25 Years of The Quire!

Since 1995, The Quire has been serving the Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Eastern Iowa as the area’s only LGBTQ+ choral group. Starting in June 1995, The Quire first performed publicly at a talent show hosted during Iowa City Pride. This year, as we honor our 25th anniversary, the 50th anniversary of Iowa City Pride — and sadly miss out on celebrating both due to the novel coronavirus pandemic — we remain resilient as one of the only LGBTQ+ organization in the area that has survived through all of these year, and we look forward to continuing on for more than the next 25 year.

Thank you for stopping by our website to learn more, whether that’s finding out when the next rehearsal is, finding out where you can see a performance, or inquiring how you can support the work we do so we can continuing building community through song for many years to come.

A Statement from The Quire in Support of Black Anger & Protest

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Black Lives Matter. In songs we have sung, in actions we have taken, in the stories of our Members, in the solidarity we seek — Black.Lives.Matter. The Board of The Quire respects and supports the actions of Black folk who are pushing back against a system of oppression, white supremacy, and police brutality, and condemns the ongoing violence being committed against Black people by militarized police departments, vigilantes, and white supremacists in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The Board supports the acts of resistance taken to save lives, to stand for justice, and to defend the right to protest, and we call on anyone reading this to engage with these struggles however you can. With guidance from Black people, white and non-Black people of color can stand in solidarity in ways which advance the fight for justice, without causing further harm or erasure to Black voices and Black lives. 

As an organization that also has historically been primarily populated with non-Black members, the Board of The Quire also acknowledges the ways in which The Quire has, intentionally or unintentionally, contributed to the oppressive environment and white-washed artistic expressions that can often come from musical groups with primarily white membership. The Board of The Quire recognizes that creating an inclusive environment is not just about being friendly, but about critically asking how we — as leaders, members, staff, and community — can proactively resist the white privilege and covert white supremacy that exists within the well-intentioned work we do. The Board remains committed to listening to our Black members, the Black community in and around Iowa City, and to the voices of Black people across the country as we continue gathering in song to sing for justice, as we have done for 25 years

The Quire, as a space built by and for LGBTQ+ people, is directly linked to the riots that gave rise to many of the advances in LGBTQ+ rights we see today — the riots at the Stonewall Inn, the riots outside healthcare institutions during the AIDS crisis, and the civil disobedience that was present during the fight for marriage equality. In short: The Quire’s leadership understands that justice doesn’t always come quietly, and rarely does it come without resistance. In the wake of these disturbing deaths, as communities across the country have responded to the hurt and anger that is the result of generations of violence primarily against Black and Brown bodies, it becomes essential for us to stand for the promise of justice, equity, and equality that remains unfulfilled to so many in this country.

In solidarity,

The Quire Board of Directors

A square graphic with a rainbow background, a circle filled with the colors of the transgender flag, and a raised fist with varying shades of brown similar to skin tones.

The Quire presents “Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream” during Black History Month.

Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was key strategist of the American Civil Rights
Movement. Rustin organized the famous 1963 March on Washington. As a non-violent protest, the event had a major influence on the tactics and strategy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

To celebrate Rustin’s life and accomplishments, The Quire of Eastern Iowa along with guest performer Bruce Teague, will be performing “Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream” on February 21 at First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City at 8:00 PM and again on Februrary 29 at People’s Church in Cedar Rapids. Commissioned by The Quire and others, the piece was composed by Steven Malloy and tells the story of Rustin’s role in the Civil Rights Movement as well as his influence on Dr. King.

“As an LGBTQ+ focused organization, it was deeply moving to be a part of bringing this work to life,” said Nolan Petersen, current Chair for The Quire’s Board of Directors. “After performing the work in 2018, and with an opportunity to revisit the work at the 2020 GALA Festival in Minneapolis in July, the group saw an opportunity to share the story of this incredible figure with our community once again.”

Composer Steven Melloy is Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and Music Director at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Bellevue, KY. He has also served as the music director of the Martin Luther King Coalition Chorale and artistic director of the Diverse City Youth Chorus. Steve has been commissioned to compose or arrange pieces for dozens of church & community choruses in the US and UK and received a BA in Music from Miami University and a MM in conducting from the University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music.

Bruce Teague currently serves as Mayor of Iowa City. Originally from Chicago, Bruce moved to Iowa City at 17, eventually finding his way to Kirkwood’s nursing program. He later transferred to the University of Iowa, where he completed his Bachelor’s in Psychology. Passionate about his service to others, Bruce now owns two businesses that support individuals in need in the local community: Caring Hands & More and CHARM Homes, which both specialize in assistive care and services. Additionally, Bruce is in the process of building a multi-generational daycare facility in Iowa City catering to both the elderly and pre-school
aged children.

Iowa City Concert
Date: Friday, February 21
Doors for Concert: 7:30 PM
Concert: 8:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church of Iowa City
2701 Rochester Ave, Iowa City, IA 52245
This concert is open to the public, with a
free-will donation at the door.
Tickets and more information at TheQuire.org

Cedar Rapids Dinner & Concert Fundraiser
Date: Saturday, February 29
Doors for Dinner Service: 6:00 PM
Doors for Concert: 7:00 PM
Concert: 7:30 PM
Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist
4980 Gordon Ave NW, Cedar Rapids, IA
$35 – Dinner & Concert Entry
$20 – Concert Only

The Quire of Eastern Iowa is an LGBTQ+ choral group founded in 1995 under the direction of Rev. Rick Yramategui. The Quire is based in Iowa City and performs throughout the Midwest. Selections performed by The Quire focus on themes of justice, equality, and community pride. The Quire is one of the few LGBTQ+ community organizations in the area and is celebrating
25 years of choral excellence during 2020. Currently under the direction of Dr. Gayle Hartwig, the group maintains an open membership policy that welcomes all regardless of musical experience, income or gender preference. More information about The Quire can be found at http://www.thequire.org.

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