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Mission Statement

The Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus entertains audiences, supports communities, and fosters acceptance through exceptional musical performance.
 

Overview

Since its formation in 1981, the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus has steadily increased its standing within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and among Philadelphia arts organizations.

The regular subscription season includes concert productions in December, March and June. In addition, the Chorus performs at cabarets, fundraisers, and other community events throughout the year.  Our small auditioned ensemble, Brotherly Love, presents a concert in February as part of the subscription series.  Additionally, they perform at other concerts and community outreach events throughout the year, representing the Chorus at events where participation by the full body is impractical.

Our repertoire includes a broad range of styles, including art music from the 17th century to the present, spirituals, sacred music, holiday tunes, love ballads, comic pieces, pop and rock songs, Broadway and Hollywood, opera choruses, folk songs from around the world, the latest LGBT empowerment music and other newly commissioned LGBT works.

   

Vision

We are a vital organization striving to present challenging musical opportunities to our members, audiences and broader communities. We perform varied programs to entertain and educate everyone we touch, creating and preserving a legacy of male choral music and helping our members to improve their musical skills.

We pride ourselves on fostering a safe family atmosphere of compassion and respect, nurturing each other's development both personally and musically. We encourage our members to express their individuality, and value their contributions, allowing for growth, creativity and development, both with us and within society.

We strive to be leaders in the LGBT community and a resource to the wider community. Working alone and in partnership with other organizations that share our values, we seek to break down the barriers of prejudice and ignorance. We are building a better life for ourselves, our peers and society as a whole; we are ensuring a better future for ourselves and those who follow.

 

History and Highlights

1981-1989:
  • 1981 - PGMC founded by Gerald Davis and three others, caroling in bars at Christmastime.

  • 1987 - PGMC appears in its first joint concert with the Baltimore Men’s Chorus

  • 1988 - PGMC participates in its first Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses) festival. The chorus has been part of every quadrennial GALA Choruses Festival since.

1990-1999:

  • 1990 - PGMC appears at the Academy of Music for the first time as part of the AIDS benefit “HeartStrings,” a national tour featuring Sandy Duncan and Jason Bateman.
    Duncan Bateman

  • 1992 - PGMC performs in an AIDS benefit with local icons Sally Starr and Juanita Holiday.
    StarrHoliday

  • 1993 - The Chorus is the opening performer at the first PrideFest (now Equality Forum) celebration.

  • 1995 - PGMC joins with three other regional gay choruses for a joint concert featuring Marilyn Horne.
    Horne

  • 1997 - Our first CD, “The Spirit Says Sing,” is released.

  • 1997 - PGMC becomes the first gay performing arts group to perform in Philadelphia City Hall, with an appearance in the City Council chamber.

  • 1997 - PGMC sings as part of the William Way LGBT Community Center building dedication.
2000-2009:

  • 2000 - The Chorus is invited to perform at an awards ceremony honoring actor and gay activist Sir Ian McKellen.
    McKellen

  • 2001 - PGMC performs Schoenberg’s “A Survivor from Warsaw” with the Mendelssohn Club.

  • 2003 - The Chorus appears at the National Constitution Center dedication, performing Randall Thomson’s “Testament of Freedom,” based on the writings of Thomas Jefferson. The dedication is televised nationally on C-SPAN.

  • 2006 - PGMC makes its Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts debut with a 25th Anniversary concert featuring the premiere of its first exclusively commissioned work, “Open Road,” based on the poetry of Walt Whitman, and composed by Robert Maggio, and a CD release of the work.

  • 2007 - PGMC releases its first CD of holiday songs, “Holiday Delights”.

  • 2009 - PGMC, the Anna Crusis Women's Choir, and the Mendelssohn Club present “Voices of Equality,” a joint concert featuring a new commissioned work by each group.

  • 2009 - Broadway legend Andrea McArdle headlines the annual “Showstoppers” fundraising cabaret at the University of the Arts.
    McArdle
2010-Today:
  • 2010 - Members of the Chorus join the Opera Company of Philadelphia and others for a “random act of culture” - a performance of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” in Macy’s Grand Court.

  • 2011 - PGMC becomes the first LGBT group to participate in Philadelphia's New Year's Mummers tradition with an appearance between numbers at the Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
    Mummer

  • 2012 - PGMC concludes its 30th Anniversary Season with a newly commissioned work, “Raise Our Voice,” composed by the Chorus' own collaborative accompanist, Michael Djupstrom, with lyrics by PGMC member Chip Alfred.

 
The Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus P.O. Box 30185 Philadelphia, PA, 19103 215.731.9230 info @ pgmc.org