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Herriman Journal

Vocal Tapestry Utah seeking LGBTQ-friendly singers and musicians

Feb 05, 2024 03:14PM ● By Peri Kinder

Vocal Tapestry Utah, an LGBTQ-friendly choir, will hold auditions for singers and musicians in South Jordan in February. (Photo courtesy Deb Veater)

Deborah Veater thought 2024 would be the year she could finally relax and retire. Veater taught music for decades and stepped down as assistant director at the Seasons Chorale (part of SoJo Choral Arts) in 2023. But after attending the Gather Conference in Provo, she realized a new career was just beginning.

The Gather Conference is an event for LGBTQ+ members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the people who love them. Its mission is to create an environment of hope and support in a Christ-based community. 

“I went to the conference, walked in the door and felt a spirit like I’ve never felt before,” Veater said. “It was so strong. It was a spirit of acceptance. We were all there together, whether we were LGBTQ family or friends or church leaders or whatever. And we were all there to talk about how we can nurture each other.”

On her way home from the conference, the idea hit her like a brick: she needed to create an LGBTQ-friendly auditioned choir and call it Vocal Tapestry. It would bring people together with the desire to uplift and create harmony. 

She wanted the choir to be a sanctuary where everyone felt included and individuals are celebrated. The concept is dear to her heart as her son is gay. She remembers the heartbreaking conversation with him that started with, “If I am gay, will you still love me?”

His question shattered her. She thought about the Madrigal students she’d worked with at Bingham High School who told her they were LGBTQ+ and afraid to come out to their families. She thought of the young people who died from suicide because of the fear involved with their sexual or gender identity. She knew she had to be a voice of love and Vocal Tapestry was a way to begin.

“I feel like the purpose in my doing music all these years has been to love the individual,” Veater said. “My goal is to love them and take care of them and make sure they don’t turn suicidal. I want to make sure that they know that someone is going to be there for them and that there is light in this world.”

Veater has scheduled auditions and rehearsals to be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building at 1244 W. Chavez Drive in South Jordan.  She’s looking for singers who can read music and perform a cappella. She’s also auditioning musicians, including guitarists and drummers, to accompany the choir. Introduction meetings will be held on Feb. 8, 15 and 22 at 7 p.m. Rehearsals will be held at the same location on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m.

She understands members of the LGBTQ+ community might have a difficult time auditioning and rehearsing at an LDS church, but she asks them to put their reservations aside in order to give the group a chance to flourish.

“I am a strong member of the church and yet I have a view of the LGBTQ community that is inclusive,” Veater said. “I want them to see that they can come and know that they’re cared about. It will be a safe place.”

For more information, visit Vocal Tapestry Utah on Facebook. λ

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