GALA Choruses

Read about GALA Festival VII in Montréal, July 17-24, 2004.

The Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses was founded in 1982 by 14 choruses. It now boasts over 200 member choruses from 8 countries. 

VIIe Festival International.
Montréal hosts the seventh International GALA Choruses Festival from July 17 - July 24, 2004.

I have sung with the following choruses:

Under the direction of Dr. Timothy Seelig, the Turtle Creek Chorale celebrates its 25th anniversary with the 2004 - 2005 Season. The Turtle Creek Chorale has recorded more music than any other men's chorus in the world. Listen to the newest CD Journey: Circles of Our Lives which I sang in my first concert with Turtle Creek in April 2004. I am looking forward to performing with the chorale in Montreal at the GALA VIIe Festival International.

San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus logoThe San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, one of the founding member choruses of GALA, was also the first men's chorus to use the "G" word and self-identify as gay.  Over the 22 year history of SFGMC, the organization has grown to more than 200 singing members.  From 1988 - 2000 SFGMC was under the artistic direction of Dr. Stan Hill.  In July 2000, Dr. Hill moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to pick up the baton as Artistic Director of the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus.

In 2000 SFGMC welcomed a new Artistic Director, Kathleen McGuire, who previously directed the Rainbow Chorus in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Originally from Australia, Dr. McGuire, will bring a whole new perspective to conducting the oldest gay men's chorus in the world.  Check out the latest CD I recorded with the chorus, Exile, recorded for GALA Festival 2000, premiered Friday night, July 21, 2000, at Masonic Auditorium, San Francisco.

The fourth GALA member chorus I joined was the Gay Men's Chorus of Houston which welcomed me warmly when I was between jobs and allowed me to join them for the Christmas concert in 2003.

From 2000 to 2002 I sang with the Tampa Bay Gay Men's Chorus under the talented baton of Phil Mullinax. The highlight of experience with TBGMC was our trip to New York to perform Sing for the Cure at Carnegie Hall with the Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women's Chorus of Dallas, and Crescendo Women's Chorus from Tampa.



The first gay men's chorus I joined was the Silicon Valley Gay Men's chorus in 1988, shortly after I came out. We sang under the direction of the only lesbian director of a gay men's chorus at the time. She was a kick. I haven't asked her yet if I can use her name on this site, so I won't. It was with SFGMC that I attended my first GALA festival in Seattle in 1989, and GALA IV in Denver in 1992.

I also attended GALA V in Tampa in 1996 and GALA VI in 2000 in San Jose, California in July 2000.  Every four years GALA choruses descend upon an unsuspecting community and take over their major performance halls and housing accommodations.  Not really 'unsuspecting', the City of San Jose enthusiastically supported the organizer's application in 1996 to host Festival 2000.  Nearly 6000 GALA chorus members attended the weeklong events including concerts by individual choruses and small groups, as well as clinics and workshops. We were also captivated by two wonderful supporters of the gay and lesbian choral movement Harvey Fierstein and Nell Carter. Kate Clinton (no relation to Bill) entertained us with the closing keynote address and inspired us to be wary of apathy within the gay and lesbian community. Although the struggle for acceptance has resulted in domestic partner benefits and hate crime legislation, the status of gay and lesbian people in the United States is far from equal to that of the heterosexual population. She urged us to remain involved in our communities and continue to fight for change.  

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