Out Loud Men's Chorus - CSPM

Out Loud Men’s Chorus

Guy McPherson loves music – and the beautifully organic power of joining voices in song. The music you are listening to is a recording of Out Loud Men’s Chorus singing Amazing Grace, from their 2012 concert, Determined to Be: Songs of Courage & Determination. McPherson founded Out Loud Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus in 2006 at First Congregational Church to impart a message of love, acceptance, tolerance, and pride. Out Loud, “inspires solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and is a force for celebrating our collective humanity through song.”

– From the CSPM Curator of History

In the 1990s Colorado Springs had a national reputation as being an anti-gay city, so much so that is was branded as “hate city”. In 1992 a Colorado Springs based group developed Amendment 2, which prevented homosexuals from having protected status. In 1996 the Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional. Colorado Springs also played host to Focus on the Family, a nationally known Christian organization that outspokenly opposed gay rights, which added to the perception of the city as being hostile to homosexuals.

However, during the aughts of the 2000’s the gay community became much more visible in Colorado Springs. The first Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival, dedicated to gay and lesbian movies, debuted in 2000. In 2005 the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado sponsored a Rainbow Prom. Then in 2006 Colorado Springs’ first gay men’s choir, Out Loud, made their debut.
Out Loud originated in October of 2005. Guy McPherson organized a group of nine gay, male parishioners from the First Congregational Church to put on a choral performance. The congregation was so supportive of the performance that McPherson decided to organize Out Loud Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus. They began rehearsing in January of 2006 and quickly grew from nine members to 21. In April of that year, they put on their first performance “A Night on Broadway” under the artistic direction of Charles Kurchinkski. The choir expected a few hundred people to show up but on April 22, the night of the performance. However, an estimated 900 people showed up to hear, and support, the first gay men’s choir in the city.

Out Loud Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus has played an integral role in making Colorado Springs’ gay community more visible and accepted. They have also made it an active mission to inform the community about gay history and culture. In 2015, donning rainbow-colored ties and joined by the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus and the Colorado Springs Chamber Orchestra, Out Loud performed “Give ‘Em Hope! The Story of Harvey Milk” which told the story of America’s first openly gay elected politician. Then in 2019 Out Loud performed “50 Shades of Gay: A Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall” which discussed the events of the Stonewall raid in New York City. Out Loud has become a cultural fixture of Colorado Springs, showing just how far the city’s notion of acceptance has come.

Generously Submitted by Patrick Lee, CSPM Museum Technician

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