Love Can Build a Bridge Concert to Benefit MSF

The Matthew Shepard Foundation is proud to present Love Can Build a Bridge featuring the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus.

July 13 they will preform at St. Johns Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, CO, 1350 Washington Street, Doors Open at 7:00PM, Performance at 7:30PM

*Online Ticket Sales have closed. There will be a limited amount of tickets available at the door and are based on a first come, first serve basis. Doors will open to the public at 7p.m.

*Please note, since the concert is this Friday, all tickets purchased after July 8th will be awaiting at Will Call and will NOT be mailed to you.


Love Can Build a Bridge

- Matthew Shepard Foundation & San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus In Historic Partnership

- Mini-tour brings message of Understanding, Compassion and Acceptance to Colorado and Wyoming

- Local charities to benefit

The Matthew Shepard Foundation heralds the arrival of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC), the world’s first openly gay chorus, in Laramie on July 12 and Denver on July 13. The mini-tour, Love Can Build A Bridge, stops at the University of Wyoming Fine Arts Theatre on Thursday, July 12 benefiting Wyoming Equality, and University of Wyoming Spectrum. Then on Friday, July 13, the tour comes to Denver at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, benefiting the foundation.

Judy and Dennis Shepard founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October, 1998 which stunned the nation, led to the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act and changed the way we talk about, and deal with, hate in America.

In its highly anticipated first-ever concert in Wyoming, SFGMC’s Love Can Build A Bridge tour is about reaching out with love and connecting with people. The tour was conceived in July 2010 and represents the fruition of two years of planning.

The Chorus’ Executive Director, Teddy Witherington says: “The Chorus is coming to Denver to participate in the quadrennial GALA Choruses Festival and we want to do something extra to benefit the local community once those festivities are over. We believe that the language of music is universal and it brings people together like nothing else. It was a natural for us to reach out to the Matthew Shepard Foundation and work together to affirm a message of understanding and hope.”

Matthew Shepard’s mother, Judy Shepard says: “In my work as an activist and as an ally to the LGBT community, I try to remind people that their voice is their most powerful tool to erase hate in our society. I can’t think of an organization that more literally embodies that philosophy than the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Their voices are incredibly powerful, both in song and in their beautiful message of pride and community solidarity. We are so touched that they have chosen to honor Matthew and our Foundation’s work to advance understanding, compassion and acceptance.”

Sharing the proceeds of the Laramie leg of the Love Can Build A Bridge tour are non-profits, Wyoming Equality and University of Wyoming Spectrum – a student group in which Matthew Shepard was a member. Both groups support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and families of Wyoming.

Jeran Artery, Chair of Wyoming Equality says:  “Wyoming Equality is thrilled and honored to have been asked to partner with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.  These funds that will be raised allow us to keep fighting for GLBT people in Wyoming and insure Wyoming lives up to her name as the Equality State.”

University of Wyoming Spectrum advisor Keith Reynolds says: “Spectrum is honored to be a beneficiary of the ‘Love Can Build a Bridge’ Concert, and would like to thank the San Francisco and Denver Gay Men’s Choruses for their generous support. Matthew Shepard was once a member of Spectrum while attending the University of Wyoming, and we are sincerely grateful for the opportunity to continue to educate the University and Laramie community about the importance of LGBT equality for all.”

Joining San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus on the tour are special guests the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus (DGMC) who are celebrating their 30th Anniversary season.  Ben Riggs, DGMC artistic director and conductor says: “The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus was one of the organizations that originally inspired the founding of the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus. We are honored and excited to have the opportunity to sing in concert with SFGMC in Laramie and Denver, especially to support the incredible work of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.”

Dr. Tim Seelig, artistic director and conductor of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, whose own journey from silence to celebration is an inspiration to those that know him, says: “The impact Matthew Shepard has had on ever single LGBT person is incalculable.  For us to provide two evenings of music to celebrate his life and legacy is one of the greatest honors in the Chorus’ history.”

LARAMIE CONCERT:  Thursday, July 12, 8:00pm, University of Wyoming Fine Arts Concert Hall.  Tickets are priced at $30 general public, $15 seniors, $10 students and are available at the UW Fine Arts Box Office, 307-766-6666 or by visiting http://www.uwyo.edu/fineart_ticket.

DENVER CONCERT:  Friday, July 13, 7:30pm, St. John’s Cathedral, 1350 Washington Street, Denver, 80203.  Tickets are priced from $15 – $40 and are available by visiting http://www.matthewshepard.org.

NOTE:  Photos of SFGMC are available at: http://www.sfgmc.org/press/

Broadcast-quality video footage is available by request


About the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC)

Founded in 1978, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus is the world’s first gay-identified chorus, and was a leading inspiration in the formation of a global LGBT choral movement. Today, in its 34th season, SFGMC commissions new music and develops repertoire for men’s choruses and LGBT choruses. SFGMC makes more than 30 appearances annually for diverse audiences, and has directly raised over $650,000 for other charities since 2000.

For a full view of the Chorus, please visit us on-line at:

·      http://www.sfgmc.org

·      www.facebook.com/sfgmc

·      @SFGMC on Twitter

·      http://www.youtube.com/SFGMCvideo

About the Matthew Shepard Foundation

Judy and Dennis Shepard founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998, which led to the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs, and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to “Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion, & Acceptance” through its varied educational, outreach and, advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew’s story. www.matthewshepard.org


About the University of Wyoming Spectrum

UW Spectrum promotes education, awareness, and acceptance for the LGBT community and its allies.  Matthew Shepard was a member of this group.  http://uwacadweb.uwyo.edu/SPECTRUM

About Wyoming Equality

Wyoming Equality seeks to enhance the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people by providing education, information, activities, support, a networking system, and an advocacy system for people impacted by gender and sexual orientation issues.  www.wyomingequality.org

About the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus (DGMC)

The Denver Gay Men’s Chorus is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year. Founded in 1982, DGMC was the first arts program in Colorado to use the word “gay” in its name, and was somewhat controversial when it was initially formed. The chorus today is made up of over 160 volunteer singers from the Denver metropolitan area. The chorus produces several concert series each year: Spring, June Pride and Holiday. In addition, the chorus sings at over 20 community outreach events each year. DGMC has two smaller ensembles — the DGMC Ambassadors and Sing Out, Louise! — that assist in carrying out the mission of Building Community Through Music. DGMC is a member of Rocky Mountain Arts Association, an arts organization that also includes the Denver Women’s Chorus, Out Loud: The Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus, and Mosaic Youth Chorus. The choruses, as they sing, provide educational, cultural and social enrichment for audiences and its members, and identify as organizations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and supporters that actively make a positive contribution to the entire community.  http://www.rmarts.org/dgmc.php

About GALA Choruses

GALA Choruses, Inc. was incorporated on July 26, 1983 and is now the leading association committed to serving the GLBT choral movement. It’s beginnings can be traced back to 1975 with formation of Philadelphia’s Anna Crusis Women’s Choir, followed in rapid succession by the formation the Stonewall Chorale, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and choruses in New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Vancouver and other cities. Today, there are over 180 member choruses located throughout North America, Europe, South America, Africa, and Australia. GALA Choruses provides support to member choruses and is the principal mover in building a global LGBT choral movement. GALA Choruses produces a number of networking events including a 4.5 day quadrennial festival featuring performances of member choruses, that attracts 6,000 participants. The 2012 Festival will be in Denver Colorado July 7-11. For more information: www.galachoruses.org\



Calvin Lavan Gipson

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