Ben Riggs of Denver Gay Men’s Chorus to take the reins in August
May 15, 2012 (Minneapolis) –Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus (TCGMC) is pleased to announce that Ben Riggs will become the organization’s fifth Artistic Director on Aug. 1, 2012.
Riggs has been the Artistic Director of the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus (DGMC) since 2007. He also has served as Artistic Director of the Boulder Chorale, a 120-voice volunteer mixed chorus in Boulder, Colo. He 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. Riggs will receive his doctorate of musical arts in choral literature and performance, also at the University of Colorado, in August 2012.
“Ben is an exceptionally gifted choral musician,” said Jeffrey Bores, Vice Chair of TCGMC’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the Artistic Director Search Committee. “He grew the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus significantly during his tenure. Singers obviously respect his ability to make choral music in a culture that is musically and educationally challenging yet fun and light-hearted. He is perfectly suited to lead TCGMC artistically into the future.”
Riggs is an active performer in the Denver musical community and recently helped found the Firesign Vocal Quartet and the Colorado Conductors’ Chorus, a unique ensemble comprised entirely of choral conductors. From 2003-2010, he was a member of St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, Denver’s only fully professional chorus.
Riggs was selected following a nationwide search for a new Artistic Director that had been under way since July 6, 2011. The search was launched when current Artistic Director Dr. Stan Hill announced his retirement after the 2011-2012 season. Dr. Hill’s final performance in the Twin Cities will be the Chorus’ Pride Weekend concert, They Sang to Me, to be performed at Ted Mann Concert Hall on the U of M campus Fri., June 22, and Sat. June 23, at 8 p.m.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ben Riggs as the new Artistic Director of the TCGMC,” said Mary Schwind, Chair of TCGMC’s Board of Directors. “Ben is not only an established choral leader in the Denver community, but an active performer in his own right. We are confident that the Chorus, which has been so carefully nurtured under the direction of retiring Artistic Director Dr. Stan Hill, will continue to flourish under Ben Riggs’ direction.”
Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus is an award-winning chorus that has built a solid reputation for musical excellence and dynamic programming. TCGMC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) voluntary community chorus. Formed in 1981, Twin Cities Men’s Chorus added the word “gay” to its title in 1991. TCGMC is a member of GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses) and QMC (Queer Music Consortium). The organization was formed to build community through music while pursuing musical excellence in performance.
In addition, the Chorus seeks to provide its members with rewarding musical experiences and to promote social exchange among a group of men with a common purpose. As an organization that celebrates diversity and uses music as a way to transform, educate and heal, TCGMC works towards the elimination of homophobia and intolerance through community outreach. The Chorus has been under the direction of Artistic Director Dr. Stan Hill, who will retire at the end of the 2011-2012 season after twelve years.