Columbia\'s LGBTQ choir advocates for social justice on anniversary

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COLUMBIA – A mid-Missouri LGBTQ choir celebrated its one-year anniversary over the weekend, and it also sang to spread a message.

Quorus, a Columbia-based choir group for LGBTQ community members, held the “Make America Gay Again” concert Sunday night at Unity of Columbia. 

The event celebrated American LGBTQ composers, both locally and nationally. Quorus members Audra Sergel and Anthony Hernandez wrote pieces for the concert. 

The group promotes a positive environment and provides a safe-space for people who are LGBTQ, an ally of the community or still searching for their identity.

“We definitely want anyone who is an ally or who is gay, lesbian, transgender, A through Z, to come and be a part of something that’s bigger than themselves,” Quorus singer Eric Myers said. “I find that music tends to heal our hearts, and what a better way to do that then through singing and song.”

The group was founded shortly after the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last June, killing 49 people and wounding 58 others.

“After the Pulse shooting, I was really motivated to have a group of queer people come together and make music,” said Sergel, the group’s artistic director.

Beyond forming a positive environment, Quorus creates an impact in the LGBTQ community through its music.

“We pick literature that is designed to move people towards social justice and towards advocacy and towards equality,” Sergel said. “Just by being out in the community and coming together and having these places where there’s a safe space tonight here in this town for people to come together, to listen to music and to know that they’re supported and that they can be who they want to be.”

Quorus operates under The Center Project, which is currently mid-Missouri’s only focused on the needs of the LGBTQ community for youth, families, and those living in rural communities.