Boston Gay Men's Chorus and Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles To Face Off in Big Game Football Challenge

Monday January 28, 2019

With the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams squaring off in the Big Game on February 3, the Boston Gay Men's Chorus (BGMC) and the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles have agreed on a challenge. If the Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams, the LA Chorus will perform "Please Come to Boston" by Dave Loggins. If the Rams are victorious, BGMC will perform Randy Newman's "I Love LA" and make it available online. The winner will also make a donation to GALA Choruses, the North American association serving the LGBTQ choral moving, for its work supporting emerging LGBTQ choruses.

"This is a friendly wager, but we take this Boston-L.A. rivalry very seriously. In their many championship games against the Los Angeles Lakers throughout the 1980s, the Boston Celtics showed us that it's always better to 'Beat L.A.', " said BGMC Executive Director Craig Coogan.

"This will be a great series between two amazing teams," said Jonathan Weedman, executive director of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. "But we're shipping the musical arrangement for "I Love LA" to Boston today because the Rams are going to win!"

Both the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots are among the National Football League's most LGBTQ-friendly clubs. In 2014, the Rams drafted openly gay rookie prospect Michael Sam. In 2017, the club helped underwrite the costs of a rainbow light installation in Venice for Pride Month. And the organization's vice-president of community affairs and engagement, Molly Higgins, is openly gay.

Last year, the Patriots publicly backed Question 3 on the Massachusetts ballot, which protected the state's 2016 transgender civil rights law from being overturned and contributed financially to the campaign. The club also signed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of marriage equality in the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges, which struck down state anti-gay marriage laws. In 2017, the Patriots became the first NFL team to sponsor the FLAG Football Gay Bowl with a $25,000 donation. That same year, the team hosted 15 youth from BAGLY (Boston Area Gay and Lesbian Youth) at Gillette Stadium to meet former Patriots offensive tackle Ryan O'Callaghan, who came out publicly as gay in June 2017. In 2015, the family foundation of Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft, a longtime supporter of LGBTQ causes, contributed a $100,000 gift to BAGLY.

The Big Game Challenge follows last fall's 2018 World Series Challenge between the two choral organizations, which saw the Boston Red Sox defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Footage of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles singing "Sweet Caroline" is available here:

About the Boston Gay Men's Chorus

The Boston Gay Men's Chorus is one of New England's largest and most successful community-based choruses. Founded in 1982, the 200-voice ensemble is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming, and groundbreaking community outreach. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds III, the BGMC sings a wide spectrum of classical and popular music and creates social change by providing a positive, affirming image of the gay and lesbian community. The Chorus is heard live by more than 10,000 people each season and thousands more through recording, television and internet broadcasts. CBS-WBZ named the Boston Gay Men's Chorus one of the "top 5" choruses in the city of Boston. BGMC are Cultural Ambassadors — being the first LGBT chorus to perform in Poland in 2005, the Middle East in 2015 and in South Africa in June 2018.

About the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles

GMCLA has garnered international acclaim for artistic excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the Los Angeles community and beyond by promoting civil rights, tolerance and acceptance through music. Founded in 1979 during the emergence of the gay civil rights movement, critics have proclaimed the chorus "inspired," "expressive, innovative, and utterly moving," and hailed it for presenting "meaningful entertainment."

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