by Laura Valentine and Amanda Elend
photos courtesy of Nashville in Harmony
Nashville in Harmony (NiH) is Music City’s first and only all-volunteer chorus embracing the talents and diversity of the LGBT community and their allies. NiH began in the fall of 2004 with 19 singers. Today, it is 120 voices strong. The chorus was born out of the Music Ministry program at First Unitarian Universalist Church with a clear mission: To use music to build community and create social change.
Artistic Director Don Schlosser encourages people to “think of NiH as a bridge between the LGBT and straight community.” The organization also provides “a safe place for individuals to get connected within the LGBT community and get support,” Schlosser said. “Being a part of the NiH family compounds an individual’s ability to contribute value to the larger community.”
Nashville in Harmony has been steadfast in eliminating barriers that perpetuate intolerance. NiH was the first openly gay organization to perform at the historic Ryman in 2006 and was invited to sing at Megan Barry’s mayoral inauguration in 2015. Most recently, the organization expanded to include a youth chorus, The Major Minors. The chorus is a safe and accessible space for teens that celebrates the diversity and strength of today’s young people.
The chorus is committed to artistic excellence at its outreach events and mainstage concerts, choosing repertoire that raises awareness around peace, social justice, and equality. NiH most recently joined LHiV, Inc. to kick off Nashville Black Pride 2017 with a theatrical production focused on reducing the number of new HIV transmissions.
“It was an honor to stand with the members of thi
s community, who have been disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS and disproportionately marginalized as LGBT people,” Nashville in Harmony Board President Bridget Meadows said.
Nashville in Harmony will make its second appearance in the Piedmont Natural Gas Christmas Parade on December 2nd. The chorus was the first LGBT+ organization to participate in this event. Schlosser says “it’s fun for us to do things like this together, not just to be singing but to be ambassadors in the community.”
And NiH’s holiday concert Ear Candy is coming up on December 8th and 9th. According to Mr. Schlosser, “the show will be rich in choral music, not the standard holiday songs you hear in the mall.” Both Schlosser and Meadows spoke about their excitement for the return engagement of dancers and percussionists from the Global Education Center, who will perform with the chorus throughout the night. The Major Minors will also perform. Tickets can be purchased at www.nashvilleinharmony.org.
How you can connect
If Nashville in Harmony’s mission speaks to you, there are many ways to connect. Vocal interviews are held twice a year for new chorus members or you can join the organization’s “Fifth Section,” which supports the chorus behind the scenes. Financial support is always appreciated, as well. You can find more information at www.nashvilleinharmony.org.
Keep track of the fun and festive events happening with NiH on Facebook, and on Twitter and Instagram @nashvlinharmony.