Out Loud Chorus

About Us!

Hear Us Sing!

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 (https://galachoruses.org/) 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 Doctoral candidate in Music Education at Michigan State University after receiving his Masters Degree in Choral Conducting and Music Education there in May 2022. 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.

Casey Baker, Accompanist

Casey is a native of Flushing, Michigan, and currently serves as staff pianist at U of M Ann Arbor for the music theatre department. He works throughout Southeast Michigan as a music director for theatres like the Dio, Encore Theatre, Flint Repertory Theatre, and Penny Seats Theatre. He has spent nine summers as the assistant music director and music director for the music theatre program at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He served as Ass. MD for an episode of the new Disney TV Series Encore! Other works include coaching The Light in the Piazza at Grand Valley State University, Rodrigo with L’Aurora Nuovo, Falstaff and Offenbach's Orphée aux enfers at the University of Illinois Lyric Theater, and a world premiere of Ross Crean’s Great God Pan with Chicago Fringe Opera. Casey studied with Robert Byrens and Helen Marlais at Grand Valley State University, Julie Gunn and Cynthia Hayman-Coleman at The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and Scott Gilmore at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. While at CCPA he was an apprentice coach and pianist with Chicago Opera Theatre. Previous works include Cabildo, L'enfant et les sortilèges, CCPA; The Fairy Queen, Gianni Schicchi, Lucio Silla, Le Vin Herbé, The Perfect American, Chicago Opera Theatre.

Tamara Perkuhn

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.

Edie Herrold

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).


 

 

Our Commitment to Diversity

In keeping with our mission, Out Loud Chorus seeks to perform a wide variety of choral music. We recognize that music from other eras may not reflect society's current acceptance of diversity. Because of this, some audience members may occasionally disagree with ideas described by lyrics we perform. The Out Loud Chorus as a whole neither advocates nor denigrates any particular belief or tradition. Rather, by the diversity of our music, we seek to celebrate and be sensitive to the broad diversity of our culture and our community. We invite our audiences to help us create a community where all participants feel welcome.

Our Collaborators

Out Loud Chorus has performed joint concerts with both locally and internationally known artists:

    Drum Womyn, Ann Arbor
    Repercussions, Ann Arbor
    Gay Men’s Chorus of Greater Lansing
    Sistrum Lansing Women’s Chorus
    ONE Voice Chorus of Metropolitan Detroit
    Singer-Songwriter Margie Adam, Lompoc CA
    Singer-Songwriter Ann Doyle, Ann Arbor MI
    Singer-Songwriter Craig Kukuk, Ann Arbor MI
    Cabaret Singer Lisa Gray, Detroit MI
    Skyline Blues
    Unveiled Belly Dance Troupe

Supporting Our Community

Out Loud Chorus works to support and educate our community each year by performing for a few selected organizations and events. In the past, we have sung for, or otherwise participated in:

    Affirmations Community Center, Ferndale
    Ann Arbor Civic Chorus
    Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
    Community Pride Celebrations: Motor City Pride, Washtenaw Pride Picnic, Ypsilanti Pride
    Faith Community Pride Services: Church of the Good Shepherd (Ann Arbor), First Congregational United Church of Christ (Ypsilanti)
    Temple Beth Emeth (Ann Abor), Trinity Lutheran Church (Ann Arbor)
    Growing Hope
    Jim Toy Community Center
    Matthew Shepard Memorial Service
    NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt Display
    National Anthem: Detroit Pistons, University of Michigan Women's Basketball, Eastern Michigan University Women’s Basketball, Michigan
    International Gay Rodeo Association (MIGRA),
    Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
    Special Olympics of Michigan
    State Street Merchants Association, Ann Arbor
    Together We Can Detroit - A2 Got Talent Fundraiser (LBGTQ+ people recovering from substance abuse)
    Univ of Michigan Gay and Lesbian Alumni Society (UMGALAS)
    Univ of Michigan Museum of Art Queer NIght
    Univ of Michigan School of Social Work - Arts, Activism, and Organizing Summit
    Univ of Michigan Spectrum Center’s Transgender Day of Remembrance
    VIIe Festival International GALA Choruses, July 2004, Montreal, QC

Testimonials about Out Loud Chorus

"The Chorus’s work is indeed locally-developed and of high quality. It has enhanced our community’s cultural life since the Chorus came into being."
Jim Toy, Board Member,
Jim Toy Community Center & Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project

"Their concerts are always moving and the chorus continues to provide a safe and fun space for LGBT people to gather, find support, hear uplifting music, and enjoy the performance of the choir and the other artists that they pull together."
Kate Runyon, Former Executive Director
Triangle Foundation, Detroit MI

"Out Loud Chorus... provides an opportunity for members of the broader community to come together and enjoy the art and music of gay and lesbian composers, pop stars, lyricists, poets' work put to music, songs sung by gay and lesbian icons, etc."
Denise Brogan-Kator, Managing Attorney
Rainbow Law Center

"Thank you again for your help throughout this process and for the wonderful performance the Chorus gave last night! I know a lot of people really appreciate the value of the music you all brought, and I also appreciated the ways in which the folks in the Chrous engaged and spoke and held space with us. We would love to have you all involved in future events for sure, and again appreciate your partnership!"
Raivynn Smith, Pronouns: they | them | theirs, Program Specialist for Events & Partnerships
University of Michigan Spectrum Center,