For immediate Release:Media Contact: Peter Criswell 212 344-1777 firstname.lastname@example.org
Broadway star Carolee Carmello headlines Big Apple Performing Arts’ 13th annual gala, Harmony, benefiting the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus & Youth Pride Chorus
New York, NY – January 23, 2014 – On Wednesday February 19th generous supporters will come together to celebrate the mission of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC) and Youth Pride Chorus (YPC) of promoting equality through the power of song. Harmony, now in its 13th year, will be held at Affirmation Arts, a luxury venue located in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards. Three-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello will guest star at this year’s gala. Members of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC) and Youth Pride Chorus (YPC) will also perform.
The evening includes an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, high-end silent auction items, and a live auction filled with vacation packages in a wide range of bidding levels. The auction will be led by effervescent auctioneer CK Swett and assisted by acclaimed drag performer Ms. Ermine Muff. Hot New York DJ Bill Coleman will spin his musical magic.
VIP tickets, which include a pre-event champagne reception and meet & greet with Ms. Carmello are $275 each or $1,250 for a group of five. General admission tickets are $175 each or $750 for a group of five.
“Harmony is a great night out and a chance for the LGBT community and our allies to join with us and advocate for equality through song,” said Peter Criswell, Executive Director of Big Apple Performing Arts, home of NYCGMC and YPC. “We are thrilled to be joined by Broadway powerhouse Carolee Carmello. The evening will be filled with entertaining music, delicious food and drink, and wonderful people all supporting a great cause.”
A musical gala benefiting the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., VIP Champagne Reception at 6:00 p.m.
Affirmation Arts, 523 W 37th Street (between 10th/11th Avenues)
Starring Carolee Carmello, Featuring Ms. Ermine Muff and DJ Bill Coleman
$175 General Admission | $750 Group of Five
$275 for VIP Admission | $1,250 VIP Group of Five
Admission includes Hors d’oeuvres, Open Bar and Performances
VIP admission also includes Champagne Reception, Meet & Greet with Ms. Carmello and Reserved Seating for the Main Performance
For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.nycgmc.org or call 212-344-1777 x 1.
DOWNLOAD PHOTO: Images can be downloaded from http://www.nycgmc.org/about/media-kit/.
CAROLEE CARMELLO has played leading roles in 12 Broadway musicals, including her recent Tony-nominated performance in Scandalous, where she portrayed the infamous evangelist, Aimee Semple McPherson. Broadway audiences also saw Carolee as Mother Superior in Sister Act, as Mrs. Beineke in The Addams Family (for which she received a Drama Desk nomination and an Outer Critics Circle nomination), as Donna in Mamma Mia!, as Gabrielle in Lestat (Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination), as Ms. Pennywise in Urinetown, as Kate in Kiss Me Kate, as Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel, as Lucille Frank in Parade (Tony nomination and Drama Desk Award), as Abigail Adams in 1776, as Cordelia in Falsettos, and as Oolie in City of Angels. Her Off-Broadway shows include: john and jen, Das Barbecü, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, Hello Again (Obie Award), A Class Act, The Vagina Monologues, and Elegies. Ms. Carmello has been seen on television in “Smash,” “Law and Order,” “Frasier,” “Ed,” and “Remember W.E.N.N.” (SAG Award nomination). Her concert appearances have taken her across America and Europe, including engagements at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and Carnegie Hall.
Big Apple Performing Arts serves as an umbrella organization that provides resources and coordinates LGBTQ identified performing groups. Within these groups, members unite to entertain, educate and advocate through the power of the performing arts.
New York City Gay Men’s Chorus is a musical organization that sings fabulously and celebrates the joy and power of music. It provides a safe and inclusive space where singers can grow through performance and social interaction, and it campaigns unceasingly for equality and justice for the LGBTQ community, forging alliances to make our voices heard.
Youth Pride Chorus harnesses the power of the performing arts to galvanize lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight young people ages 13-22 as agents of change. YPC refuses homophobia, bullying, and all forms of hate by boldly asserting the joy, diversity, strength, and pride of today’s youth. YPC singers discover their own power by empowering others in schools, online, and in the general public through electrifying performances of the highest caliber.
CK Swett, a California native and Duke University graduate, began his career in the art auction world in 2006 and joined Phillips in 2011 where, among many responsibilities, he serves as a licensed art auctioneer. Through his charity auction volunteerism he has helped raise over $10 million for more than 100 charitable foundations, with causes ranging from orphans in Malawi and veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, to public schools in Manhattan and the American Cancer Society. Hailed by The New York Times as having, “managed to shake up the staid world of auctioneering,” CK set the world auction record for boxing memorabilia in February 2012, selling the gloves Muhammad Ali wore during his 1965 fight against Floyd Patterson for $1.1 million on behalf of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. CK feels fortunate to have the opportunity to not only volunteer his services for such important endeavors, but also to represent both his company and his line of work as a force for good. When not convincing bidders to raise their paddle one last time or sitting at his desk writing sales proposals, he is often found swimming, reading the New Yorker, or singing enthusiastically off-key.
Ms. Ermine Muff (of the Connecticut Muffs)–Socialite, reformed debutante and housewife, Ms. Muff is best known as the spouse of the late billionaire furrier, Mr. Eaton Muff, whose famous ad campaign, “Pass the cold Connecticut winters by slipping into an Eaton Muff… Eaton Muff Furriers of Bridgeport,” is known globally. Tragically, Mr. Muff died as a volunteer for a knife throwing act while attending a supper club. Ms. Muff now fills her widowed days with philanthropic endeavors, specifically that of fundraising for the LBGT community such as the NYC Trinity Place Shelter for LGBT Youth, The Upper Delaware GLBT Center, The Shed Project, New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, AIDS Walk New York, and the American Cancer Society. She has performed and collaborated with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, the Imperial Court of New York, Wigsticks, and the Connecticut Diabetes Foundation. Ms. Muff urges everyone to consider giving generously to the LGBT community either monetarily or through volunteerism.
DJ Bill Coleman / Peace Bisquit– Multi-faceted DJ, producer, remixer, music supervisor, performer, recording artist, writer and influential tastemaker Bill Coleman is renowned for his eclectic taste, acute ear and diverse musical expertise. The tireless “renaissance man” has enjoyed success as a revered music journalist, has written a music column for NYC style rag PAPER, sat on the initial editorial board for OUT Magazine and freelanced for numerous international media outlets. As owner of Brooklyn-based Peace Bisquit, Coleman along with Angelo “Pepe” Skordos, Erin Fairman and Jamie Brundage represent an array of genre-defying artists, producers and songwriters and incorporates A&R consultancy, music supervision, sound design and a record company. As a DJ and sound designer, Bill Coleman is adept at mixing a musical tapestry of varied genres. The much in-demand maestro has sound designed for various fashion shows, art installations and special events sponsored by Nike, Radiohead, Kangol, Vogue, AOL, Marc Bouwer, DIFFA, The Brand New Heavies, World Of Wonder, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Russell Simmons, Imogen Heap, 2-Xist and Bloomingdales. Besides heading up his own popular NYC performance troupe called Daisy Spurs, Bill also finds time to be a member of Grammy winner Jody Watley’s touring band!
NEW YORK CITY GAY MEN’S CHORUS ANNOUNCES
2012 HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR: AN AMERICAN HOLIDAY
A joyous celebration of traditional holiday music – with NYCGMC holiday spirit and fun and very special guest star Judy Collins
New York, NY — November 20, 2012 – The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus is excited to share the 2012 edition of our trademark holiday spectacular – An American Holiday. The show has a traditional flair, contemporized with a few of our signature twists and turns. Join the men of NYCGMC as we celebrate our favorite holiday songs and pay tribute to American heroes. An American Holiday takes place Sunday, December 16th at 3pm and 8pm at New York’s landmark theater The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd Street, New York. Tickets are available through the NYCGMC website, www.nycgmc.org.
This year, the Chorus is elated to have our very special guest, Judy Collins, join us onstage. Ms. Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide with her unique blend of interpretative folksongs and contemporary themes. Her impressive career has spanned more than 50 years. She plays 80 to 100 dates a year around the country and continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart. The New York Times says that “when surrendering to the ethereal spell she casts, your impulse is to turn your head up, close your eyes and tune in to messages from far, far away.”
“There is so much powerful American music and this season we’re focusing on what it means to be gay in America today. As a Brit, it has been especially uplifting working with the Chorus to create this all-American holiday show,” said Dr. Charles Beale, Artistic Director. “And we are so honored to have Ms. Collins, an American musical icon, join us this year. Her messages of hope meld perfectly with the mission of our Chorus.”
On the heels of the Chorus’s holiday spectacular, the men will continue their momentum with the more-than-over-the-top March production. Following four years of sell-out, sing-along performances, NYCGMC will present Big Gay Sing 5: A Broadway Sing-a-long Extravaganza.
Emceed by ‘host extraordinaire’ Jim Caruso (Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland, Liza’s at The Palace!) this fifth sing-a-long in our Big Gay Sing series explores Broadway! We’ll look at what makes the ‘gay’ in Broadway musical theater, and feature the music of top gay, straight and sometimes closeted American composers and performers. And, as always, there will be tons of audience sing-a-long opportunities – because at Big Gay Sing you’re the star! BGS5 will take place at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on March 15 and 16, 2013.Tickets go on sale Thursday February 7, 2013.
The Pride Month concert will be a show about belonging. To what extent to do we feel we really ‘belong’ in America as LGBT citizens? In collaboration with other LGBT choirs, this summer concert takes a quizzical look at gay life in America. “America the Beautiful?: Our Life in Queer America” will be performed at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, June 15, 2013. Tickets go on sale Thursday May 9, 2013.
Tickets are available through www.nycgmc.org.
About the NYCGMC:
A fixture on the New York City cultural scene since its founding in 1979, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus has performed in a wide variety of venues from the Metropolitan Opera House to Madison Square Garden, and even Yankee Stadium and Joan Rivers’ living room. Named one of the five top amateur choruses in New York City by WQXR, The Classical Music Station in New York City, the group was the first gay chorus to perform in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, the first American gay chorus to tour Europe, and the first to have a recording contract with a major label, having produced eight recordings. To learn more, visit http://www.nycgmc.org/press/.
To make a tax deductible donation or find out more about the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, visit www.nycgmc.org or contact Peter Criswell, Executive Director, at 212-344-1777, ext. 1 or email@example.com.
NEW YORK CITY GAY MEN’S CHORUS presents
BIG GAY SING 4
WITH GUEST STAR BROADWAY’S ACCLAIMED Jackie Hoffman
Come sing-a-long with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus
New York, New York – February 9, 2012 – New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC) and Youth Pride Chorus will host their annual musical gala fundraiser, HARMONY, February 27, 2012, from 7p.m. to 9:30p.m., at Christie’s in Rockefeller Plaza.
Renowned Broadway star Frenchie Davis, heard on Broadway Read More
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: MATTHEW LEVISON 617-312-7362, firstname.lastname@example.org W. SCOTT HORNE, 908-625-5361 JEFFREY NORMAN, 201-859-1058
NEW YORK CITY GAY MEN’S CHORUS
2011 HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR: HOLIDAY HOUSE OF LOVE An inspirational holiday show with a jazzy gospel twist! With Special Guests Lillias White and Bishop Gene Robinson
New York, NY — November 10, 2011 – Join the NYCGMC family for an uplifting concert of holiday singing in jazz and gospel styles. A New York holiday tradition, our fun-filled holiday show will combine original titles and swinging interpretations of the classics performed with high-spirited unity, peace and love. Whatever your spiritual and cultural traditions, this heart- warming program of holiday harmony promises to be fun, rejuvenating, entertaining and above all, embracing.
This year, the Chorus is elated to have two very special guests joining us on stage. The sensational, multi-talented Broadway powerhouse Lillias White will bring her unparalleled vocal talent to several of our songs. Ms. White won a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and People’s Choice Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as “Sonja” in The Life and recently enjoyed rave reviews for her starring role in the hit Broadway production of Fela! The Chorus will also welcome Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay man ever consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican branch of Christianity and an accomplished choral singer and director in his own right.
The holiday concert takes place Sunday, December 18th at 3pm and 8pm at New York’s landmark theater The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd Street, New York. Tickets are available through
the NYCGMC website, www.nycgmc.org. The evening will feature holiday favorites, alongside
an exciting and unusual mix of choral music.
On the heels of the Chorus’s holiday spectacular, the men continue their momentum with the more-than-over-the-top March production. Following three years of sell-out, sing-along performances, NYCGMC will present Big Gay Sing 4, March 16 and 17, 2012, featuring the third annual “Big Gay Idol,” a singing competition for a chance to sing live with the Chorus. The summer Pride concert June 27, What Now?(!), will celebrate our achievements through an elegant evening filled with invigorating song while simultaneously asking what’s next on the GLBT political agenda. Both 2012 shows will be at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available through www.nycgmc.org.
About the NYCGMC: A fixture on the New York City cultural scene since its founding in 1979, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus has performed in a wide variety of venues from the Metropolitan Opera House to Madison Square Garden, and even Yankee Stadium and Joan Rivers’ living room. Named one of the five top amateur choruses in New York City by WQXR, The Classical Music Station in New York City, the group was the first gay chorus to perform in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, the first American gay chorus to tour Europe, and the first to have a recording contract with a major label, having produced eight recordings. To learn more, visit http://www.nycgmc.org/press/.
To make a tax deductible donation or find out more about the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, visit www.nycgmc.org or contact Peter Criswell, Executive Director, at 212-344-1777, ext. 1 or
Press contact: Matthew Levison (617) 312-7362, email@example.com
NEW YORK CITY GAY MEN’S CHORUS presents
(Accentuate the) Positive: Singing new stories about HIV/AIDS
with Guest Star Fredi Walker-Browne, Rent’s Original Joanne
Wednesday, June 29th at 8:00 p.m. at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University
New York, New York – June 8, 2011 – It’s time to take a fresh look at how we see HIV. New York City Gay Men’s Chorus’ (NYCGMC) upcoming performance, (Accentuate the) Positive, does just that. The show will explore how life with HIV and AIDS has changed after three decades. It recounts fascinating, moving and at times hilarious stories of life in 2011, when HIV doesn’t always make the news, but always affects our choices; where HIV is manageable but stigma still exists; a life where survivors who saw the worst mix with those from a younger generation who are finding their own voices. The performance will be held Wednesday, June 29th at 8:00 p.m. at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University.
(Accentuate the) Positive takes a musical journey as well, with a wide range of styles from Edith Piaf’s classic “Je Ne Regrette Rien” to a completely re-imagined version of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” The chorus will also perform the world premiere of a specially commissioned electro-acoustic composition on HIV/AIDS by New York transgender composer Jonnah Speidel, aka OurLadyJ (ourladyj.com).
Guest star Fredi Walker-Browne, who originated the role of Joanne in the Broadway hit Rent, will delight audiences with her passion, drive and vocal artistry. Mollie Stone, director of the Chicago Children’s Choir and international expert on South African song, will direct the Chorus and audience in South African songs that use oral tradition in practical and innovative ways to communicate safe sex messages, and to help people of all ages and colors live safer and healthier lives.
The NYCGMC is also joined in this concert by community partners AID for AIDS International, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training, Friends In Deed and GMHC. These organizations offer resources for a wide spectrum of issues relating to HIV/AIDS – medical, community, spiritual, international and research. Each organization will contribute a different perspective to the performance. For example, audience members are encouraged to bring unused HIV/AIDS medications to the concert. AID for AIDS will collect and distribute them to individuals in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We have an eclectic program of diverse music and performers who will help NYCGMC express in song how the affect and influence of HIV/AIDS has changed and continues to grow. For example, straight women of color are one of the fastest growing groups of new HIV infection,” said Artistic Director, Charlie Beale. “The pandemic is close to our hearts and a fact of life 30 years on. Fredi is a consummate musician and ceaseless campaigner for human rights, and Mollie is a talented singer and director. It is fabulous that we can include some of their material, along with the perspectives and resources of our community partners to make (Accentuate the) Positive even more powerful.”
LISTINGS INFORMATION: The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus presents (Accentuate the) Positive on Wednesday, June 29th at 8:00 p.m., The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, NYU (566 LaGuardia Place, at Washington Square South). Via Subway: take the N/R/W to 8th Street, the A/C/E/B/D/F to West 4th. Tickets are $38 – $59 and available online at www.nycgmc.org or in person at the Skirball Center Box Office or by phone at 212-352- 3101 or online. For more information, call 212-344-1777.
DOWNLOADING HIGH-RES PHOTOS: High-res images of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus can be downloaded from http://www.nycgmc.org/mediakit.aspx
NEW YORK CITY GAY MEN’S CHORUS is an auditioned, 200-voice male chorus serving the gay community and the greater community at large by the performance of classical and contemporary male choral music as proud and openly gay men. In addition to their regular concert series, NYCGMC also performs at a variety of local and tri-state area functions, benefits, and performances. For 30 years, NYCGMC audiences have filled auditoriums including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls to standing room only. Unanimously acclaimed by America’s leading music critics, the Chorus has sung with some of the world’s brightest stars, commissioned and premiered many major works, made celebrated television appearances, and sold recordings worldwide. NYCGMC continues to serve the community each day through its education and AIDS outreach programs. Youth Pride Chorus, a free program for LGBTQ young people and their allies between the ages of 14-21, is the first program of its kind to be sponsored by an adult mentor chorus. NYCGMC has appeared with guests artists including Academy Award winners Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, Grammy Award winners Marilyn Horne and Cyndi Lauper, Tony Award-winning actors Carol Channing, Harvey Fierstein, Faith Prince and Kristin Chenoweth and Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Luganis, as well as joint performances with Stonewall Chorale, Lavender Light Gospel Choir, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C., Noot an der Mann (Amsterdam), Schola Cantorosa (Hamburg) and other choruses from around the world. As the membership continues to grow and diversify, the Chorus will continue to extend its message of love, compassion, and positive examples of gay lives for many years to come.
CHARLES BEALE (Artistic Director) Prior to his current role, Charles Beale was Music Director of the London Gay Men’s Chorus from 2002-2007. Originally trained as an organist, he studied music at Cambridge and later jazz at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he won the Rose Morris Prize as a composer and jazz pianist. Charlie has a stylistically diverse and active freelance performing career. He recently directed members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in an improvised performance at one of London’s major concert halls. His playing has also included national radio broadcasts as a classical pianist, a jazz organ concerto with the UK’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra, West End theatre work, playing and arranging credits on albums and singles by pop and dance artists including Whitney Houston and Adeva, and regular jazz in and around London, with the likes of Bobby Wellins and the Frank Williams African Jazz Quintet. He was an active member of the Association of British Choral Directors, where he gave clinics on improvising and swing with choirs. He co-wrote a new Voiceworks book for OUP and has written a number of arrangements for Faber’s acclaimed Choral Basics series. He is also an award-winning author.
In May 2009, Charlie was the co-Artistic Director of ‘Various Voices,’ the largest ever festival of GLBT choirs in Europe. His most recent book ‘Popular Voiceworks’, a book of songs and vocal arrangements with workshops and backing CDs, was voted ‘Best Pop Music Publication 2008′ by the Music Industries Association of the UK. Charlie also has a burgeoning career as an educator and academic specializing in jazz. He taught jazz at the Royal College of Music in London, where he was Area leader for Aural training, Professor of Jazz Piano and director of the Royal College of Music Big Band. Since completing his Ph.D. in 2001, he has written a critically acclaimed book, Jazz Piano from Scratch, and a number of important academic articles, including the chapter on Jazz Education in the recent Oxford Companion to Jazz. He was Lead Jazz Consultant to the Associated Board for ten years, helping design new syllabi, train and moderate examiners and facilitate workshops and seminars for teachers, and was nominated for a Jazz Parliamentary Award in 2005 for services to jazz education. In the past four years, he has toured internationally, adjudicating, examining and doing ABRSM jazz workshops for teachers in the UK, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
AID for AIDS International, www.aidforaids.org, is committed to improving the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean, and to empower them and their caregivers by providing access to medications, medical monitoring and treatment/prevention education and by promoting leadership and capacity building. AFAI collects HIV medications and supplies that are no longer needed in United States, and then distributes them to individuals in Latin America and the Caribbean. AFA will be collecting medications at (Accentuate the) Positive.
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, www.callen-lorde.org, provides sensitive, quality health care and related services primarily to New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities—in all their diversity—regardless of ability to pay. Callen-Lorde’s grassroots heritage dates back over 40 years to the St. Mark’s Community Clinic, founded in 1969 to provide screening and treatment for sexually-transmitted infections.
Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), www.chestnyc.org, conducts research on social and psychological factors associated with HIV transmission and/or the wellbeing of those living with HIV, with a particular emphasis on the promotion of sexual health. In addition to carrying out formative research, CHEST works hard to disseminate study findings to community organizations serving persons with HIV and at risk for HIV.
Friends In Deed, www.friendsindeed.org, was founded in 1991 by Mike Nichols and Cynthia O’Neal because of an urgent need. The epidemics of AIDS and cancer were raging – and overwhelmed doctors did not have any time for the emotional and spiritual needs of their patients. Friends In Deed’s vision is a world where no one with a life-threatening illness is frightened and alone. They also provide crisis counseling, body work and treatment planning and nutritional options. The Big Group on Tuesdays is the heart and soul of Friends In Deed. It’s about hearing and speaking the truth and living life in the moment.
GMHC, www.gmhc.org, was founded in 1981 by six men united against fear and death from a disease then known as the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. The group set up an answering machine in the home of Rodger McFarlane and the first AIDS hotline was born — receiving over 100 calls the first night. Today, GMHC continues to pioneer HIV prevention, care and advocacy.
NYU SKIRBALL CENTER:
The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by executive producer Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and senior director Michael Harrington, the programs of the Skirball Center reflect NYU’s mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center’s mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance. www.skirballcenter.nyu.edu