Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles In Financial Trouble
The LA Times reports that following reports that following allegations of inappropriate behavior by former Board Chairman and former West Hollywood Mayor John Duran has furthered financial troubles for the L. A. Gay Men's Chorus, which currently has a deficit of $400K.
The paper notes the chorus has cut it's operating staff and budget, and board member and interim executive director - Tony-nominated producer Lou Spisto - is working for free.
The chorus has close to 250 members, who are all volunteers ranging from 21 to 75 years old.
For 40 years the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles has built an international reputation for musical excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the Los Angeles community and promoting civil rights, tolerance and acceptance though music.
Critics call the choir "remarkable" and note "GMCLA truly shines." It is one of the largest and most influential men's choirs in the nation and is the first gay men's choir to perform for a sitting president - William Jefferson Clinton.
In March 2010, GMCLA became one of only a handful of organizations ever to perform in the California Assembly chamber in the state's capitol when they sang America the Beautiful and a rendition of "Brand New Day" from the Broadway musical The Wiz for the swearing-in ceremony for new Assembly Speaker John Perez, California's first openly gay Assembly Speaker.
In addition to presenting concerts each season in Southern California at Glendale's Alex Theatre and elsewhere, GMCLA tours nationally and internationally. In 2006, the Choir toured Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, where it helped found South America's first LGBT Chorus.
The 250-member choir has released 14 CDs to date, commissioned more than 300 new works and arrangements and appeared frequently on national television programs such as "Will & Grace" and "Six Feet Under." The Chorus membership donates over 60,000 volunteer hours annually to make GMCLA's mission of musical excellence and community partnership a reality