A web project launched last September by columnist and author Dan Savage, It Gets Better now hosts more than 25,000 user-created videos which have received more than 40 million views. It's all in the interest of giving hope to young people facing harassment and bullying, including but not limited to LGBTQ teens.
Now the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus will do their part for the site by recording a performance of Aaron Copland's "The Promise of Living" tonight at 8 p.m. at the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center on the University of Indianapolis campus.
Indianapolis Men's Chorus interim artistic director Greg Sanders took on the project and organized the group’s performance.
“I wanted to do something to really give back to those who have supported us,” Sanders said. “This seemed like a good outlet for that.”
Copland’s six-minute “The Promise of Living,” from The Tender Land, is a fitting piece for the performance since the lyrics inspire unity for a common purpose, Sanders said.
“It’s really about growing up,” Sanders said. “We’ve all been there, so it’s a piece anyone can relate to.”
Sanders recalls a time when the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus was harassed. In 1991, the choir faced a crowd of religious protestors at Indiana Pride Day, where the group led off festivities on Monument Circle with a performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Twenty years later, Sanders said the environment has changed.
“It’s still not the norm to be gay, but it’s not as taboo anymore, so there is a lot less hostility,” Sanders said. “But obviously bullying is still a problem and there are issues that need to be addressed.”
Gay-straight alliances from Butler University, University of Indianapolis and IUPUI are planning to attend the event.
“This is a new kind of project for the chorus,” Sanders said. “It’s something the public can really get behind.”
The video, which will be filmed and edited by WFYI, is expected to be up by the end of the January.