Voices of Kentuckiana

Voice of the Week – Russ Dunlap

russ-dunlapRuss Dunlap has been with VOICES off and on for our entire 20 years of existence. He is the Vice-President of Platinum Travel when he is not performing on stage. When asked what VOICES has meant to him over the years, he tells us that “VOICES is a conduit for bringing people out of their shells and changing how they see the world through music.”

Tell us about a favorite moment from a VOICES concert or event?
When we sang “Children Will Listen” (umm…a Sondheim song…) and behind us was projected baby pictures of everyone in the chorus…

What’s the best song you’ve performed with VOICES and why?
I loved singing a solo Sondheim song (naturally) called “So Many People”, as the song started out with the line…”I said the man for me…”.  I think it was probably the first time I sang a reverse gender song as a solo and it was really meaningful to me and I hope the audience!

What prompted you to become a member of VOICES?
I had just moved to Louisville, had never heard a gay chorus before, and thought it would be a great way to meet people…blink…20 years later…

Voice of the Week – Patti Hall

941634_10200706099847133_401893401_nFor those who are part of the VOICES family, this lady needs no introduction. Patti Hall is the President Elect of VOICES and juggles many responsibilities. When not sending out endearingly frequent emails to our membership, Patti works as a nurse and is the Director of a Private Clinical Research Institute. She’s been with the chorus since 1998 and think of VOICES as her “chosen” family.

Never one to do anything half way, Patti has answered all of our interview questions with style and grace. So we reprint her answers here and thank her deeply for her dedication and service to VOICES.

We all know you love to sing but what is your hidden talent?
I am very good with my hands! (No not just THAT way…I can fix just about anything)!

Tell us about a favorite moment from a VOICES concert or event.
My very first GALA performance in San Jose in 2000. I was a Silent VOICE and accompanied the chorus there assisting with back stage issues. I was in the audience when VOICES performed in a auditorium that held about 2000 folks. The chorus sang “My Old Kentucky Home” and everyone around me got so very quiet then went crazy when the song finished. It was wonderful and emotional and inspiring.

What’s the best song you’ve performed with VOICES and why?
That’s difficult as I have 2 favorites. I think the best song is the first time we performed “No Mirrors in My Nana’s House” , a very powerful piece about acceptance and love. We invited our children/grandchildren to join us on stage. Singing with my daughters…standing with me…well…it’s a moment I won’t ever forget.

What do you hope to see for VOICES in the future?
I hope that VOICES continues to be an even greater presence in our community and on a national level. I hope that we are still performing relevant, educational and entertaining music and that the chorus is still a great place for folks to meet, sing and share their life’s experiences.

What would you tell young people who are looking for ways to get involved in their community?
I would encourage them to patronize local businesses and organizations. Go to performances of local arts groups and network with community leaders.

What prompted you to become a member of VOICES?
I met several members at a party one weekend. I thought they were a fantastic group of folks so I went to hear their smaller ensemble “Inner Voices” perform and I was hooked!!

Who would play you in the Broadway production of your life and why?
Annette Benning (those that know me know that she is my celebrity crush) but that’s not why. She is intelligent, funny, articulate, creative, kind, thoughtful, passionate about those things in which she believes and supports and would be fun to hang with.

What’s the best piece of singing advice you’ve ever received?
Be confident in your ability.

Tell us something nice about another member of VOICES you admire.
Dan Martin is the most interesting and amazing person. He started with us as a singer and we kind of “happened” into finding out that he played piano. Now he is a real leader in our chorus and we all respect and love him so much. Plus…he’s got a killer sense of humor!!

VOICES Goes Platinum Song Trivia

Love music trivia? We do. And as we approach our 20th Anniversary concert on April 11 and 13 at The Clifton Center, we thought we’d hand you some fun questions from the “VOICES Goes Platinum” set list to warm up your thinking cap. Answers can be found at the bottom of the post so keep scrolling. And for you true trivia devotees, check our Facebook post regularly for our weekly feature, Trivia Tuesday!


1. Which song from our set list was released as a single in 1976, but has hit the Hot 100 four times since its original release?


2. Which song was also the title of a 1989 film starring Morgan Freeman?


3. One of our songs was nicknamed “You Can’t Stop to Breathe” by performers, which one do you think it was?


4. Which song in our spring line up has been recorded by at least ten artists since its radio debut in 1979?


5. One of our songs knocked Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” off the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list back in 2010! Can you guess which one it might have been?


6. Which British knight penned “Billy Elliot” because he could relate to the character’s relationship with his father?


7. Which song from our set list was written as a duet for the hit Broadway musical WICKED?


8. “Kentucky Reels” is the only song from our spring set list that was composed exclusively for VOICES of Kentuckiana! Can you name the composer?


9. Which song from our line up topped the US and UK charts at the same time?

10. One of our songs is played before the running of the Kentucky Derby every year. Do you know which one?







Answer Key: 1. “Imagine” 2. “Lean on Me” 3. “You Can’t Stop the Beat” 4. “We Are Family” 5. “Just the Way You Are (Amazing)” 6. Sir Elton John 7. “For Good” 8. J. David Moore 9. “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” 10. “My Old Kentucky Home”

Voice of the Week – Michael Purintun

Michael PurintanI am Michael Purintun or Michael P. to most people. My occupation is very hard to quantify. I am a singer, one of the paid choir leader/cantors at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, the bookkeeper/assistant treasurer at Central Presbyterian Church, a store associate at Pier 1, and the Director of Publications and Administration at a small non-profit, the Wayne Oates Institute. The last is where I spend the bulk of my time, building and maintaining websites, and facilitating educational opportunities for spiritual caregivers. I am also training to be a money coach, working on my securities licenses.

I have been singing with Voices since the very first rehearsal. I had heard about gay choruses in other cities, and had begun trying to find out what was needed to organize a group in Louisville. One of the friends I was talking with was our second artistic director, Kevin Kouba.

Voices is, at its best, home. A place where I can be me. But I have come to realize that the strength I gained from Voices has allowed me to create my own home around me. And I am me wherever I go.

My hidden talent is one that I have never really had the chance to use with Voices, though it is with me at all times. My undergrad degree is in theatre. I not only have a degree, I worked in the theatre department for one year in college. I did lighting, makeup, costumes, house management, stage management, built and maintained props and equipment. Sort of an odd thing about me is that I have actually done a lot of work with wood. I’ve used planes and chisels, various saws including a jig saw, a band saw, a circular saw, a table saw, and a hand saw.

One of my favorite memories is when Voices went to GALA in Tampa, we marched in their Pride parade (all 7 or 8 of us there for it). Coming around one corner, there were some haters, heckling the crowd with signs like “God hates fags.” The LA Gay Men’s Chorus began to sing the David Maddux arrangement of “We Shall Overcome.” It was about the most amazing thing I have ever seen. To meet hate with the love of singing…it just amazing.

Songs, wow. There are so many, the Prayer of the Children, from our CD. “Let Me Be the Music.” But I think just about my personal favorite was singing the Lauridson O Magnum Mysterium at Central Presbyterian. We were in the balcony. And after we were done singing, I was just overcome and sat down and wept. It was so beautiful and so powerful and I felt like if I died right then I would be happy.

VOICE of the Week – Donna Egbert

Donna Egbert, Alto
Donna Egbert is a retired teacher who now enjoys spending her time golfing, bowling, and playing games.  She is an alto who started singing with VOICES in 1998, but has not participated for the past 2 years.  VOICES has given her an opportunity to sing in an excellent chorus with a family of friends.  Donna reveals that she was a trombone major at Murray State University and taught music for 10 years.  She continues to play trombone in the River Cities Community Band.  She tells us that her favorite VOICES Concert was when VOICES performed at the San Jose GALA under Kimcherie Lloyd.  It is by far her most memorable time with VOICES.  She is happy to be singing again in the 20th Anniversary Reunion concert and believes Guest Conductor Alise Oliver has grown so much as a person, and especially as a conductor since she first joined the chorus.  Donna is confident in Alise’s skills as an excellent teacher who will make sure we all know our music come April 11.