BGMC Handbook 2013

2. Who We Are

Songs are funny things. They can slip across borders. Proliferate in prisons. Penetrate hard shells. I always believed that the right song at the right moment could change history. --Pete Seeger

A. Brief History

The BGMC was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and the by-laws were adopted by the Board of Directors on January 15, 2001. We were preceded in the mid-1980s a group of singing gay men and women called the Queen City Chorus, later renamed the City of Good Neighbors Chorale. It survived into the mid- 1990s. In 1999, Mike Rogers of Washington, DC, a former Buffalonian working as Director of Fundraising for the Gay and Lesbian Association (GALA) of Choruses International, called Roger Parris in Kenmore and urged him to establish a new gay chorus in Western New York. A small group of friends first met on January 16, 2000 and composed a brief mission statement. On March 26, 2000, five members of the group hosted an open meeting at the Crane Branch Library on Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo. The concept of forming a men’s chorus was presented to an audience of thirty men and women. A Steering Committee formed and decided that the new men’s chorus would be a volunteer-lead organization, directed by a nine-member elected Board of Directors with three-year-long terms. Musical decisions would be made by a salaried Artistic Director. By-laws borrowed from the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus served as the


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