Moshe R. Adams, now in his second season with Congressional Chorus, says he’s drawn to the group because its members perform music no one else in the region is doing.
The chorus will perform “We Will Rise: the Search for Equality, Justice & Freedom in Song, Poetry & Dance” on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 4:30 p.m. at Church of the Epiphany (1317 G St., N.W.) with the Joy of Motion Dance Center, the Alexandria Harmonizers, Unique Sounds of Love, Capitol Movement and Chris Urquiaga. Tickets are $18-36. Details at congressionalchorus.org.
The chorus will perform “All of Us,” a piece from Craig Hella Johnson’s “Considering Matthew Shepard.” Other performers will also share LGBT-themed works.
“This show is political, fun, beautifully sung and multi-disciplinary,” says Adams, a 43-year-old Chicago native. “Extraordinary stuff.”
He’ll perform a gospel/rock solo called “We Have Circled This Mountain.” He’ll also sing a piece called “Harriet Tubman” with tenor Kenneth Fishe that he says is “a ton of fun to sing.”
Adams has two music degrees and spent a decade working as a singer/actor in Chicago before coming to Washington in 2008. He works by day as a federal grant manager but enjoys singing with the chorus and other performance opportunities such as a one-man showcase he’s planning for 2018.
Adams and partner James F. Byers Jr. live in Ward 7. Adams enjoys watching “Judge Judy” (“I’m a huge fan!”) in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I told my immediate family in early 1992. My parents and brother were the hardest to tell because I care(d) about them the most. In the early ‘90s, there were (and still are) horror stories galore about coming-out disasters that ended in gay daughters and sons being thrown out, assaulted and murdered by family members. We didn’t have nearly as many resources in those days so I was terrified.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I don’t know. I don’t go out to many nightspots and haven’t been in D.C. long enough to know about any old-school places.
Describe your dream wedding.
As a kid I never dreamed that we would be able to get married so my dream wedding could, literally, be anywhere just as long as I’m surrounded by my family and friends. There would be lots of great music and my musical family/friends would all sing!
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Women’s issues such as discrimination, harassment (sexual/non-sexual), assault, inequality, health, child care, education, etc.
What historical outcome would you change?
All things Trump.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
The Red Wedding from “Game of Thrones.”
On what do you insist?
That we stand up for people who are vulnerable, disenfranchised and truly underserved.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
An article from cnet.com “This Was The Hottest Tech 20 Years Ago … in 1997.” My hashtag is #WEOLD.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
What could I do? I would question it whole-heartedly, watch it closely (in the news) and work to greatly limit and curtail its implementation, especially on vulnerable populations.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I’m a spiritual, not religious, person.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
First, always pay increased and focused attention to people with the least power, money and influence; they have the most at stake. Second, good intentions and moral high ground don’t matter if we don’t win elections and pass legislation to change lives. Third, inclusivity and transparency are great but we don’t have to agree on absolutely 100 percent of everything in the world to still be united and on the same side.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
A private audience with (Dame) Judge Judy and voice lesson from Chaka Khan.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That gay people are gay because they were molested or that gay kids ask to be sexually assaulted. Straight kids get sexually abused too.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Paris Is Burning”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
I don’t put much stock in trophies, awards, prizes etc. However, my mother saying that she’s proud of me is something that still fills my heart.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That I could change my mind, take bigger risks and invest more deeply in myself without so much fear.
I moved to D.C. right after grad school with one month’s rent in the bank, a ton of credit card debt, no savings and all the things I owned. I had no job and no connections in the region. I took a big risk. So, initially, it was about employment, the arts and access to public transportation (I didn’t have a car). How life has changed. Now, it’s about building a life and legacy with my partner that mirrors our ideals and long-term goals.