It takes a certain group of individuals to pull off “I’ll Be Seeing You” — a caberet-set emotional journey through the 1940s told through World War II soldiers’ letters — and it’s the Alamo City Men’s Chorale that is about to make it happen. San Antonio native and retired Marine Sergeant Eric Alva serves as narrator of the performance, backed by the Ron Wilkins 4-tet and the ACMC Sisters.
ACMC artistic director Jennifer Whatley felt that it was time for the group to address the military community within the city — to honor past, present, and future members of the military through this inspirational journey. “This is a time our military families need us the most,” says Whatley. “It’s going to be a very poignant show.”
San Antonio is a military town through and through, but Whatley was especially inspired by the families of her students. As a teacher she’s witnessed the hardships her young students undergo when their parents serve in the military. She is also privy to this way of life because her father fought in World War II.
The performance has the potential to be an incredibly moving homage to our fallen soldiers — not just those that served during WWII, but all who have been affected by various wars. Alva is an ideal fit as the voice of the performance, having gained national attention as the first soldier injured in the Iraq War when he stepped on a landmine, resulting in the loss of his right leg and part of an index finger. He is also becoming a prominent spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, decrying the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
ACMC founder David Hawley created the organization after attending a performance of the
Boston Gay Men’s Chorus; now, 21 years later the legacy of the organization continues on. “We get around and support functions in the community,” says Tom Simmons, one of the original founders of ACMC, who, as he says “functions over several capacities.”
Since it’s inception in 1987, the group has grown from 18 singers to anywhere between 40 to 50 singers in a season. Simmons says the group has also “evolved from a singing group to a community-service organization.”
This year will be the first-of-its-kind for the organization because of the introduction of a thematic banner uniting the concerts. The theme for ACMC’s current season is “An American Album,” which will feature music by some of our country’s greatest composers. In March, ACMC will perform “Brillantly Bernstein, Stunningly Sondheim,” a celebration of two of America’s most beloved performers. In June, prepare to pull out the ol’ poodle skirts and bobby socks for the performance “Let’s Go to the Hop,” ACMC’s blast-from-the-past featuring songs from Buddy Holly, Elvis “The Pelvis” Presley, and an appearance by the group’s own Patsy Cline. •
I’ll Be Seeing You
8 pm Dec 14
3pm Dec 16
Blue Bubble Ballroom