IMC ‘Spirit of The Season’ Concert Explodes With Ebullient Joy

December 17, 2023


Indianapolis Men’s Chorus – Courtesy of Shotwell Photos. Used with permission..

The quality that is most recognizable when seeing an Indianapolis Men’s Chorus concert is the infectious energy exhibited on stage by its members.  Playing to a diverse, sold-out audience, the dynamic IMC opened “Spirit of the Season,” Friday at the Marian University Theatre, and once again demonstrated a stamina that derives from an affinity for entertainment from a group of men with above average talent.

Indianapolis Men’s Chorus – Courtesy of Shotwell Photos. Used with permission.

Led by virtuoso Artistic Director Greg Sanders, and Associate Artistic Director Jared McElroy, the 64 members of the chorus, consisting of primarily LGTBQIA+ singers, performed a program that consisted of mostly upbeat holiday favorites during a flashy, dazzling Act1.  Act 2, which featured traditional Christmas carols was more subdued and reflective.

Highlights of the uber, fast paced first act included “A Rockin’ Christmas,” with IMC and its triple-threat subgroup, IMC Swing, which also delighted the audience with a crowd favorite — Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.  Chorus members also shined in a “Give Me Your Heart for Christmas” with Patrick Kuntz, Brian Cassano and Aaron Munson, “White Christmas,’ with Garrett Godsey and Cait Harrington, and “Merry Christmas Darling” with Jared Dorotiak. A marvelous finale that included “Santa Tonight,” “Grown Up Christmas List,” and “All I want for Christmas” featured Matthew Altman, Jerico Hughes, Johnnie Hughes, Joe Martin, Jared McElroy, Edric Mitchell, along with the IMC and IMC swing, closed the act with panache.

Indianapolis Men’s Chorus – Courtesy of Shotwell Photos. Used with permission.

During Act 2 the entire chorus, dressed in traditional tuxes and positioned on risers in a church-like set, complete with pieces that resembled stained glass windows, executed a gorgeous blend and harmony. They splendidly showed off their trained voices in songs such “The First Noel,” and “Mary Did You Know.” The showstopper in the otherwise solemn Act 2 was a gospel rendition of “Joy to the World,” with soloist Edric Mitchell and the IMC. Moving me deeply was a medley of “Let there be Peace on Earth”/” What a Wonderful World,” and “Silent Night,” which closed the concert. Watching longtime IMC ASL interpreter Chuck Daube sign “Silent Night,” I was reminded of the many years the members would sign the song as well. It would be lovely if that tradition was restored.

Adding to the dynamism and Broadway quality music of the concert was the four-piece band situated in the wings. The musicians were Matt Richardson on piano, Matt Hyslop on guitar, Conner Green on Bass and Andrew Howard on drums.

Responsible for the show’s exhilarating choreography was Jared P. Norman. It was truly dazzling — particularly that of IMC Swing which executed Norman’s moves flawlessly.

Indianapolis Men’s Chorus – Courtesy of Shotwell Photos. Used with permission.

Enhancing the professional polish of the production was Laura Glover’s spectacular lighting design and Miles Hall’s impeccable sound design.  The concert’s heightened aesthetic and slickness was the brainchild of IMC Executive Producer Ethan Butt. Deserving of praise as well, is Jeffrey Cooks who managed a wardrobe that showed off the men in white and sequined colored jackets in Act 1 and in black tuxes and red vests in Act 2. The total effect was one of style and pizazz.

Throughout the concert and especially during his closing remarks, the affable Sanders, making public speaking appear effortless, touched me with his meaningful comments about the LGTBQIA+ community and its propensity for creating families of choice. He also pointed out the diverse ways that people celebrate the holidays, how we can all be the light that leads the way and IMC’s role in bringing progress, change and positivity to a world plagued by hate crimes and war. Now in its 34th season, it is a role that IMC has fulfilled faithfully since its founding.

While reading the “In Memoriam” section of the printed program, which lists the names of deceased members, I felt nostalgic and a pang of sadness.  Most of them, whom I knew personally, having sung with them when I was an IMC member, perished from AIDS. It was a time when the LGTBQIA+ community was devastated by loss and persecuted by blatant homophobia. But then as now, with all the setbacks in gay rights, the IMC is still a beacon of hope, and its “Spirit of the Season” reflected that sentiment powerfully and effectively.

For tickets and information about the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus 2023-2024 season visit




photo: Josh Humble

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Life. Style. Live!

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

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