Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Quarantine comfort: New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus streams joy with ‘Home for the Holidays’

The New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus, conducted by Aaron Howe.

The title is intentional.

In a nod to the quarantined, “Home for the Holidays” is the New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus’ attempt at bringing a cup of audio comfort to its listeners during the pandemic.

Scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13, these virtual concerts of holiday favorites are free, with donations encouraged at

Artistic Director Aaron Howe decided on a virtual season months ago. Leading a virtual choir has had its challenges.

“I’ve been getting used to it,” he said. “We started working on this transition back in April. None of us had experience, so we had to learn it from scratch.”

The singers are recording their individual parts through Zoom, he said.

“Then we mix that together, and it sounds like a chorus.”

For his part, Howe had to learn software programs, video editing and sound mixing.

“Normally, we push and push toward the end performance,” he said. “Now, we’re performing as we go.”

Howe scoured past programs to pinpoint what he considered the strongest performances.

This year’s lineup features favorites such as “O Holy Night” and “Silver Bells,” as well as lesser-known works and a mashup of “Lo How a Rose Are Blooming” with “The Rose,” as well as “Believe” from “The Polar Express.”

Listening and recording their own vocals has proved to be somewhat of a challenge to some choristers, Howe said.

“They talk about it – how they hate the video or send me emails,” he said. “I say, ‘Don’t be critical of yourself.’ Even in performance, nothing is perfect. It actually all blends into a whole.”

Subscribe now! Albuquerque Journal limited-time offer

Albuquerque Journal seeks stories of our community's pandemic loss

If you’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19 and would like for the person to be included in an online memorial the Journal plans to publish, please email a high-resolution photo and a sentence about the person to Please email
Please include your contact information so we can verify, and your loved one’s name, age, community where they lived and something you want our readers to know about them.