The Pride Bands Alliance celebrates 40 years with a symphonic-band blowout and two world premieres

In October 1982, members of seven LGBTQ+ concert and marching bands from across the U.S. met in Chicago and formed the Lesbian and Gay Band Association. Though the LGBA changed its name to the Pride Bands Alliance in 2021, it still provides “an international network of LGBTQ+ and affirming bands in all stages of development” and stimulates “public interest in the unique art form of community bands in our culture.” The Pride Bands Alliance holds its annual conference here this week, and the festivities culminate with a 40th-anniversary celebration called Sweet Home Chicago on Sunday, May 29, at 7 PM in the Auditorium Theatre. Presented by Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles and hosted by drag stars Denali Foxx and Angeria Paris VanMicheals, the event features music by a dozen composers, including world premieres of new works by Christen Taylor Holmes and Evan Williams; roughly 250 musicians in two full-size symphonic bands will split the program. Tickets are available at sweethomechicago2022.org.

Experimental Sound Studio has announced changes to its acclaimed performance series Option. Longtime bookers Ken Vandermark and Andrew Clinkman will welcome a third curator, cellist Tomeka Reid, for this year’s run—which will also shift to a monthly schedule from a weekly one. The 2022 season starts Sunday, May 29, with a concert in the ESS garden (5925 N. Ravenswood) by Evicshen, aka Bay Area sound artist and instrument maker Victoria Shen. This year’s subsequent Option performers will include Damon Locks, Christof Kurzmann, Mankwe Ndosi, and Endris Hassan.

The 2020 Evicshen album Hair Birth

Hardcore band C.H.E.W. split up last year, but three members have regrouped in the four-piece Stress Positions. Last week, they dropped a debut EP, Walang Hiya, which local punk label Open Palm Tapes will release on cassette later this year.

Three of the four members of Stress Positions were also three of the four members of C.H.E.W.

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