San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Wins Soundtrack Category for I AM HARVEY MILK at 2014 Independent Music Awards
San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus (SFGMC) named winner for "I Am Harvey Milk" in the Soundtrack / Cast Recording Album category at the 13th Independent Music Awards (The IMAs). "I Am Harvey Milk" is an emotional celebration of an American icon. Part choral work, part theater piece, it weaves the story of Harvey Milk's life -- from boyhood to his rise as the first openly gay man to hold public office in California and to his untimely assassination.
"The entire two year commissioning process that surrounded the creation of "I Am Harvey Milk' was transformative for our Chorus," says SFGMC Artistic Director Dr. Tim Seelig. "The project commemorated the 35th Anniversary of the chorus and Harvey Milk's assassination. On the day of the world premiere, the Supreme Court made its monumental decisions moving equal rights for the LGBTQ community forward adding enormous significance to the project. The music is amazing and continues to move audiences across the U.S. We are proud to have helped birth it."
With music and words by Tony and Grammy Award nominee Andrew Lippa (Big Fish, The Addams Family, The Wild Party), "I Am Harvey Milk" features Lippa as Harvey Milk, Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, NBC's "Go On" and The Sound of Music) as the Soprano Soloist and Noah Marlowe (Mary Poppins, Fun Home) as young Harvey, along with the 300 men of the Chorus. Recorded live during the world premiere at Nourse Theatre in San Francisco, the recording was mixed by multi-Grammy Award winner Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound and is available now at SFGMC.org and on iTunes.
The veteran artists and rising stars named as 13th IMA Winners in more than 80 Album, EP, Song, Music Producer, Music Video and Design categories were selected from thousands of submissions from around the globe, and were determined by a panel of influential artists and music industry executives.
"While the number of outlets that promote independent artists and new music continues to grow, audiences for these new media entities don't have the influence of mainstream outlets," said Martin Folkman, Executive Director of The Independent Music Awards. "The program's goal is to gain exposure for extraordinary self-released and independent label artists and their recent recordings."
The 13th IMA Judging panel featured exceptional recording artists including: Ann Wilson & Nancy Wilson of Heart, Chiddy Bang, Suzanne Vega, G. Love, Sharon Jones, Laurie Anderson, Jim Lauderdale, Krewella, Shelby Lynne, Joshua Redman, Lunice, Chris Wood & Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers, Hudson Mohawke, Raul Midon, Melissa Auf der Maur, Aoife O'Donovan, Judy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Meshell Ndegeocello, Arturo Sandoval, Band Of Skulls, Adam Agee, Dennis Diken, Nathan Currin, Lindz West of LZ7, Ben Bruce of Asking Alexandria and Jonathan Steingard of Hawk Nelson.
The world premiere of the choral work, "I Am Harvey Milk," concluded the Chorus's 35th anniversary season at the Harvey Milk 2013 concert. The recording is a perfect culmination of SFGMC's 35-year history, which began with its first public performance, at the candlelight vigil for slain Supervisor Harvey Milk. "I Am Harvey Milk" is conducted by Dr. Timothy Seelig, orchestrated by August Eriksmoen, and features the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus accompanied by Carl Pantle on piano and members of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony. "I Am Harvey Milk" at Nourse Theatre was produced by Bruce Cohen, in association with Robb Nanus and Jessica Leventhal, directed by Noah Himmelstein, and Video and Projection Design by Andrew Lazarow.
Complete track listing is as follows:
01. An Operatic Masterpiece
02. I Am the Bullet
03. You Are Here
04. Friday Night in the Castro
05. Was I Wrong?
06. A Decent Society
07. Sticks and Stones
08. Lavender Pen
09. Thank you, Mrs. Rosenblat
10. San Francisco
12. Tired of the Silence
"I Am Harvey Milk" was commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, along with Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus, Dayton Gay Men's Chorus, Denver Gay Men's Chorus, Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus, and Heartland Men's Chorus. Following its World Premiere in San Francisco, the piece has been made available for choruses to perform from coast-to-coast. The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles will next present the oratorio on July 19 and 20, 2014 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of its 35th anniversary season, along with singers from the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.
About San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus: For 35 years, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus has courageously served as the international standard bearer for a powerful and accomplished mix of high-caliber performance, human rights, community activism, empowerment and inclusiveness, establishing it as an icon among LGBT organizations. Founded in 1978, it was the first organization of its kind and is credited with starting the LGBT choral movement, galvanizing and changing the course of LGBT history. It continues to rally and inspire other arts-based community organizations around the world. Under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Dr. Timothy Seelig, SFGMC has in recent seasons established a heightened level of performance standards receiving audience and choral acclaim, increased its touring and recording profile and broadened its impact and reputation in the community while maintaining its signature blend of humor, personality and high-voltage performances. For more information about the performances and SFGMC, visit www.sfgmc.org. Follow SFGMC on facebook.com/sfgmc and twitter @sfgmc.