A Columbia County native returns home Sunday to perform as part of the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus.
Daniel Summers Jr. and the 100-member male chorus will start the show at 3 p.m. in the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center at the Columbia County Library.
A 1996 Evans High graduate, Summers lived in North Carolina while attending college and studied in London before moving to Atlanta in 2005. He joined the group shortly thereafter.
"The chorus was formed as a way to stand up and say, 'We're here, we're queer, and we make beautiful music,' " Summers said. "Why do we have to hate?"
While growing up in Evans, Summers was active in the Augusta Players, sang in his church's choir and was a member of his high school drama club.
Summers saw the chorus perform during a trip to Atlanta. After moving to the city, he auditioned for the group so he could perform again and meet new people.
"The AGMC has become a family for a lot of us," he said. "Every single one of them has a different story and a different reason for wanting to be in the chorus."
Summers said he hopes his hometown will greet the chorus with a warm reception.
"We want to help people understand what it is to be gay and that it's nothing different than anything else," he said.
The chorus, which was founded in 1981, is volunteer-based and primarily performs in metro Atlanta, though small ensembles travel throughout the state when invited, Executive Director Keith Fenton said.
"We are recognized as one of the top five all-male choruses in the United States," Fenton said. "All of our performances have a powerful message of (inclusiveness) and diversity, which I think is so important in these days."
The group will sing a variety of tunes, including Broadway, jazz, spirituals and classical favorites.
The tour is sponsored by Macy's and starts Friday in Macon. The group will visit Savannah, Evans and Athens before returning to Atlanta for a concert.
Tickets cost $25, and proceeds will benefit Augusta Pride, an area gay rights group.
For details or to purchase tickets, call (404) 432-0130 or visit www.agmchorus.org.
IF YOU GO
What: Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus concert
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center at the Columbia County Library
More: (404) 432-0130, agmchorus.org
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