Best Chorus Orange County 2011 - Men Alive
Composer Rich Cook, the founder of Orange County's Men Alive chorus, once worked as music director for the Reverend Pat Robertson of Christian Broadcasting Network fame and for the televangelists at Trinity Broadcasting Network, neither of which would have been elated if Cook had openly declared his sexuality while in its employment. About 10 years ago, while living in Laguna Beach, Cook created this gay men's chorus, which has grown from 13 singers to 130. But more important, Cook's dream of serving as goodwill ambassador for the local gay community has worked. His upbeat group are now a well-respected musical operation who perform at the county's largest venues and have included participation by Debbie Reynolds, Michael Feinstein, Sam Harris and Bernadette Peters.