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A community chorus of the Pikes Peak region, Out Loud is organized to provide the opportunity for gay men and their friends to sing together. It is our goal to use the deep and enriching power of music as a means of fellowship, and a vehicle to reach out to the local GLBT community. We also strive to act as goodwill ambassadors in presenting a positive image of the GLBT folk in the Colorado Springs community.

Founded in 2005 with 8 members Out Loud has grown to nearly 60 voices. Our inaugural concert attracted almost 900 audience members who happily gathered in a space only meant to hold 450. The incredibly cramped audience eagerly chanted, "Be Proud, Out Loud" as we took the stage for our opening number and made history in the Colorado Springs community. We were honored to have the Denver Gay Men's Chorus in the audience that evening, which surprised us in the middle of the concert with the song "We Are a Family." This initial concert received an enormous amount of support and correspondence from other gay choruses, the community, family, and friends. The concert was front-page news in the Colorado Springs Gazette, was circulated by the Associated Press, and published on the home page of the Advocate website as well as in its June 6, 2006 issue with a "first hand" account of the organization and its opening night concert.

Join the Out Loud!

Out Loud rehearses most weeks on Monday evening from 6:45 - 9:45 PM at First Congregational Church (20 E. Saint Vrain Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903). We also host a pot luck dinner on the first Monday of the month from 5:30 - 6:30 PM. You are welcomed to attend a rehearsal and/or pot luck to see what the Out Loud experience is like – just email info@rmarts.org to confirm rehearsal is happening when you want to stop by. Auditions to sing in the December 2015 concert are already over, but you can email us at info@rmarts.org and we'll add you to the notification list for our next auditions.

"I love singing in a men's choir again. I get to combine great music and a lot of fun while supporting a very important outreach to the Colorado Springs community."

- Lee Lehmkuhl

James Knapp, Artistic Director

With 30 years of choral conducting experience with colleges, churches and community choruses, James Knapp is now in his second season leading the Denver Gay Men's Chorus and Out Loud: The Colorado Springs Men's Chorus to greater levels of artistic and musical excellence. James, who is the Artistic Director Emeritus of the Bayou City Performing Arts, guided the Gay Men's Chorus of Houston, the Bayou City Women's Chorus and the Bayou City Chorale for eight years with tremendous success.

He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Fredonia State University, a diploma from the Mozarteum Conservatory of Music in Salzburg and a Master of Music from the University of Texas at Austin.

His choirs have appeared at regional conventions such as the American Choral Director's Association and the Texas Choral Directors Association. They have also appeared with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in the Palace of St Petersburg Chamber Music Festival in Russia. Additionally, he conducted the featured choir at the International Church Music Festival in Coventry, England with Sir David Willcocks.

His choirs have been heard on NPR affiliate stations in performances of the Brahms Requiem, Handel's Messiah and portions of I Am Harvey Milk. His Singspiration Singers won first prize in a national gospel symposium for their performance and interpretation of gospel music. Mr. Knapp is an educator, performance adjudicator, clinician and has presided over choral workshops in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Italy, England, Thailand and throughout the United States. Previously Mr. Knapp was the Artistic Director and Managing Director of the Bayou City Performing Arts for 8 years. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Fredonia State University and Masters of Music: Applied Voice from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Braeden Ayres, Assistant Director

Braeden Ayres is the newly appointed Assistant Director of Out Loud: The Colorado Springs Men's Chorus, and its small group, "Stand Out." In addition to his duties with Out Loud, Ayres also serves as the Assistant High School and Head Middle School Choir Director at Discovery Canyon Campus in Colorado Springs, CO. At Discovery Canyon, Ayres directs eight ensembles, teaches music theory, music directs the annual middle school musical, and co-coaches the high school Improv Comedy Troupe. Since he has joined DCC, the high school choir program has grown to over 200 students, and his varsity middle school choir, Thundertones, has doubled in size. Ayres's choirs consistently take home top marks at CHSAA competitions. Ayres also represents Colorado Springs as an inaugural board member of the Colorado Middle School All-State Choir.

Braeden Ayres graduated cum laude from the Baylor University School of Music in Waco, Texas with a Bachelor's of Choral Music Education degree. Ayres's Sonnet 21 was the winner of the 2011 Browning Composition Contest, and the work was premiered as part of the Browning Festival at Baylor University. He continues to write and arrange choral music and solo vocal literature in his spare time.