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"Windy City Gay Chorus"
(active 1979 - today) U.S.A.

windy City

All male chorus

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windy CityWindy City Gay Chorus (WCGC), founded in October of 1979, is one of the first gay choruses organized in the country, and is a founding member of Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA). Only the San Francisco and New York City Gay Men's Choruses are older, each by a few months. WCGC's first performance was in December of 1979, at the Don We Now... concert at Stages Music Hall. Windy City Gay Chorus was originally affiliated with Toddlin' Town Performing Arts, Inc. (TTPA). TTPA, along with the Artemis Singers women's chorus (one of the first lesbian/feminist choruses in the nation) and the Gay and Lesbian Pride Band. In 1983, the Chorus broke away from TTPA and incorporated as Windy City Performing Arts, Inc. (WCPA), an independent, not-for-profit organization.

In 1982, WCGC traveled to New York City for a joint appearance with the New York City Gay Men's Chorus in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. The standing room only crowd gave WCGC a standing ovation at the close of its portion of the program. The New York Daily News hailed the concert as "...a thorough pleasure in tone and balance...the results were positively heroic."

windy CityWindy City Gay Chorus has always stressed musical excellence in its performances. In 1984, WCGC won first place in the Johnny Mann Great American Choral Festival, the only gay group ever to do so. This competition involved hundreds of choruses and choirs from around the country. Since then, WCGC has given invitational performances at both state and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

In 1985, Windy City Gay Chorus became the first openly gay group to perform at Chicago's historic Orchestra Hall. The near-sell-out crowd was warmly enthusiastic, and this success prompted WCGC to return to the hall at least once annually for several years.

WCGC has been lauded by the Illinois House of Representatives, the mayors of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Denver, Washington, DC., San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago mayors Harold Washington and Richard Daley. In his statement, Mayor Washington proclaimed that Windy City Gay Chorus was "...a unique asset to the cultural life of the city, and a source of pride to its citizens, who are devoted to excellence in the performing arts."

windy CityWindy City Gay Chorus has performed in Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Indianapolis, Peoria, Champaign-Urbana, New York City, Denver, Columbus, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC during the years. Some of these concerts were performed with other GALA members. WCGC also travels and performs at GALA's choral festivals. In 1989, WCGC performed with 40 other GALA choruses in Seattle; in 1992, they traveled to Denver where they sang with 2,000 delegates. In the summer of 1996, they traveled to Tampa, Florida, joining over 5,000 gay and lesbian singers representing 99 choruses in the largest GALA festival ever (as well as the largest convention Tampa has ever hosted.) The members of WCGC are looking forward to the summer of 2000, when they will travel to San Jose, California for GALA 2000.

In addition, WCGC hosts GALA and non-GALA choruses in joint concerts in Chicago, bringing a diversity of talents to our home audiences. Windy City Gay Chorus receives substantial recognition from the national choral community and government sources, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and the City of Chicago Office of Fine Arts.

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