SAN FRANCISCO (August 16, 2018) – In celebration of San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’ (SFGMC) 40th birthday, Artistic Director Dr. Timothy Seelig and Executive Director Chris Verdugo announced today the full lineup of events that will take place during the weekend of October 26–28, 2018.
“We put together a weekend filled with celebrations to mark both our artistic accomplishments and social justice work over the past four decades,” said Verdugo. “We look forward to opening the doors to our alumni, supporters, and fans who have made substantial contributions to the Chorus and our community.”
Adds Seelig: “How do you plan a 40th birthday party for a force-of-nature like the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus? Well, it must begin with glorious music and end with an enormous birthday cake, fabulous party and a drag brunch featuring the one-and-only Donna Sachet. The highlight, though, will be the ground breaking for our memorial at the National AIDS Memorial Grove. It will be a magnificent weekend of memorable events, friends old and new, and family.”
The weekend extravaganza kicks off on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 8 p.m. with TRIBUTE: Our 40th Birthday, a momentous concert at San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Paying tribute to the memory of the almost 300 singers the Chorus has lost to the AIDS pandemic, the Chorus will perform the reflective “When We No Longer Touch.” Composed in 1991, “When We No Longer Touch” was the first requiem dedicated to those lost to AIDS. Featuring the Chorus, orchestra and acclaimed soprano Ellie Dehn (Teatro alla Scala, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera), this occasion also marks the first time SFGMC performs at St. Ignatius Catholic Church. Tickets for TRIBUTE: Our 40th Birthday range in price from $35–$60 and are available now by visiting www.SFGMC.org or by calling 415-865-3650.
On Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 11 a.m., SFGMC breaks ground on a permanent memorial at the National AIDS Memorial Grove, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Positioned at the west entrance of the Grove, this stunning installation will center around an eight-foot-tall Emperor Chime. This unique aural feature will provide the extended SFGMC family from around the world with a place to reflect and remember. A tribute to those Chorus members lost over the past four decades, the memorial will also include the names of regional, national and international arts organizations from all disciplines who have also lost members. The first of those to be represented are members of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA). The dedication of the completed installation will take place on December 1, World AIDS Day.
Following the National AIDS Memorial Grove ceremony, on Saturday, October 27 at 1 p.m. SFGMC will host Fabulous at 40, a festive birthday party in the elegant Empire Ballroom at San Francisco’s Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Featuring a “Streets of San Francisco” menu that includes culinary treats from the various neighborhoods that make San Francisco unique, guests will share songs, relive special memories, and raise a glass to celebrate SFGMC’s 40 years of making music and spreading compassion. The luncheon is capped off with a multi-tiered birthday cake created by Sir Francis Drake Hotel’s award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Kimberly Bugler. Guests are encouraged to wear ruby-colored attire to represent the traditional 40th anniversary gift. Tickets for Fabulous at 40 are $60 and are available now by visiting www.SFGMC.org or by calling 415-865-3650.
The celebratory birthday weekend culminates on Sunday, October 28 at 11 a.m. with a special presentation of the legendary Sunday’s A Drag Brunch at the Starlight Room located on the 21st floor of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Serving up a delicious brunch buffet—with a side of cheeky fun—guests will be treated to an “only in San Francisco” experience provided by a bevy of San Francisco’s best drag queens and transgender performers. Tickets for Sunday’s a Drag are $50 plus tax + gratuity and are available now by visiting www.SFGMC.org or by calling 415-865-3650.
For more information on SFGMC’s 40th birthday weekend, visit www.sfgmc.org/season-concerts.
ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS
For 40 years, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has courageously served as the international standard bearer for a powerful and accomplished mix of high-caliber performance, human rights, community activism, empowerment and inclusiveness, establishing it as an icon among LGBTQ organizations. Founded in 1978, it was the first organization of its kind and is credited with starting the LGBTQ choral movement, galvanizing and changing the course of LGBTQ history. It continues to rally and inspire other arts-based community organizations around the world. Under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. Timothy Seelig, SFGMC has in recent seasons established a heightened level of performance standards receiving audience and choral acclaim, increased its touring and recording profile and broadened its impact and reputation in the community while maintaining its signature blend of humor, personality and high-voltage performances.
For more information on SFGMC, visit www.sfgmc.org