Thea Kano and GMCW at TEDx

September 28, 2015

Thea Kano and Members of GMCW to appear at TEDxMidAtlantic

Washington, DC – On Saturday, September 26, 2015, Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC Artistic Director Thea Kano and members of the Chorus appeared at TEDxMidAtlantic to talk about the Chorus tour of Cuba and its impact. The theme of the event was Intersections. Thea talked about how the Chorus became involved in the trip, what they experienced and the impact the trip has had on the organization and their lives. The members who went on the trip performed selections from the tour, including GMCW’s signature song “Make Them Hear You” which they performed both in English and Spanish.


GenOUT Chorus Member to Speak at TEDx

September 17, 2015

GenOUT Chorus Member to Speak at TEDx

Washington, DC – A member of the GenOUT Chorus, an LGBTQ youth chorus started in May 2015 by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, will speak at a TEDx event on October 3, 2015 at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre. The event runs from 9am to 5pm.

Evie Priestman is a member of the GenOUT Chorus and has been profiled in the New York Times Transgender Today series. When Evie read about the theme of the Arlington TEDx event, he knew it might be a good platform for his message.  The theme is about how the Arlington community has supported people — how folks could not have realized their goals or dreams without the community.

Evie’s journey as a transgender youth was much easier than others have experienced, and he credits the community with this. He was accepted all through elementary school and middle school, despite being a girl, but appearing like a boy. No one questioned him – and this was before Caitlyn Jenner, before being trans was in the news. Arlington accepted him for who he was.

He knows this is not the case for many transgender kids, and he wanted people to know that Arlington’s acceptance was critical in his saying what was true for him. He prepared a proposal, made it through the many-stepped process, and was accepted.

“I learned so much about finding my own voice by being part of GenOUT. The support from GMCW was really important during this time,” said Evie.

For more information on the event, click HERE.


2015-2016 Season Subscriptions On Sale

CONTACT: Craig Cipollini
September 10, 2015

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC announces 2015-2016 Season

Washington, D.C. — The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW) has announced its 2015-2016 season of shows. Celebrating our 35th Anniversary this year, the season includes four concerts, a cabaret show and a season-opening fundraiser. The season will also feature several guest appearances including the return of the DC Cowboys dance company and a performance by Gallim Dance, featuring all-new choreography by Andrea Miller. Subscriptions are now on sale. GMCW is under the artistic direction of Thea Kano.

2015-2016 Season
Home Cooked Cabaret: The S* Show – November 7, 2015 at 5:00pm
GMCW’s season opening fundraiser features the cast of The S* Show at the Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery. Support GMCW in this special event featuring the cabaret show followed by a hosted dinner and drinks.

The S* Show – November 14, 2015 at 5pm and 8pm
*Sondheim. Sinatra. Streisand. We will celebrate three of the greats in one evening. Join us for this special cabaret featuring select soloists from the Chorus as we toast three amazing American icons.

Rewrapped – December 5, 6, 12 & 13, 2015
Songs you know and love—with a twist! We’ll celebrate some of your favorite holiday songs, but as you’ve never heard them before. Come join us as we ring in the season with glitter and glamour. Songs include “Sleigh Ride,” Let It Snow,” “Jingle Bells” and “Do You Hear What I Hear.”

The Way We Were (with Potomac Fever and Rock Creek Singers) – February 12 & 13, 2016
Our select vocal ensembles bring you our favorite hits over the years. Join us as we remember the way we were and take a trip down memory lane to revisit some of our best songs.

Boots, Class & Sass – March 12, 19 & 20, 2016
The Gay Men’s Chorus presents a salute to country music. Kick up your heels as we celebrate some of our favorite country songs, country boys and, of course, the ladies of country! Clogging, drag queens, guitars – and the return of the DC Cowboys Dance Company!

Carmina 35 – May 8, 2016 at 8:00pm
Celebrating our first 35 years in song — including the classical choral piece Carmina Burana featuring a performance by Gallim Dance from New York City, featuring all-new choreography by Andrea Miller. We will return to the Kennedy Center for this not-to-be-missed concert that will also celebrate our 35-year history with some special guest appearances!

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Director of Marketing Craig Cipollini at or 202-293-1548.

NBC4 News – GMCW’s Groundbreaking Tour

August 13, 2015

NBC4 News followed us on our tour to Cuba. The story aired on the 6pm news and is now available online HERE.

Click here to see behind-the-scenes footage of our Cuba trip.

Special thanks to Rick Yarborough and Wendy Rieger.

Feeling Heard

Feeling Heard: Meeting the LGBTQ Community in Cuba
by Chase Maggiano, Executive Director

Posted on the Center for Transatlantic Relations website July 30.2015
Reflections on the GMCW Cuba trip

Click HERE to read the article.

GMCW Cuba Tour Schedule Announced

GMCW Announces Performance Schedule for First-Ever
Gay Chorus Tour of Cuba

Ten performances planned including first-ever performance with Cuba’s new gay chorus and tour finale at the prestigious Casa de las Americas.

Washington, DC (July 1, 2015) – The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington (GMCW) today announced the performance schedule for their first-ever tour of Cuba by a gay chorus, set to take place from July 11-19, 2015. The schedule of nine performances is nearly twice as large as previously announced and includes a first-ever performance by GMCW with Mano a Mano, Cuba’s new gay chorus, and a tour finale event at the Casa de las Americas, one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in Cuba.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to perform at nine different locations in and around Havana during our tour of Cuba and we look forward to meeting with and learning from Cubans of all walks of life in settings as diverse as a block party and one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the country,” said GMCW Executive Director Chase Maggiano. “Person-to-person exchange is vital to fostering understanding and acceptance and we are ready to use the power of song to help open lines of communication about social policy and LGBTQ equality.”

The tour performance schedule is as follows:
• Sunday, July 12 – 3:00pm – Exchange with the Marina de Gonitch Chorus. Will meet members of the chorus and exchange experiences. Each chorus will sing for ½ hour each. Location: Casa de la Amistad – (House of Friendship).
• Monday, July 13 – 11:00am – GMCW will perform at the National Library of Havana for 1 hour. Location: National Library Auditorium.
• Monday, July 13 – 3:30pm – Visit the Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture) in Arroyo Naranjo, a suburb of the city of Havana. Dance and singing presentation by Cuban children. Following the presentation the GMCW will perform. ½ hour each.
• Monday, July 13 – 8:30pm – Block party in a residential area of Havana. Street will be blocked and the GMCW will perform for 1 hour during the block party.
• Wednesday, July 15 – 2:30pm – Visit with CENESEX. The visit will take place at ICAP – Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos – (Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples) Dr. Mariela Castro Espin has been officially invited to exchange with the GMCW Delegation for 2 hours. Following the meeting the GMCW & Cuba’s gay chorus “Mano a Mano” will perform.
• Wednesday, July 15 – 7:30pm – GMCW will perform at the Quinta Avenida Hotel for special invited guests. Performance 1 hour (cocktail reception)
• Thursday, July 16 – 9:30am – Visit to the Convento Nuestras Señora de Belen – (Convent of Our Lady of Bethlehem). There will be a presentation by the Convent & the GMCW will perform for the community and the elderly that are part of the convent’s program. Program ½ hour each.
• Friday, July 17 – 2:30 – Bebe Company will perform at Teatro/Theater “Bertold Brecht” with a variety of children’s program. The GMCW will perform following the presentation. Program ½ hour each.
• Friday, July 17 – 7:00pm – Visit the prestigious Casa de las Americas – GMCW will perform in the Ernesto Che Guevara room. Program 1 hour.

The tour, which is being conducted in partnership with Youth For Understanding USA (YFU), will mark the first time a gay chorus has toured the country and the first time YFU has hosted an adult exchange program anywhere in the world.

For information on tour coverage, photo availability and interviews with GMCW leaders, please contact Ben Finzel at 202-277-6286 or

2015-2016 Season Announced

Contact: Craig Cipollini, Director of Marketing

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC Announces its 2015-2016 Season

Washington, DC – The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW) has announced its 2015-2016 Season celebrating their 35th Anniversary. Under the direction of Artistic Director Thea Kano, the 35th Anniversary season will include three full-chorus chorus, a concert for two select vocal ensembles, a cabaret and a season-opening fundraiser.

The 2015-2016 Season includes: The S* ShowRewrapped; The Way We Were; Boots, Class & Sass and Carmina Burana/35th Anniversary Concert. Venues for the season include the Lincoln Theatre, Atlas Performing Arts Center and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information or to subscribe, call 202-293-1548 or visit their website at


5 Star Review for Born This Way

MAY 19, 2015

Critic David Friscic of DC Metro Theatre Arts gives GMCW’s production of Born This Way 5 Stars! Click HERE to read the review.

Thank you to David Friscic and everyone at DC Metro Theatre Arts!

GMCW to host equality panel discussion

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC to Host Dialogue on Equality
DC Event Takes Place in Conjunction with Born This Way Concerts
and Debut of LGBTQA Youth Chorus

Washington, D.C. — Demonstrating the power of music to unite people and to remind us of the common bonds we share, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington (GMCW) will host a dialogue on equality, civil rights and the American experience following the matinee performance of the chorus’ Born This Way concert on Saturday, May 16. The dialogue, in the form of a discussion panel moderated by the Right Reverend Gene Robinson, will be held at DC’s Historic Lincoln Theater on U Street.

“There has been so much turmoil and discord in our recent American history,” stated GMCW Executive Director Chase Maggiano. “Our Born This Way concert combined with this important dialogue on civil rights highlights our effort to use arts and culture – through the power of music – to demonstrate our common humanity. It’s a vital conversation and one that we are proud to foster and promote.”

Born This Way features the full chorus of 200 singers. The concert is built around songs and stories from civil and equal rights movements, featuring songs such as “Over the Rainbow,” “Proud,” “Stay with Me,” “Glory,” “Define Me” and “Impossible Dream.” Joining GMCW for this special concert will be recording artist Maiya Sykes from NBC-TV’s The Voice. The concert will also feature the debut of the GenOUT Chorus, the first LGBTQA youth chorus in the area. The chorus is comprised of both male and female LGBTQ and allied students ranging in age from 12-18.

GMCW’s national equality dialogue, moderated by the Right Reverend Bishop Gene Robinson, will explore the throughlines that multiple equality movements have in common. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will be a special guest along with the leaders of four national organizations focused on LGBTQ equality. For more information, visit the GMCW website:

WHAT: DC dialogue on national equality issues

WHERE: Lincoln Theater, 1215 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

WHEN: Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 5:15pm

WHO: The Right Reverend Bishop Gene Robinson; Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; Bradley Sears – Executive Director, Williams Institute; Kevin Jennings – Executive Director, Arcus Foundation; Mara Keisling – Founder, National Center for Transgender Equality; Sultan Shakir – Executive Director, SMYAL

Note: Bradley Sears and Kevin Jennings will receive GMCW’s Harmony Award during the discussion event in recognition of their outstanding service to LGBT and civil rights.

Gay Mens Chorus to Visit Cuba

April 22, 2015
For information contact:
Ben Finzel, RENEWPR


Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, in partnership with Youth For Understanding USA, to Conduct First-Ever Gay Chorus Visit to Cuba

Historic concert tour will match GMCW’s mission to raise awareness and promote LGBTQ equality with YFU’s mission to advance intercultural understanding

Washington, DC (April 22, 2015) — The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW) and Youth For Understanding USA (YFU) today announced they will partner to conduct a first-ever visit by a gay chorus to Cuba. The nine-day concert tour, to take place July 10-18, 2015, will seek to raise awareness of issues faced by LGBTQ communities. The tour will encompass five performances in and around Havana and will include public forums designed to open lines of communication about social policy and LGBTQ equality.

“We have an incredible opportunity to help make a difference in the perception of the US and of LGBTQ people with this historic visit,” said Chase Maggiano, executive director of the GMCW. “Thanks to our partnership with YFU, we will be able to meet the increasingly visible LGBTQ community in and around Havana and share our stories and learn new ones. As we know from our long history of concerts worldwide, person to person interaction can be a key driver of social change. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to help advance the dialogue by serving as cultural ambassadors.”

The partnership between GMCW as a musical entity and YFU as an international educational entity gives this tour cultural sanction, where travel to Cuba is still limited to educational, religious, cultural, humanitarian and family purposes. Concerts in the tour will take place at prestigious locations in Cuba such as the Franciscan Monastery, and the group will meet with representatives from the Cuban National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX), a government-funded entity spearheaded by Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro. The tour is licensed through People to People Exchange, and operated in collaboration with Interplanner, the first and longest running provider of travel services between the US and Cuba.

Michael E. Hill, President & CEO of YFU, said the trip blends the two organizations’ missions perfectly. “YFU is a catalyst for positive global change, and innovative programs like this provide the ultimate reality check to a worldview based on stereotypes, ” Hill said. “Cultural exchange reinforces our common humanity. We are thrilled to be making this historic journey with GMCW, which represents our first-ever adult excursion.“

On the tour, the chorus will have the opportunity to enjoy Cuba’s distinctive culture, with an itinerary focused on the arts, education, health, and schools, along with the island’s unique cuisine, music and architecture. The trip will offer many opportunities to meet with local business owners, artisans, lecturers, and everyday citizens. Representatives of the two GMCW traveling ensembles, Potomac Fever and Rock Creek Singers, will comprise the performance chorus for this tour. They will be joined by GMCW and YFU staff and guests. More information on the tour is available at


About Youth For Understanding USA (YFU):

For learners of all ages who want a life-changing cultural exchange experience, Youth For Understanding (YFU) offers a wide range of opportunities to see the world up close. The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 70 different countries, is united by the belief that curiosity about the world expands cultural awareness and acceptance of other ways to live, which leads to broader perspective and greater understanding. YFU’s unique intercultural exchanges open minds and hearts, enable learning that transforms lives, change the way you see the world and help to overcome stereotypes.  Since 1951, YFU has remained a trusted leader of intercultural exchange programs because of its commitment to safety, reputation for quality, and exceptional support services.

Mission: YFU advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities. 


Media Contact: Alicia Kubert Smith, 202.774.5202,

About the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW)

Under the direction of Artistic Director Thea Kano, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC is in its 34th season with a mission that is dynamic and socially-relevant. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington delights audiences and champions gay equality with robust artistry, fun and surprise. GMCW has more than 220 singing members, two select vocal ensembles, 100 support volunteers, more than 400 subscribers, 500 donors and an annual audience of more than 10,000 people.

GMCW is honored to include in its history iconic venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the White House, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall in Boston, the Lincoln Memorial, presidential inauguration celebrations, and more. GMCW features two select outreach vocal ensembles: Potomac Fever, a 14-voice close harmony group, and Rock Creek Singers, a 35-voice chamber ensemble.

Since 2001, GMCW has maintained a robust youth outreach program, GenOUT, that offers free tickets to high school students, parents and teachers, in addition to offering in-school outreach and empowerment programs. The Chorus demonstrates its commitment to community outreach projects by participating in the Whitman-Walker AIDS Walk, an annual toy drive to benefit Community Family Life Services, Christmas Eve caroling at the National Institutes of Health and volunteering at Food & Friends. GMCW is a proud member of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses) and Chorus America.

Mission: The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington delights audiences and champions gay equality with robust artistry, fun, and surprise.


Media Contact: Craig Cipollini, 202.293.1548,