Creating a More Tolerant Society Through the Power of Music
The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus is one of New England’s largest and most successful community-based choruses. Now in its 31st season, the 175-voice ensemble is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming, and groundbreaking community outreach. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Reuben M. Reynolds III, the BGMC sings a wide spectrum of classical and popular music with excellence and builds bridges to all people by providing a positive, affirming image of the gay and lesbian community. Each year the Chorus offers a subscription concert series of three programs, performed in the city’s most prestigious venues including Jordan Hall, the Cutler Majestic Theatre, and Symphony Hall. The Chorus is heard live by more than 12,000 people each season and thousands more through recordings and television broadcasts. The Boston Business Journal consistently ranks the BGMC in its list of the top 25 performing arts organizations in greater Boston.
In June 2005, the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus toured central Europe, performing in Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. In Berlin, the chorus appeared before a crowd of 700,000 for the city’s Christopher Street Day celebration. In Prague, the BGMC performed a concert supporting domestic partnership legislation in world-renowned Dvorak Hall at the Rudolfinum. The Chorus’s journey to Wroclaw, Poland marked the first-ever performance by a gay chorus in that country. The appearance sparked protest and the BGMC performed to a sold out crowd under police guard.
The BGMC enjoys a high profile in the greater Boston community. Special appearances have included the re-opening of the Boston Opera House, the gala opening of Hockney exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, the 1999 Boston Pops July 4th Esplanade concert and telecast, the grand opening concert of the FleetCenter with James Taylor and Patti LaBelle, and Mayor Menino’s inaugural breakfast. The Chorus has also performed for the Boston Children’s Museum, multiple Human Rights Campaign Dinners, Boston Lyric Opera’s The Flying Dutchman, and the American Guild of Organists National Convention.
In 2001, the BGMC became the first not-for-profit organization to produce a concert at the FleetBoston Pavilion with a program that featured Tony Award winner Nell Carter. The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus was the first openly gay organization to perform at Boston’s historic Symphony Hall and has sung in prestigious venues from coast to coast, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall; Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco; and in Montreal, Minneapolis, Denver, Tampa, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. The BGMC has appeared in every New England state and often performs outreach concerts in the region. A half-hour documentary about the BGMC was seen nationwide on public television stations during 2003. The show, part of the series The Visionaries hosted by Sam Waterston, documented the work of organizations working to create positive social change. The BGMC episode won a 2003 Telly Award for Outstanding Short Documentary, given to non-network TV programming.
The BGMC has recorded ten compact discs, earning 4 Outmusic Award nominations. Recent discs include our newest holiday CD Joy!, In Need of Music, Live in Poland, Here to Stay: The Music of George Gershwin, Best of the BGMC – Live and Razzle Dazzle: The Broadway Hits of Kander & Ebb. Gloria, a holiday CD with brass and organ, won the coveted Outmusic Award in 2002 for Outstanding New Recording. Other recordings include Eos, Oz and Beyond: The Music of Harold Arlen, Freedom, Merriment & Joy, and Visions: Words for the Future. The BGMC is also heard on the Boston Pops recording A Splash of Pops (RCA Victor) under the baton of Keith Lockhart.
The BGMC sings a diverse repertoire encompassing virtually all periods and styles of music, from classical masterpieces to popular entertainment. The Chorus also has a distinguished history of creating new music for itself, commissioning more than a dozen works from nationally prominent composers including Daniel Pinkham, David Conte, Conrad Susa, and Libby Larsen. In addition, the BGMC has given numerous local premieres. From 1985 to 1997, the BGMC was under the direction of Robert Barney, who now holds the title of Conductor Laureate. The Chorus is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA), an international organization of more than 180 men’s, women’s, and mixed-voice choruses.