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    Highlights from “Home For The Holidays”

    gmc3A timeline and some fun facts for “Home for The Holidays” afficionados!

    1990 – The first “Home For The Holidays” is performed at the Castro Theatre. There were two shows.

    1991 – Donna Sachet joins the Chorus. The rest is history.

    1992 – “Silent Night” is signed for deaf audience members.

    1996 – A third show is added at 5:00pm. Broadway star Lisa Vroman appears.

    1999 – Nuns perform the “Hallelujah Chorus.” 2002 – Because of growth, the Chorus can no longer fit on the stage with the organ. Audiences are disappointed no longer to hear carols played before the show, but are thrilled with the larger number of singers participating.

    2003 – “Fruitcake” featuring our own Martha Stewart debuts.

    2005 – “Nutcracker Jingles” is performed with singers in tutus. Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927” is performed in memory of those who suffered in Hurricane Katrina.

    2009 – “Not In Our Town” describes the bullying of a Jewish boy.

    2011 – “Favorite One” stops the show with synchronized Elves and Reindeer.

    2012 – The entire Chorus dresses as Santas with an outrageous appearance of Mrs. Santa, who attempts to sing.

    2014 – SFGMC celebrates 25 years of “Home for the Holidays” with shows at both the Nourse Theater and the Castro Theatre.

    The first “Home for the Holidays!” show at the historic Castro Theatre was presented by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Stan Hill, on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1990. The tradition of Christmas Eve shows at the Castro has continued since then, and the San Francisco Bay Times is proud to have been there for many of them with our own Sister Dana often volunteering.

    Even earlier than 1990, SFGMC participated in holiday season concerts dating all the way back to December 20, 1978, when director Jon Sims and conductors Richard Kramer and Sondra “Sonni” Zambino presented a program at Everett Junior High School that included performances by the SF Gay Freedom Day Marching Band, Women’s Chorus, and Brass Choir, in addition to SFGMC.

    In 1981, under the direction of conductor Dick Kramer, SFGMC joined with the SF Lesbian and Gay Men’s Community Chorus, conducted by Robin Kay, to present a holiday celebration entitled “Now Sing Again with Hearts Aglow,” held on Sunday, December 20, and Thursday, December 24, at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco. Concerts of a similar title were held at the same location in 1983 and 1984.

    SFGMC holiday programs have been presented in other San Francisco venues, including the Masonic Auditorium, Mission High School, Herbst Theatre/SF War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, Center for the Arts Theater at Yerba Buena Gardens, Palace of Fine Arts and Davies Symphony Hall.

    The holiday shows have also gone on the road to be presented throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Venues have included the First Congregational Church, Santa Cruz; Thomas Downey High School, Modesto High School and Modesto Junior College, Modesto; Sonoma Country Day School and Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa; and Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, CA.

    A number of featured guests have joined SFGMC on stage for holiday season shows. Among these have been Claudia White, Meg Mackay, Melody Moore, Jan Wahl, Kim Kuzma, Dr. Yvette Flunder, Marina Harris, and Jason Victor Serinus. The Chorus’ own Donna Sachet has returned repeatedly as a featured guest.

    Home for the Holidays Conductors 1990-2014

    Dr. Stan Hill, Conductor Emeritus, July 1989 – July 2000

    Joseph Jennings, Guest Conductor, Sept. – Dec. 1998

    Dr. Kathleen McGuire, Conductor Laureate, Aug. 2000 – Dec. 2010

    Dr. Timothy Seelig, Guest Conductor, Feb. – June 2009;
    Artistic Director & Conductor, Jan. 2011 – Present

    SFGMC Holiday Music Discography

    Our Gay Apparel (September 1995, December 2003)

    Home for the Holidays – Live at the Castro Theatre (June 2005)