RHYTHM brings the SFGMC into elementary, middle, and high schools across the Bay Area to share a message of love, inclusivity, and strength.

As part of its 40th season, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus unveiled RHYTHM: Reaching Youth Through Music in February of 2018. The fully immersive two-week workshop series brings SFGMC into Bay Area schools to learn about their community, share messages of hope and courage through music and personal stories, and encourage all to live their authentic life.

music has the power to bring people together

We Help Empower and Celebrate LGBTQ Youth Across San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area.

RHYTHM is a workshop series comprised of FOUR components that spans over the course of two weeks.

1. A 45-minute workshop with the school's GSA club where students discuss the school's climate and inclusivity. Together, they create action steps on solutions that could help bring more acceptance and allow all students to live their most authentic lives.

2. A choral master class with SFGMC's Associate Artistic Director. If the school has a choral program, the group is invited to sing one of its songs included in the RHYTHM program with the SFGMC singers. Our Associate Artistic Director, Mitch Galli, does a master class with the choir to prepare the students and soloists for the performance.

3. The pinnacle of the workshop is a 40-55 minute performance by RHYTHM from ~50 SFGMC singers. The performance is a combination of song, story, and an informational dialogue with a facilitated Q&A at the end. In between songs, students will meet our singers on a more intimate level, learn about what it was like growing up gay, understand the struggles and liberations of coming out, and finally embracing their authentic self.

4. The workshop series concludes with a Meet and Greet Luncheon with the GSA students and the SFGMC singers. This lunch creates a space for the students to get to know the singers better, ask follow-up questions about the RHYTHM performance, and find new role models.

Students in the South San Francisco High School Choir join SFGMC in singing "You Have More Friends Than You Know" during a RHYTHM performance.  Photo: Gareth Gooch

Students in the South San Francisco High School Choir join SFGMC in singing "You Have More Friends Than You Know" during a RHYTHM performance. Photo: Gareth Gooch

Our goals are simple

  • Encourage students to better understand who they are as individuals
  • Accept and foster LGBTQ youth and their peers to be their authentic selves
  • Guide youth to make positive choices surrounding acceptance
  • Increase awareness that identifying as LGBTQ is not a choice
  • Serve as role models
Students enjoy a  Meet and Greet   Luncheon  with the SFGMC singers after a performance of RHYTHM.  Photo: Gareth Gooch

Students enjoy a Meet and Greet Luncheon with the SFGMC singers after a performance of RHYTHM. Photo: Gareth Gooch

In California, 87% of LGBTQ of students report hearing “gay” in a negative way. Eighty-five percent report being verbally harassed and one out of four report being physically harassed. Many LGBTQ students in California do not have access to in-school resources and supports.

RHYTHM reaffirms and supports students in expressing their authentic selves regardless of their sexual orientation. The program also promotes the power of being an ally.

With themes of pride, individualism, anti-bullying, and advocacy, RHYTHM brings students and members of SFGMC together to share our experiences, foster a safe space, and grow from the powerful stories of our past.

During Season 40, SFGMC visited four high schools and one elementary school across the Bay Area from El Cerrito to East Palo Alto to Petaluma. In its first season, RHYTHM reached 4,000+ students. Looking ahead into Season 41, SFGMC plans to visit 8+ schools to continue sharing our message of love and inclusion, and provide students the strength to lead their most authentic lives.

The Reviews Are In!

Here's what students and teachers had to say after experiencing RHYTHM's workshop series:

"How can you improve perfection?" 

"The singing really captivated the school and brought us together.”

"My favorite part was when they sang with our school choir because it shows that by standing together, you can overcome anything."

"I learned that if you express yourself, you will discover friends you never knew you had."

"[I enjoyed] when [the singers] told their stories because it made me happy knowing they went through the same things as I am going through.”

"[Rhythm] brings a great balance of interactive dialogue, storytelling, dancing, and songs. Students were highly engaged and it made a huge impact to hear personal stories from the chorus members about their childhoods." 

"I should express 100% of myself"


Please contact Young Audiences of Northern California at 415-974-5554, ext. 7262 or send an email to [email protected].

60 singers from the Chorus perform the opening number in RHYTHM.  Photo: Gareth Gooch

60 singers from the Chorus perform the opening number in RHYTHM. Photo: Gareth Gooch

"[RHYTHM was] one of the most moving and rewarding moments for me as a teacher for over twenty years. Unforgettable." Elementary School Teacher