From fashion and karaoke to inside tips and quizzes, the TCC Blog is sure to entertain.


The 41st season of the Turtle Creek Chorale – themed “STRONGER” – will provide audiences with five memorable performances highlighting the variety of entertainment and dynamic performances the TCC is known for. The season will feature a virtual cabaret, an uplifting small ensemble concert, a return to Broadway, and two of their signature Holiday shows. And looking forward to 2022, the world premiere of “Dreamland: Tulsa, 1921.”

 Performances scheduled:

  •  Leavin’ on a Jet Plane – a virtual cabaret – April 16
  • Holidays Interrupted – an outdoor “Christmas in June” presentation – June 26
  • Songs of Strength and Survival – TCC small ensemble showcase – August 29
  • Broadway’s Back, Baby! – a full TCC performance – October
  • Sure Stars Shining – a beloved Holiday tradition – December 17-19
  • Let Us March On – featuring “Dreamland: Tulsa 1921” – Spring 2022

Dallas, TX, April 5, 2021 – Turtle Creek Chorale is announcing their upcoming 2021 season: STRONGER! After a very challenging year of darkened stages, the world-renowned chorus is making their return the only way they know how — STRONGER! The season features a virtual show, an in-person outdoor performance, and a return to the concert hall in the fall.

“While our 40th season was not what we, or anyone, expected, we had time to consider who we were as a chorus, a family, and a member of the community. This upcoming series of concerts reflects what we have learned – that TCC has a responsibility to be an outspoken member of the Dallas Arts Community, and a leader in choral music. We have a responsibility to deliver entertaining and thought-provoking performances, wherever and whenever we can, whether it be an outdoor bandshell, a solemn church, a parking garage, or a concert hall. We did not, and will not, fade into the background and this upcoming season is a statement of strength by all our singers,” says Sean Baugh, Artistic Director.

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane
April 16, 2021 – Facebook and YouTube

The TCC will launch their 41st season singing about all the places we didn’t get to visit throughout the ongoing pandemic. “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” will take you to exotic places you never knew you wanted to go!  This performance will feature many of your favorite singers from the Turtle Creek Chorale, as well as one of our favorite Celtic Women, Chloé Agnew, who we introduced to Dallas in 2019. Sit in the comfort of your living room as this talented group of men presents songs from exotic lands…or maybe just Wichita. Grab a beverage, fasten your seatbelt, and prepare for takeoff.  And, just like any good travel adventure, surprises await. Join us virtually for this one-of-a-kind performance on our Facebook and YouTube channels on April 16 at 7PM CST.

Holidays Interrupted
June 26, 2021 – Fair Park Band Shell

It’s “Christmas in June” at the Fair Park Band Shell! Reminiscent of the classic Holiday Bowl performances in Southern California, TCC will finally return to the stage after an 18-month hiatus. The FULL chorus will once again join forces to bring you one of our signature Holiday shows…in the summer…outdoors…in Texas. In an abundance of caution, we want to ensure our first full chorus performance can be experienced by as many as possible, so we’re taking it safely outdoors. The historic 1936 Bandshell at Fair Park in Dallas will allow us to welcome our patrons back and be entertained by what we are told is our most popular performance year after year – our holiday show. We will forget the heat, hopefully, while we gather safely for a wonderful evening of some of our most beloved holiday music. Nobody will know (or care) that it’s 100 degrees outside. Our hearts will also be warm as we remember the in-person Holiday show we missed in 2020. Come decked in your favorite (and seasonally appropriate) holiday attire…and yes, Sean confirms there WILL be a sing-along.

 Songs of Strength & Survival – TCC Small Ensemble Showcase
August 29, 2021 – Cathedral of Hope

The healing power of live music, and especially choral music, is something that was absent as we made our way through the trials of a global pandemic over this last year. In August, TCC will present a small ensemble concert designed to remind us all how powerful intimate, and up close, choral music can be. Join us as we present a selection of songs designed to inspire and spark a flame of strength in all of us.

Broadway’s Back, Baby!
October 2021 – Venue TBD

It has been over a decade since the Chorale presented a concert focused on the popular songs from Broadway. As we anticipate the reopening of the Broadway stages in New York this fall, “Broadway’s Back, Baby!” will highlight some of the best songs from Broadway’s rich musical history. Nobody can sing show tunes like a predominately gay men’s chorus – nobody. So, get your top hat and tap shoes ready, and prepare to experience the awesome journey of a night of showtunes with the TCC! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (a lot), you’ll think you are sitting in a NYC theater – with much cheaper cocktails and parking.

Sure Stars Shining
December 17-19, 2021 – Moody Performance Hall

To wrap up its 41st season, the TCC will return to Moody Performance Hall and present their holiday production, “Sure Stars Shining.” This beloved holiday presentation will deliver all you expect from TCC during the holidays — joy, laughter, peace, and love. TCC’s holiday concert always holds something for everyone — from heartwarming traditional carols, exciting new renditions, and thrilling dancing. We are thrilled to return to this important and beautiful tradition as we celebrate the season and look forward to 2022.

 Let Us March On!  featuring the world premiere of “Dreamland: Tulsa 1921”
Workshop in 2021 and full concert performance in spring of 2022

The struggles of our Black, Indigenous, and brothers and sisters of color have continued to plague our country, even in these “modern times.” TCC understands our responsibility to sing on the issues of racial equity and we plan on doing so with pride, beauty, and an eye towards progress. This important and moving performance will showcase text and songs that speak specifically towards our country’s history with race.

Originally scheduled for the 100-year commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre – a once-forgotten historical event, TCC will workshop a new work, “Dreamland: Tulsa 1921” in 2021 with the world premiere in the spring of 2022. TCC commissioned this major new piece of choral theater by librettist Sandra Seaton and composer Marques Garrett which tells the story of a dark period in 1921, in the heart of Tulsa, when an unfortunate event in an elevator set up the largest race massacre in the history of the United States. Flanked by singers, actors, and an orchestra, this massive new work will transform you with its frank portrayal of these events, which have been out of the public psyche for too long.

Concert Tickets

Due to the continuing challenges of COVID, tickets for each show will become available at least one month prior to each show. For more information, please visit or call 214-526-3214.

About Turtle Creek Chorale

Turtle Creek Chorale (TCC) has brought excellent choral music to the residents and visitors of Dallas for 41 years since our founding in 1980. The mission of TCC is to entertain, educate, unite and inspire. TCC has grown to over 250 dues-paying members who contribute more than 100,000 hours annually to rehearsals, performances, and service projects for the community. Singing and dancing annually to audiences in excess of 33,000, TCC presents a full concert series at the Moody Performance Hall and other venues around the area. The Chorale also performs numerous entertaining, inspiring, and educational outreach concerts to a broad range of audiences both locally and nationally.


Turtle Creek Chorale Unveils “Extra-Large” 40th Season

The 40th season of the Turtle Creek Chorale will showcase five major performances spanning 17 months, and featuring a variety of guest artists from North Texas and beyond. The season also features a return to the Meyerson Symphony Center for two performances.

Dallas, TX, July 25, 2019 – Turtle Creek Chorale has announced their upcoming 2019-2020 season called TCCXL – An XL Season for an XL Anniversary. The season will feature mainstage concerts at the Moody Performance Hall along with the Chorale’s return to the Meyerson Symphony Center after an almost seven year hiatus. This XL Season will feature not one, but TWO of TCC’s signature holiday concerts (December 2019 and December 2020), two concerts at the Meyerson Symphony Center (September 2019 and June 2020), and a regional premiere of a new choral musical by Tony Award-winning composer Andrew Lippa.

“This ambitious season will feature everything you love about the Turtle Creek Chorale. I’m particularly excited about our return to the Meyerson Symphony Center for several productions. Putting together this season has been an incredible adventure musically, as we will be presenting so many of the pieces that have made the Chorale extraordinary. There is so much history in the music we sing, and I’m thrilled to revisit these pieces once again. But the new music is absolutely extraordinary, and I’m looking forward to continuing our choral-theater presentations that have become our identity the past few years. You won’t want to miss any of these diverse, intriguing, and beautiful programs, ” says Sean Baugh, Artistic Director.

“To All the Women We’ve Loved Before”
September 29 – Meyerson Symphony Center

The TCC will kick off their  season by honoring the women in our lives with a concert entitled “To All the Women We’ve Loved Before.” This production will feature the Chorale returning to the Meyerson Symphony Center for a special one-night-only  concert. They will share the Meyerson stage with three of their favorite leading ladies – Denise Lee, Patty Breckenridge and Jodi Crawford-Wright – and will welcome, once again, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas for a very special appearance.

“40 Years of Fa La La”
Dec 13, 14, 15 – Moody Performance Hall

TCC will return to the Moody Performance Hall for the Chorale’s signature holiday tradition, “40 Years of Fa La La.” The performance will feature many holiday classics and memorable momentsfrom the past 40 years, as well as exciting new works that will surely become classics! Anewcomer to the Dallas arts scene – Chloe Agnew of ‘Celtic Woman’ will join the men of the TCC for this special production

March 27, 28, 29
– Moody Performance Hall

TCC will present the regional premiere of a new choral musical from Tony Award winning composer Andrew Lippa, “Unbreakable.” This powerful and urgent new work highlights little-known moments in LGBTQ+ history and gives a voice to LGBTQ+ Americans whose achievements and contributions to their country have gone unrecognized for far too long.

 “CLASSIC: The Songs that Made the TCC”
June 28
– Meyerson Symphony Center

The Chorale will return to the Meyerson Symphony Center with a 40th Anniversary gift called “CLASSIC: The Songs that Made the TCC”. This special anniversary concert will feature many of your favorite musical moments and memories that have defined the Turtle Creek Chorale. Well-known favorites, combined with newer musical gems, will thrill you, move you, and inspire you. Combine the TCC with the Lay Family Organ and you have a musical experience you won’t soon forget. This “greatest hits” concert will most assuredly be a heartfelt celebration of 40 years of incredible music.

“On this Shining Night”
December 2020 – TBD

To finish out the season, the TCC will present another holiday concert. In December 2020, theTCC will present their signature holiday production, “On this Shining Night.” This concert will warm your heart and bring you peace and joy for the holiday season.

Recognizing Efforts to Unite Communities

Three Dallas dignitaries who were presented the Turtle Creek Chorale‘s Peacemaker Award will be the honorary chairs of a special concert on June 16 at Temple Shalom in north Dallas.  The concert, hosted and produced by Temple Shalom, will kick-off the Chorale’s four-state Friendship Tour.

During their ANTHEMS concerts March 23-25, the Chorale honored the three with the first of these awards in recognition of the significant contribution each has made toward bringing unity and cooperation to all areas and all citizens of Dallas and North Texas.

WFAA Sportscaster Dale Hansen was selected for his candid comments during segments of his broadcasts pointing out injustice and calling attention to matters of concern to everyone.

Matrice Ellis-Kirk is the long-time chair of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the downtown Dallas Arts District and was honored for her passion toward issues of diversity and governance.

Dallas Mayor Michael W. Rawlings has long been a champion of the arts for the City of Dallas and has brought diverse communities together in arts appreciation and participation.  Under his leadership, Dallas has grown in international recognition for the importance of the arts in the city helping Dallas grow into a top destination for artists, young professionals, families and corporations.

“We are considerably grateful that the Chorale has been able to say thank you to these individuals,” says Bruce Jaster, Executive Director of the Turtle Creek Chorale.  “And we are doubly thankful that they’ve agreed to chair this special concert at Temple Shalom.”

Anchoring this concert and the Friendship Tour will be a new song cycle commissioned by the Chorale.  “Peacekeepers” is a collection of four original compositions that employ magnificent music and insightful lyrics to call attention to bonds that connect us rather than issues that divide us.

The Turtle Creek Chorale performance at Temple Shalom will occur on Saturday, June 16, beginning at 7:30 PM in the sanctuary of the synagogue at Hillcrest Road and Alpha Road just north of IH635 in Dallas.  Tickets for the performance are priced at $100 for VIP which includes a private reception, best seating and special parking along with a gift bag.  Seats in the premium seating area are $50 and general admission is $25.

Following this tour kick-off concert, the Chorale leaves on June 21 to perform in four cities.  On Thursday, June 21, they perform at 7:00 PM with the Council Oak Men’s Chorus at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Friday evening’s performance, June 22 at 7:00 PM, will be at Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Concerts at the Clinton Library in Little Rock at 10:00 AM the next morning, Saturday, June 23, and at 7:00 PM at Second Presbyterian Church hosted by the River City Men’s Chorus in Little Rock round out that day.  The final day of the tour, Sunday, June 24, has the Chorale performing at 2:00 PM in the Brown Chapel at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport and at First Presbyterian Church in Tyler, Texas at 7:00 PM.  All tour concerts are free of charge.

Tickets for the Temple Shalom and tour performances are available through the Turtle Creek Chorale’s website – – or by calling the Chorale box office at 214.526.3214.

Two Concerts that are Polar Opposites

Within a period of less than one week, the Turtle Creek Chorale will test the boundaries of its talent with two concerts that could not possibly be more un-alike.

This week, June 8-10, the Chorale ventures into Dolly-land with a boot-scootin’, rip-snortin’ take on country music as only the Chorale can do it.  TCC Artistic Director Sean Baugh calls this concert, titled OUTLAWS, “entertaining, light and fun”.  In addition to some Dolly Parton, there’s a touch of Tammye Wynette, Johnny Cash, Carrie Underwood, Patsy Cline and more.

Joining the Chorale as special guest performers at OUTLAWS will be Sine Nomine (Without a Name) from Denver.  This group of singers with a tongue-in-cheek signature was founded in 2004 to sing contemporary choral songs.  They commissioned a work titled “All I Want is a Truck” on text by Jackson Culpepper and music by Daniel Brinsmead.

Then flip the switch!

As soon as OUTLAWS is done, the Chorale retunes for a special kick-off concert at Temple Shalom on June 16 as a send-off for the group’s four-city Friendship Tour to Tulsa, Little Rock, Shreveport and Tyler.

The June 16 event is a benefit for both Temple Shalom and the Chorale.  Proceeds will help to cover costs of the Chorale’s tour.  The program will possibly be as far as music can get from light-hearted country classis, but, in the centerpiece feature of the Temple Shalom and tour performances, a special Chorale-commissioned work titled “Peacekeepers”, there’s a heart-wrenching number titled “Colt 45″ that touches on the tragedy of gun violence and harkening to a country theme.

“We believe that choral music has the unique ability to speak very directly to the heart”, adds Baugh.  “At Temple Shalom and on tour, we hope to speak directly in a meaningful and non-confrontational way about all the things we have in common in the midst of our troubled world.  We want to cement our friendships rather than drive them further apart.”

OUTLAWS, is the Chorale’s summer concert of its annual subscription series, bringing that series for 2017-2018 to a close.  It runs Friday through Sunday, June 8-10, 2018 at the Moody Performance Hall.  Friday and Saturday performances start at 7:30 PM.  The Sunday matinee starts at 2:30 PM.

The Temple Shalom fundraising tour kick-off on Saturday, June 16, 2018 is in their synagogue in north Dallas at the corner of Hillcrest and Alpha Road.  Showtime at Temple Shalom is 7:30 with a reception for VIP ticketholders beginning at 6:30.

Tickets for all performances are available through the Turtle Creek Chorale’s website – – or by calling the Chorale box office at 214.526.3214.  Ticket prices range from $25 to $100.

The Definitive Q&A with B.J. Cleveland!

We’re super excited for our upcoming mainstage production, TOPSY TURVY. We’re also super-DUPER excited to have back onstage with us renowned actor and comedian B.J. Cleveland!

The Dallas Morning News calls B.J. “legendary,” and he’s won a bunch of awards for his outstanding performances, but we wanted to know who the real B.J. Cleveland is. So we asked him some questions…


Okay, B.J. You have a free Friday night. What do you do?

If I’m not IN a show, I’m AT a show. I love to see it all… but I’ll also go see ANY movie just to sit in the dark and chill.


What was the last thing you took a picture of?

A selfie taken of me as Liza Minnelli and Janelle Lutz as Judy Garland just seconds before we walked onstage at Uptown Player’s Broadway Our Way!


If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?

A huge batch of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies and a gallon of milk!


What’s the last thing you Googled?

Oscar Wilde. Researching more of his life history for my upcoming role in the musical A Man of No Importance about a Dublin bus conductor who admires and mirrors his life.


What’s the most outrageous costume you’ve worn onstage, and what show was it for?

Hahahaha. A small apron open in the back, red pumps, a sun hat, earrings and nothing else. The show: Love! Valour! Compassion!
Runner up may have been as Edwina from Ab Fab in Broadway Our Way this past weekend.


What’s your favorite role you’ve played?

That’s like choosing the favorite of your children. Max Bialystock in The Producers. Comic heaven.


If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three things you’d take with you? Why?

  A memory foam mattress because you’ve gotta get a good nights sleep. The complete works of John Irving – he’s my favorite author to read. And Zac Efron – you ask me why????


Speed round: Dogs or cats?

Dogs, dogs, dogs. I love them all; I’d have hundreds if I could.


Barbra or Cher?

AUGH. Sophie’s Choice. I’ll say Babs. Broadway, film, music. EGOT GODDESS.


Boxers or briefs?

Trunks. Not too tight, not too loose. I don’t like anything tight on my thighs… except hands.


Cowboy boots or stilettos?

Stilettos!! They make your legs so much better!! And they’re always funny.


Let’s talk about our big upcoming show. What are you most excited about for TOPSY TURVY?

A great song from a FUN musical and, of course, I love my Turtle friends and sharing the stage with them.


What should be people expect in TOPSY TURVY?

Even I don’t know what to expect from TOPSY TURVY. Looking like it’s going to be A LOT of fun with great arrangements!


Don’t miss TOPSY TURVY – Songs You Thought You Knew
From Britney Spears to Mumford and Sons, folk songs to rock-and-roll, Topsy Turvy is an energetic night of musical adventures you won’t forget.
March 23-24 at Dallas City Performance Hall


Carpe Diem

By Russ Weeks, Singing Member

We descend three flights of stairs like marching soldiers drenched in solid black and palpable anticipation. Voices silent and minds stilled, the cacophonous sound of our black dress shoes on the metal steps echoes throughout the stairwell and fills me with adrenaline. The past year of preparation scatters in my mind like Polaroids, and I feel overwhelmed in this culminating moment.

Almost a year ago, we began working on songs for GALA Chorus Festival — a five day event in Denver where over 150 choruses from around the world come together to perform, listen, and appreciate choral music. Our artistic director, Sean Baugh, hand-picked songs dealing with life and death and seizing the day. Our set was aptly entitled, Carpe Diem: Songs of Life and Death and included “The Music of Living,” “Requiem,” “I Love You/What a Wonderful World,” “The Sound of Silence,” “No Time,” and “Angels Calling.”

I fell in love with the sounds and words of each of these songs. As GALA neared, I could have grown tired of them, but I came to love them even more. The theme of living life to the fullest resonated with me, and the lyrics and melodies of these songs were gently etched on my heart.

Each Tuesday night at rehearsal, I had the honor and privilege of singing with Turtle Creek Chorale brothers I cared about, adding meaning to our Carpe Diem set.

On June 12, 2016, (three-and-a-half weeks before our GALA performance) forty-nine innocent people were brutally murdered at PULSE, a gay dance club in Orlando, Florida.

And just like that, Carpe Diem: Songs About Life and Death became much more than a set of songs for GALA.

I read Stacy Horn’s Imperfect Harmony: Finding Happiness Singing with Others a few years ago, and singing with the chorale constantly reminds me of her words: “In times of sorrow (and celebration) there are two other things to believe in: music and each other” (18).

The PULSE shooting took place in the two o’clock hour on a Sunday morning. About sixty-five hours later, we (the Turtle Creek Chorale) were waiting to go onstage to sing a concert for healing for Orlando and our community. We were ready to sing all of the songs from our GALA set but had not planned on this dress rehearsal. While the shooting had diminished our spirits, this performance, and the audience’s gracious, loving response fueled our souls and our songs with emotion, passion, and healing energy.

That’s what music does, and it’s not just the performers. It is a multi-layered, magical union between the performers on stage with each other, their conductor, and the audience.

Fast forward back to GALA festival, where choruses from all over the world — including Beijing, Germany, and yes, Orlando — to name a few, performed. The Orlando chorus wept openly in response to the audience’s reaction during their poignant, life-changing set. Grief, healing, and gratitude overflowed in the hall.

Wednesday, July 6, at two o’clock in the afternoon, we descend the stairs, ready to sing.

We wait in the wings, sharing silent smiles of brotherhood and sneaking last minute hand-squeezes.

We walk onto the stage in unison and instinctively turn to face our conductor. From the first downbeat, we are in synch. Sean’s conducting is more gently precise than ever, and we are hanging on his every move. Crystalline sound permeates Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Darkness shrouds the audience, so we can barely see them, but we can feel them. After each song, the audience erupts in applause, and we receive several standing ovations throughout the set. I have never felt more connected to the singers around me, the conductor in front of me, and the packed audience from floor to ceiling. The moment is enveloped in the music of living.

As our set concludes and the final note echoes throughout the hall, we exit the stage and walk into the lobby. The audience greets us with applause and tears. A woman stands to my right, looks me in the eyes with tears flowing out of hers and whispers, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” I whisper right back to her and look up, continuing to whisper, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you,” in my mind.

I make a conscious effort to embrace this feeling — this music of experience, this indescribable meaning ricocheting around and within me — and I am longing to write it all down.


“I’m one day poorer, another day singler, and we’re all going to die, but together with all these people I have raised my voice and once more I have come with joy.” — Stacy Horn


If you’re interested in becoming a member, please sign up here, and a member will reach out to you with more information. 

UnSUNG Heroes

By Russ Weeks, Singing Member

When I found out the programming for our latest Turtle Creek Chorale concert, I have to admit, I was not exactly thrilled. Part of the show would consist of songs dedicated to local community “hero” organizations, which is lovely, songs including Katy Perry’s “Firework” and one of my personal favorites — “Beautiful City” — from Stephen Schwartz’s Godspell.

The second half of the concert would consist of Tyler’s Suite, a movement of music Turtle Creek Chorale co-commissioned with several other GALA choruses throughout the nation. Tyler’s Suite is an original group of songs honoring the life of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who lost his life to suicide in September of 2010. His is not my story to tell, but he was a wonderfully creative, talented gay man who was just starting to come out of the closet and to grow into an amazing, uniquely beautiful human being. His roommate secretly videoed him being intimate with another man and posted it online for the world to see. There is so much more to Tyler than this, and you can read more about Tyler’s life, wonders, and accomplishments at

I was hesitant to embrace a group of challenging, unknown songs, that might take me to dark places. I was afraid it would remind me of loved ones I’d known who had lost the will to live and chosen to end it all. I was even more afraid to look in the mirror and see the little boy who could not reconcile who he was with a world and a God that didn’t fit and had those thoughts himself.

I was scared this music would break my heart.

And it has.

But this beautiful music has an important story to tell. Sometimes our hearts need to break a little bit to become stronger and share in the collected humanity of living. Acknowledging the darkness can even help us create and experience light, and that’s what we are doing by singing this music.

I love to read words that change me, that make me better, and add meaning to who I am. There are several texts in this program that have done that for me. If you haven’t discovered it by now, Sean Baugh, our artistic director, is a programming genius.

There is a line in Katy Perry’s “Firework” that is the bottom line for me. “You don’t have to feel like a wasted space.  You’re original, cannot be replaced. If you only knew what the future holds: after a hurricane comes a rainbow.” It might seem simple, but there is beautiful truth in those words. I wish every child (or human being for that matter) who struggles alone in the dark could understand and believe that there is a sliver of rainbow light on the other side of the door waiting after the hurricane.

Another song not from Tyler’s Suite is Ragtime’s “Make them Hear You.” The song opens with, “Go out and tell our story, let it echo far and wide. Make them hear you, make them hear you. How justice was our battle and how justice was denied. Make them hear you, make them hear you.” That song resonates with me on many levels, but I feel like we are Tyler’s collective voice in this concert. He is no longer here, so we are singing for him, so he can be a hero, too. Tyler is our hero.

You need to come to the show to experience the magic of Tyler’s Suite, but there are a few lines that really strike me. The first time we sang “A Wish” it blew me away. It is a beautiful song about longing for the simplicity of childhood from Tyler’s perspective. When we finished singing through it the first time, I looked up and realized several of the guys in the chorus were weeping. “I wish I may, I wish I might have the wish I wish tonight, I wish I were a child again when everything was simple.” I had the opposite experience as Tyler. When I was a child, I suffered from depression and felt the weight of the world was too much. When I went off to college, I felt liberated and loved unconditionally by an amazing group of friends. I was able to grow into my true authentic self. Tyler never got that opportunity.

Suicide is, for me, the most unimaginable and devastating of human endings. I started having panic attacks my senior year of college when my cousin committed suicide. I was on my way to my aunt’s birthday just a few years ago when I heard of Robin William’s suicide. I had to turn around and go back home because I had a panic attack. I don’t know what the answer is to the epidemic of suicide. We cannot know what goes on in the minds and hearts of others, but I think that for those who choose to end it, there is a switch that is flipped, and they cannot get it to turn back on. Whether they have been bullied or just feel trapped in that darkness, none of  us know. I do know that it’s an issue that never seems to go away, and we all need to do our part to help.

I want to emphasize that this is NOT going to be a depressing concert. It is a hopeful show celebrating heroes, one of which is Tyler Clementi.

My favorite line in Tyler’s Suite says, “Go back for those who trail behind, give a hand to those who fall. Stop to help the one out on the edge, carry those who can’t go on.” So this is our way of helping and celebrating Tyler. We go into the darkness and hold his hand, and we carry him in our voices, and we will share it with the world. If Tyler can’t, we will, so he becomes our hero, and maybe we get the chance to be heroes ourselves, singing the songs that Tyler never got to sing. “There are songs you haven’t heard and music yet to play. I have melodies to sing, and words I long to say. How I want to play my song where arms are open wide in a place where I belong, a world that’s large and kind…”

One of my favorite songs of all time is Godspell’s “Beautiful City” which we are singing in this concert. For me the song is about making the world better. There is a line about building a beautiful city: “We may not reach the ending, but we can start — slowly, but truly mending, brick by brick, heart by heart. Now, maybe now, we start learning how.”

Maybe we can all help build a more beautiful, heroic, “large and kind” world. I know that is certainly what we, the Turtle Creek Chorale, are trying to do with our Heroes show.

Click here for tickets to HEROES.



Ahrens, Lynn. “Make Them Hear You,” Ragtime: The Musical. BMG Entertainment, 1990.

Gasser, Nolan. “I Have Songs You Haven’t Heard,” from Tyler’s Suite. The Tyler Clementi

Foundation, 3013.

Perry, Katy. “Firework,” Teenage Dream. Capitol Records, 2010.

Schwartz, Stephen. “Beautiful City,” Godspell. Ghostlight Records, 2011.

Stewart, Pamela. “A Wish,” from Tyler’s Suite. The Tyler Clementi Foundation, 2013.

Stewart, Pamela, and Jake Heggie. “The Narrow Bridge,” from Tyler’s Suite. The Tyler Clemtnti

Foundation. BMI, 2014.

Celebrating Pride Turtle Style

TCC members tell us their proudest moments.

Photos by Stephen Sanchez, Singing Member
Mural: One Human Family by Juan Miguel Aguirre


Photo Sep 12, 9 02 18 AM

David is starting his third season with TCC and has chaired committees for American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association and is currently our LifeWalk chair!

“The best moments of my life were the day my son was born and the day I first sang with the TCC”.


Photo Sep 12, 9 17 52 AM

Brian is in his third season with TCC and with his talents provided us with our beautiful, new website!

“My proudest moment would be starting my own marketing company last year, Tik Talk”.


Photo Sep 12, 9 03 45 AM

Matthew is starting his second season with TCC and is a two-time Voice of Pride Top 10 finalist! His other honors are 2014 Dallas Pride Festival Emcee, 2014 Gay Softball World Series Talent Show Director and Mr. Round-Up 2012.

“I’d have to say my proudest moment was walking in my graduate school commencement after getting my Masters in Theatre. It was the first time I truly followed my heart and felt validated and relevant regarding something I loved.”


Photo Sep 12, 9 05 31 AM

Grant is beginning his second season with TCC and is part of the 2015/2016 MetroTex Leadership Academy, an HRC volunteer, SPCA advocate and TCC singing board member.

“At 19, I was on my own after coming out to my parents. I’m proud to say that I’ve stayed true to myself and through hard work and determination, became a successful version of me.”


Photo Sep 12, 9 02 59 AM

Mikey is in his third season with the TCC. He built the website for Hearts Across Romania, an organization dedicated to helping impoverished Romanian orphans. He has also participated in fundraising efforts for AIDS Arms, North Texas Food Bank and the Susan G. Komen Foundation as a member of TCC and Resounding Harmony.

On June 26, 2015, when the US Supreme Court announced marriage equality, Mikey and his now husband were the third couple in line at City Hall. Hours later, they were married and able to share their love through local press interviews and photos seen all around the world.

“This was the proudest moment of my life.”


Finding Resonance

By Russ Weeks, Singing Member

Six years ago this month I was dating an amazing guy named Derek. He mentioned to me that he was auditioning for Turtle Creek Chorale, and I should join him. I had only seen one Turtle Creek Chorale Christmas show, and I was, of course, blown away. I couldn’t imagine that someone like me could be part of such astounding talent. I thought it would be difficult to qualify for an internationally renowned men’s chorus. The more Derek talked about it, the more I thought, “Why not?” I had loved music for as long as I can remember. From the moment I could hear, music was part of me.

Derek and I didn’t continue to date, but I auditioned, and I’ve been a singing member of Turtle Creek Chorale for six years and counting. My quality of life has improved exponentially in those six resounding years. Singing with and belonging to Turtle Creek Chorale adds so much to my life.

Russ with Sandi Patty

Russ with Sandi Patty

TCC has afforded me the opportunity to sing on numerous stages with hundreds of brothers in song. I have been exposed to numerous genres of music that I wouldn’t have ever encountered otherwise. I have also been able to sing with celebrities, local and international. One of my favorite moments was singing with the immensely talented and gracious Sandi Patty. Growing up, my home was filled with her music, and it was an enormous honor and spiritual experience to sing with her.

While the actual concert performances are magical, sometimes the weekly rehearsals are most special to me. As with anything in life, the real beauty comes in the journey and the process. I have had countless “laughter through tears” moments in rehearsal. I remember one of my favorite rehearsals which happened to also be my birthday. We were rehearsing a beautiful song, and I looked over at my friend Stephen, and he mouthed, “Happy Birthday; I love you.” I was overwhelmed with gratitude, and my eyes filled with happy tears in that moment. Week after week, we turtle brothers show up to rehearsal, and regardless of what’s going on in our personal lives, we open our binders and our hearts and pour out our souls. Our souls intermingle with each other and something unimaginable happens.

I’ve been blessed to sing under three brilliant conductors in the past five years. I’ve learned so much from each of them. I’ve learned about musicianship, leadership, brotherly love, and so much more. I’ve learned that I’m a quiet leader, as well. People from work and in my personal life have even commented on how being in the chorale has helped me to show who I really am and to take ownership of my strengths and share them more openly.

Garrett Pruessner, Sonny Banthabandith, & Marge Williams backstage at "Jangled"

Garrett Pruessner, Sonny Banthabandith, & Marge Williams backstage at “Jangled”

TCC has helped me realize just how funny I am. Last Christmas, our current artistic director, Sean Baugh,  believed that I would be right for a comedic role in the show. So I put on a skirt suit and a teased out wig, and I kind of brought the house down. I was so proud of myself in that moment. I love to make people laugh, and Turtle Creek Chorale allowed me to do that. During Jangled, when I played Marge Williams, my family came to one of the shows. I was worried my mom might be a little embarrassed, but when I greeted her in the lobby in my Marge garb, she beamed with pride, smiled from ear-to-ear, and shouted, “Oh my GOSH! Can I get my picture made with you?!?!” I will never forget that moment. You’re never too old to be affirmed by a proud parent.

We all need that extra something that adds a layer of depth to our lives. For some it’s running or writing or quilting or acting. The list goes on. I hope you’ve found that extra layer. For me it is music. And when I’m standing onstage with my Turtle Brothers, there are intangible, yet palpable moments of sound that emanate between us. Then those extraordinary moments of sound project out to the audience, and the audience gives it right back to us. That is a feeling like nothing else in the world. I’m so grateful to TCC (and to Derek!) for giving me this gift and for allowing me to share the experience with my brothers and the many audiences, past, present and future.


If you’re interesting in becoming a member, please sign up here, and a member will reach out to you with more information.