Meet our TransAmerica guest performers

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC is thrilled to welcome two special guests for our TransAmerica concert on June 2 and 3, 2018 at Lincoln Theatre. Joining GMCW will be soprano Breanna Sinclaire and advocate Vanessa Ford.

BREANNA SINCLAIRÉ

A native of Baltimore, MD, Breanna Sinclairé is a graduate of the esteemed Baltimore School for the Arts and Tanglewood Institute. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in vocal performance from the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts, under the tutelage of Maria Fortuna Dean and Kate Conklin. She earned her Master of Music in opera from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as the first transwoman of the opera program, under the pedagogy of Ms. Ruby Pleasure.

Operatic performances include Carmen (as Carmen), Cavalli’s La Calisto (Furie), Menotti’s The Old Maid and The Thief (Miss Todd), Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Rameau’s Platée, and Bernstein and Sondheim’s West Side Story, as well as contemporary performances in Meredith Monk’s Songs of Ascension at the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre (REDCAT) and Zachary Sharrin’s Time Bodies at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in downtown Los Angeles.

Most recently, Ms. Sinclairé performed for the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Annual Convention alongside House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in Washington DC. She also performed at the Toronto Pride Festival, the San Francisco Trans March, the Fresh Meat Transgender and Queer Arts Festivals, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club’s 40th Anniversary Dinner, the California Academy of Sciences annual Pride Night Life event, LinkedIn’s LGBTQ Employee Resource Group speaker series panel discussion (alongside civil rights leader Cecilia Chung), Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness book tour at the San Francisco LGBT Center, the Transgender Law Center’s SPARK! anniversary celebration, and the 2016 GALA Choruses Festival, alongside the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the Colorado Symphony.

Ms. Sinclairé holds the distinction of being the first transwoman to sing at a national sporting event – first with the Oakland A’s, and more recently for the San Francisco Deltas. She was among Out Magazine’s 2015 “OUT100” list of LGBT heroes.

Click HERE to read Ms. Sinclairé’s interview with Baltimore OUT Loud. 

VANESSA FORD

Vanessa Ford taught for 15 years in DC and is currently the Director of Education for a learning non-profit. She is married to JR Ford, and they have two energetic children: Ronnie , a cis-gender 8 year old son, and Ellie, a transgender 7 year-old daughter. In 2015, when Ellie transitioned, Ms. Ford and her husband became vocal advocates for trans youth. She is on the Board of the National Center for Transgender Equality and her advocacy work can be seen in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, and on National Geographic’s Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric. She now resides in the Boston area.

How did you get involved with the National Center for Transgender Equality?
When Ellie transitioned, and we decided that we wanted to share our story as a form of advocacy, we were welcomed by NCTE to visit the office and talk about their work, and the ways they support storytelling as advocacy. We fell in love with the NCTE team when we arrived and over the next year collaborate with them, specifically Rebecca Kling, Community Storytelling Advocate, to ensure each of our pieces were written or filmed in a way that was most impactful, and respectful to our family and the trans community. Mara Keisling and the Board decided to invite me to join in May of 2017. It’s been an honor to join the organization in its work to ensure transgender people from around the country not only survive, but thrive. It’s what I want for my daughter and all others like her.

What is your background/how did you get involved with “At The Heart”?
When Ellie first told us she was a girl, we immediately reached out to see if there were any other families who were experiencing this. We needed support, and we needed guidance. The name that came up first was Debi Jackson, an amazing advocate and mom to a transgender daughter in Missouri. Debi was the first parent of a transgender child I ever talked to, and over the years has become a dear friend. “At The Heart” was written based on a beautiful piece Debi wrote and performed for a Listen to Your Mother show. That piece changed the world for families like ours, and inspired me to do my own two years later. When we heard that this piece was being performed and Debi was unable to travel to read it, I asked her permission to narrate the song on her behalf. I am honored to read her powerful words and hope to do it, her and her family justice.

Can you tell us a little more about your work as a trans ally/activist?
As a career educator, I worked tirelessly to ensure all students had access to a safe, meaningful and rich classroom environment. For much of my career, my focus was on education equity as it relates to the STEM field. However, when Ellie transitioned, I began to see the critical need for LGBTQ inclusive schools- and the intersections of education equity with trans advocacy. Because of this, I’ve approached advocacy through the lens of education — asking questions, listening, building relationships and providing the audience, whoever it may be, with knowledge that will allow them to be better allies. I firmly believe that the vast majority of people are good, that they want to do what’s best — but that they don’t have the knowledge about trans students and people that will allow them to do that. Moreover, that lack of knowledge often shows up in transphobic or homophobic ways. Education is a powerful tool, so when combined with storytelling, and connecting to another person, I believe that we can start to shift those beliefs to ones that make a safer environment for all people.

What are you most looking forward to about the concert?
Last year, my family met (GMCW member) JJ Vera and they immediately were family. They styled my son’s hair into a rainbow and the rest is history! JJ has been such an incredible part of our lives, and we attended GMCW last year when they played “Hedwig” in the And the Tony Goes To… concert. We were blown away. JJ was the one who told me that “At the Heart” was going to be performed and made the connection for me. For me, what is most exciting is honoring my friend Debi by narrating her piece, but also watching JJ perform their solo, “This is Me”. To be on that stage together will truly solidify him as one of our closest chosen family, and I am so glad I’ll get to be there to support them.

What do you hope people will take away from the song/the concert?
I want people to feel the love and affirmation pouring off that stage. I want the sounds to permeate their bodies and hearts, and help hold space for those in the audience who need it. I want people to feel inspired and connected— and most importantly, part of a community. All in that room on those days are not alone.

Anything else you want to add?
Thank you to Thea Kano for this amazing opportunity. As the daughter of a choral director, choral music has paid a huge role in my life. I am honored and thankful.

Rave review for GMCW’s TTBB adaptation of Duruflé Requiem

On March 3, 2018, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC presented the world premiere TTBB adaptation of the Maurice Duruflé Requiem. Critic Jamie McCrary of Washington Classical Review gave a rave review of GMCW’s premiere of the work, arranged and conducted by GMCW artistic director Thea Kano. McCrary writes,”This was a high-quality, artistically nuanced performance. The piece was beautifully interpreted and presented, a testimony to Kano’s artistic leadership, as well as strong contributions from organist Jeremy Filsell and the chamber string orchestra with trumpet, harp and timpani.” 

To read the full review, click HERE.

Transgender soprano Breanna Sinclairé to perform with GMCW

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW) is thrilled to announce that transgender soprano Breanna Sinclairé will join GMCW as it continues its 37th season, Make America Gay Again. Ms. Sinclairé will join the Chorus for two concerts in 2018 – first for the world premiere of the tenor-bass arrangement of Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem in March, and then again for TransAmerica in June.

A native of Baltimore, MD, Breanna Sinclairé is a graduate of the esteemed Baltimore School for the Arts and Tanglewood Institute. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in vocal performance from the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts, under the tutelage of Maria Fortuna Dean and Kate Conklin. She earned a Master of Music in opera from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, as the first transwoman of the opera program, under the pedagogy of Ms. Ruby Pleasure.

Operatic performances include Carmen (as Carmen), Cavalli’s La Calisto (Furie), Menotti’s The Old Maid and The Thief (Miss Todd), Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Rameau’s Platée, and Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story, as well as contemporary performances in Meredith Monk’s Songs of Ascension at the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre (REDCAT) and Zachary Sharrin’s Time Bodies at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in downtown Los Angeles.

Ms. Sinclairé also holds the distinction of being the first transwoman to sing at a national sporting event – first with the Oakland A’s, and more recently for the San Francisco Deltas. She was among Out Magazine’s 2015 “OUT100” list of LGBT heroes.

“In these dark times, community and empowerment is what we need. I am honored to sing alongside the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washinton, DC. Let’s make a statement with the sounds of music!” said Ms. Sinclairé.

Rock Creek Singers on NewsChannel 8

Washington, DC
December 22, 2017

Rock Creek Singers appear on NewsChannel 8

On Friday, December 22, 2017, our vocal ensemble Rock Creek Singers appeared on NewsChannel8 to sing holiday carols and help ring in the holidays. Rock Creek Singers joined Adrianna Hopkins on the morning news down in Arlington, VA at the NewsChannel 8 studios. To see the video of their appearance, click HERE

Rave review for The Holiday Show

December 12, 2017

MD Theatre Guide says The Holiday Show is “not to be missed”

Critic Liz Ruth-Brinegar from MD Theatre Guide gave a rave review for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC’s 2017 holiday concert, titled The Holiday Show. “If you’ve never seen the GMCW in concert before, I have great confidence that once you’ve seen ‘The Holiday Show’ you’ll spend every December from now on counting down the days not ’til Christmas but ’til the annual concert.”

Ms. Ruth-Brinegar goes on to say “GMCW and their ensemble 17th Street Dance delighted me with their fully costumed rendition of ‘Nutcracker Jingles’ which was a mini performance of the Nutcracker ballet and let me say, the ballerinas had some fine technique! From the dancing snowflakes to the Cossack dance to a Sugar Plum pas de deux (with a lift!) to the waltz of the flowers, I was loving every second. Can I pitch for 17th Street Dance to put on a full-length ballet next season?”

To read the full review, click HERE.

Potomac Fever on ABC7

Washington, DC
November 30, 2017

Potomac Fever appears on ABC7 News

On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, our vocal ensemble Potomac Fever appeared on ABC7 (WJLA) and NewsChannel8 to sing holiday carols and promote our upcoming production of The Holiday Show. Potomac Fever joined Kidd O’Shea on the morning news outside the Wiehle-Reston metro stop to greet people on their way to work and spread some holiday spirit. They even joined Kidd for his 7:50am Dance Party. To see the video of their appearance, click HERE

The District Now Review: “A fun night”

November 15, 2017
Washington, DC

Rave review for It Takes Two

Theater critic Aaron Myers of The District Now gave a rave review to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC’s season-opening cabaret It Takes Two presented on November 11 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Myers writes ” I’m not positive if it was said off the cuff or if it was scripted, but it set the tone for the night, and the audience fell right in line. “Songs and music can be a powerful agent of social change…” and the GMCW did not shy away from many of these issues ranging from race and interracial dating in the gay community, to coping with grief and friendship.” To read the full review and hear the audio interview with Artistic Director Thea Kano, click HERE.

DC Metro Theater Arts Review: “Innovative and charming concert”

Washington, DC
November 15, 2017

Rave review for It Takes Two

Theater critic David Friscic of DC Metro Theater Arts gave a rave review to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC’s season-opening cabaret It Takes Two presented on November 11 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Friscic writes “This innovative and charming concert ended on an ethereal and meditative note as the entire cast gazed off in the distance and harmonized to rapturous effect to the delicate melodic line of Stephen Sondheim’s song “Sunday” from Sunday In the Park with George.” To read the full review, click HERE.

Live recording of Southern Equality Tour

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC will host a special live concert of music from our Southern Equality Tour to be recorded live. This performance is free and open to the public. Seating is general admission. No need to purchase tickets or RSVP – just come join us on September 30 for an afternoon of glorious Broadway music, with songs like “Being Alive,” “Seasons of Love,” “What More Can I Say,” and “I Am What I Am.” 

September 30, 2017
3:00pm
Foundry United Methodist Church
1500 16th Street NW, Washington, DC

Please note that because this concert will be recorded, there might be times when the conductor will stop and start the music, and there may be sight line issues because of the recording equipment.

GMCW celebrates queer underground with Ropeburn

The 2017 GMCW Fall Event

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW) is pleased to announce the debut of a new fall event entitled Ropeburn, a celebration of the queer underground in the underground and fall fundraiser. Ropeburn will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2017 starting at 7:00pm in the Dupont Underground, located at 19 Dupont Circle NW, Washington, DC. Tickets for the event are $75 and can be purchased by calling 202-293-1548 or online at gmcw.org.

The fundraiser is the first event of GMCW’s 2017-2018 Season Make America Gay Again. Ropeburn will bring together the leather community, the ball community, and GMCW — groups with a history of culture and political activism. The event is a celebration of two distinct foundations of today’s mainstream pop culture: the Leather Community (“rope”) and the Balls made famous by the movie Paris is Burning (“burn”). Ropeburn promises to be an amazing night with a Tom of Finland fantasy live model art gallery, fetish demonstrations, vogue dance battles, and special performances at 10:00pm and midnight. Plus, it’s hosted in one of the most intriguing spaces in all of DC: the subterranean Dupont Underground.

Highlights of the evening include fashion displays, DJs, drinks, raffle prizes, and more. Performers include Pussy Noir, Sistr Mid9ight with Rich Morel, 17th Street Dance, and soloists from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC.

For more information about the event, visit our webpage. To arrange an interview, contact Craig Cipollini, director of marketing, at ccipollini@gmcw.org.

Click HERE to video the Ropeburn promo video.