DENVER – From the moment the lights revealed the Orlando Gay Chorus on stage, the audience rose to its feet to give them a standing ovation -- one that lasted nearly a minute-and-a-half.
OGC members traveled to Denver over the Independence Day weekend as part of of the Gala Festival, a showcase of LGBT choruses from around the country.
Members say the songs and atmosphere are usually upbeat, but this year, they took a more somber tone in the wake of the Pulse Nightclub massacre, which claimed 49 lives in Orlando.
OGC members say they could feel the change.
"Their faces are like -- can I hug you?" said OGC Vice President Carol Studer. "It really has been like that -- oh wow."
"There's something like this that really brings out the love that I think is there all along," said another OGC member. "It's unfortunate that a few people have that type of hatred."
Chorus members from other cities showed solidarity with the City Beautiful.
One group sang while holding a sign that read, "We stand with Orlando."
OGC performers have sung at countless events, both at the city and at the county level, since the mass shooting -- most of them somber events in the wake of tragedy.
This weekend was different.
"We've done more laughing in the last 24 hours than we've done in the last three weeks," said Studer.
OGC ended its performance with an audience sing-a-long.
The audience sang back to Orlando, "You'll never walk alone."
OGC members will be returning on Wednesday.