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San Francisco Choir ‘Love Can Build a Bridge’ Tour July 12 at UW


June 26, 2012 — The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC), the world’s first openly gay chorus, will deliver its message of “understanding, compassion and acceptance” Thursday, July 12, at the University of Wyoming Fine Arts concert hall.

Sponsored by the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the SFGMC will perform a public concert at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30 for the public, $15 for senior citizens and $10 for students. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666, visit the Wyoming Union or Fine Arts box offices or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.

The San Francisco-based choir also will perform its “Love Can Build A Bridge” concert Friday, July 13, at Denver’s St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral. Joining the SFGMC on the tour are special guests, the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. 

Judy and Dennis Shepard founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation in memory of their 21‐year-old son, Matthew, whose October 1998 murder stunned the nation and led to passage of the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The Laramie concert will benefit Wyoming Equality and also UW’s Spectrum, a student group in which Matthew Shepard was a member. Both groups support Wyoming’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and families.

Tour organizers say the concert is about reaching out with love and connecting with people.

"In my work as an activist and as an ally to the LGBT community, I try to remind people that their voice is their most powerful tool to erase hate in our society. I can't think of an organization that more literally embodies that philosophy than the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus,” says Judy Shepard. “Their voices are incredibly powerful, both in song and in their beautiful message of pride and community solidarity. We are so touched that they have chosen to honor Matthew and our foundation's work to advance understanding, compassion and acceptance."

“The impact Matthew Shepard has had on every single LGBT person is incalculable,” says Tim Seeling, SFGMC’s artistic director and conductor. “For us to provide two evenings of music to celebrate his life and legacy is one of the greatest honors in the chorus' history.”

Keith Reynolds, Spectrum adviser, appreciates the support for his UW student organization.

“Matthew Shepard was once a member of Spectrum while attending the University of Wyoming, and we are sincerely grateful for the opportunity to continue to educate the university and Laramie community about the importance of LGBT equality for all,” he says.

Jeran Artery, Wyoming Equality chair, adds “We are thrilled and honored to have been asked to partner with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. These funds that will be raised allow us to keep fighting for GLBT people in Wyoming and ensure Wyoming lives up to her name as the Equality State.”

Founded in 1978, SFGMC makes more than 30 appearances annually for diverse audiences and, since 2000, has raised more than $650,000 for other charities.

Photo:
The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at the University of Wyoming Fine Arts concert hall. The group’s “Love Can Build A Bridge,” tour is about “understanding, compassion and acceptance.”

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