Crescendo!, Autumn 2012

Volume 10  Issue 2  Autumn 2012

GALA: An explosion of music, entertainment, advocacy, and community! Norm Duttweiler, GALA Committee Chair

The Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus has had one of its busiest years, celebrating our 10 th Anniversary, welcoming a new Artistic Director (AD), and attending our 3 rd GALA Choruses Festival in Denver. Our singers showed strong commitment to a hectic but amazing season, so kudos to our members’ dedication! Held every four years, the GALA Festival is the largest LGBT choral festival in the world. The July 2012 Festival drew a record-breaking 6000+ delegates from around the world. This festival is not about competition. We perform just for the fun and pride of it. The 2012 festival offered workshops, Coffee Concerts, Blockbusters, Small Ensemble performances, Sing-a-Longs (including the Big Gay Sing hosted by Miss Richfield 1981), and spectacular performances by youth choruses. Each day was packed with music from sunrise to sunset, often sending us scrambling to grab a bite to eat before the next concert block started. During each concert block, three separate venues within the Denver Performing Arts Complex hosted choruses, making it hard to choose which one of the three concerts to attend. Some of us wished we could divide ourselves to see it all. As one member said, “This was an amazing experience. I was constantly moved by either the beauty of the music or the impact of the words or performance.” Choruses delighted us with a “Sound of Music” rendition (Men Alive, Laguna Hills, CA) and pieces from the past: “Alexander’s House” (Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC). The festival also attracted icons of the LGBT and music communities such as Dan Savage, Vanessa German, and Stephen Schwartz. Going to GALA strengthened the bonds of the BGMC. Over 50 BGMC members attended the festival, sharing a laugh, a cry, a hug, or a drink. This conference brought old and new friends together, both within the chorus and from other parts of the world. Another welcome experience was seeing our new AD’s excitement and enthusiasm as the festival progressed. We reflected on our history, missed members and our founding AD, remembered where we came from, and felt excitement for where we are going. We were proud to take the stage as representatives of the chorus and the City of Buffalo. Don’t think that the trip was all business. Members delighted in the local cuisine, danced it up at the clubs, enjoyed parties hosted by other choruses, and, as if we didn’t sing enough, did some karaoke. This festival inspired, invigorated, and re- energized us for our mission. Even the Closing Ceremony solidified our commitment as a larger community as we sang “Born This Way.” We all walked out of the concert hall and into the streets in song.

BGMC banner on the 16 th St. Mall in Denver

Posing under our banner

Waiting for our rehearsal

BGMC on stage in Denver

Learn more about GALA Choruses at

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From our Artistic Director Ciaran Krueger

President's Message Gregory Ciupak

There’s something about the holiday season that, whether or not you believe in a specific faith, lends itself to nostalgia. Holding an ornament that used to be your grandmother’s; lighting a menorah in the rich tradition that you did as a child; the smells of ginger and cinnamon in a bakery--these things transport us to another time. The Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus revels in giving you this kind of experience, and this season, we are doing it full on! Imagine listening to your favorite holiday classics with the accompaniment of a brass ensemble, New Orleans style! I have to admit that when I heard the pitch for Cool Yule as our holiday concert, I was skeptical. Boy, did I lack vision. This concert is going to charm and delight you. It is all out Cool. For those looking to revel in a classic throwback to a trumpeting Louis Armstrong style, you will be in absolute bliss. The 2012 year has been pivotal for the BGMC. We celebrated our 10 th anniversary and performed at a gathering of thousands at the GALA Festival. What means the most to us, though, is you , our loyal patrons who support us each year, every year, in our personal lives and on stage. The best way that we can show our gratitude is through song. I hope that you will allow us to give back to you for all that you’ve given to us.

You will not want to miss our upcoming holiday concert!

We return to the beautiful and historic Riviera Theater to kick off the holiday concert series Cool Yule . Dance along with lively holiday favorites accompanied by a live jazz ensemble. Cool Yule will bring you back to the times when Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and the Andrews Sisters were at the top of their craft. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" will also make its traditional appearance flavored with BGMC's unmistakable sense of humor. So join us as part of your holiday tradition. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or you just enjoy the season, there is something for you.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Gardner celebrates 80 th birthday In October, BGMC founding member William H. “Bill” Gardner celebrated his 80 th birthday. Bill, shown here with his wife Marjorie, was honored at rehearsal by president Gregory Ciupak for his role as attorney in the New York vs. Uplinger case (1984), which overturned New York State’s sodomy statutes, a legal milestone in modern

 Dec. 7-9, 2012: Cool Yule concerts

 Dec. 16, 2012: BGMC sings at the annual Albright-Knox Tree Lighting, 3 pm

 Jan. 16 & 22, 2013 Auditions for Spring Semester

GLBT history. Bill has variously served as our legal counsel, treasurer, board member, and music librarian. Best wishes to a local hero!

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Hang this on a bulletin board or refrigerator near you!

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We’re on Twitter!


Artistic Director Ciaran Krueger and his wife Lisa welcomed a second daughter, Maisie, in May, joining Caoimhe [pronounced Kiva ]. In November, Accompanist Debi Overton-Niles and Kathleen Bryce Niles-Overton celebrate their first wedding anniversary. They were married in Calvary Episcopal Church in Williamsville. Ticket Sales Manager Susan C. Gruttadauria was promoted to Scheduling & Transfer Credit Coordinator in the Office of Student Records at Canisius College.

And on Facebook!

Jeffrey Berger [T2] & Joshua Von Braun were married at Marcy Casino in Delaware Park in September.

Attorney Mark J. Peszko [T2] had four photographs of local architecture in the Artful Lawyer Exhibit at the Bar Association of Erie County on Main St.

President: Gregory Ciupak Vice President : Robert J. Szustak Secretary : Shaun Doyle, Jr. Treasurer : Christopher Reybrouck

In August, Brett Ransom [T1] taught at Bristol Hills Music Camp, Canandaigua, NY, his 18th year in attendance.

Board member Timothy Mahiques [B2] celebrated his 16th anniversary as an employee of IngramMicro.

Board of Trustees : Timothy Mahiques Brett Ransom James Rigo Andrew Giarrizzo Cynthia Van Ness

Former Board President Christopher Babbitt [B1] and Christopher Derisley were married at Trinity Episcopal Church in September, the first couple in Buffalo to benefit from the new liturgy for same-sex weddings. Both Christophers now share the Derisley surname. In May, former Board President Shaun Doyle [B1] and Eric Leonberger were married at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Buffalo. Joey Sergiej [T2] is training new employees on cash register and will be holiday cashier lead at Bath and Body Works. In June, he started doing comedy sports improv at Snyder Square. In November, Pierre Albrecht-Carrie [B2] celebrates his 67st birthday and the 31st anniversary of his ordination in the United Church of Christ. Former chorus member Jim Jagow is serving his 3 rd assignment in the Peace Corps, teaching 10th-12th grade biology at Sinje High School in Liberia, with poor conditions and dangerous travel.

Accompanist: Debi Overton-Niles Archivist: Chuck Alaimo Artistic Director: Ciaran Krueger Music Librarian : William Gardner Newsletter: Cynthia Van Ness Publicist: Shannon Smith Ticket Sales: Susan Gruttadauria Webmaster: Jaime Goldfuss Mission Statement: The Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus is dedicated to producing vocal music of high quality in the rich tradition of men’s choral singing. We sing to create harmony as we celebrate pride in the community and in ourselves. We seek through song not only to entertain, but to enlighten.

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Chorus adopts a highway in Delaware Park and holds first clean-up Thanks to a year of effort on the part of Chorus co-founder Dennis Stuart, the New York State Department of Transportation granted the Chorus a mile of Rt. 198 to clean up. Our first litter pick-up was held on October 6, 2012. Look for our sign on the west side of Delaware Avenue, just south of the 198 overpass.

Photo by John Morrison

Photo by Cynthia Van Ness

Photo by John Morrison

Photo by John Morrison

Photo by John Morrison

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Office: 51 Colonial Circle Buffalo, NY 14222


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