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Gay choruses join Cyndi Lauper at Philadelphia celebration

Gay choruses join Cyndi Lauper at Philadelphia celebration

GALA Choruses, the national association of GLBT and allied choral groups, is organizing a group of 50 singers from GLBT choruses across North America to perform as a National GALA Chorus at the May 1 rally in Philadelphia that organizers are calling the National Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the GLBT Civil Rights Movement. The event commemorates a July 4, 1965, demonstration at Independence Hall, the first such gay rights demonstration in Philadelphia. "We are thrilled to have these talented voices of the GLBT movement joining in the national celebration," said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of Equality Forum, the nonprofit group that's organizing the May 1 gathering as part of a series of seminars, panel discussions, parties, arts happenings, and other events that begin a week earlier. The GALA group will perform in front of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, Lazin said. "The National GALA Chorus's members are already practicing the music in their communities across North America. They will rehearse together in Philadelphia prior to the national celebration," said Dudley Hogue, interim executive director of National GALA Choruses. "We are honored to be a part of this historic event." The National GALA Chorus will perform during the Gay Pioneers and 40 Heroes Tribute, scheduled to begin at 1 P.M. at Independence Hall, as well as at the National Celebration Concert (beginning at 5 P.M.), which features Cyndi Lauper. The Gay Pioneers and 40 Heroes Tribute will honor the gay pioneers who participated in the 1965 demonstration, as well as 40 other gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender activists from the past 40 years. The weeklong festival, known as Equality Forum 2005, will feature more than 100 programs, including 14 parties and 40 special events. More than 105 state, regional, national, and international nonprofits and 28 national and international GLBT executive directors will be participating, organizers said. Among the events scheduled are the SundayOUT street festival on May 1, screenings of the documentary Gay Pioneers (produced in part by Equality Form), conversations with gay leaders at the National Constitution Center, an interfaith service with Episcopal bishop V. Gene Robinson at historic Christ Church (also on May 1), a Gay Icons Pavilion at the Independence Visitors Center, celebrities, and parties. Most events are free and open to the public. For more information visit equalityforum.com.

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