Music Celebrating 50 Years of Marching for Equality and Gay Rights
By Denise Marsa
Early Saturday morning on June 28, 1969, police staged a raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. Unlike the many previous raids that had taken place at the Christopher Street establishment, this one inspired the bar’s patrons to fight back. The Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed shortly after the riots. On June 28, 1970, a year after the riots, the Christopher Street Liberation Day in New York and the Christopher Street West Association in Los Angeles, a part of the GLF, marked the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, with the first Gay Pride Parades in United States history. The Stonewall Riots, as the days-long protest became known, is credited as the spark that ignited the modern-day LGBTQ-rights movement. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first NYC Gay Pride March on June 28, 1970.
To celebrate the anniversary, composer, conductor, and trumpet player Leonard Bopp has composed Christopher Street Liberation Day 1970, using the text from an archived GLF flyer as the libretto. The flyers were handed out prior to the historic first march. Leonard Bopp’s Christopher Street Liberation Day 1970, written for countertenor and string trio, will have its premiere broadcast on Sunday, June 28, 2020, at 8pm EST. It features counter tenor Luke Paulino, Jeff Pearson on violin, Jay Julio on viola, and David Newtown on cello.
The program on June 28 will start off with newly recorded interviews featuring Fr. Graeme, Mr. Bopp, and longtime West Village resident, owner, and publisher of the highly regarded WestView News, George Capsis. The three will discuss the Gay Pride movement and its growth over the years as well as the working process for the young composer. Tickets and links to watch the event are available through Musae.me. The indie record label KeyMedia Music Group is producing the event and simultaneously releasing the mastered audio recording to coincide with the broadcast.
Leonard Bopp’s Christopher Street Liberation Day 1970 will be distributed through all major music outlets, including Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify. Tickets will be available at Musae at: bit.ly/liberation-1970 and for more information about the project please visit: KeyMedia Music Group’s link: https://bit.ly/2TvRzPv or LeonardBopp.com.
Please note, all ticket purchases for $25 or more will receive a free copy of the music recording (MP3) upon purchase.