Gay men’s chorus performs at Catholic college

  • April 13, 2016
Gay men’s chorus performs at Catholic college

Daniel DiCenso's concert called 'a significant milestone in the gay rights movement'.

This is a demonstration that the arts have a role to play in being an agent of change.

Daniel DiCenso

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has organised the first concert by a gay men's chorus at a Catholic college in the US.

Daniel DiCenso [2005], who did his PhD in Music at the University of Cambridge, organised and sponsored the concert by the Boston Gay Men's Chorus at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester on 2 April. 

The event has been described as "a significant milestone in the gay rights movement".

It came about when Daniel, an assistant professor at Holy Cross,  wanted to show his “Music and Gay Rights” seminar class a performance by a gay men’s chorus.

Holy Cross was founded by the Jesuits who banned the first gay men’s chorus in San Francisco from performing at a Church at the University of San Francisco, leading to a long legal battle.

In the 1990s, Holy Cross was itself branded “the most homophobic school in America” by the Boston Phoenix newspaper.

“The mission of the college, the mission of the Catholic Church and the mission of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus are not all completely aligned,” Daniel told Worcester Magazine. “But it’s no different than when Holy Cross invites a lecturer to campus – they don’t always agree with the lecturer from soup to nuts.”

He added that he was happy the event was promoting debate on campus.

Daniel has performed with the BGMC and with the London Gay Men’s Chorus. 

Initially he wanted to take his students to see a BGMC concert, but subsequently made a deal that if he could raise the $10,000 needed to host the concert, the group would sing at the College.

“This is a demonstration that the arts have a role to play in being an agent of change,” DiCenso told Worcester Magazine.

Daniel DiCenso

Daniel DiCenso

  • Alumni
  • United States
  • 2005 PhD Music
  • Magdalene College

I bought my first chant album in the sixth grade as a first-year Latin student. While an undergraduate, my childhood fascination with chant blossomed into an intellectual passion, which now, in turn, has led to the pursuit of a Ph.D. in Music. I am particularly excited about pursuing my interests in chant at Cambridge University because Cambridge is unique in its resources for the interdisciplinary study of chant and its medieval contexts.

Previous Education

University of Pennsylvania MA, MS, PhD Music/Education 2005
Villanova University MA Classical Studies 2005
College of the Holy Cross BA Music 1998

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