RALEIGH, N.C. — The Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus identifies as the longest-running gay chorus in North Carolina. It was started by 16 men in 1995 to provide a safe space and make music, but this season they’re making a monumental change. 

What You Need To Know

  • The oldest gay men’s chorus in North Carolina now welcoming members outside the LGBTQ community

  • The chorus plans to keep its name but open up membership

  • Anyone who sings tenor, baritone or bass is welcome to join

The chorus has a new focus on unity as it kicks off its 28th year. 

The chorus far outlasts Drew Register’s tenure as its president, and in the last 30 years he says the atmosphere has shifted, and it’s time to adapt.

Members of the Triangle Gay Men's Chorus sing through a new piece at their first musical rehearsal of the season. (Spectrum News 1/Rachel Boyd)

“I have a real sense of what this really could be with a thriving group of people, a thriving community who wants to be here and is challenged by the music,” Register said. “And the only goal that I have is to really see that come to fruition so we last another 25 years.”

The chorus was a huge political statement in 1995, but they say it doesn’t need to be today. Instead, they want to honor the history that comes with the name while moving it into an era where things are more inclusive.

“Community is not just one letter in LGBTQ,” Register said. “We have so much respect for everything that our founders did in 1995 to create an organization to enable it to last this long, but I think we are realizing post-COVID, especially that we're at a time where community means more than anything else.”

The chorus has goals of eventually reaching 40 members. (Spectrum News 1/Rachel Boyd)

This season they’re making a sweeping change and opening up their membership requirements, meaning members no longer have to be gay or a man to join. Anyone who sings tenor, baritone or bass is welcome to join.

“The name is not changing, so this will always be a queer-focused chorus for people who identify as LGBTQ,” Register said. “But that community can be open to anybody who's willing to support that community.”

They have two concerts planned this season and are still accepting new members.

“You can absolutely join us,” Register said. “Even if you do not have singing experience. You don't have to read music, you don't have to have sung before. This is a choir open to people and supportive of people who are learning how to do that.”