First I would like to share some thoughts about Stephanie Lynne Smith, our artistic director from 2002 to 2010. Some of her accomplishments with us was to have living gay composers write music for us. The results of this were "Woven Together" by Richard Link, who also sang with us for a couple of years. We also performed "Group Therapy", a wacky musical look at group therapy composed by our own June Bonacich. We also took this on the road to Chicago for the Gay Games Chicago cultural week. The third one was "Halloween in the Castro - a Horror Opera", a look at the history of this event composed by Jack Curtis Dubowsky, who has also given us many other songs. Stephanie also went on to become artistic director of the Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus. In 2013 she and her wife, Jen Brown, moved to Portland. She is now the Assistant Artistic Director and Pianist for Confluence: Willamette Valley LGBT Chorus. I just looked at their website and they have a full season of music coming up. Stephanie is also the presenter of "Miss Smith Presents", where she works with performers to help and encourage them to work on and sharpen their skills for public performance.
I was reading Stephanie's greeting in the program for the 32nd Annual Pride Concert which celebrated our 30th anniversary. She wrote in part "we did some spring cleaning and I came across a box of plaques, awards and old programs. The present (2010) chorus of twenty singers had once been a chorus of 150 singers and somebody named Pat Parr was all over a bunch of awards and newspaper clippings. The Cable Car Award? The Academy of Friends? What group is this? My eyes were opened, not only to the history of the group, but to endless possibilities. As I step down from this position (AD), I hold great hope the next somebody will recognize the gem they are holding." I love you Stephanie.
The Music of Dead White Men, First Congregational Church of SF, October 22 and 23. This concert marked the debut of guest conductor Cole Thomason-Redus. The music we sang in this concert ranged from Gregorian chant to music by Brahms, Samuel Barber, George Bizet's "Carmen", Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata", to songs by Jonathan Larson, Freddie Mercury and Arthur Sullivan. It was a challenge to learn all these different styles and genres of music but with Cole's guidance we all learned this wonderful music.
The 4th Annual Christmas Crap-Array, EXIT Theatre on Eddy, December 16, 17 and 18. This was the next edition of our irreverent holiday program that Miss Smith and the artistic advisory committee first cooked up in their fevered brains in 2007. Lots of fun for us and for our audience.
The 21st Annual Home for the Holidays - A Soulful Celebration, Castro Theatre, December 16 and 24. This was the latest edition of SFGMC's musical gift to the community which has become one of the City's most anticipated events to attend on Christmas. There were three shows this year at 5, 7 and 9 pm. We sang at the 9 pm show and performed "Santa Baby", "White Christmas", and "Celebrate Me Home." This is always a wonderful night of making music and to be with SFGMC and to share this music with the audience which always makes this a sold-out evening. This was a good way for us to cap off the year and looking forward to welcoming our next artistic director.
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.