||Choir works to increase membership
The New Wave Singers of Baltimore (NWSB), overall membership has grown significantly since its formation in 1985. Members hope this trend will continue as it works together through music to bridge the gay and heterosexual communities.
Cheryl Whittington, former president and founder of the NWSB, credits the growth to the expansion of the choir’s mission to encompass others. She said the NWSB expanded the mission to include heterosexual, bisexual and all supportive people.
“We are singing for social justice to help enlighten and protect anybody who might be oppressed: children, women, gay or straight,” Whittington said.
The choir’s membership has expanded due in part to its membership in various community organizations. The NWSB is a member of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Association, the Baltimore Area Conventions and Visitors Association and the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses. To accomplish more growth, members are relying on fundraising events, such as the annual Cabaret and more community involvement.
Mary Evans, artistic director of the choir, hopes that one day the NWSB will be the uniting focal point for the community of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and heterosexual social justice oriented people who live in and work in Baltimore, Md.
To do so Evans said the NWSB is going to create more alliances with other organizations throughout Baltimore.
“An important step in our growth process will be to create relationships with other groups fighting for social justice and to form alliances with organizations in the African-American and Hispanic communities, local colleges and universities, as well as churches and temples,” Evans said.
Karen Maricia, choir member, said the choir does get support from the homosexual community but she would like to see more heterosexual individuals become members. She suggested this would increase membership tremendously.
The choir is also planning to increase revenue by venturing into other opportunities. Evans said as the NWSB becomes more fiscally sound the organization could create a CD. In doing so, she said the choir would become more recognized in Baltimore.
Susan Clouse said if anyone is searching for a choir to sing in and at the same time become more involved with the gay and lesbian communities, one should look towards the NWSB.
“I have met a lot of great people because of joining the choir and the outreach has been amazing,” she said.
Clouse said she sees the choir and the organization expanding because once someone joins, the bonds they make are tremendous and they never want leave.