Today, San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus (SFGMC) releases a new holiday recording Festive!: Four Years of Favorites. Nineteen stunning tracks comprise this brand-new album, recorded between 2011-2015 and conducted by Dr. Timothy Seelig, SFGMC's Artistic Director. The recording is available now atSFGMC.org, and is also available digitally on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

Many tracks from Festive! were recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, Masonic Auditorium and Nourse Theater, all located in San Francisco. The recording also features an array of collaborating groups, such as the Friction Quartet and Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS).

Festive! includes many holiday favorites, such as "Carol of the Bells," "Auld Lang Syne," "Silent Night," "Coventry Carol," "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Ding! Dong! Merrily On High."

"The Rose / Lo How A Rose E're Blooming" is a breathtaking mashup created by Craig Hella Johnson combining Amanda McBroom's pop song, famously recorded by Bette Midler for the 1979 film The Rose, and the classic 1609 German carol by Michael Praetorius, performed with three soloists. "O Magnum Mysterium" features world-renowned operatic solo Melody Moore.

A major highlight of the recording is the world premiere of "New Year's Carol," with music by Ola Gjeilo and lyrics by Charles Anthony Silvestri. Commissioned by SFGMC member Curtis Ponzi in memory of his late mother and her deep love of Christmas, the piece was created for SFGMC's 25th Annual "Home For The Holidays" concert at the Castro Theatre - an annual tradition that began as a gift to the community at the height of the AIDS pandemic. "New Year's Carol" recognizes and embraces those who have been lost, but also looks forward, carrying their legacies in remembrance.

"Everyone looks for meaning in life - especially at the holidays" writes Silvestri, "New Year's Carol" lyricist. "Sometimes loneliness is the result of seeking 'comfort and joy' in old images, icons and traditions. That is the time to find new meaning in both old and new things." The frostbite of pain and loss gives way to the flower of hope and renewal. And in the end, "New Year's Carol" urges us to let go of that pain to make room for new life - "that which is hollow in faith letting go."

Complete track listing is as follows:

Festive!: Four Years of Favorites

01. Gloria Fanfare

02. New Year's Carol

03. Holidays Are Here

04. Carol of the Bells

05. The Rose / Lo How A Rose E're Blooming

06. The Little Drummer Boy

07. The Ground

08. Silent Night

09. Auld Lang Syne

10. Over The River and Through The Woods

11. Ding! Dong! Merrily On High

12. Coventry Carol

13. Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day

14. O Magnum Mysterium (feat. Melody Moore)

15. Angels In Seven

16. Seasonal Sounds

17. Nerli Variations

18. Still, Still, Still

19. A Christmas Flourish

Physical: http://smarturl.it/festive_physical

iTunes: http://smarturl.it/festive_itunes

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/festive_amazon

Google Play: http://smarturl.it/festive_google

Conducted by Dr. Timothy Seelig, recorded, mixed, mastered and edited by Chris Kohler. This album would not be possible without the generous support of Bob Hermann & Dan Joraanstad, Nick Harper and Diane & Bill Harper.

For nearly 40 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 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, visit www.sfgmc.org and @sfgmc (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram).

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