Charlie Beale

This is the website of Dr Charles W. Beale, international choral director, jazz musician, clinician and speaker.

Vision-Mission workshop with Coro Gay Ciudad De México (and a little jazz too!)

In late May 2018, I was honored to be given the chance to do a workshop with a very special group, Coro Gay Ciudad de México. I rehearsed them in some of their material for the up-coming show, did some jazz improvising with them because it was something different, and then we did a Vision and Mission workshop, which turned out to be especially impactful.

At NYCGMC, our vision and mission has changed a bit over the years, but we know broadly who we are and why we do what we do. We experience the sense of community these groups can engender, we own that ours does that, and we tell each other that it does all the time. Likewise, we know that by our very existence, and through the songs we sing and the places we choose to express ourselves, we advocate for LGBTQ equality in the world.

It was in the final plenary, that I saw light bulbs begin to come on. There were tears and many hugs, as they articulated to each other publicly, often for the first time, how much the group meant to each of them since it started, how it had begun to change them as people, and how close they had become. I was able to experience once again the power of singing in the world, and help others to do the same. A good day ...

Una experiencia extraordinaria la vivida ésta noche... gracias Charles Beale por el regalo tan hermoso que has traído ésta noche al #CGCDMX
— Danny Vasquez, Mexico City Gay Men;s Chorus, May 22nd 2018 (Facebook)
Thank you, Charles. A night of much learning.
— José Víctor Cuevas 22nd May 2018, Facebook

It's all about impact ...

Stuart Perez is one of the bravest NYCGMC members I know.  I met him for the first time in 2009, when he joined NYCGMC. We were preparing our show about crystal meth addiction, and I knew this had been an issue for him. At the time 1/3 of new HIV infections in New York CIty were coming from gay men using meth.

He was generous enough to share his experience with me many times during the show's development, as I tried to get inside the world of meth. Key to our show, he was also brave enough to share with our singers during the show rehearsals, and with the audience during the show itself.

7 years on, I see this Facebook post today. I am so grateful for his kind words about me personally. As you can see from the photo below (used with permission), he is now thriving and our Chorus was clearly (and literally) a life-saver for him. You never know when singing can make a difference!

Stuar Perez Facebook Post.jpg

'Sing Up' article

'Sing Up', the UK's premier organization for singing in schools, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. I am delighted to have had my set of teacher's notes included in their 10th Anniversary magazine, on how to teach their arrangement of 'Celebration' by Kool and the Gang'. Here is page 1:

Sing Up 'Celebration' activities CB.jpg

Check out SingUp here for more information. nad thik about subscribing to their songbank for thousands of song arrangements tailor made to your curriculum needs.

A shout out to older LGBTQ people - the need for intergenerational thinking

I was touched to be mentioned in this Westerner article advocating for older LGBTI Australians by David Hardy, a colleague and friend from Brisbane, Australia, on the GALA Choruses External Relations Committee. Thanks for the shout-out, David!

As he points out, there is an important intergenerational issue that needs addressing in our community (or is that communities?). Older people often feel excluded, or at least unheard, and it is vital that the young know the (often hair-raising!) stories of the old, and the old benefit from the passion and new ideas of the young.

In NYCGMC, we put energy into ensuring the two mix as much as we can. One of our members recently commented to me how unusual it was that, if both are, say, Tenor 2, a 20-something guy can sit next to a 60-something guy in rehearsal, sing together and chat for three hours weekly, and develop a genuine friendship over time without it seeming odd to either of them.

Another way in which our choruses are creating community and connecting people ...

NYCGMC's JetBlue video 2016

It feels great to have achieved our first Corporate Sponsorship. Here are its first fruits. This video appeared on every JetBlue flight in July 2016, and will have been seen by nearly 2 million people. Relieved we sounded good, then ... Less relieved about the final shot in the video, but ah well :)