The lack of spirit in our society is a significant problem. With terrorism and the anti-terror behavioral controls extended by our government with its invasive methods, culture is at risk among the American people. While we cannot change the whole world, we can sing with those around us. Our singing changes the world in which we live. It changes how we feel, how we show up to our neighbors and associates and it makes the world a more welcoming place to be. The creation of such a world is what the OEBGMC is about. We care and we change the world through our gift of song. Will we feed even one starving child in Africa? Certainly not. But the gift we give makes the world a better place for all those who hear us and more clearly remember what love means because of our music.
“Inspired by fellowship discovered in the creation of choral music, the members of the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus engage and entertain the community.”
The Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus began in September of 1999 when Dick Kramer set up a booth at East Bay Pride and recruited members to create a gay men’s chorus for the east bay. The chorus made its first public appearance that following December at a meeting of The Lavender Seniors in San Leandro. Since then we’ve put on five full concert seasons as well as shared the stage with The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Chorus, Opus Q, Voices-A Lesbian Ensemble, The Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus, The Women’s Rainbow Chorus, SDK (formerly the Bear-a-Tones) and Out On A Clef. We’ve raised funds and donated concert proceeds to The Rainbow Community Center, The Lighthouse Community Center, The Center for AIDS Services and The Pacific Center for Human Growth. We are proud of the work we do and of the contribution we make to the east bay community as well as to the greater bay area.
Ceremonies as requested • Renaming • Memorial • Commitment
Annual collaborations • Collaborations with Voices (East Bay Lesbian Choral Ensemble), Lesbian and Gay Chorus of San Francisco (LGCSF) and Out on a Clef (Lesbian a cappella quartet)
Annual performances • Max and MaxEast (Men’s Associated Exchange) • Arts First Oakland • Oakland Museum • Oakland Artists’ Salon-Oakland YWCA • Oakland Jazz & Soul (paid)
Seasonal and Community Choral Presentations: • Spring Concert Series • July Cabaret Concert • Host of the Oakland-East Bay Invitational Pride Concert Series • Holiday Concert Series • GLAM - Gay Lesbian Youth Chorus Collaboration & Mentoring
Since 1999 when Dick Kramer established the Oakland-East Bay Gay Men's Chorus we have been providing a gathering place for music loving LGBT residents and their allies. We just finished our 7th Annual Invitation Pride concert in August which brought to stage for the first time in the East Bay the Gay, Lesbian and Allied Musicians (GLAM) Youth Choir, Out on A Clef, a beloved East Bay-based lesbian barbershop quartet, San Francisco's Colla Voce, an ensemble of gay men, the Lesbian/Gay chorus of San Francisco and Otto Voci, OEGBMC’s outreached-focused 8 voice ensemble. We continue to provide the East Bay community with a delightful variety of musical entertainment which tells the story of being gay in America today and challenges the audience to acknowledge, advocate and pursue full rights and standing for less than equal citizens in our community. It is our statement of Pride. The songs we sing describe our fight for the right to marry, the roles we play in the community, the events of gay life -euphoric and tragic, as well as traditional tunes and songs we love. The songs we sing bring community together around the issues of life. Songs give us a space to remember and re-live potent emotions that give life meaning, it re-connects us to the wholeness of life that our speeded up modern society leaves so little time for. This emotional reflection and embodiment is necessary for a person to be a whole person, and music is a fundamental doorway to that wholeness – some would say a wholeness of spirit. We believe that music changes who we are as individuals who participate in the choral creation of music, friends, neighbors and our community which participates through listening and supporting the gift of music in our society.
Historically, we have managed our finances through concert ticket sales and voluntary dues paid by chorus members and non-singing board members and other volunteer staff. The chorus is working toward a goal of long-term sustainability. Beyond ticket sales and concert donations, our quest is to grow the organization financially. The San Francisco Bay Area, with all of its beauty, artistic and cultural offerings, is an expensive region and our professional staff salaries must reflect the market. We are facing a real need for higher salaries for our paid staff, increased costs in rent for storage, rehearsal and performance spaces, sound system rentals, recording and lighting costs. We have plans to perform in venues beyond our reach with current income levels. This on-line drive is to raise $50,000 to build sustainability of the chorus and to continue our mission to bring the community together with the joy of music.
Peter Dempsey - President Mel Terry- Vice President Reber Brown – Secretary David Stephenson - Treasurer James Brown, Jr. Bradford Murdock Chadi Salem Edward Sell Brett Vaughn
360 GRAND AVE PMB 103 OAKLAND, CA 94610-4840 Phone: (800) 706-2389 http://www.oebgmc.org/ EIN: 20-2489472