Una Voce celebrate their 15th season with a Quinceañera

By : Jeremy Williams
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TAMPA BAY – It has been a busy year for Una Voce as they celebrated and performed in their 15th season as a gay men’s chorus in Tampa Bay.

They have entertained in concerts from The Palladium to USF’s School of Music to The Space at 2106; they have kicked off Pride Night for both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Rowdies with patriotic renditions of the National Anthem; and they took the stage at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts with the national It Gets Better tour performing an inspiring tribute to the LGBTQ youth of Tampa Bay.

“Being able to perform with It Gets Better was just an honor,” says Will Hession, Una Voce’s production chair. “Being able to listen to all these stories of LGBTQ kids’ struggles and how they are overcoming them, and then being able to join the production on stage—it was just so powerful.”

Una Voce have been a part of many powerful moments in the community this past year, both musically and non-musically. They were there to support and celebrate the community with appearances at Tampa Pride, St. Pete Pride and attending events at the one year mark of the Pulse tragedy that happened up I-4 in their sister city of Orlando.

“Every member loves music and loves to sing and cares about the people watching our shows, and that’s why we do this,” Hession says.”It is just an honor to get to perform for our community.”

Una Voce got their start in the summer of 2002 when a group of men came together to celebrate two like-minded passions: the love of singing and the embracing of diversity.

“We have three hour rehearsals every Monday night and there is such a tremendous joy in getting together with these men and singing,” says Harold Harkins, Una Voce’s president and treasurer. “I will come into a rehearsal after working all day and be exhausted, and by the end of those three hours I am jazzed and up all night.”

When Una Voce first formed they performed alongside the Tampa Bay Women’s Chorus called Crescendo. The group of men were affectionately known as the “Men of Crescendo.”

By the fall, they were on their own and announced the official arrival of Una Voce: The Florida Men’s Chorale. The newly formed chorus was under the direction of John-Philip Mullinax.

Una Voce’s inaugural season began in December of that year and the rest, as they say, is history. It is that history the gay men’s chorus will honor with their 15 year anniversary celebration they are calling Una Voce’s Quinceañera at Quench Lounge July 15. In fact, several members of Una Voce will even be dressed in their favorite Quinceañera party attire.

“Some of our members will be cooking some Mexican food and there will be karaoke and drinks. It’s a celebration not only for us but for the community that we sing for. It should be a lot of fun,” Hession says.

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