San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Announces Yearlong Tribute: Harvey Milk 2013: Living The Legacy

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35th Anniversary Ignites Harvey Milk Tribute

On the night of November 27,1978, reeling from the news that Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk had been assassinated, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus (SFGMC) found themselves having their debut performance. Instead of their usual rehearsal, the newly formed group joined thousands of candle-carrying San Franciscans, singing Mendelsohn's a capella "Thou Lord Our Refuge" on the steps of City Hall.

Since that night in 1978, SFGMC has grown from a small chorus singing to a shocked city to become the world's premier gay men's chorus. Inspired by Milk's community values and neighborhood models, SFGMC is comprised of nearly 300 voices, tours worldwide, sells several albums, provides a social support structure via creative community for thousands, raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and much, much more.

With the 35th anniversary of the assassinations approaching, SFGMC would like to focus on Harvey Milk as a legacy – not as a tragedy. Milk's legacy has spread around the globe and lives in the stories of "Harvey’s children” in the generations that followed. These "children", including SFGMC, are proof that Milk's contribution to the world overshadows his murder. It is the intent of SFGMC to use part of their "iconic" 35th anniversary season to uncover and celebrate some of those stories with Harvey Milk 2013: Living The Legacy.

"The Chorus has been preparing for this since its very birth 34 years ago," says SFGMC Artistic Director Dr. Timothy Seelig. We have been seriously planning for over two years. During that time, we have realized that so many of the things that Harvey loved and lived for are the very same things the Chorus exists to promote – we are Harvey! Putting this story to music is one of the greatest joys and challenges we have ever faced. To say we are thrilled would be an understatement."

Starting in April of 2010 and gathering pace since then, SFGMC, along with several partners such as the Harvey Milk Foundation, has been planning for Harvey Milk 2013: Living The Legacy. Joining SFGMC to co-commission the work are the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. This commemoration will include region-wide events and will culminate in a world premiere, multi-media concert and exhibition event presented by SFGMC in June 2013.

Included in the event will be the winners of a call for artistic submissions from the general public, as well as a commissioned work by Broadway composer Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family Musical). Harvey Milk 2013: Living the Legacy will proudly articulate the legacy of a man who changed the landscape for the generations who followed him.

SFGMC Executive Director Teddy Witherington describes the breadth of the project. “Harvey Milk 2013 is a call to action, a call to participate and cause to celebrate. There’s a play, a film and a few books, but this will be the first full-length musical interpretation of Harvey’s Legacy. This epic endeavor is underway and folks can join the community that is growing around the work at From sea to shining sea, Harvey’s legacy will be glitter in 2013!”

Further information on Harvey Milk: Living The Legacy can be found on the SFGMC website at, and will be updated periodically as 2013 approaches.

About Andrew Lippa
ANDREW LIPPA wrote the Tony-nominated music and lyrics for the Broadway musical The Addams Family, book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), which opened in April of 2010 and starred Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth. Mr. Lippa wrote the music for the Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin’s (The Social Network, A Few Good Men) new play The Farnsworth Invention directed by Des McAnuff. Asphalt Beach (music and lyrics) was
premiered at Northwestern University by the American Music Theatre Project in October, 2006. The Wild Party (book/music/lyrics) was given its world premiere in 2000 at the Manhattan Theater Club in New York City. The Wild Party won the Outer Critics Circle Award for best Off-Broadway musical of the season and Mr. Lippa won the 2000 Drama Desk Award for best music. 2004 saw the premiere of A Little Princess (book and lyrics by Brian Crawley) at Theatreworks in Palo Alto, CA (recording will be released September 6, 2011). In 1999 he contributed three new songs to the Broadway version of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (including “My New Philosophy” for Tony-Award Winner Kristin Chenoweth) and created all new arrangements. He wrote the music and co-wrote the book (with Tom Greenwald) for john & jen, which premiered in New York City in 1995 at The Lamb’s Theater. Next up: A musical adaptation of Jules Feiffer’s book The Man In The Ceiling.

Mr. Lippa is proud to have been music director for Kristin Chenoweth since 1999 for many of her concerts. He conducted/played her sold-out shows at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC in 2007, at Carnegie Hall in 2004, and at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 2002. He has conducted the San Francisco, Chicago, and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras for Ms. Chenoweth, among others.

Additionally, he is an accomplished singer having been heard in many venues in New York and, in 2005, as a guest artist at the Adelaide Cabaret Convention in Adelaide, Australia.Recordings include Julia Murney’s CD I’m Not Waiting (producer, 3 songs), The Wild Party (RCA Victor) which he also produced, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (RCA Victor) which earned him a Grammy Award nomination, The Addams Family, A Little Princess (will be released September 6, 2011), and john & jen (Fynsworth Alley) which he associate produced. Jazz phenom Peter Cincotti recorded the song “Raise The Roof” on his CD titled On The Moon (Phil Ramone, producer). In addition, Mr. Lippa produced the original cast recording of Bat Boy for RCA Victor and his singing voice can be heard on The Sondheim Album on Fynsworth Alley and If I Sing on PS Classics. Vocal selections from The Addams Family, A Little Princess, The Wild Party and john & jen are published by Hal Leonard and the shows are licensed by Music Theatre International. Hal Leonard will also release The Andrew Lippa Song Book in Fall, 2011
Awards include a Tony and Grammy nomination, sharing in an Emmy for the Nickelodeon TV series “The Wonder Pets”, the Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla Theater Foundation Award, ASCAP’s Richard Rodgers/New Horizons Award, The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle and second place for the Alice B. Deucey Award for all-around outstanding fifth-grader (lost to Cynthia Fink). Memberships include ASCAP, Actor’s Equity and the American Federation of Musicians.A graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. Lippa serves on the council of The Dramatists Guild. He was born in Leeds, England but grew up in suburban Detroit.

About San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus
Founded in 1978, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus was the world’s first gay-identified chorus, and inspired the formation of an international LGBT choral movement. The SFGMC commissions new music and develops repertoire for men’s choruses and LGBT choruses. SFGMC presents a home season of three productions, makes more than 30 appearances annually for diverse audiences, and has raised over $650,000 for community services.
Experience SFGMC online at

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Teddy Witherington

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