Poster designed by Dan Santos
Texas State master’s grad slays as AGMC artistic director
From an early age, Daniel Arredondo knew music would be a part of his life. Growing up in the church, his father was a pentecostal minister, so that was his first exposure to music.
“We never stopped singing,” Arredondo said. “To me, there’s never been a time where I was able to separate myself from music.”
Arredondo, who graduated with a master’s degree in choral conducting from Texas State University, currently serves as the artistic director for the Austin Gay Men’s Chorus, the longest continually- running choir in Austin with a 30-year history.
Arredondo joined AGMC in 2018 when the chorus boasted around 30 members. This gave Arredondo one full year before the pandemic, during which time they grew to 100 members for their holiday concert in 2019. During the pan-demic, the chorus continued performing in virtual shows online to keep the spirit going. This year will be the first in-person concert since the quarantine lifted, and Arrendondo feels very excited about it.
“It’s going to be amazing,” he said. “We’re the best we’ve ever sounded. I think for the first time in three years, it feels like we’re back full steam to perform, to sing, to dance, and to share things at full capacity. There’s this sense of energy and joy. It’ll fill your cup for sure.”
“Slay Ride” promises to be a musical journey filled not only with holiday classics but worldly tunes as well. “We’re really excited to feature pieces that reflect the wide diversity of faiths and ethnic backgrounds celebrating the season,” Arredondo said. “Whether you bring your family, invite your friends or just want to cozy up in a seat all on your own, we can’t wait to have you along for the ride.”
The chorus will have a pre-show reception where attendees can mingle and enjoy refreshments, as well as a small holiday bazaar with a pop-up station from Kendra Scott. The chorus will also be promoting a silent auction from Dec. 1-10, featuring a wide array of items for bid including jewelry, original artwork, and travel offerings. Information on the silent auction will be available on the AGMC website. A portion of Kendra Scott sales and all silent auction proceeds will go directly to the chorus.
“Slay Ride: An AGMC Holiday Concert” will be held at First Austin, A Baptist Community of Faith, on 901 Trinity St. in Austin, on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3 at 8 p.m., and on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $20 and are available at atxgmc.org.