SFGMC's "I Am Harvey Milk" Original Cast Recording Wins Independent Music Award

Recently, the Independent Music Awards (IMAs) named the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus the winner in the Soundtrack / Cast Recording category for I Am Harvey Milk. I Am Harvey Milk is an emotional celebration of an American icon. Part choral work, part theater piece, it weaves the story of Harvey Milk’s life – from boyhood to his rise as the first openly gay man to hold public office in California and to his untimely assassination. “The entire two year commissioning process that surrounded the creation of “I Am Harvey Milk’ was transformative for our Chorus,” says SFGMC Artistic Director Dr. Tim Seelig. “The project commemorated the 35th Anniversary of the chorus and Harvey Milk’s assassination. On the day of the world premiere, the Supreme Court made its monumental decisions moving equal rights for the LGBTQ community forward adding enormous significance to the project. The music is amazing and continues to move audiences across the U.S. We are proud to have helped birth it.” With music and words by Tony® and Grammy® Award nominee Andrew Lippa (Big Fish, The Addams Family, The Wild Party), I Am Harvey Milk features Lippa as Harvey Milk, Tony® Award-winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, NBC’s Go On and The Sound of Music Live) as the Soprano Soloist and Noah Marlowe (Mary Poppins, Fun Home) as young Harvey, along with the 300 men of the Chorus. Recorded live during the world premiere at Nourse Theater in San Francisco, the recording was mixed by multi-Grammy® Award winner Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound and is available now at SFGMC.org, Amazon and on iTunes. The veteran artists and rising stars named as 13th IMA Winners in more than 80 Album, EP, Song, Music Producer, Music Video and Design categories were selected from thousands of submissions from around the globe, and were determined by a panel of influential artists and music industry executives. “While the number of outlets that promote independent artists and new music continues to grow, audiences for these new media entities don’t have the influence of mainstream outlets,” said Martin Folkman, Executive Director of The Independent Music Awards. “The program’s goal is to gain exposure for extraordinary self-released and independent label artists and their recent recordings.” The 13th IMA Judging panel featured exceptional recording artists including: Ann Wilson & Nancy Wilson of Heart, Chiddy Bang, Suzanne Vega, G. Love, Sharon Jones, Laurie Anderson, Jim Lauderdale, Krewella, Shelby Lynne, Joshua Redman, Lunice, Chris Wood & Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers, Hudson Mohawke, Raul Midon, Melissa Auf der Maur, Aoife O’Donovan, Judy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Meshell Ndegeocello, Arturo Sandoval, Band Of Skulls, Adam Agee, Dennis Diken, Nathan Currin, Lindz West of LZ7, Ben Bruce of Asking Alexandria and Jonathan Steingard of Hawk Nelson. The world premiere of the choral work, I Am Harvey Milk, concluded the Chorus’s 35th anniversary season at the Harvey Milk 2013 concert. The recording is a perfect culmination of SFGMC’s 35-year history, which began with its first public performance, at the candlelight vigil for slain Supervisor Harvey Milk. I Am Harvey Milk is conducted by Dr. Timothy Seelig, orchestrated by August Eriksmoen, and features the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus accompanied by Carl Pantle on piano and members of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony. I Am Harvey Milk at Nourse Theater was produced by Bruce Cohen, in association with Robb Nanus and Jessica Leventhal, directed by Noah Himmelstein, and Video and Projection Design by Andrew Lazarow. Complete track listing is as follows: 01. An Operatic Masterpiece 02. I Am the Bullet 03. You Are Here 04. Friday Night in the Castro 05. Was I Wrong? 06. A Decent Society 07. Sticks and Stones 08. Lavender Pen 09. Thank you, Mrs. Rosenblatt 10. San Francisco 11. Leap 12. Tired of the Silence I Am Harvey Milk was commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, along with Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus, Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus, and Heartland Men's Chorus. Following its World Premiere in San Francisco, the piece has been made available for choruses to perform from coast-to-coast. The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will next present the oratorio on July 19 and 20, 2014 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of its 35th anniversary season, along with singers from the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.