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Published on June 11th, 2015 | by LGBA


Atlanta Freedom Bands Present “Glitter & Be Gay!” Concert

Gay and Lesbian composers fill the program during “Glitter & Be Gay!”, Atlanta Freedom Bands’ concert celebration of Stonewall Week and LGBT Pride Month. AFB will present the concert in Atlanta on Saturday, June 20, the first of a number of musical offerings by our city’s LGBT- identified performing ensembles. AFB will then take the concert to Augusta Pride on June 28 for its first-ever concert performance outside the Atlanta metro area. The concert takes place in advance of a historic Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage that may occur the same week.

 AFB Music Director Dr. Kathleen Nicole Fallin conducting the Concert Band during the “Our American Journey” concert on June 20, 2013 at Saint Mark United Methodist Church. (photo credit: Dan Lax)The concert program includes orchestral masterworks by composers with a hidden past, including Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Leonard Bernstein, and Aaron Copland. They are joined with contemporary composers who live their lives openly, such as David del Tredici, Stephen Reineke, Clare Grundman, and Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon.

“First off, the program is filled with great music!” said AFB Development Director Cliff Norris. “It includes orchestral masterworks like Tchaikovsky’s ‘Marche Slave’ and selections from Bernstein’s operetta ‘Candide’. It also features works by living composers showcasing a variety of today’s compositions. But secondly, the timing of this concert offers us, as LGBT musicians, the opportunity to highlight the contributions that LGBT composers have made to our culture at a crucial moment in our community’s history. As we anticipate taking another step toward equality, we can learn about composers who created their greatest works while living hidden lives and today’s composers who are composing openly.” The concert takes its theme from the title of the fabulously glittery aria in “Candide”.

AFB will perform the concert a second time as a part of the Augusta Pride festival, marking the first time AFB’s Concert Band has performed outside the Atlanta metro area. Mr. Norris added, “Being a part of the Augusta Pride Festival gives us a chance to connect with people in another part of our state. We hope our music and visibility will be a source of pride for our LGBT family in Augusta and a positive connection to the larger community. Perhaps this great music by LGBT composers will build a bridge of acceptance to people who may only think of our community in limited ways.”

The Atlanta concert takes place Saturday, June 20, 8 PM, at the Performing Arts Auditorium at North Atlanta High School, 4111 Northside Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30327. The Augusta concert takes place Sunday, June 28, 3 PM, at the Grover C. Maxwell Theater, 2500 Walton Way, on the campus of Georgia Regents University. Tickets for each concert are $15 for general admission, $10 for students, and $5 for seniors and are available from AFB will also have interesting features on the composers and their works on its Facebook page in the days leading to the concert:

Atlanta Freedom Bands to Appear on WABE in First-Ever Radio Broadcast

AFB Associate Director Kurt Wackerly conducting the Concert Band during the “Our American Journey” concert on June 20, 2013 at Saint Mark United Methodist Church. (photo credit: Dan Lax)AFB’s Concert Band will make its debut appearance on WABE’s “Atlanta Music Scene”, a program that highlights performances by the top ensembles and artists across our city. AFB’s program will feature highlights from several of concerts in recent years, including “Vive la France” from July 2012, “Emerald Isles” from March 2013, and “Set Sail!” from June of 2014.

“Appearing on ‘Atlanta Music Scene’ is the culmination of years of effort by our musicians and organization,” explained AFB Development Director Cliff Norris. “We have steadily worked to increase the size of our Concert Band, the level of music it performs, and the quality of programs it presents. This broadcast of our concert performances marks a significant milestone in the development of our organization.”

WABE will broadcast the program over the air on 90.1 FM and online at or through the WABE app on your phone or tablet. The broadcast dates, times and streams are as follows:
Monday, June 15, 9 PM on WABE 90.1 FM or online on WABE’s Live Stream
Saturday, June 20, 10 AM on WABE 90.1 HD2 or online on the WABE Classics Stream

About Atlanta Freedom Bands
Atlanta Freedom Bands (AFB) represents Atlanta’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community through music. Atlanta Freedom Bands started in 1993 with a marching band, which has appeared in every Atlanta Pride parade since as well as numerous neighborhood festivals, community events, and pride events in other cities. The band has appeared at Atlanta area events such as the Inman Park Festival and the Dogwood Festival and the Salute to America Parade. AFB was also the first LGBT-identified group to perform in Atlanta’s “Salute to America” Independence Day Parade, as well as the first to perform during an Olympic event.

AFB has expanded its mission over the years to include several different groups. The MetroGnomes jazz ensemble appears at fundraising events and other gatherings. The Atlanta Freedom Concert Band, now in its ninth year, has professional direction from Dr. Kathleen Nicole Fallin, Ph.D. Music Education from the University of Georgia. AFB’s newest group, the Color Guard, adds a dash of panache to the band’s outdoor performances, parades and even concerts.

AFB members have traveled the country and the world to perform in events with other gay and lesbian musicians through the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA). AFB has sent musicians to Gay Games events in Amsterdam, Sydney, Chicago and Cologne; the inauguration of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; the 2000 March for Equality on Washington; the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade; the Southern Decadence Parade and yearly LGBA conferences and gatherings. AFB hosted the 2013 LGBA annual conference, featuring the commissioning of a new work, a 200- piece massed-band concert with members of 32 different bands on stage, and the largest-ever marching unit to appear in the Atlanta Pride parade. AFB is a 501 c(3) non-profit arts organization.

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