Pete Nowlen, guest conductor of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay
Freedom Band, has programmed a concert that captures the long arc of moral
justice in an instant when anti-DADT activist Zoe Dunning reads Lincoln‚Äôs
Gettysburg Address for its upcoming celebration of civil rights pioneers.
Nowlen conducts Through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall at 8PM on Friday,
May 31, Herchurch Lutheran, 678 Portola Drive, San Francisco. Admission is
A candidate for the Freedom Band‚Äôs Artistic Director, Nowlen has
clocked many hours conducting bands and operas, orchestras and choruses. He‚Äôs director
of bands at U.C. Davis and is opera musical director at CSU Sacramento. He‚Äôs
artistic director of Sacramento‚Äļs VITA Academy, Camerata California (a chamber
choir) and the Rancho Cordova Civic Light Orchestra. But,...
It Oughta Be a Crime
By Heidi Beeler Published: April 18, 2013
You never forget your first time. In 1985, coming home from dinner, we found the front door to our second-floor Berkeley flat slightly ajar.
As we climbed the stairs, my housemate famously said, ‚ÄúNo, if we‚Äôd been robbed, the TV would be gone. By the way, where‚Äôs the...
On a Musical Quest
By Heidi Beeler Published: March 7, 2013
Next Friday, the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band sets off on a musical quest through J.R.R. Tolkien‚Äôs Middle Earth. The 70-piece wind ensemble performs Lord of the Rings, Johan de Meij‚Äôs Symphony No. 1, conducted by guest conductor Dr. Martin H. Seggelke, 8 pm, Friday, March 15 at 678 Portola...
Tiptoe Through the Tombstones
By Heidi Beeler Published: February 21, 2013
It‚Äôs like a great, quirky scene stolen from Harold and Maude, and it happens 8 am this Sunday morning at Woodlawn Cemetery in Colma. (Transportation available from Hotel Whitcomb at 7 am and Marlena‚Äôs at 7:30 am.)
In the dewy morning hours, winding up the green lawns between headstones...
Playing Music to Power
By Heidi Beeler Published: January 24, 2013
When Barack Obama took the oath for his second spin around the Oval Office, 14 members of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band were there to honor him in the streets of D.C. Joining 215 musicians from 17 states across the country, they marched with the Lesbian & Gay Band...
Guns ‚ÄôN Tournaments of Roses
By Heidi Beeler Published: January 10, 2013
It‚Äôs New Year 2013! Champagne corks have popped and fireworks lit up the midnight sky above our beloved Bay. Time for making resolutions. Time for a fresh start.
On Thursday, January 4, students and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary started 2013 in a freshly painted school the next town...
Sugar Plum Social Barometer
By Heidi Beeler Published: December 6, 2012
It‚Äôs not often a show runs long enough to see the world change around it. You might expect that for the Rockettes, Beach Blanket Babylon, the Aurora Borealis and the Galapagos Islands, but few others.
Our Dance-Along Nutcracker, however, takes its 27th anniversary twirl around the dance floor...
Have a Gail Ol‚Äô Time!
By Heidi Beeler Published: November 29, 2012
Gail Wilson, the original singer of City Swing who fronted the Castro‚Äôs signature big band for 21 years, is returning to San Francisco to take up the mike one more time, one night only. City Swing with Gail Wilson sets the Oscar Night mood for the Red Carpet Premiere Gala...
Year of the Squeaker
By Heidi Beeler Published: November 15, 2012
On the acoustical zodiac, this must be the Year of the Squeaker.
Between the Giants pulling off a World Series championship after surviving six elimination games in the playoffs and Obama clinching the election after weeks of deep purple polls, there can‚Äôt be a fingernail left unchewed in...
Costume Tips from a Crowd-Wow Junkie
By Heidi Beeler Published: October 18, 2012
October is here, the national season of costuming. Once-and-future empty storefronts across the Bay Area are filled with Halloween store stock skeletons and polyblend spider webs. It‚Äôs that time of year when a [um] young trumpeter‚Äôs fancy turns to thoughts of humungous haberdashery.
I don‚Äôt know exactly when...
Ghosts of Elections Past
By Heidi Beeler Published: September 20, 2012
Allow me to go all partisan on your posteriors here. It‚Äôs time, y‚Äôall! It‚Äôs time to shake off our mid-term disillusionment, set fire to our ennui and get our president reelected. The election is only a few weeks away, and the outcome is balanced on the proverbial razor‚Äôs edge....
Fall Concert Features Two World Premiere Arrangements
By Heidi Beeler Published: September 6, 2012
Calling all band and classical music geeks! The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band is bringing to life music no one has heard in nearly a century at its upcoming concert. The Band‚Äôs music librarian, Kevin Tam, has resurrected an unpublished humoresque from the Sousa Archives entitled The Band Came Back....
Visit to Denmark, Part II: When All Legends Come True
By Heidi Beeler Published: August 23, 2012
Bay Times Columnist and SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band MemberIf you count shopping for trolls, taking a sucker dare to ingest lutefisk (the haggis of my people) and enjoying the sing-song lilt of the Swedish Chef on a crowded city street, I had around 85 reasons why I wanted to see...
Denmark: Land of Vikings and Mermaids
Published: August 9, 2012
By Heidi Beeler, Bay Times Columnist and SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band Member
In Copenhagen, the routine at our favorite pub included slow-mo banter in complete sentences with our high school-aged waitress as she brought our dinner. She had the look of a svelte, urban Brunhilda ‚Äď long blonde hair...
The Dark Side of the Rainbow
By Heidi Beeler Published: July 12, 2012
It was like gatekeeping at Emerald City‚Äôs netherworld.
I‚Äôd pulled the late shift, taking donations from 3 to 6 pm in converted paint buckets at the Pride Festival‚Äôs Gate #11 at Larkin and McAllister.
SF Pride brings in LGBT non-profits to help with gate donations and kicks...
Grand Lake Farmers Market Makes Saturdays Sacred
By Heidi Beeler Published: April 19, 2012
If you‚Äôre looking for an Earth Day celebration on Gay Standard Time, Splash Pad Park (near Oakland‚Äôs Grand Lake Theater) is holding its event 24-hours late, from 9am to noon on Sunday, April 22.
Splash Pad Park is home to one of the East Bay‚Äôs most celebrated farmers markets,...
Organ Music That'll Turn You On
By Heidi Beeler Published: March 8, 2012
When organist Gary Sponholtz tries out new speakers, there‚Äôs a CD he‚Äôs used for the past 25 years. It‚Äôs a recording of Saint-Sa√ęns‚Äô Symphony No. 3, the ‚ÄúOrgan Symphony.‚ÄĚ Conducted by Edo de Waart, the San Francisco Symphony pulls out all the stops ‚Äď literally ‚Äď for its 1984 debut...
Year of the Dragon: Marching for Grace
By Heidi Beeler Published: February 23, 2012
It wasn‚Äôt our drum major Mike Wong‚Äôs first year leading the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band through the red-crackle-gold of the Chinese New Year‚Äôs Parade, but last Saturday‚Äôs parade will be one that sticks out.
As we lined up, Mike announced he was dedicating his march to his grandmother,...
Komen Reverses Stance on Planned Parenthood
By Heidi Beeler Published: February 9, 2012
What a difference three days make.
Last Tuesday, Nancy Brinker, CEO and founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, announced the breast cancer fundraising behemoth was dropping its funding of Planned Parenthood. By Friday morning, less than 72 hours later, Brinker issued an official apology and announced...
Playing City Hall
By Heidi Beeler Published: January 26, 2012
On Sunday, January 8, we musicians from the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band performed for the inauguration of Mayor Ed Lee, sworn in that day as the 43rd mayor of San Francisco by Diane Feinstein. The band was one of many local performers to provide entertainment, including the San Francisco...
A Memorable New Year‚Äôs Eve Bash
By Heidi Beeler Published: January 12, 2012
It‚Äôs a little like being a tardy-yet-musical Secret Santa. The local YMCA throws a New Year‚Äôs bash that the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom has played at almost every year since Jimmy Carter was in office, and I‚Äôll bet you a bottle of champagne and a top hat you‚Äôve never heard...
Home for Christmas
By Heidi Beeler Published: December 29, 2011
This year, we‚Äôre not going to Pennsylvania for Christmas.
I know on its surface that statement is hardly a newsflash. Millions of people don‚Äôt go to Pennsylvania for Christmas every year. But Pennsylvania is where my folks live, and this will be the first time since Reagan was...
Holiday Child‚Äôs Play
By Heidi Beeler Published: December 15, 2011
It‚Äôs not every day you get to perform from the inside of a petri dish. On Saturday, December 3, we packed up the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and headed over to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park for its ‚ÄėTis the Season for Science Exhibit. Our...
Ding Dong, DADT Is Dead!
By Heidi Beeler Published: November 17, 2011
Ever since Obama signed the Don‚Äôt Ask, Don‚Äôt Tell (DADT) Repeal Act last December, the nasty little Clinton-era devil‚Äôs deal has been dying a slow, bureaucratic death. Enforcement of DADT was finally shut down September 20, 18 years after it was launched. For roughly eight weeks now, gay and lesbian...
Accidental Game Show Contestants
By Heidi Beeler Published: November 3, 2011
It‚Äôs not like I thought we were appearing on the Charlie Rose Show. I‚Äôve done public-access TV before. I‚Äôve been interviewed by emcees with stage names like Chablis and Judy Joy Jones, been upstaged by burlesque dancers in red bustiers, and had my face done by volunteer makeup artists who...
Occupying the 90th Precinct
By Heidi Beeler Published: October 20, 2011
Are there any other children of the 60s out there breathing a sigh of relief to see the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests bubble up in NYC and slosh across the country? After years of watching the Tea Stooges spout corporate-engineered maxims promoting deregulation, lower taxes on the wealthy, elimination...
Three Strikes, You‚Äôre Turandot!
By Heidi Beeler Published: October 6, 2011
I‚Äôm what you‚Äôd call a seasonal opera fan. It‚Äôs a short season. Like hunting for caribou in Anchorage, it lasts one day ‚Äď the day that the San Francisco Opera simulcasts a live production from the opera house to the JumboTron at AT&T Park. Apparently, I like my opera viewed...
9/11 ‚Äď Soothing the Ravaged Breast
By Heidi Beeler Published: September 22, 2011
So I‚Äôve got my next T-shirt all worked out. Black with white block lettering that says ‚Äú9/11/11: I survived the Media Blitz.‚ÄĚ And on the back, ‚ÄúNever Forget‚Ä¶ how can I when you won‚Äôt shut up about it?‚ÄĚ
Okay, I know. Depending on your proximity to the actual September...
Out at the Ballgame: LGBTQ Night at AT&T Park
By Heidi Beeler Published: September 8, 2011
There‚Äôs something magic making about a JumboTron.
At AT&T Park last Monday, August 29, thirty of us from the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band marched out from the shadows beneath the Splash Zone wall onto the blazing green field for the Giants‚Äô LGBT Night and were captured in...
Sunny Side Up
Published: August 25, 2011
By Heidi BeelerClearly, August 11-14 for us was Harold and Maude Weekend 2011. It was funerals all around. No yellow umbrella a la Maude for me - instead I toted my trumpet with me to the lot. Along with playing at my friend Lucifer‚Äôs life celebration, I jammed with the...