Humans of the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus
In the tradition of the popular Humans of New York and Humans of Minneapolis series, we are pleased to present Humans of Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus.
Humans of Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus is a project managed by the Chorus’s Marketing Committee of the Board of Directors, a group of board members and volunteer singers who have embraced this project as a way to share the stories of our singers, and, as a result, inform you about this internal community.
The purpose of Humans of Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus is to highlight the talents, strengths and experiences of our members in greater depth. In sharing these stories, we develop empathy and compassion towards our peers, and we demonstrate to the world the community we have created through music.
Humans of Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus is moderated by our singer, Josh Elmore.
Stories will be updated periodically. Please check back often!
Glenn Olson: For our premier post, Josh Elmore spoke with Glenn Olson, who has sung with the Chorus since its second year. Glenn’s reflections on the history of the Chorus, along with the personal meeting he found through our Chorus family, is moving.
Ben Pollack: For our second post, Josh spoke with Ben Pollack, whose spiritual life has been influenced by both Judaism and Hinduism. As our concert weekend for “A Million Reasons to Believe” commences, we encourage you to read Ben’s wise words. As he says, there is something for everyone in this season’s holiday concert, and we encourage you to seek meaning for yourselves through our mixture of musical stories.
David Anderson: For our next installment, Josh had the pleasure of interviewing David Anderson, a former Christian pastor who was pressured out of the church and abandoned by his congregation when he came out to them in the 70’s. His story is one of forgiveness and acceptance, as he struggles to find himself in the Christian community. He’s learned many lessons; above all, “[Don’t] let anybody take your faith from you. That’s yours. It’s not given to you from the outside.”
David Coleman: For our next installment, Josh interviewed our singer David Coleman. David has been on the front lines for change. After being expelled from college in 2005, he began a thrilling career of activism that’s taken him across the country. If you want to know more about the man who was ordered to be arrested by both Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, please proceed!
Levi Seefeldt: For our next installment, Josh interviewed Levi Seefeldt. “I think bisexuality is tough because people from both communities see the negative. Straight people see me – as a cisgender male – see that I like men, and so I’m not straight enough for them. Gay men see that you also like women, so you’re not gay enough. It becomes this game of proving your sexuality to everyone.”
Nathan Bambenek: For our next installment, Josh interviewed Nathan Bambanek, who talks about his work in higher education. “I found that I liked advising – which falls under student affairs – because it’s a mix of teaching, mental counseling, and leadership development. It’s how I got to my master’s program.Leadership to me is not “I’m going to follow someone; I’m going to obey them.” Leadership, historically, has had dominant, masculine qualities –a dominant/submissive relationship where one person is above the other. My view, in the more up-to-date model, is mentoring.”
Brian O’Dowd: For our next installment, Josh interviewed Brian O’Dowd, a fellow southerner from Mississippi. “I remember my first feelings of being attracted to a guy was when I was six. CMT [Country Music Television] was on, and my mom had gone to work. I was in the living room watching it and there was a Clint Black video on. I said to my sister, “He’s cute,” and my sister said, ‘We don’t say that about other boys.'”
Hugh Smeltekop: This week, Josh spoke with Hugh Smeltekop, who has spent the majority of his life working with a small college in Bolivia, which empowers its students to pursue careers in public health, agricultural development, education and ecotourism. He was Director of that college, and now serves as the Executive Director of a nonprofit that supports the same work. He also spent two years in Benin, West Africa as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer.
Mark Storck: “These are all kids…” In this week’s installment, Josh spoke with Mark Storck, who has over 25 years of experience, and currently teaches highly- and exceptionally-gifted elementary school students.
Brandon Sieck: Josh talks with Brandon Sieck, who works with the Minnesota Opera. “Anyone who works backstage in the theater –stage ops, LX and sound, prop artisans –everyone who works in production is an unsung hero; the most important aspect of our job is that the audience never knows we are there.”