San Francisco is poised to launch its first queer youth chorus. GLAM (Gay, Lesbian & Allied Musicians) Youth Choir will encourage youth of all persuasions and musical abilities to have fun together while raising public awareness.
Inspired by three of North Americaâ€™s already established queer youth choruses and a choir for homeless adults in Australia, a group of arts and non-profit professionals began planning in early 2005 to form a queer youth chorus based in San Francisco. In June 2005, GLASS (Gay, Lesbian & Supportive Singers) Youth Choir from Vancouver, Canada, visited San Francisco and performed at the Pride Concert and in the Pride Parade, and an alliance with that organization was forged. GLAM Steering Committee Chair, Dr. Kathleen McGuire, said: â€śThe first time I saw a queer youth choir perform, a few years ago a conference in Portland, I knew that this was something we needed in San Francisco. I wish there had been something like this available when I was a teenager.â€ť
It was decided that GLAM would be a non-auditioned â€śshow choir,â€ť making it accessible to many different types of performers, including singers, instrumentalists and dancers. San Francisco is home to many GLBTQ youth who have had to leave their homes of origin due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. As such, it was determined that GLAM would be accessible to all youth, regardless of their financial means or living situation. Membership will be open to youth aged 12 to 22. A Steering Committee will guide the organization through its formative stages, and leaders from many and various parts of the community will be encouraged to participate.
Several organizations have already stepped forward to become GLAMâ€™s Founding Community Partners: Bettyâ€™s List, Golden Gate Performing Arts, Inc., and the Metropolitan Community Foundation. More Community Partners are being sought for a minimum of $500 of donated funds, goods or services.
Rehearsals for GLAM are planned to begin in February on Wednesday afternoons, and the groupâ€™s first formal appearance is scheduled for the 28th Annual Pride Concert on Friday, June 23, 7 pm at Yerba Buena Performing Arts Center.
A GLAM Friend/Fund Raiser Brunch will be held on Saturday, Nov. 19, 11 am at 608 Noe Street @ 19th hosted by Dr. Betty L. Sullivan, Jim Freeman and the GLAM Steering Committee. Donations of $25- $50 are requested, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Music at the event will be provided by Stephanie Smith and Friends. To RVSP or for more information, Ph:865-2745, GLAMYouthChoir@yahoo.com.
-By Kathleen McGuire, GLAM Steering Committee Chair