Following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando this summer, communities across the nation responded using a variety of methods to show support, and an upcoming Bloomington musical event aims to make sure the memory of the dead continues to live on at a local level.
Two graduate students in the Jacobs School of Music, Synthia Steiman and Chris Seefeldt, decided to take action on behalf of the LGBT community and allies in Bloomington by organizing a recital in honor of the victims of the summer tragedy. The recital, called “Sing with Pride,” will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday in Auer Hall.
“We’re trying to highlight the LGBT in the Bloomington community and in Jacobs,” Steiman said. “There will be singers from Jacobs singing pieces from gay composers, gender-swapping, a duet usually done by a male and a female done by two females, and we’re also doing two works by LGBT faculty members.”
The focus of the event will also be on giving back to a local group, Prism Youth Community, Steiman said. The organization operates as an inclusive space to teens that identify across the larger spectrum of sexual orientation.
“We felt that, in order to make some impact, it was better to keep it local instead of giving to organizations in Orlando,” Steiman said.
Steiman said she and Seefeldt initially approached friends in the school to see if they would be interested in performing in the recital, then reached out to some faculty members to see if they would contribute pieces.
The works of Dominick DiOrio, associate professor of choral conducting, and Ly Wilder, lecturer in choral conducting, will be included among the pieces performed during the recital, Steiman said.
“Since we are musicians, it felt like this was the right path to take,” Steiman said. “Music is such an expressive nature, we thought we could really connect through the pieces we chose and give back in a way that’s healing and different than the everyday benefit.”
Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy the show as well as the following reception, which will include baked goods from Rainbow Bakery, a local vegan shop that is as an inclusive space for the Bloomington community.
“It’s going to be a really cool afternoon. We have 20 performers ready to share their souls and connect and share love,” Steiman said.
Community is fundamental in times of tragedy such as this, Steiman said.
“It’s human necessity to connect in adversity,” Steiman said. “We can only find comfort in one another, through sharing stories. In order to move forward, it is so necessary to find community and especially for people who do feel like outsiders to find their niche.”
This event will be the first of its kind for Jacobs, Steiman said.
“It’s going to be a great way for LGBTQ community and allies alike to come together and find a way to move forward,” Steiman said. “It’s also a nice way to remember the people who were lost.”