Same Sex Weddings

Equality Wins - celebrating same sex marriage

Dear Friends,

Riverview Chamber Players, formerly known as MUSE (Musicians United for Sexual Equality), provides classical chamber music for weddings and special occasions serving the LGBT community as well as the straight community.

MUSE was founded in 1994 to provide live chamber music for a variety of events benefiting the Greater Boston LGBT population. The lesbian and gay professional classical musicians of MUSE have performed at benefits for a number of active organizations such as Fenway Community Health Center, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG), as well as for private functions and commitment ceremonies.

In the mid ‘90s I was worried about having the words gay or lesbian on advertising materials for straight weddings and events, so I chose to have a gay business, MUSE, alongside a straight one, Riverview Chamber Players. In Massachusetts in 2004 same sex marriage became legal. No longer afraid that our straight clients would turn away from Riverview Chamber Players because we were a gay-friendly company employing many lesbian and gay musicians, I felt free to combine the strengths of MUSE and Riverview Chamber Players under one umbrella: Riverview Chamber Players.

Riverview has been at the center of the action since May 17, 2004 , the first day of legal same sex marriage, performing for couples as they exited Boston City Hall with their marriage licenses in hand. At the daylong outdoor reception—hosted by MassEquality, the Freedom to Marry Coalition, GLAD and the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry— Riverview musicians volunteered their time and talent to serenade the newlyweds on this remarkable occasion.

During that historic week Riverview played three same sex weddings and continued throughout the summer and fall to perform at a variety of other gay celebrations. In addition, we thrilled the 200 lesbian couples at the Olivia Cruise lesbian wedding ceremony, “Boston Celebration of Love”, at the Four Seasons Hotel and were excited to share the “stage” with singer and guitarist, Lucy Blue Tremblay, who sang a gorgeous ballad during the lighting of the unity candle.

As a lesbian, I understand the challenges of being gay in this world, and rejoice in knowing that many more of our straight brothers and sisters validate and support our relationships and include us in the community as a whole. It has been a privilege for me and the other Riverview musicians to play at these weddings and to witness the joy and love that guests—gay and straight, young and old—bring to wedding couples and their celebrations. What a comfort it is to know that we can share love and commitment to our partners with adoring and accepting family and friends, as well as with the vendors we hire for these special occasions.

It is a blessing to live in a state that honors couples and their families with marriage rights which have been wrongly denied us for so long.

Check out our Selecting Ceremony Music Guide, view our sample music programs, and listen to our music samples.

Rebecca Strauss
Music Director