Who We Are
Out Loud Chorus is a mixed LGBTQ+ choir from Washtenaw County in Michigan. This means that we are a chorus of people of all genders --- many of us identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender, although we are open to everyone who loves to sing and has an open mind. We are committed to putting on musically excellent shows that are entertaining and fun for our audiences.
Because we are a non-auditioned chorus (anyone can join), our rehearsals teach both the songs we will perform and vocal techniques to sing them well. Our only requirement to sing with the choir is that you are able to match pitch. We make mp3's of each part, so even people who don't read music can learn every note! There are also non-singing slots for people who want to support the chorus - there's fundraising, advertising, staging and lots more!
We love to make music and we love to have fun!
Out Loud Chorus was founded in October, 1995 by a group of dreamers as a mixed chorus for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and surrounding areas. Open to all, Out Loud Chorus is Washtenaw County's only arts organization for the entire LGBTQ+ community.
Each season, we produce shows for the general public. These productions are typically held on two successive weekend nights in both mid-January and mid-May. We are associated with GALA Choruses (more here) and attend their festivals as often as we can. For more information, email us at OutLoudChorus@gmail.com
Saleel Menon, Artistic Director
Saleel is a Graduate Student at Michigan State University pursuing degrees in both Choral Conducting and Music Education. He has a Bachelor of Music with Teacher Certification from the University of Houston. Before moving to Michigan, Saleel was a choir director at Ridge Point High School in Houston, developing that program over five years. Choirs under Saleel’s direction earned consistent Superior ratings at the Texas University Interscholastic League Concert & Sightreading Contest. They performed both state and nationwide and opened for the Grammy-winning Pentatonix! As a performer, Saleel has sung with the Moores School Concert Chorale, Bach Society Houston, Cantare Houston, Coro Vocal Artists, and the Houston Symphony Chamber Singers both nationally and in Europe. Specializing in non-traditional choral pedagogy, Saleel co-authored an article published in the Music Education Journal on popular music in 2019 and presents at conferences on the topic. In 2020 Saleel received the Texas Choral Director’s Association Young Director of Distinction Award. He is active as a clinician, composer, and accompanist, and sings professionally.
Mahour Arbabian, Accompanist
Mahour is a native of Iran and was formerly based in Tehran as a solo and collaborative pianist. After obtaining her Bachelor's Degree at the University of Tehran, she continued working there as a professional studio pianist and was on the music theory faculty at the Tehran Conservatory of Music. An award-winning soloist and accompanist, she has participated in the International Fadjr Festival, and the Classic to Contemporary Festival in Tehran. Mahour is pursuing a Master's Degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Michigan under renowned pianist and vocal coach, Martin Katz, where she is also completing a Specialist Degree in vocal coaching. She enjoys working as a coach and répétiteur, and has played productions of Die Fledermaus, Don Pasquale, La Serva Padrona, and Die Zauberflöte. In summer 2019, Ms. Arbabian participated in the Aspen Music Festival and School’s Vocal Piano program as a Polonsky Foundation Fellow and in summer 2021 she returned as an opera coach for the Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS. She currently serves as the Martin Katz Musician in Residence at Northside Community Church in Ann Arbor.
Tamara’s drumming career has spanned more than 30 years. She has played in bands of many genres including; big band swing, country, R&B, jazz, blues and rock. At 18 she was hired by the Continental Theatre Company and toured the U.S. for 6 months. Her early adult years were spent in the Kansas City area where she played with many local folk/rock musicians which led to her first studio experience in 1983. In 1989 Tamara left her home state of Kansas to train as an audio engineer at The Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts (aka Full Sail University) in Orlando, Florida. This career change brought her to Michigan where she worked in the recording industry for 10 years at Ron Rose Productions in Southfield, Michigan. She was also part of an all female R&B band, “Bonnie and the Working Girls” which played regularly in the Detroit metro area. More recently she played in a blues and rock band “Tracy Mack and the Magic Land Band” In November Tamara started a new project, an 8 piece, small band playing jazz, latin and pop tunes. She also plays for Metro Detroit’s “Sing Out Detroit” Choir.
Bassist and composer Edie Herrold has been performing professionally since the mid-1970's. She first played at the National Women's Music Festival in 1978 and the Michigan Women's Music Festival in 1980 with the Milwaukee-based jazz-rock band Breakwater and returned to both festivals several times with The Washington Sisters, with whom she also performed around the US and in Canada, and to the National twice to perform works by Kay Gardner. Herrold holds a Master in Music in Media Writing and Production from the University of Miami (FL), and owns her own music composition and production company, Edie Herrold Soundtracks (ehsoundtracks.com). As co-leader of The Herrold/Gordon Small Band, she recorded and produced a CD of original music, "Think BIG," and performed at the Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival, the Firefly Club, the Detroit Institute of Art, Del Rio, and Ann Arbor's Top of the Park festival. Aside from freelance gigs on acoustic and electric basses (including a recent stint with the Ann Arbor Civic Theater's production of "Cabaret"), Herrold works part-time at the University of Michigan Hospital as a Certified Music Practitioner (CMP™-a provider of therapeutic music at bedside).