Dr. Gerald Gurss, Artistic Director
Dr. Gerald Gurss is Artistic Director of TCGMC. Gerald joined us at the start of our 38th season 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.
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.
Jeff Heine, Executive Director
Jeff Heine bas been Executive Director of TCGMC since May 2009. Prior to his current role he served two seasons on the Board of Directors as chair of Resource Development. Jeff arrived at TCGMC after a twenty year career with Carlson Companies, a global leader in the marketing, hospitality and travel industries. He was most recently director of customer strategy within the Hotel group and served as a trustee of the Marketing Science Institute.
Jeff is part of GALA Choruses’ “GALA 411 Program,” serving in a two-year assignment as Chorus Management Advisor through July of 2015. The GALA 411 Program provides consulting services for all GALA choruses in areas of artistic support, board development, youth chorus support and chorus management. Jeff will be consulting with GALA choruses on issues of management, fundraising, marketing and general operations.
He is also a relationship management and targeted marketing consultant.
Jeff traveled with the Chorus for their entire historic “Great Southern Sing Out Tour” in the summer of 2006, as part of the Chorus’s 25th anniversary season. After seeing the positive impact that the Chorus made on the audiences in the cities they visited in the deep South, Jeff decided that he needed to have a more active role in this organization. He started as a volunteer and then moved in to a board position in 2007.
A native of the Twin Cities, Jeff is a graduate of Macalester College. He resides in the North Loop district of downtown Minneapolis.
Jeff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 612-339-7664.
Stephanie Gaw, Operations Manager
Stephanie is now in her 14th season with the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, first as an Administrative Assistant, then Office Manager and now as TCGMC’s Operations Manager (read: does a little bit of everything and keeps it all going). Prior to joining the Chorus, Stephanie worked for Target Corporation for 16 years in several financial departments and then became part of the support group to usher in email as we know it to the entire corporation.
A native of the Philadelphia area, she is a graduate of the University of Minnesota earning a BS in Agricultural Economics, with a Marketing emphasis. Stephanie and her partner of 30 years, Wendy, live in Brooklyn Center and enjoy escaping to their cabin in Ely all year round.
Stephanie can be reached at: email@example.com and 612-339-7664
Timothy De Prey, Principal Accompanist
The holiday concert begins Timothy’s 26th season as Principal Accompanist for the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. Throughout his career with the Chorus, he has been in demand as an accompanist for GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses). In the summer of 1998, he was chosen to be the accompanist for the Festival Chorus at the Gay Games in Amsterdam and in the summer of 2000 was chosen to be the accompanist for the Festival Men’s Chorus at Festival 2000 in San Jose, under the direction of Grammy winning director, Vance George.
De Prey can be heard on 9 of TCGMC’s CDs, on Proud and Peaceful, a CD of solo piano music from pianists with GALA and on his own solo CD, in the evening air, a collection of nocturnes, lullabies and night songs. In 2010, De Prey released I Love a Piano, in celebration of his 20th anniversary as principal accompanist of the Chorus. The CD also features the world premiere of A Quiet Place, written by Craig Carnahan in loving memory of Mary Ellen Sarafolean, an extraordinary woman of quiet grace and beauty.
Timothy is the Director of Individual Instruction and Music Therapy at the MacPhail Center for Music, a position he has held since 1995. De Prey has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music Therapy from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, is a board certified – music therapist and has a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota. His many credits include the role of the accompanist in Park Square Theatre’s production of Master Class, the Minnesota Opera, Opera 101, the College of St. Catherine’s, The Calhoun Beach Club, Bryant Lake Bowl and the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire’s Statesmen Men’s Chorus under the direction of Morris Hayes.
Jerry Rubino, OutLoud! Director
Jerry Rubino has returned to Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus as Director of our small ensemble, OutLoud! Jerry previously served as TCGMC Principal Accompanist and was the Founding Director of Gentlemen’s Choice, the original TCGMC small ensemble that was later renamed OutLoud!
Jerry is a conductor/teacher/pianist/coach/singer regarded for his diverse musical interests, engaging artistry and passionate enthusiasm for performing arts. Jerry founded and directs VOICES 360, a vocal and instrumental ensemble that prioritizes the collaborative process of the singer/actor and dancer to present multi-disciplined performances of repertoire including early music, classical music, gospel, pop and jazz. His groups appear in diverse venues from Macy’s to Orchestra Hall.
You can read Jerry’s complete biography in our news release.
Ben Riggs, Former Artistic Director
Ben Riggs recently completed a five year tenure with the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus as their Artistic Director. TCGMC’s new Artistic Director will start in the fall of 2018.
Ben is a conductor, singer, and pianist. He is passionate about music making and the ritual experience, both in sacred worship and secular concert venues. Ben’s professional experience leading volunteer choral ensembles and teaching burgeoning musicians have made him in demand as a clinician, teacher, and conductor throughout the United States.
Ben was most recently the Artistic Director of the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus (2007-2012). Committed to its mission of building community through music, DGMC performed three major concerts each year and appeared at dozens of free outreach events throughout the Denver-metro area. Ben was also the Artistic Director of the Boulder Chorale (2010-2012), a 120-voice volunteer mixed chorus in Boulder, CO.
An experienced church musician, Ben formerly served as Cantor/Director of Music at Atonement Lutheran Church in Boulder (2010-2011) and Director of Worship at Christ Church United Methodist in Denver (2003-2010). Prior to Christ Church, Ben was the full-time Director of Music at Denver’s Wellshire Presbyterian Church.
During his last year living in Denver, Ben served as an affiliate faculty member of Regis University, where he conducted the Regis Concert Choir. From 2002-2007, Ben was an adjunct faculty member at the Iliff School of Theology, where he directed the Iliff Choir, assisted in planning community worship, and team-taught a class in Ritual & Worship.
In 2009 Ben became a founding member of Firesign Vocal Quartet, a Denver-based professional vocal quartet with whom he continues to perform. Ben has recorded two albums with Firesign: William Byrd & Terry Schlenker: Masses for Four Voices (2011) and Follow We This Joyful Birth (2012). From 2003-2010 Ben was a member of St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, Denver’s only fully-professional chorus.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Music in piano from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Colorado. Ben recently received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Literature and Performance, also at the University of Colorado.
.TCGMC Board of Directors 2017-2018
Vince Therrien, Board Chair – Principal Consultant, Therrien Consulting
Eric Ayen,* Board Vice Chair – Psychiatric Social Worker, Hennepin County
Matt Helgason,* Secretary – Student
Laurel Chu, Treasurer – Sleep Number
Eric Strong,* Chorus Membership President – Area Director of Residence Life, St. Thomas
Dylan Bode,* Chorus Membership Vice-President – Real Estate Agent, DRG Minneapolis
Alan Braun – Retired
Robert Muster – Regional Dean of Nursing, North Rasmussen College
Shannon O’Brien – Multi-Store Operations Manager, Macy’s
Bryan Olson* – Product Complaint Analyst, ARKRAY USA
Glenn Olson* – Retired
Jordan Roberge – Manager, Individual Membership Accounting, HealthPartners
Anthony Rohr – Wells Fargo
* – Denotes Chorus member