OCTOBER 13, 7:00PM, FBG SANCTUARY

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) begins its 40th season with the Lavender Pen Tour, visiting cities in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. There is no cost for the concerts – they have been completely underwritten. They will, however, receive a love offering at each stop with the proceeds going to charity. In Greenville, funds will go to United Ministries, PFLAG Greenville, AID Upstate and FBG’s Tragedy Relief Fund.

SFGMC was founded in October of 1978, and its first public appearance was a month later at the candlelight vigil following the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. The chorus now has over 275 singers in the large chorus and four outreach vocal ensembles. Artistic Director Dr. Timothy Seelig leads the chorus in a wide array of styles and genres; their high-energy performances are known for their mixture of beautiful music, humor and personality.

Joining SFGMC for the tour is the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir (OIGC), a community of diverse races, cultures and faiths, inspiring joy and unity among all people through black gospel and spiritual music. Founded in 1986, OIGC was birthed from a gospel music workshop led by Emmy-winning Terrance Kelly at Living Jazz Camp West. It became an independent non-profit organization in 1991, and since then has been performing both on its own and with a variety of other groups and individuals.

In 1977, a year before his death, Supervisor Harvey Milk sponsored a gay civil rights bill. Mayor George Moscone signed that bill into law with a lavender pen given to him by Harvey. The Lavender Pen remains a symbol of the fight for equality for all and is the reason for the tour’s name. With the divisiveness in the United States now, this tour hopes to promote equality and inclusiveness and the value of treating all with respect and dignity.

As different voices join together in harmony to present beautiful music, let us learn to treasure our diversity as a gift from God, weaving us all into a beautiful tapestry of life. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear two wonderful choirs – and provide help to those in need in our very own community!

— Kimberly