We then headed off to the dining area where more of the men were preparing.  With more holiday cheer cleverly disguised as red wine and homemade cookies, Steven and I got to observe their preparation to the concert.  We overheard technical cues and the array of song lists and continued focus, but more over the fun of singing and performing.  The conductor, Tim, was great and well in-tuned with the guys as he made sure he had everyone’s attention in that room.

The concert in itself was powerful, inspiring and a great reminder of what the holiday season is all about.  Love.  In this happening, I was pleasantly surprised on how I was warmly greeted as a true visitor but left with a good feeling of love.  I didn’t know anyone other than Allan plus I brought a friend of mine to keep me company and at the end I could have just gone to the church and watch an amazing concert all by myself and have come away with the same results.  So in the spirit of the season have a happy holiday and spread good cheer. 

Merry Christmas from Randy with R&R Photography 


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