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    Tales of Our City: Our Lives, Our Heroes Takes SFGMC and the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony to a Whole New Level of Excellence

    aSometimes, we get caught “telling tales out of school.” For you youngsters, that means to gossip or throw shade. Well, there will be none of that “out of school” business when the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus tells the tales of our city.  And, of course, we are singing these stories through iconic music composed for SFGMC at our spring concert “Tales of Our City: Our Lives, Our Heroes” next week.

    Each of us has different reasons for inhabiting our fair city. Filled with dramatic and often startling contrasts, it can be a difficult place in which to live. At the same time, it is also one of the most enchanting, intoxicating, and exciting places on earth. It has birthed an astounding array of socio-political movements, heroes and general fabulousness unlike no other city in the world.

    We are going to celebrate all of that in two very special concerts on April 14 and 15 at Davies Symphony Hall.

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    We start with 300 handsome men and the 65-piece Bay Area Rainbow Symphony singing and playing their hearts out. But the jaw-dropping experience of 365 musicians on stage will be taken to a whole new level the moment local icon and hero Armistead Maupin steps onto the stage! Exactly forty years ago, he introduced the bodacious drama of life in San Francisco to the entire world. Millions lived vicariously through the cast of characters who passed through 28 Barbary Lane.

    In the second book in the series, More Tales of The City, Armistead penned a coming out letter from Michael “Mouse” Tolliver to his fundamentalist mother. That letter has been read, copied, shared and sung by countless people around the world, including, most recently, Sir Ian McKellen! We are honored to perform this incredible piece. It is moving beyond words.


    But not all of the heroes among us are famous or have written multiple books that have been made into a mini-series.  Heroes walk among us every single day. In fact, you are most likely a hero to someone you may or may not even know.  Thus was the concept of the commission that SFGMC created 20 years ago titled NakedMan. This was the first major LGBT choral work based on the lives and stories of actual singing members at the time. It has now been performed all over the world. It was another instance where San Francisco has touched the lives and hearts of people everywhere.

    Finally, we turn our attention to another true San Francisco hero, Harvey Milk, with excerpts from the stunning musical I Am Harvey Milk, composed for SFGMC by Broadway star Andrew Lippa. There are several thrilling moments in store. The first is “You Are Here.” It is sung by Harvey Milk and describes the thrill he experienced standing in San Francisco’s City Hall, bringing his message of hope and inclusion and pride. The second highlight is “San Francisco,” a piece as beautiful as any you have ever heard. Yet another memorable moment is “Tired of the Silence,” with Harvey exhorting every one of us to come out.

    The concert is power packed to say the least. Expect the usual roller coaster of emotions and some of the most glorious music you have ever heard. This is the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at its best. A concert such as this will not come around again—well, at least not for another 40 years!

    See you there.

    For more information, please visit

    Dr. Tim Seelig is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.