Dr. David Montgomery was gracious enough to share his personal story about how he got involved with Gateway Men’s Chorus and how it has positively impacted his life.
David shared a taste of the extensive musical background he had before he joined Gateway Men’s Chorus in the 1990s:
“I grew up in a musical family. My father sang high tenor in a gospel quartet that had a regular radio program. I sang solos, duets and quartets with family members at church, took piano lessons from age 7, played cornet in the band, and played in numerous ensembles. Our school did not have any choral opportunities for males, so I started taking voice lessons when I was a Junior and received a #1 rating at district contest my senior year. I majored in vocal music in college for a year and a half, and although I officially changed my major to art, I continued taking music courses and got certification to teach vocal music K-12. Subsequently, at the secondary level, I taught mixed chorus, girls ensemble, and co-directed the musical Little Mary Sunshine. I also directed community courses, and church youth choruses, sang in a barbershop chorus and quartet, participated in opera workshop as a chorus member, sang in musicals, and sang many more solos, and in ensembles at various churches.”'
How it all started for David:
“When I moved to St. Louis in '94, I learned of Gateway Men's Chorus from a cousin who lived here. Then, a fellow member of the MCC choir joined GMC and invited me to a concert, which I attended. I immediately knew I wanted to join the chorus as soon as I finished my dissertation and had more time.”
The impact of Gateway Men’s Chorus:
“Being a member of GMC has affected me positively in many ways. Primarily, it has helped me be more open about my sexuality and be proud of who I am. I soon started inviting colleagues at work to our concerts. I then had the courage to come out to my family members and invited them to our concerts as well. I am proud to stand on stage with other gay (or gay friendly) men, and present a positive image. I truly believe that our music and our openness changes minds and influences people.
I primarily joined the chorus to have an outlet to sing in a quality men's chorus. Of course, I also wanted to meet other gay men with whom I could share the joy of singing.