Spring Fever and Music and Art

Last night was another outing – this time to a fundraiser for a friend’s choral organization, One Voice, and their annual fundraiser Spring Fever. (The fact that sleet was coming down as we left, and we’ve all woken to a white, damp, thin blanket of snow, has not diminished the spirit of the evening.)

One Voice is a mixed GLBT chorus, and seems to have a very popular following. Sadly, although our good friend works there, we have never seen a performance. We have, however, now become donors. Tickets to the event were not cheap and while there we spent more money on the “heads & tails game” (where you buy strings of beads and basically bet them in a coin toss & last man standing wins $$. We lost.) Plus, we bid on, and won, a sweet little print called Autumn Shrub, by Chris Nelson.

aut_shrub

We’ve been talking for way too long about increasing our real art collection, and putting something up on some of these rather bare walls we have. This piece caught the corner of my eye well after we had perused everything, and had pretty much resigned to not bidding. I guess I hadn’t noticed it at first. I like the simplicity and colors. We think it’ll look good with the colors in our house.

Bonus: We didn’t know there was a $30 gift certificate for framing on the back! (That alone should’ve boosted the price – framing isn’t cheap, but $30 off is going to be good.)

The evening itself was a lot of fun, aided by the healthy pour from the bartender (at least the guy on the right – after the first drink, we decided to keep going back to him!) In addition to the silent auction there was some live auction, including a charcoal piece drawn on the spot while the band and a singer did a medley of Ray Charles songs. This sweet looking older lady, moved and twirled and drew this portrait of Charles – she didn’t know what it would be, she just drew whatever came to her as she was inspired by the music. It was immediately auctioned off for $500. That was fun. Had it been a bit more practical in size or style, I imagine it could’ve gone for more. But it’s a great gimmick the artists has there. They also talked about their Out in Education program, bringing this GLBT chorus to elementary schools in rural Minnesota, which can be occasionally controversial. But I think it’s important and it’s commendable.

There were about two hours of performances by a wide range of Minneapolis’ finest performers and those who wish to be the finest. The evening was lucky to have “the girls” – a group of prominent, talented women singers (often Jazz) that includes Debby Duncan and Lori Dokken. I could listen to Debby…or is it Debbie? huh….I could listen to Ms. Duncan all night. I’ve loved her for years! There were a few….not so bright moments….like, I thought the purposefully bad (or so it seemed) Elvis impersonator should’ve been “more purposeful” and frankly more talented, but he was a mediocre performer trying to be an impressive singer doing a schtick act. He should keep to his day-job as an airline steward.

Then there was Blue Bayou. Importantly, I may have been on bourbon/soda # 3 at this point (which wasn’t aided by any significant amount of bad apps.) The song was sung by a lovely lady, with a lovely voice, and her ventriloquist dummy on her left hand. WTF?! After having done a bit of a routine with the dummy, they decided to sing a song, and the host comes out playing the accordion and she does a good job, but I was just stuck with this dummy there….It was the most bizarre thing I may have ever seen. And I’ve seen some weird shit. Thank goodness the second half of the song was taken over by the dummy himself…er, whatever. It was at least palatable. And funny. Lyrics changed….it was his toupee he’d lost in the wind which “blew by you”.

All in all a fun evening. I don’t think it’s made me any more of a fan of choral music, particularly show-tuney, catchy, pop-ish kinds of things, but we had a good time, and my heart is always warmed by a gathering of people supporting something they are so passionate about, especially if it involves the arts combined with community combined with acceptance combined with teaching the next generation combined with….

I’m easily won.

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