This was another year of change for the chorus. Our director, Matt O'Grady, stepped down when he announced he was going to Ireland to search for his family's roots. After this, the chorus membership shrank to about 12 to 14 core members who kept on rehearsing at Russell Kassman's piano store. By the way, Russell has been a great supporter of the chorus over the years. We sang at small gigs like at the SF General Hospital's AIDS ward, at other hospitals and senior centers. The board of directors led the search for a new director. The only actual program I have from this year is for a Candlelight Vigil which was held on May 27 at the United Nations Plaza. The Reverend Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Church was part of this event and we provided the music for it.
LGCSF History Corner - 1984
Matt O'Grady began his first full year as Director. We sang at the Cable Car Awards show along with the SFGMC and the Band. We stopped the show with "I Am What I Am." Next was another cabaret fundraiser at Fanny's. Next, after the San Francisco premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, we performed at a post-show reception in City Hall. This year in June there were two Pride concerts and I do not know the history behind this. The first was called Back in Grace, a triumphal return to Grace Cathedral along with the Band and SFGMC. The second was held in Nourse Auditorium with SFGMC. After that the chorus sang at S. F. General's AIDS ward.
This is where my time with the chorus begins. After LGCSF's performance in Nourse, I really liked what I heard and the Director announced that the chorus would be auditioning new members in August. I went to the audition and have been a member ever since. My first time singing with the chorus, a few weeks after I joined, was at the memorial service for Jon Sims at Grace Cathedral. Jon Sims was the person who founded the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band & Twirling Corps, today known as the Freedom Band. Jon also founded SFGMC and with Robin Kay, worked to create LGCSF. The Band and SFGMC also took part in this service. This was a tribute to Jon by the musical groups that are part of Jon's legacy. In November we performed Lullaby of Broadway at the Victoria Theatre. Our guests were the Tap Troupe, the S. F. Lesbian Chorus, and Vocal Minority. This was something to see with costumes, makeup and movement. We also gave a special performance as part of Gay/Lesbian Outreach to the Elderly. We also took part in Berkeley Lesbian/Gay Awareness Week, we were guests of the Band in their Canteen show, a 1940s big band show, we sang at the Gay Father's Holiday Party and were guests of SFGMC in Now Sing with Hearts Aglow (V). As you can see this was a busy year for us.
LGCSF HISTORY CORNER - 1983
Since our first director, Robin Kay, stepped down last year, Sherrin Lloyd, a member of the chorus served as Interim Director during a nationwide search for a permanent conductor. Our first performance of the year was Sound Waves, performed in San Francisco and Oakland to benefit the K.S./AIDS Foundation, Operation Concern, and the Pacific Center.
Next in June was the Pride Concert at the Warfield Theatre. This was a financial disaster and this began the chain of events that ultimately resulted in our separation from Golden Gate Performing Arts.
Over the next few months we sought a new, unsalaried director, applied to the Capp Street Foundation to serve as our financial non-profit, tax exempt umbrella, and held a number of fundraisers.
First was Bountiful Buffet, a happening comprised of buffet, bar, door prizes, silent auction, and entertainment by us and some guest professional artists. Next was Toast of the Town, a cabaret evening featuring us, some local artists, and prizes. In December, we were again guests of SFGMC in Now Sing with Hearts Aglow (IV), and introduced Matt O'Grady as our new Director. We learned to "move" with the number "Fruitcake", which stopped the show. The concert was named "Outstanding Concert of the Year" for the third consecutive year by the Cable Car Awards (see 1981) which was then retired from eligibility.
LGCSF HISTORY CORNER - 1982
Our spring concert was called Romance and Rhythm, with the guest conductor Gary Miller of New York City Gay Men's Chorus. Then in June was the Pride Concert at the Civic Center Auditorium. In September was the first West Coast Choral Festival, a marathon 12-chorus concert event coordinated by us. Then all of the singers sang "Testament of Freedom" at the closing ceremonies off the first Gay Games. Our fall concert was called Harmonic Harvest and we were again guests of SFGMC in their Now Sing With Hearts Aglow (III). This was a year of change and growth for the chorus. In our first three years, we generally did more classical music than popular, and the chorus was wanting to do more popular music. Our director, Robin Kay, preferred to work in the classical repertoire, and consequently resigned as our director. Next week 1983.
The chorus began in January 1980 with financial assistance from the Golden Gate Performing Arts, which we were part of along with the San Francisco Gay Freedom Gay Marching Band & Twirling Corps and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus. In 1980, we presented our "Premiere Performance" along with the Lambda Pro Musica orchestra on May 17, then participated in the joint "Gay Musical Celebration at Grace Cathedral" on June 27 and then marched in the Gay Freedom Day Parade on June 29. Our fall concert was held on September 27 at Mission High School. Our first artistic director was Robin Kay. Next time the chorus in 1981.
joined the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco in August of 1984, after seeing them sing in the Pride Concert the previous June and their director, Matt O'Grady, announced that if anyone in the audience wanted to join the chorus that auditions would be coming up so he joined. During his time in the chorus he has always sang in the bass section. He has served as Music Librarian, on the Production Committee, the Artistic Advisory Committee, as a bass section leader, as the GALA liaison and currently as chorus historian. He is glad to create this blog for the chorus to get the history out to anyone who looks at our website.