Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus
The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus traces its history to 1981, when founder Gerald Davis and three other brave souls toured Philly’s gay bars at Christmastime, bearing a gift of song. From that modest start, PGMC has grown into the largest all-male choral group in the Greater Philadelphia region, spreading its musical message of hope and inclusion to gay and straight audiences in a variety of settings.
The Chorus has as its mission “the performance of creative and challenging music that entertains, inspires and affirms with a spirit of friendship and hope.” PGMC has displayed that spirit continuously from its first formal concert in 1982 to the present day. Notable performance milestones in the Chorus’ history include its Academy of Music debut in 1990, when it performed with the national tour of “HeartStrings,” a benefit for AIDS research featuring Sandy Duncan and Jason Bateman; performing at the opening of the first PrideFest (now Equality Forum) celebration in 1993; singing at the dedication of the National Constitution Center in 2003, and its first performance at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in 2006, at which the Chorus premiered its first commissioned work, “Open Road,” inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman. The Chorus returned to the Kimmel in 2007 for a concert to celebrate its 25th anniversary. In May 2009, the Chorus proudly participated in “Voices of Equality,” a groundbreaking joint concert with the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, featuring new works commissioned by each participating chorus, and in November of 2009, it welcomed Broadway legend Andrea McArdle back home as the headline performer for its annual “Showstoppers!” cabaret fundraiser.
PGMC has also served as Philadelphia’s gay musical ambassadors in other cities, beginning with a joint concert with the Baltimore Men’s Chorus in that city in 1987; the Chorus has also performed with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, and ensembles from the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. A member of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses), PGMC has performed at every quadrennial GALA Festival since GALA Choruses Festival III in Seattle in 1988.The Chorus performed "Open Road" for the first time outside Philadelphia at GALA Choruses Festival 2008 in Miami.
In keeping with its mission of promoting acceptance through music, PGMC regularly performs at colleges, schools, and community and civic groups throughout the region. Past performances include concerts at West Chester and Widener universities and the Springside School, for the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and for MANNA. Our select ensemble, Brotherly Love, also performs annually at the Broad Street Ministry’s World AIDS Day observance and represents the Chorus on TV and at events where full Chorus participation is impractical.
Now more than 100 members strong, the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus has become a vital and respected part of Philadelphia’s LGBT and performing-arts communities. We are proud of our heritage and pleased to entertain and enlighten you, our audience, and the larger Greater Philadelphia community.
PA 19103 Philadelphie