In August, 1982, shortly after stepping down as music director of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, Dick Kramer put out word (and posters) that he was forming an entirely new group, to be called the Dick Kramer Gay Men's Chorale. He envisioned a small men's ensemble of around 40, reminiscent of university men's choruses of 19th century Europe. This was evident in the goal statement of the chorus' first four years: "The goal of the Chorale is to maintain a membership of about 40 male voices to concentrate on serious musical repertoire, and to travel so that the tradition of gay male voices dedicated to musical excellence can carry beyond the San Francisco Bay Area." The chorale performed three sets annually, with each set consisting of 3-4 performances in San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda and/or Contra Costa counties. The chorale also did regular joint performances with the Temescal GMC (Oakland), Liedermann Chorus (now Silicon Valley GMC), Contra Costa Chorale, VOICES Lesbian Chorus, Lesbian/Gay Chorus of SF, and San Francisco GMC, as well as participating in the annual Pride Concert. The DKGMC was also a founding member of the new GALA Choruses organization in 1983 (and has been represented in every GALA festival to date). In recognition of the chorale's achievement, the California Arts Council granted funding in 1985 upon its first application. From its first performances in 1982, the DKGMC was well received by the local press and San Francisco audiences, and received rave reviews for its programming and performances. In addition, the DKGMC was featured regularly at the Cable Car Awards, both as performer and award recipient, and sang for the opening of Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro. After singing patriotic music at a celebratory rally at "Hibernia Beach" in honor of released Middle East hostages, the DKGMC was mentioned in Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" in the local paper. Major performances of the period include: full scale production of Britten's "Burning Fiery Furnace" (winter 84), Verdi "Requiem" (spring 85, with the Contra Costa Chorale), Orff "Carmina Burana" (spring 86, with Contra Costa Chorale), Gay Choralfest (summer 86, in preparation for GALA II in Minneapolis). Most performances were broadcast live by KUSF radio; the Britten performance was rebroadcast nationally, as well as in Europe and Australia. During this time, membership expanded from the original 40 to over 75 singing members. The DKGMC was among 17 choruses at Minneapolis GALA II in 1986, and shared the stage with the Denver Women's Chorus in a special joint performance of Schubert's "Mass in G," the first large mixed choral performance at a GALA festival. After almost six years as music director, in April 1988, Dick Kramer conducted his farewell concert of Weill's "Berliner Requiem." The DKGMC was reorganized as the Golden Gate Men's Chorus, with J. Stephan Repasky appointed as interim director, until the appointment in January 1989 of Dr. Walter Thomas. In summer 1989, the GGMC acted as corporate sponsor for NorCal GALA Choruses (no other chorus could assume fiscal responsibility at that time), which was chartered to produce the "GALA Preview" concert, including 9 Bay Area and Sacramento GALA choruses, in preparation for the GALA III festival in Seattle, which was attended by 43 choruses. True to its mission statement, the GGMC again presented the only classical music program at the festival. After Dr. Thomas' departure at the end of 1989, William Garcia Ganz was appointed in January 1991. During his four-year tenure, the GGMC produced three full concerts of all-American composers, as well as two concerts in conjunction with the Society of Gay and Lesbian Composers of new works by local lesbian and gay composers. The GGMC also performed joint reciprocal holiday concerts with the Sacramento GMC in San Francisco and Sacramento (1990,1991) and with Slavyanka Slavic chorus in San Francisco and Santa Clara (1994, 1995). In summer 1992, in preparation for the GALA IV festival in Denver, the GGMC was the highlighted performer at the Pride Concert, celebrating its 10th anniversary, and continued to Denver, where it presented a warmly received program of Renaissance sacred music. In January 1995, William Garcia Ganz and Martha Stoddard were appointed as co-music directors. Under their direction, the GGMC performed in the Sacramento Pride Concert (spring 95), Menlo Park (winter 95), and San Jose Pride Concert (spring 96), and the GALA V festival in Tampa in the summer of 1996. In August 1996, Joseph Jennings was appointed music director. Under Mr. Jennings, the GGMC again achieved a high level of artistic quality, attracted a steady flow of excellent musicians as new members, and expanded its audience and donor base, until Mr. Jennings’ retirement in September 2009. In May 2010, Joseph Piazza was selected to direct the GGMC. We continue to grow under his leadership, with new commissions, including works by Eric Whitacre, Leonard Enns, David Conte, Vytautas Miškinis, Ivo Antognini, and Kirby Shaw, as well as arrangements by Josu Elberdin and Steve Milloy; a successful performance on the international stage at the 2012 GALA Festival; and the release of our new recording, “30” in the few years since his appointment. The GGMC has released four CD recordings, "Loving Again (2000)," recorded at Skywalker Ranch in Marin; "MASS (2003)," recorded at St. Ignatius in San Francisco, "Tidings of Comfort and Joy (2006),” and “30 (2012),” commemorating our 30th anniversary, both also recorded at St. Ignatius. Since 1999, the GGMC has been supported by annual grants from the San Francisco Grants for the Arts. Included among its regular season performances, the GGMC has produced two major staged productions of cabaret music "Love Changes Everything" (1997,1998); a three-month tour of San Francisco historic sites "Now We Sing the City" (including SF City Hall) (1999); a joint performance to a full house at Grace Cathedral with the London and Paris gay men's choruses after the GALA VI festival in San Jose "International Concert" (2000); seven major orchestral sacred concerts (2000 Durufle, 2001 Rheinberger, 2002 Cherubini, 2003 Bach, 2006 Memento mori: an AIDS requiem, 2007 Stravinsky with the Peninsula Women’s Chorus, 2015 The Coming of the Kingdom with Ancora Girls Chorus and the Jubilate Orchestra); attended the GALA Regional festival in Seattle (2002); hosted the Harvard Glee Club in its first joint performance with a gay men's chorus (2004); performed jointly as guests in New York City with the Gotham Gay Men's Chorus (2004); and attended the GALA VII festival in Montreal ( 2004), GALA VIII festival in Miami (2008), and GALA IX festival in Denver (2012). In February 2014, GGMC small ensemble Counterpoint sang at the American Choral Directors Western Division Regional Convention in Santa Barbara, CA. In July 2014, GGMC toured the Baltic states of Lithuania and Latvia, and competed at the 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia, where the chorus was awarded gold medals in the “Musica Sacra with accompaniment” and “Male Choirs” Champions Competitions, and a silver medal in the “Spiritual” Champions Competition. In July 2016, GGMC will travel to Denver, CO for the tenth GALA Festival. We are proud of our many achievements, and are confident that our history and experience will guide our success in the next 30 years.