For the first time, The Quire held a virtual voting and membership meeting due to the circumstances of novel coronavirus/COVID-19. This screen recording not only will serve as the record of the meeting but will be available for the public to see how we work!
Learn more about us here, at TheQuire.org, where you can also donate to our organization — the longest running LGBTQ+ focused nonprofit in Iowa City and the only formally organized LGBTQ+ choral organization in Eastern Iowa.
The Quire is calling all singers, friends, family, neighbors, strangers…. whomever you may be! Do you have music from The Quire? Perhaps a folder that you borrowed and didn’t get returned? Maybe even some outfits that are taking up space in your closet??
It’s the Quire’s Musical (and other items) Amnesty! With no judgement, no shame, and no negative vibes at all, The Quire humbly requests you to take a quick look through your files and see what bits and pieces might need to be returned to us. Then hop onto this form and let us know, tell us how you’d like to return them (by mail, by pickup, or by delivery), and we’ll be in touch!
If you have items that perhaps were in your possession but seem to have found… other homes… we just ask you to consider making a donation to help cover the cost of replacing those items. Donations can be made right here, on thequire.org, and will go toward supporting the work we have been doing for 25 years!
We are asking everyone — current singers, past singers, guest singers, visitors, and more — to return any and all property of The Quire so we have can do a full inventory! This may includes items such as:
Outfits (concert attire or otherwise)
Paperwork or documents
We are also looking for photos, articles, videos, and more to help populate our (future) archive of Quire history — a recording of the work that has been done for the last 25 years and how we will aim to sustain the work for another 25 years and beyond!
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.
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.
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.”
Background: 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 Location: 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 Location: Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist 4980 Gordon Ave NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405 $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.
You are invited to a very special event where storytelling takes center stage. In Part One, The Quire is honored to not only perform works from the renowned Maya Angelou, but to also share the stage and sing with local esteemed musicians.
In the second half, we are pleased to share the work of Steve Milloy, and the story of Bayard Rustin. Julia’s grandson, born in March of 1912, grew into a visionary, a proponent of nonviolent protest, a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1947, and the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.
Join us as we bring these amazing narratives out of the shadows…and into the light.
The Quire is pleased to announce that we have been invited to perform with Phoenix, Colorado’s Trans Community Choir, as part of their first choir tour! We are excited to join together in sharing our love of music and our commitment to choral excellence.
Phoenix is an intergenerational collaborative social justice chorus who performs frequently at community events, often material composed by choir members. Not exactly a traditional chorus, Phoenix is more of a safe space to take risks of self-exploration—whether around gender and identity, creativity and voice, or leadership and community building. Although many of its members are trans-identified, the choir is home for anyone who does not fit neatly into the gender binary, as well as all those touched by trans issues, including partners, parents, friends, and allies.
If you can join us (we hope you can!), there will be a light reception afterwards where you can grab a bite and chat with any of the choir members.
Whether tonight is your first concert, or you’ve been a fan and supporter for years – there will be something new besides our music!
Leslie Hyland joins us as our esteemed accompanist, and she’s pretty great. If you would like to know more about her, keep reading. And be sure to say hello to her if you get the chance!
Are you originally from Iowa? If so, where? If not, where did you grow up?
I am originally from Wisconsin. My family then lived in Arkansas and we moved to Iowa at the end of my sixth grade year. We lived in Swisher and I graduated from Prairie High School. I have been living in Iowa City for the last 4 years.
How long have you been involved in music? Have you done anything else musically besides your current focus?
I’ve been playing the piano for almost 25 years. I also play the oboe and English Horn and am trying to teach myself the saxophone. Additionally, I have been teaching drumline for the past few years, focusing on working with the front pit ensemble. So lots of music!
What’s your favorite kind of music (or your favorite artist)?
It would be really hard for me to pick one favorite kind of music or artist. One genre I really enjoy is Bluegrass/Folk and one of my favorite artists in that style is Sarah Jarosz. I also listen to a lot of classical music (especially at work) and like anything that is fun to sing along to (musicals included)!
How did you get connected to The Quire? How long have you been in your current position with the group?
I actually remember very distinctly seeing a poster advertising the group on one of the city buses a few years back. I was very interested at the time in finding a way to be a part of the group. After meeting with the director, and hearing her talk about inclusivity and building bridges, I am excited to be a part of the group!
What’s your favorite thing about being connected to the group?
Other than the fact that I love being involved with music, I think it’s going to be a group full of people I want to know! I’m also glad to be connected to the LGBTQIA community in this area.
What’s the location of your favorite vacation spot to date? Name one place you would like to go.
I would say that my favorite place to visit (other than going to see family) is Washington, D.C. since I love museums and US History. There isn’t really anywhere I wouldn’t go, but Italy and New Orleans are definitely high up the list.
Do you know any other languages or would you like to learn one?
I took German throughout high school, and a little French, Italian, and Latin in college. But I haven’t really retained much to be honest! Mostly it’s just helped me with pronunciation.
If you could share one final thought (favorite quote, life lesson, etc.), what would it be?
Always treat others the way you would like to be treated, and always treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend.
From the invigorating “Lift Every Voice and Sing” through “Ashokan Farewell”, a piece that invokes a departure from loss and longing, this event will share a selection of moving and inspirational music.
In its mission to honor the voices of our LGBT community through excellence in choral music, The Quire invites you into an evening centered around Beauty, Grace, Hope and a celebration of spirit.
If you would like to RSVP on Facebook, click here:
The Quire is gearing up for our new season – and we’d love it if you would join us! If you’ve ever thought about singing with us, feel free to attend one of our first three rehearsals. Hope to see you soon!