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Chanticleer lives its commitment every day to virtuosity in voice, education of our youth and creation of new choral music. Thanks to generous individuals like you, Chanticleer has remained steadfast in these pursuits. Our touring, recording and ticket revenue only covers a portion of our expenses and we rely on you, our generous and devoted patrons, to make up the difference.Donate
Christmas at Grace Cathedral
Now more than ever, Grace Cathedral’s Christmas concert series is made possible by our generous sponsors, who receive recognition in the series online program and our gratitude.
San Francisco is a city built on art.
A city where the Stock Exchange boasts a Diego Rivera mural, where the first art school opened only 20 years after the Gold Rush, where the Beats emerged from the counterculture to transform an entire generation.
A love of the arts may run deep in our city, but the arts don’t stay alive by themselves. They need support. They need audiences. And more than ever, they need a home.
The Presidio Theatre provides a community-oriented space for the performing arts in an increasingly expensive city. We rely on the generous support of people like you to continue on our mission.
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
During the fall of 1978, a call went out to men in and around the Castro who liked to sing inviting them to a gathering with the purpose of possibly creating a chorus. The driving force was Jon Sims, the conductor of the Freedom Band. October 30 was chosen as the date of the first “rehearsal” to be held at Everett Middle School. The word went out and flyers were posted around the neighborhood.
Interest mounted leading up to that first gathering held at Everett Middle School. Around 100 men showed up on the first night. The atmosphere of excitement was described as palpable. The men sang “If They Could See Me Now” and “Stouthearted Men.” Jon Sims conducted the first couple of rehearsals, planning to call the group “Men About Town.” Other suggested names for the group (seriously) were Foggy City Chorus and Homosexual Choir (“gay” was still considered denigrating). After a few weeks, Dick Kramer was brought on to conduct the new group, and thankfully, they settled on the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as their name. It turned out to be a fortuitous decision. A small group of singers did keep the name “Men About Town.” By the way, the original name of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band was the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band and Twirling Corps.
The rest of the story is now legendary and suitable for movie scripts. At the fourth rehearsal, on November 27, having spent the day with the news of Harvey Milk and George Moscone’s assassinations, the singers showed up to rehearsal grief-stricken and in shock. Dick Kramer passed out Mendelsohn’s “Thou, Lord our Refuge.” The group then set out from there to the steps of City Hall for the candlelight vigil where they performed for the very first time. Little did the men who gathered more than 40 years ago know they were actually giving birth to a world-wide LGBT choral phenomenon that now boasts hundreds of choruses around the globe.