TCGMC Announces Its New Artistic Director
May 9, 2018 – Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus (TCGMC) announces the hiring of its new Artistic Director, Dr. Gerald Gurss.
Dr. Gurss comes to TCGMC with over 10 years of experience with GALA Choruses (Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses). He was most recently Artistic Director of One Voice Chorus & Sotto Voce Chamber Ensemble in Charlotte, North Carolina and Founding Artistic Director of Midland Men’s Chorus: The Gay Men’s Chorus of Columbia in Columbia, South Carolina.
When asked about his background in the LGBT choral movement and his reaction to coming to the Twin Cities, Gurss remarked, “In 1999, I joined my first GALA chorus, Heartland Men’s Chorus (in Kansas City, Missouri). I instantly fell in love with GALA choruses and their mission of LGBTQ inclusivity. I knew that I wanted to be able to use my skills to propagate that fiery mission. Fantastic adventures await with the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus! I’m honored to be able to carry on the tradition of excellent leadership, which has always been part of this organization’s artistic heritage.”
“I am very excited that Gerald is joining us for the next chapter in TCGMC’s artistic journey,” said Jeff Heine, Executive Director. “I have had the opportunity to work with and watch Gerald in action at many GALA Chorus leadership symposiums and festivals. His enthusiasm and talent will take our Chorus to even greater heights.”
Dr. Gurss is a native Midwesterner from Kansas. He received his bachelor’s degree in voice at Emporia State University where he studied with Terry Barham. He received his master’s degree in voice with a choral cognate from Miami University, where he studied with William Bausano and Ethan Sperry. During his studies at Miami, he was the assistant director for the MU Men’s Glee Club and prepared a chorus for the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” After leaving Miami, Gerald led a successful music program at the Leavenworth Catholic Schools in Leavenworth, KS.
Gerald received his DMA in choral conducting from the University of South Carolina, where he studied with Dr. Larry Wyatt and Dr. Alicia Walker. His research focus is the inclusion and pedagogy of transgender singers in the choral rehearsal. This research has granted him speaking engagements at Wingate University and the University of South Carolina.
In 2015, Gerald collaborated in the founding of Midlands Men’s chorus: The Gay Men’s Chorus of Columbia, SC and served as its artistic director until 2018. Currently, Gerald resides in Charlotte, NC where he serves as the artistic director for the One Voice Chorus (Charlotte’s LGBT chorus) and the chamber ensemble, Sotto Voce.
In the spring of 2017, Gurss collaborated with Nashville in Harmony to bring the U.S. premiere of James McCarthy’s Codebreaker (The Story of Alan Turning, set for SATB chorus, orchestra and soprano soloist) to the Charlotte and Nashville communities.
In April of 2018, One Voice collaborated with Allen University, an HBCU (historically black college and university) in Columbia, South Carolina, to present the regional premiere of Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream.
During his studies at the University of South Carolina, Gerald has been a finalist for the American Prize in Choral Composition three times (2015, 2016, and 2017).
Most recently, Gerald was appointed as the TTBB Repertoire Chair for the Southern Division of the American Choral Director’s Association. Gerald has been commissioned to write choral work for the following organizations: One Voice Charlotte, The Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte, Providence United Methodist Church (Charlotte, NC), The New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus, The Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego, The Women’s Chorus of San Diego, The Richmond Men’s Chorus (VA), Turtle Creek Chorale (TX), Sine Nomine (Denver, CO), and the University of South Carolina Women’s Chorus.