The Golden Gate Men's Chorus is committed to excellence and joyous music-making; providing a supportive and nurturing atmosphere for our members' artistic and social self-expression; and sharing and expanding the rich and continuing tradition of male choral music.
Entertaining San Francisco for 33 years
The Golden Gate Men's Chorus was formed by Dick Kramer in 1982 as the Dick Kramer Gay Men's Chorale. Mr. Kramer, one of the founding fathers of the American gay choral movement, envisioned a small men's ensemble reminiscent of university men's choruses of 19th-century Europe. Reorganized as the Golden Gate Men's Chorus in 1988, the GGMC continues to present high quality performances of men's choral music.
Drawing Strength from San Francisco's Diversity
The GGMC does not discriminate by age, creed, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, or any ability other than musicianship. Though the GGMC is,by definition, a men's vocal group, the group makes every effort to include women's participation: in the past year, paid consultants such as house managers, vocal coaches, and concert producers have been women. Women have been volunteers for the group and are encouraged to seek
election to the Board.
Though the Golden Gate Men's Chorus has its roots in the gay community, its membership is not limited to gay men, but is made up of both gay and gay-supportive men. The group represents San Francisco's ethnic and social diversity, with members spanning African American, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Latino, Vietnamese and Western European heritages and spanning age groups from 20's to 70's.
Joseph Piazza received his musical degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He is the Music Director of Piedmont High School Acappella Choir and the founding director of ECCO, the alumni chorus of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, representing outstanding high school vocalists from the Bay Area.
Under the his direction, the Piedmont Acappella Choir has toured the People’s Republic of China, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Hungary, and Germany. In 2007, the choir performed John Rutter’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall, with John Rutter conducting. In 2008, on the occasion of Handel’s 200th birthday, the choir performed Messiah in Halle, Germany. In 2003 and 2005, the Acappella Choir received Gold Medals at the Musica Mundi International Choir competitions in Budapest, and Venice. In 2002, the choir was one of four featured at the Festival of Choirs under the direction of Vance George, at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and again in 2010 performing with Chanticleer. The chorus again appeared at Carnegie Hall in 2011, 2012, and most recently in March of this year.
Mr. Piazza has served on the faculty of the Jazz School in Berkeley, as former associate music director of the San Francisco Boys Chorus, and is currently the music director of the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus in San Francisco. He has studied choral conducting and rehearsal techniques with Vance George in private study and work with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Mr. Piazza has appeared at the Saranac Lake summer choral festival where he conducted the Gregg Smith Singers and worked with Dennis Keene and Gregg Smith. He has also studied solfège and ear training with renowned master teacher Erzsebet Hegyi.
Mr. Piazza has been teaching at Piedmont High School since 1989, where he has been honored with the Lois J. Rawlings Foundation Award for outstanding teaching. He is also the director of the prestigious music theory and composition program at Piedmont High School, where he teaches Advanced Placement music courses. Mr. Piazza has also studied at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, acted professionally, directed, and choreographed. In May 2010, Mr. Piazza was appointed as Music Director of the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus.
Mr. Piazza conducted GGMC at the American choral director’s Western Division Regional Convention in February of 2014 and at the World Choir Games in July 2014 in Riga, Latvia, where GGMC was awarded gold medals in the "Musica Sacra with accompaniment" and "Male Choirs" Champions Competitions, and a silver medal in the "Spiritual" Champions Competition.
Fred Cummins received his BA in music, MA in music education and MBA from Stanford University. Early in his music career, Fred sang and played bass with Waterwheel, a folk / jazz duo. He and his partner wrote and arranged tunes, recorded an album, and were featured two years at the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra's summer concert series. Fred was the first paid director of The Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View. While there, he established choruses in ten elementary schools and directed in five. He also wrote grants that funded ten “artists in the community” for two years.
Fred is organist and choir director at Foothills Congregational Church in Los Altos. He has written and arranged several pieces for the church's singing and bell choirs and actively recruits musicians to sing and play during church services. The result is a broad mix of styles including classical, bluegrass, gospel, praise, jazz, and what might be called “fusion.” An active chamber musician, Fred often plays recitals in the Los Altos area.
Fred has sung baritone with the San Francisco Choral Artists, the San Francisco Bach Choir, Stanford Early Music Singers, Stanford Memorial Church Choir, and Stanford Mendicants, which he also led for two years. He joined the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus in January 2010 as a baritone. In August 2010, he was appointed as Accompanist of the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus.
Albert Sammons, Jr.*
+ On leave
Board of Directors
Let's make beautiful music together
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Thank You for Your Generosity
The Golden Gate Men's Chorus is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code (EIN 94-2916441). Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Guardian ($5,000 or more)
San Francisco Grants for the Arts/ Hotel Tax Fund
Kenn D. Keitt
Chris Miller & Joseph Piazza
Eric Nefstead & Dr. David Priest
Community Thrift Store
Patron ($1,000 - $1,999)
Jeff Berry & Eric Politzer
In memory of Jane Politzer
Fred Cummins & Gary Poe
Paul DiSangro & Dr. David Rossi
Dr. Charles F. Hill, Jr. & Christopher M. Olsen
Roy & Jennie Piazza
Dr. Stephen Simko
Genentech, Inc. matching gift
Benefactor ($500 - $999)
Haruhiko Ando & Jason Cherry
Dr. Matthew Gubens
Albert Sammons, Jr.
Russ A. Selinger
Sponsor ($250 - $499)
David Baker & Rod Omandam
Greg Clause & Shayne Jones
Chris Garigliano & Satoshi Miyauchi
Giacomo DiGrigoli & Emil Wilson
Susan & Richard Jardine
Charles M. Ryan
Rocket Fund for Equality of Horizon
Gerard Schulz & Glenn Stover
John M. Shaughnessy
Contributor ($100 - $249)
Walter N. Barnes
Paul Chin & Chuck Street
Raymond Coshow & Mike Blassingham
Ron Davis & Robert Tsuda
Eric B. Dingler & Rob Reinhart
David D. Gracie
David C. Hale
Keith R. Johnson
Richard A. & Barbara Mauro
Mary Lee McCune
In honor of David Parkinson
Stuart & Meg McLaughlin
Dalton & Marjory Ward
Dr. James E. Watson
William J. Smith Trust
Donor (Up to $99)
Raymond & Abigail Brenner
Dr. James M. Campbell
In honor of Glenn Stover
Peter Chandonnet & Timothy Schroeder
Marlene A. Cordova
Sandy and Janet D’Annunzio
Jonathan Bryant Deason
Dr. Bernard & Phyllis Givertz
Karen A. Jones
Anthony P. Maridakis