Each individual member of MenAlive has his own story, his own set of circumstances resulting in the wearing of that tux, vest, and tie. Some desire to express what they have already identified as a driving creative force. Others see the chorus as an opportunity to move forward in their lives, only to find inner talent they never realized existed. Whether second tenor Robb Neale fits in the former or latter category is unimportant; what is important is that he has demonstrated both drive and talent in his tenure with the chorus.
Robb grew up in San Diego and went to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. “My first glimpse of New York City opened my eyes to the world and taught me that I could see any part of it I wanted to.” After college, he lived in London, Seattle (WA), Japan, and Honolulu, where he worked both backstage and singing in front of audiences with the Honolulu Men’s Chorus as well as other local theater companies. Robb returned to California in 1999, took a sabbatical from singing, and decided to audition for MenAlive after his partner died in 2004. “I needed to meet new people and get active again. So, I decided to look for another local chorus, since I'd enjoyed Honolulu so much. I kept missing the [MenAlive] concerts for one reason or another, so finally decided just to audition sight-unseen, figuring if I didn't enjoy it, I'd just quit. Needless to say, I enjoyed it and stayed!”
The Orange County Gay Men’s chorus has benefitted greatly from Robb's presence. He has been a creative force and has not shied away from being on-stage in some memorable scenes, wearing some extraordinary costumes, having played at various times a Marvelette, a member of the Lullaby League and George Frideric Handel. Robb's favorite moment with MenAlive was having a substantial role in the conception and production of the “Wicked to Oz” concert. His dream is to one day actually set foot on a Broadway stage.
Robb has high praise for MenAlive. “Where else do we find well over 100 gay men who get together for a common purpose? I see the complete range of generations, giving a history and reality to the gay experience.”
Robb's creative effort is part of that reality.