Today, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus announces that Teddy Witherington will step down as executive director of the Chorus in July in order to embark on a new phase of his service to the LGBT community. You’ll find details in our press release.
Teddy Witherington’s reflections about SFGMC Chorus
May 29, 2012
“My first experience of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus was deeply moving. As executive director of San Francisco Pride, it was my duty and privilege to deliver a donation to the Chorus from KOFY TV20 based on the proceeds from the sale of KOFY’s video of the Parade. I brought the check to Laguna Honda, where the Chorus was rehearsing. Matthew Shepard, the young gay man brutalized in one of this nation’s most notorious hate crimes, had died earlier that day. As Chorus members linked arms and sang Irish Blessing, I felt a profound sense of perfect sadness, dignity and common humanity.
“The power of music to express and strengthen our shared humanity has been my biggest motivator during the six years I have worked with the Chorus. Some audience members may experience it through the lyrics of a particular song, others through the way we offer our musical excellence as a gift, and others through the mere fact of seeing us standing tall and proud on stage.
“I have been privileged to experience many such moments with the Chorus. In 2005, at a time when I was coming through an immense health challenge, I sat with friends in the audience for Home for the Holidays and felt a sense of belonging, security and comfort. In 2007, I experienced USS Metaphor as a wonderful celebration of joy and meaning. In 2010, we lived our mission in a dramatic way through the California Freedom Tour, and were rewarded with an extraordinary reception in city after city. Last year, the sheer beauty and power of the Spring Concert Words created waves of love that nourished all who participated and witnessed.
“My journey with the Chorus will come full circle in July when we go to Laramie and Denver to present concerts for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. I know I’ll feel the same way I felt in 1998 and will feel forever about this Chorus, this brave, kind group of men who have brought such beauty and meaning into my life.
“Thank you all.”