Turtle Creek Chorale is always busy in our community. Catch up with the latest news!

TCC to Stage Marathon “Sing-In for Dignity”

Dallas’ renowned male chorus, the Turtle Creek Chorale, will host a 24-hour “sing-in” to call attention to and develop increased support for LGBT communities in the wake of recent negative national and state actions directed at them.  The men of the Chorale and their guests will begin this musical marathon at 6:00 PM on Friday, August 11, 2017 at the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ, 5910 Cedar Springs Road in Dallas.  The program will extend through the next day, Saturday, August 12 until at least 6:00 PM.

The event will be free to the public and attendees are invited to come and go as they please, even singing along if they want.  Donations will be accepted to support the activities of Lambda Legal and the Transgender Council of the Cathedral of Hope.

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of civil rights for all LGBT citizens and those living with HIV through litigation, education and public policy work.  Currently, Lambda Legal is asking the U. S. Supreme Court to decide a landmark civil rights case that could extend employment discrimination protection to the LGBT community.  Lambda Legal has committed to fight any implementation of the recently-announced transgender ban in the military, actively opposes “bathroom bill” legislation and has brought multiple cases across the country challenging the erosion of LGBT peoples’ rights.

The Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ is a 47-year-old, 4,000-member congregation in Dallas, the world’s largest church with a primary outreach to LGBT persons.  A number of its members are transgender and, as a church, support its Transgender Council which sponsors a workshop titled “Transgender 101 for Allies and Advocates” and advocates for the transgender community.

“This music festival is a family effort,” says Sean Baugh, Turtle Creek Chorale’s Artistic Director.  “We are driven to bring the healing power of music to help comfort the wounds caused by recent and ongoing attacks against the LGBT community.  We must make a statement to all that these senseless actions are damaging to everyone, are unacceptable and must stop.”

“We invite our friends in music from any ensemble or as individuals to join us at any time during this 24-hour time period to support us and even to sing along!”

The structure of the event, and appropriate attire for attending, are both decidedly casual.  The atmosphere will be positive, supportive and fun.  Overnight it will even be acceptable if a singer now and again is spotted sleeping through a song.

“We are pleased that organizations important to the LBGT community can join like this in support of one another,” says John Rieger, Chair of the Board of the Turtle Creek Chorale and also a member of the Dallas Leadership Committee, a volunteer group that supports the Dallas office of Lambda Legal.  “This is the sort of collaboration that strengthens the empowerment of us all.”

Recent action pertaining to the military. . .”is a witch hunt. . . focused on some of the most vulnerable members of our society and should be resisted by all people of faith and good conscience,” Reverend Dr. Neil G Cazares-Thomas, Senior Pastor of the Cathedral of Hope, states.  “From so-called “bathroom bills” to this latest move, it has become clear that many in our country are undereducated, have not listened to our transgender siblings and are led by hatred, bigotry and outright discrimination — none of the values that we see in either Jesus or the spiritual leaders of other faiths.  We are proud to be part of this vocalization effort.”

Bruce Jaster, Executive Director of the Turtle Creek Chorale, quotes the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and his statement “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly”.

“These national directives and state legislative initiatives erode the rights of every single citizen,” Jaster adds.  “We are all lessened by these inappropriate actions of a few taken against people who are viewed to be ‘less than’.  We cannot stand back and let things like this continue to happen.  It is time to bring people together in support of us all.”

The Turtle Creek Chorale welcomes any community support to help “Sing-In for Dignity” take the stage.

In Your Dreams – TCC’s Final Concert for the 37th Season

“Dreams” rarely become what they seem. And that may very well be the overriding theme of the Turtle Creek Chorale’s season-closing concert, IN YOUR DREAMS, at the Dallas City Performance Hall Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 2-4.

This concert, featuring some of the most beautiful music ever performed by the Chorale, will open with a look at the dreams of a child — what does the future hold? Then for the next two hours or so, the audience will be swept through their own dreams in search of their very own “corner of the sky”.

Along the way, with some music that is being world-premiered for the first time, a few stirring old favorites, numbers enhanced with dance and selections augmented by thrilling multimedia, the Turtle Creek Chorale will take the audience into dreams that become nightmares and dreams that end in bliss.

“This concert explores so much,” says the Chorale’s Artistic Director Sean Baugh. “We detour through issues of immigration, race, inequality, drug abuse — and present stories in music about those topics. Meth abuse, rapidly becoming epidemic in many communities including among our LGBT friends, will be a focus. But we don’t leave anyone in despair. All dreams will create a pathway to positive resolution.”

Premiering in concert for the first time at IN YOUR DREAMS will be a number commissioned by the Turtle Creek Chorale titled “Be at My Side” by Gerald Gruss. This song reflects upon and honors the Dallas police officers who were killed in the July, 2016 ambush. The lyrics incorporate the word of the policemen’s honor code.

Affiliating with the Chorale for this concert are Drug Prevention Resources of Richardson, Resource Center’s Behavioral Health and Youth First Texas programs, Abounding Prosperity and the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas. Each of these organizations will have representatives on hand with information about their respective projects.

This concert series brings to a close the rousingly successful 37th season of the Turtle Creek Chorale. TCC has been playing to sold-out houses at the Dallas City Performance Hall throughout the year. This concert, which culminates the season, has all the earmarks of being the most stunning presentation of the entire season.

Tickets for IN YOUR DREAMS range from $25 to $65 and are available online by clicking here or by calling the Turtle Creek Chorale box office at 214.526.3214.

Titanic in Concert with Uptown Players and TCC

Following the smashing success of the 2016 production of Aida, the critically acclaimed Uptown Players and the Turtle Creek Chorale (TCC), Dallas’ award-winning men’s chorus, are thrilled to collaborate again to present a concert version of the musical Titanic from May 5-7, 2017 at Dallas City Performance Hall (2520 Flora Street, Dallas).

Tickets range from $40 to $55 and are available at www.uptownplayers.org.

Uptown Players and the Turtle Creek Chorale join forces with a 15-piece orchestra and a combined cast of over 150 actors, singers, and members of the TCC for a concert version of Titanic. With music and lyrics by Maury Yeston & story and book by Peter Stone, the musical opened on Broadway in 1997 and won 5 Tony Awards, 2 Outer Critics Circle Awards and a Drama Desk Award. This musical collaboration celebrates the best artistic talents of these two organizations: the innovative acting of Uptown Players coupled with the powerful sound of TCC.

The sinking of the Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912, remains the quintessential disaster of the twentieth century. A total of 1,517 souls—men, women and children—lost their lives (only 711 survived). The fact that the finest, largest, strongest ship in the world—called, in fact, the “unsinkable” ship—should have been lost during its maiden voyage is so incredible that, had it not actually happened, no author would have dared to contrive it. It is not an exaggeration to state that the 19th Century, with its social stricture, its extravagant codes of honor and sacrifice, and its unswerving belief that God favored the rich, ended that night.

Titanic will be directed by Cheryl Denson with musical direction by Kevin Gunter, choral direction by TCC’s Artistic Director Sean Baugh, and choreography by Vicki Squires. An all-star cast joins members of the Turtle Creek Chorale, including Christopher Curtis as Thomas Andrews, Seth Womack as Frederick Barrett, Aaron White as Harold Bride, Chris Ramirez as Frederick Fleet, Lois Sonnier Hart as Ida Strauss, and Laura Lites as Kate McGowan.

The production runs for one weekend only, May 5 through 7, 2017, with shows at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Performances take place downtown at the Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201. Tickets are $40-$55 and can be purchased online at www.uptownplayers.org or by phone at (214) 219-2718.

CLICK HERE to get tickets to “Titanic: The Concert Version.”

About Uptown Players:
Uptown Players is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, presenting plays and musicals that challenge audiences artistically and strive to create greater positive public awareness and acceptance through the performing arts. Now in its sixteenth season and eighth at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, Uptown Players has gathered a dedicated following and is providing an opportunity for a wide diversity of gender styles to come together and explore life choices through great theatre themes such as relationships, family, prejudice, and values. The response from the community and critics has been remarkable, including over 25 Leon Rabin Awards from the Dallas Theatre League, and over 30 Theater Critics Forum Awards in its first fifteen seasons. Uptown Players has also been named the best theatre company by the Dallas Voice Readers and by the Dallas Observer and was also featured in D Magazine and on WFAA’s Daybreak and Good Morning Texas programs.

Uptown Players has presented world premieres, including Redesigning Women (2013), Crazy Just Like Me (2011) and the stage adaptation of The Valley of the Dolls (2007), along with the US premieres of the West End hit musical Soho Cinders (2014), and the Pet Shop Boys Musical Closer to Heaven (2010). Uptown Players was the first regional theater in the US to present the Tony Award winner The Boy from Oz and the Pulitzer Prize winning musical Next To Normal, following the closing of the Broadway productions. Each season, Uptown Players presents several regional premieres, including recent productions of It Shoulda Been You, The Toxic Avenger, Mothers and Sons, End of the Rainbow, The Nance, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, and The Producers.

About Turtle Creek Chorale:
The Turtle Creek Chorale (TCC) continues its 37th season as a world class all-male chorus.  With over 200 singing and associate members, TCC presents a full annual concert series at the Dallas City Performance Hall and various other locations each year.  Programs cover a wide range of musical styles with core messages combining laughter, tears and inspiration to create extraordinary musical experiences — music that enhances the cultural lives of both audience and singers.  The Turtle Creek Chorale is committed to building meaningful, synergistic collaborations with other local arts groups and to promoting community harmony. Visit TCC online at www.turtlecreekchorale.com.

CLICK HERE to get tickets to “Titanic: The Concert Version.”

An April Arts Salon

ELEVEN DALLAS ARTS ORGANIZATIONS JOIN TO CELEBRATE APRIL AS ARTS MONTH IN DALLAS

salon — /suh’ lahn/ noun / an assembly of guests in such a room, especially an assembly common during the 17th and 18th centuries, consisting of the leaders in society, art, politics, etc.

Mayor Mike Rawlings has named April as Arts Month in Dallas and eleven prominent arts organizations are joining forces to present a special program sampling the wide diversity of talent and entertainment available in the City. The program, titled “An April Arts Salon”, will be presented on Saturday, April 29, 2017 beginning at 7:30 PM in the Sanctuary of the Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, in Dallas. Seating is general admission and tickets are $25 each available online at https://anaprilartssalon.eventbrite.com or by calling 214.526.3214.

This gala evening is being co-produced by the Turtle Creek Chorale and the Bruce Wood Dance Project. Joining them on the program are Open Classical — DFW, the Women’s Chorus of Dallas, Linda & Larry Petty, Bandan Koro, Beckles Dancing Company, Uptown Players, Fine Arts Chamber Players, the Cathedral of Hope Choir and Rhythmic Souls Tap Dance Company. Master of Ceremonies for the event will be Mark Landson, Director of Open Classical — DFW.

Bruce Jaster, Executive Director of the Turtle Creek Chorale, says, “The centuries-old custom of people gathering in the salon to sing, play and dance for one another is magnificently civilized and great fun! There are so many accomplished arts organizations in Dallas, and it will be wonderful to be able to experience some of the best ones all together in one evening.”

“We are so excited about bringing all this talent together at one time,” adds Gayle Halperin, Director of the Bruce Wood Dance Project. “This event will be a sampling of great performances — something that is usually just impossible to find. We can’t think of a better way to bring the Mayor’s Arts Month in Dallas to a close.”

“An April Arts Salon” will be presented in two acts. Complimentary refreshments will be offered during intermission sponsored by Gayle Halperin and Heritage Auctions. Graphics for promotion and the evening’s program are being provided by Lisa Arbogast of Eye Candy Creative.

CLICK HERE to get tickets to “An April Arts Salon.”

Dennis Coleman Joins TCC Staff as Director of Development

DALLAS, TX – Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – Accomplished, long-time Dallas non-profit and development professional Dennis Coleman will become TCC’s Director of Development on December 16.

Coleman is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. He has been a development and fundraising professional for more than 25 years, specializing in cultivation of new revenue sources.

For the last nearly four years, Coleman has been building a development office at Paul Quinn College in Dallas. He has also worked as Senior Consultant with The Non-Profit Group providing fundraising, grant writing and research to non-profit organizations.

Previously, Coleman was Executive Director of Equality Texas and the Equality Texas Foundation based in Austin.  Equality Texas is the only state-wide lobbying and advocacy group established to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Texas. From 2003 to 2010, he worked as Regional Director in charge of fundraising for the Dallas regional office of Lambda Legal Defense and Education expanding the fundraising, donor cultivation and planned giving efforts for that organization in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Colorado.

Before entering the non-profit world, Coleman worked in account management and sales for Sprint PCS, The Wall Street Journal and The Dallas Morning News. He has also served as National Chair of the Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign.

Bruce Jaster, Executive Director of the Turtle Creek Chorale says, “Dennis is a significant addition to the Chorale staff and our first full-time Director of Development in quite a few years. We are honored that he is joining us to help build upon the Chorale’s very positive and exciting growth pattern of the last two years.”

“I am delighted to join the Chorale staff team,” adds Coleman, “and my mind is swirling with ideas for new development activities.”

Dennis studied Organizational Communication at the University of Texas at Austin and received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Northwood University before completing the program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

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. 

TCC TO HONOR VICTIMS OF ORLANDO MASSACRE

“Songs for Healing – Together in Song”

DALLAS, TX – Monday, June 13, 2016, 9:00 AM – World-renowned male chorus from Dallas, the Turtle Creek Chorale, will present a concert free to the public at 7:00 PM on Tuesday June 14, in the sanctuary of the Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, in Dallas to help bring hope and healing in response to the deadliest mass shooting ever to occur on American shores. Fifty people died and more than fifty others were injured in the attack early Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

“We know enough to say this was an act of terror and act of hate,” President Barack Obama said in an address Sunday to the nation from the White House. While the violence could have hit any American community, he said, “This is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

“This irrational and cruel act of terrorism strikes deeply at the very core of our community. The impact is horrible throughout our city, our state and our world. We must do what we do best – heal with the power of song – to blunt this pathetic act,” says Sean Baugh, Artistic Director of the Turtle Creek Chorale.

Bruce Jaster, the Chorale’s Executive Director, adds, “The Turtle Creek Chorale changes lives with music — music that shatters hateful rhetoric. While others may foolishly cast this crime as a justifiable act, the Chorale responds with a louder and more meaningful sound to drown them out. Please join us in this evening of tribute and memorial.”

The one-hour concert, “Songs for Healing – Together in Song”, will contain music of love from the Chorale’s recent mainstage concert, HEARTSTRINGS, along with a preview of selections to be featured in early July when the Chorale joins hundreds of other choruses from around the world in Denver for the 2016 quadrennial GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses) Festival.

TCC WILL TUG AT YOUR HEARTSTRINGS

LOVE SONGS AND EVEN ACTUAL MARRIAGE ON-STAGE

DALLAS, TX – Monday, May 2, 2016 – The Turtle Creek Chorale literally brings love and marriage to the stage at the Dallas City Performance Hall June 9-11 with a series of concerts titled HEARTSTRINGS.

The Chorale’s Artistic Director Sean Baugh says, “Love songs sustain us, heal us, frighten us and guide us through many wonderful joys, hard times, romantic dinners and sleepless nights. From that magical first date, to marriage and — yes — even to the most painful break up, love songs carry us. The Turtle Creek Chorale will celebrate love songs in a way that only they can!”

HEARTSTRINGS will feature a variety of music from artists including Celine Dion, Cher, Adele, Queen and more. There will be other surprises that will leave your heart fluttering.

One of those “open” secrets will be the actual exchange and renewal of marriage vows by different couples each of the three evenings in the concert series. Layered into the musical experience will be special marriage harmonies between partners both celebrating the first anniversary of the Supreme Court decision and with the parents of a Chorale member renewing their marriage vows.

Vocal powerhouse Grace Neeley will be the Chorale’s special guest performer during HEARTSTRINGS. Neeley, described by TheaterJones as a talent whose “wide-ranging voice grows to pure excitement”, most recently sang the role of Egyptian princess Amneris in the Uptown Players/Turtle Creek Chorale collaboration of Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA.

HEARTSTRINGS will be presented at the Dallas City Performance Hall in the downtown Dallas Arts District June 9-11at 7:30 each evening. Tickets for performances range from $20-$55. All tickets are available at TurtleCreekChorale.com or by phone at 214.526.3214.

TURTLE CREEK CHORALE HOLIDAY CONCERTS OPEN DECEMBER 17

Special guests and special features highlight this year’s shows

DALLAS, TX – Wednesday, December 9, 2015 – The renowned Turtle Creek Chorale, Emmy-Award winning all-men’s chorus from Dallas, presents it much anticipated series of holiday concerts December 17 through December 20 at the Dallas City Performance Hall in the downtown Dallas Arts District.  The theme of this year’s concert series is HOME.

Joining the Chorale as special guest artist will be Dallas’ award-winning actress, singer and down-to-earth diva, Denise Lee.  Performing during both acts of each night’s show, Denise is thrilled about being able to “play with the Turtles.  I am so excited to have the honor of singing with the world renowned Turtle Creek Chorale for the holiday concert.  Lots of fun, beautiful music in store to get you ready for the holiday season!!!”, she says.

Also featured will be African drum and dance ensemble Bandan Koro.  An unlikely match for a holiday concert, Bandan Koro’s appearance will be quite an experience, blending music that has become something of Chorale tradition with a unique twist on the holiday season.

Those two guest performers are just a sampling of the excitement that will be in the hall for the Chorale’s holiday feature shows.  Additional musical and dance surprises will delight the audiences.  The Chorale’s incredibly moving and beautiful holiday traditions will also be continued.

Through the magnificent generosity of the Greg Grosh Charitable Trust, the Turtle Creek Chorale in this year’s holiday concerts will be accompanied by a full orchestra plus specialty musicians.

“During the holidays, sometimes the only place you want to be is home.  It’s where you find acceptance and joy.  Or maybe it drives you mad; we’ll look at that, too,” says Sean Baugh, TCC’s Artistic Director.  “But in the end, there’s no place like home for the holidays.”

Guests at HOME will also have a chance to win a free Bahamas cruise via Port Canaveral, Florida, on Royal Caribbean with airfare and airport transfers included.  Entrants don’t have to be present to win, but they must be present to be able to get a ticket for the drawing!

HOME will be presented at the Dallas City Performance Hall in the downtown Dallas Arts District on December 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 each evening.  A Sunday matinee on December 20 at 2:30 PM will close the series.  On Saturday afternoon, December 19, a special abbreviated children’s matinee performance will be offered on a “pay what you can” basis. Tickets for all the other performances range from $28-$65.  All tickets, including reservation tickets for the Saturday family matinee, are available at TurtleCreekChorale.com or by phone at 214.526.3214.

For more information about the Turtle Creek Chorale, please visitwww.TurtleCreekChorale.com.

Aunt Marge’s Thanksgiving Tips & Tricks

You’ll remember this HR guru and event extraordinaire from last year’s holiday show, Jangled. Aunt Marge is back, and she’s here to share her tips and tricks for a successful Thanksgiving feast everyone will remember.

1. Never invite more guests than you have full bottles of wine.

2. If any guests ask what they can bring to help, always respond, “Oh, honey, your presence is enough… and a bottle of wine.”

3. For the coffee drinkers, I always spike my creamer with Bailey’s. Shh… no one knows.

4. Nobody likes a dry turkey so baste, baste, baste it. You can’t taste it until you baste it!

5. Don’t forget a centerpiece. You can make an arrangement straight from your backyard with acorns, leaves, twigs and berries. Plus it’s cost effective.

6. There is only one person in every family that can pull off autumn orange, and it’s PROBABLY NOT YOU!

7. Speaking of autumn orange, here’s a tip. If you have an old orange jumpsuit laying around from your spa day at Lew Sterrett, cinch that waist with a chunky belt, pull some foliage from your centerpiece for a corsage and call it a day.

8. If you don’t want to send half the world over the edge, do not put up your Christmas tree until AFTER Thanksgiving.

9. The same goes for Christmas music. I learned the hard way in 1992 when my cousin Ethel had a complete Thanksgiving meltdown.

10. More is not always more. Do not serve sweet potato casserole AND Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pie unless you have more than one working restroom. Lesson learned from Thanksgiving at Ethel’s.

11. Forget football! Honey, the real sport is the race to the restroom after all that sweet potato fiber!

12. And most importantly, do NOT forget to purchase your tickets for Turtle Creek Chorale’s Holiday Show – HOME! They’re going fast!

Click here to get tickets to our mainstage holiday show here.