Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus finds something to sing about after original event’s cancellation

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Diocese was set to host a big choir festival at St. Joseph Cathedral downtown Sunday.

That was until they found out the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus was a part of it, canceling the event. After finding a new venue, they showcased their talents at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

The Summer Choir Festival at St. Joseph Cathedral was canceled after the Diocese cited that the group’s values were “inconsistent with Catholic teaching.”

In a statement to News 4, a Diocese spokesperson said the choir festival did not receive details on all of the choirs expected to perform.

“It wasn’t a Catholic event. This wasn’t a Lutheran event. It was just a community event,” said Joe Spino, the Chairman of Greater Buffalo Friends of Music.

“People can have differences of opinions and people can host who they want in their own locations. However, the number of people who are practicing Catholics who have come up to me to say ‘I’m Catholic, but that’s not what I believe. I’m going to be there at the concert to support you.’ I think it’s just amazing,” added Dr. Robert Strauss, Artistic Director of the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus.

Two hours after hearing about the cancellation, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Buffalo offered its space for Sunday’s concert.

“We just love to see that in 2024, we can be a community from all walks of life and just enjoy music,” said Spino.

In total, four other choirs from Holy Trinity, St. Louis, Incipio Singers and Vocalis Chamber took the stage to a standing-room-only church, which Strauss says is a testament to Buffalo’s rich choral traditions.

“We never get to go to each other’s things because we’re always performing at the same time. So, to have this opportunity to come together and to get to hear each other, that was exciting,” concluded Strauss. The next time the chorus is expected to sing will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 13, showcasing Buffalo talent to other regions across the country.

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Dillon Morello is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has been part of the News 4 team since September of 2023. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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