by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Bob Mensel, artistic director of the Portland Gay Men's Chorus, will be the guest speaker of the opening session of the Lake Oswego Women's Coalition on Sept. 19.Bob Mensel, artistic director of the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, will be the guest speaker at the season opening Women’s Coalition luncheon meeting Sept. 19 at Oswego Lake Country Club.

Mensel has directed the group since 1993, emphasizing the excellence and good humor that make the chorus’ performances memorable. PGMC is one of the nation’s longest established gay choruses and has been active in the Portland community for 28 years. Mensel led the chorus to national acclaim with a performance at the anniversary memorial for 9/11 at Grace Cathedral in New York City.

The chorus recently produced a CD of “Brave Souls and Dreamers,” a dramatic cantata that reflects on the human and spiritual consequences of war.

The group has commissioned more than 40 new choral works, including “Zillions,” a musical about the Senate’s attempt to balance the budget; “Young Caesar,” a full-length opera; “Millennium Mosaic,” about the perspectives of gay youths; and “Vintage Voices,” which honors gay and lesbian seniors.

Mensel formerly was conductor of the Salt Lake City Men’s Choir and co-founder of the Salt Lake Choral Scholars. Originally from Washington, D.C., he received his bachelor’s degree in music history from the University of Utah and completed his Master of Music in choral conducting and his Ph.D. in music history at University of Oregon. He has served on the panel of the Arts Industry Development Grants for the Oregon Arts Commission. Presently, Mensel is the minister of music at Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego and teaches at Portland Community College.

All are welcome to attend the luncheon — the cost is $17 for members, $19 for non-members. Call the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce at 503-636-3634 for reservations.

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