Dec 15, 2017 | Post by: Dan Gardiner Comments Off on Reflections on WCPA – Bill Dunkley

Reflections on WCPA – Bill Dunkley

Bill Dunkley

I was looking for a challenge. I’d sung throughout my life, but since moving to Chicago from Atlanta eight years earlier I was focused on work and hadn’t sung regularly. I missed it! It turns out a member of my church choir was singing with the “Q” and had great things to say about WCPA – and both the holiday concert and auditions were coming up! I have always wanted the experience of singing with a gay men’s chorus, so I decided to “audition” both of Chicago’s institutions, the Windy City Gay Chorus and the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, to see which one would make the most sense for me.

So I did some fieldwork. I went to the holiday concerts, attended a rehearsal and met the directors. It was so clear that WCGC/WCPA was the right choice for me. The fact that the organization was composed of two fraternal groups: the “Tenor-Bass” Gay Chorus and the “Soprano-Alto” Treble Choir — that performed both independently and together — meant that I could experience a primarily all-male environment while not having to give up the wide breadth of the “SATB” repertoire. It was the best of everything! Also, the music was challenging, the talent and direction was inspirational, and the sound was amazing.

After singing for a short while the professional dedication of the WCPA singers became clear. These talented folks loved singing with this organization and worked hard in so many ways to make it successful! They were prepared! It was also an amazingly supportive and welcoming environment. But one of the things I really appreciated was the focus on the music — This was first and foremost a society of musicians, not a social group that happened to sing as well. That shared purpose is inspirational.

I had forgotten how important singing was in my life! Now I look forward to rehearsals – they are the highlight of my week! WCPA keeps me sane and balanced, and I’ve made a lot of good friends. Singing/performing in the cabaret was a great experience, a daunting challenge and a real opportunity for someone who had never done musical theater – ever!

I love the collegial competition between “GC” and “The Q.” We occasionally perform for each other in combined rehearsals. One time close to a performance the Q sang one of their pieces and they were extraordinary. You could tell that GC members were totally impressed but were also thinking, “Damn, they really have their stuff together. We better get to work!”

Bill Dunkley
November 2017