Tag Archives: HeartAches

Diana, A Celebration, Union Station Kansas City: HeartAches sing as exhibition nears end

Time is growing short for Diana, A Celebration, as it moves toward its final weeks at Union Station Kansas City. The months since the exhibition opened have been extraordinary in terms of the number of people who have passed through. At last count, more than 62,000 men, women and children had experienced this chronicle of the life and charitable work of the People’s Princess. Judging from the responses, it has touched many hearts, even among those individuals who expected to get nothing in particular from the experience.

It seems fitting that in the final days of the exhibition, the HeartAches ensemble from The Heartland Men’s Chorus should serenade visitors with Elton John’s famous “Candle in the Wind,” which he revised from its original version to honor the late princess after she died in an automobile accident on August 31, 1997.

The HeartAches’ performance will be in the Bank of America Gallery, outside the Diana exhibit at noon on Saturday, May 21. It will consist of a number of songs besides “Candle in the Wind” and serves as a tribute to Diana for her hard work in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In many ways, the princess was a leader in this struggle, breaking through misunderstanding and misconception not only through her words but also through bold action.

As much as anything, it seems to be Diana’s courage that attracts so many people to her, even so many years after her death. It was a courage made all the more admirable and fascinating because of her obvious vulnerability and self-doubt. In just the year before her death, she appeared to grow enormously as a person and to find her place in a world that seemed to attack and reject her as often as it poured out its love to her.

As the closing days of Diana, A Celebration draw nearer, it is appropriate to cite a few more comments from people who have visited the exhibition. They do more to reveal the emotions Diana arouses than anything else (comments edited for grammar, usage, spelling, etc.):

“Amazing! What beautiful exhibit for simply an amazing, beautiful, angelic and inspiring precious Young woman! Wow! Loved it!”

“The exhibit was thought-provoking, interesting, beautifully laid out and educational. I was impressed and did not expect to be.”

“The exhibit left ou feeling how lucky we were to have had her in our world and feeling inspired to do good works.”

“Wonderful exhibit of Diana’s dresses and other personal items. It was very moving to be so close to things that were part of her life.”

“I loved everything about the exhibition and wish that there had been more to see, but I realize that one can’t bring everything. Worth every dollar.”

Diana, A Celebration continues only through June 12, 2011. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and www.unionstation.org.

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Filed under Heartland Men's Chorus, Princess Diana, Royal Wedding, Uncategorized

Diana, A Celebration, Union Station, Kansas City: HeartAches to sing “Candle in the Wind” and other tunes

At noon on Saturday, May 21, the HeartAches, a small ensemble made up of members of The Heartland Men’s Chorus, will perform the version of Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” written in honor of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. The performance will be held in the Bank of American Gallery of Union Station Kansas City where the exhibition Diana, A Celebration, is currently on display. The original, handwritten lyrics for “Candle in the Wind” are part of the exhibit, along with the original musical notation. The free concert will include several other songs.

There is more to the HeartAches’ appearance than the connection of “Candle in the Wind” with Princess Diana. The Heartland Men’s Chorus, Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, has been performing in Kansas City and around the world for 25 years. The not-for-profit volunteer group is a member of GALA Choruses, the international association of the lesbian and gay choral movement that represents 190 choruses in Australia, Europe, South America and North America.

Formed when the AIDS epidemic was claiming many lives in Kansas City and elsewhere, The Heartland Men’s Chorus appeared as a strongly positive force on the arts landscape. Even as some of its members were claimed by the epidemic, the chorus kept singing, bringing several shows a year to the people of Kansas City and building a reputation for excellence. It seemed a united, joyful response to a terrible disease.

At the same time the chorus was making its presence known, Princess Diana was beginning to speak out and bravely confront the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. She was among the first influential people to touch and hold AIDS patients, demonstrating that one would not contract the disease from casual contact. She helped put a true face on the epidemic, showing how it affected not only gay men but straight men, women and children.

In a way, this performance by the HeartAches brings two important forces in the fight against HIV/AIDS together in a moving celebration of courage and caring. It is certain to be an emotional moment for everyone who listens and understands.

Tickets for Diana, A Celebration are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and www.unionstation.org. The exhibition will remain at Union Station through June 12.

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Filed under Heartland Men's Chorus, Princess Diana, Royal Wedding, Uncategorized