Report from GALA Festival 2016
by Edward Anderson
At times the music was so beautiful, so exquisite, that I could sense the people around me holding their breath . . . just like I was. That is the magic of a GALA Festival.
For some of us it was our third GALA Festival, the second Festival for others. But many members of Perfect Harmony Men's Chorus experienced the Festival for the first time.
In years past, each chorus was introduced by an emcee. This year, however, each chorus was to create a video for their introduction. Many used videos showing scenes of their chorus on stage singing at various events. PHMC's Jim Doran had a different idea. He contacted Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin to see if she would be willing to record our video introduction. With the help of Perfect Harmony's secretary, Marge Sutinen, and Tim Ruf from City of Festivals Men's Chorus, Jim's vision was realized. We were proud to have Senator Baldwin introduce us.
The combined choruses from Wisconsin had the stage for an hour this year. City of Festivals first had the stage for twenty minutes. Then Perfect Harmony took the stage for another 20 minutes. City of Festivals returned to the stage to join with PHMC to make a large combined chorus and a large and glorious sound. We were well received.
I heard many comments that the Festival gets better each time. Choruses continue to bring exciting and innovative music, raising the bar higher and higher, challenging choruses to bring their best. The singers of Perfect Harmony plan to meet the challenge in 2020 when the Festival will be held in Minneapolis.
We are most grateful to our donors who contributed to the "Buy A Mile" fundraising campaign to ensure that everyone who wanted to go to the Festival could do so. We thank you from the bottom of our collective heart.