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A History of Commissioned Music

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“If we don’t tell our story, who will?”

Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus tells the stories of our community. While we sing about the gay experience, we hope that everyone in our audience relates to a song, a lyric or a single moment that they find relevant to their own life experiences. For in that moment, there is greater understanding, and our community grows a little larger.

Since its first concert on May 15, 1981, the Chorus has commissioned over 40 new works for men’s choruses.

The commissioning of new music is part of this organization’s legacy, and the Chorus includes all of you as a part of defining that legacy. These works were made possible from funding and contributions from many of you. When you support Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, you are a stakeholder in the future and the long lasting legacy of this group.

Here is a list of new music commissions since 2000:

i thank you god: Music by Craig Carnahan, text by e. e. cummings. Commissioned for the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus by Michael Branscom.

Metamorphosis: Music by Robert Seeley, Lyrics by Robert Espindola. Commissioned by Dwight Joyner.

Dedicated to Blake Harrison Joyner, 1954-2000: We miss your broad smile and blue eyes, your buoyant approach and sharing your dreams. This commission is the story of many voices. Its beauty and passion will enrich lives just as you enriched our lives. We love you, Dad and Dwight, Thanksgiving, 2003.

Undying Music | To Feed Pure Love | To Make Music: Music by Stephen Paulus, Lyrics adapted from George Eliot’s (1819-1880) poem “O May I Join the Choir Invisible”

Commissioned for the 25th Anniversary of the Twin Cities Gay Mens Chorus, we dedicate this work to all members of the Chorus; Past and present and future. Thank you for your brave leadership, outstanding performances and inspiring vision. John & Karen Larsen, Steve & Kris Rose, John Larsen & Michael Stewart

This Winter’s Night: Music by Craig Carnahan, Text by Ursula Vaughn-Williams. Commissioned by Dr. Stan Hill.

Commissioned for the 25th Anniversary of the Twin Cities Gay Mens Chorus

 

At Home: Music and Lyrics by Michael Stebnitz. Commissioned by the TCGMC Carol Competition.

Wolcum Yole! Words and Music by Matt Prather (ASCAP). Commissioned by Dr. Stan Hill for the “Peace” concert.

I Want a Homespun Christmas: Commissioned by the TCGMC Carol Competition.

Through a Glass, Darkly: Music and Lyrics by Michael Shaieb. Commissioned through the generosity of Alan Braun.

Dedicated to all of the people and friends who have helped me find the miracle of recovery; With hope that many others will join us.

No One Writes Carols Anymore: Music and Lyrics by Mike Stebnitz. Commissioned by the TCGMC Carol Competition.

Just Give Me Peace! Commissioned by the TCGMC Carol Competition.

Peace in Your Heart: Commissioned by the TCGMC Carol Competition.

The Kushner Trilogy: It is Very Simple | There is a Little House in Heaven | I Want More Life: Music by Michael Shaieb, text adapted from the works of Tony Kushner. Underwritten through the generosity of Jeffrey D. Bores and Michael Hawkins.

Out of My Range (and Other Age Related Performance Issues: Book by Michael Shaieb and Brent Lord; Music and Lyrics by Michael Shaieb

I Am Harvey Milk: Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Commissioned by the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and Heartland Men’s Chorus. Underwritten for Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Ron & Charles Brunk-Parker, James Davies & Gary Peterson and Kevin Rohe. Additional support provided by the RBC Foundation.

This Body: Composed by Timothy C. Takach. Text from the poetry of Joyce Sutphen, used with permission. Commissioned by the Alumni of Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus in honor of TCGMC’s 35th anniversary season.

Two Boys Kissing: Composed by Joshua Shank. Lyrics by David Levithan, based on his book Two Boys Kissing. Additional lyrics by Joshua Shank. Libretto adapted by Joshua Shank & Eric Grant. Commissioned by Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus for their 35th anniversary season. Underwritten through the generosity of husbands Dean A. Genth & Dr. Gary W. Swenson with additional support by Alan & Ken Braun and John Sullivan.