Perfect Harmony Gay Men's ChorusPerfect Harmony Gay Men's Chorus - Madison, WI

History of Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus

Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus (PHMC) has a rich background of providing Madison's gay and gay-friendly men with opportunities to perform a variety of choral music in a supportive and affirming environment. Through music, PHMC enriches the lives of the Madison Area gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities and the community at large. Through its history and performances, Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus provides a visible presence and positive voice in and for the Madison GLBT community.

At its inception in the summer of 1996, PHMC, then named Perfect Harmony (PH), was conceived as a mixed choir composed of gay and gay friendly men and women. With a grant made possible by the New Harvest Foundation, an organization which gifts GLBT groups in the Madison area, Perfect Harmony acquired music and a facility to commence rehearsals under the baton of founding Artistic Director, Clay Jones.

The initials "PH" were not only an acronym for Perfect Harmony, but "PH" was intended to represent a "pH" balance of men and women singing together. Because there were already existed opportunities for women to sing with Womyn Song and Dykapella, participation in Perfect Harmony by women was limited. With no gay male chorus presence in the Madison area, it became apparent there was a strong need for an environment for men to express themselves individually and collectively through choral music. In 1996, Madison's first gay and gay friendly men's chorus was formed. On December 1, 1996, Perfect Harmony comprised of eight men and soloist Mary Ray Worley was introduced at Madison's annual AIDS Memorial Service singing Over the Rainbow.

Like all fledgling organizations in the early years, the new Perfect Harmony struggled with issues of membership, attendance and financial stability. In April of 1997 at a regularly scheduled rehearsal, an open forum was held by the members present. The group elected business officers, and with a new commitment for singing together, the men of Perfect Harmony prepared for its debut performance scheduled for July of 1997.

On July 17, 1997 with ten singers, a piano accompanist, and founding artistic director Clay Jones conducting, Perfect Harmony's first concert, Songs of Patriotism/America Though, debuted as the opener to Pride Weekend at First Unitarian Society to a rousing audience. With their first success behind them, the chorus eagerly began preparing for its first holiday concert.



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