New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus

New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus

Albuquerque, NM, USA

Artistic Director

Aaron Howe

Executive Director


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The New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus began in 1981 with the name The Brash Ensemble. It started as a sixteen-member group and has varied in size from eight to sixty. As one of the country’s first gay men’s choruses the new ensemble functioned as a performing group within its parent organization, Common Bond.  As surprising as it may seem today, early members worried about being openly gay and often found it hard to find a director willing to conduct an openly gay group. The brave conductors during its first decade were Bill Boyer, Alan Stringer, Bob Morris, John Roberts, David Arellanes, Sean Dougherty and Stephen Montoya. For more than half its history, the chorus rehearsed in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, with members driving between the two cities and from as far away as Los Alamos and the East Mountains. No other gay chorus in the country ranged over such a wide geographic area.

In addition to concerts, the chorus has sung for numerous AIDS events, church services, holiday parties, senior centers, the annual Presbyterian hospital tree lighting, with the Santa Fe Symphony, the Zia gay rodeo, Isotope baseball games, New Mexico United matches, the Albuquerque Gay Pride festival, and GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses) festivals in 3 other states and Canada. The chorus has also performed in El Paso, Phoenix, Tucson, Taos, Las Cruces, Grants, Socorro, Farmington and Los Alamos, clearly claiming our namesake and making us The New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus.  NMGMC was one of the first choruses in the country to become a member of the GALA Choruses organization. Most recently, the Chorus performed at GALA Festival 2004 in Montreal, Canada; at GALA Festival 2008 in Miami, FL; and at GALA Festival in 2012 and 2016 in Denver, CO.  NMGMC was honored as “Honorary Dignitaries” at PrideFest 2007. In 2013, the Metropolitan Community Church recognized the Chorus with an award for “Recognition of Music.” In 2013, Albuquerque’s LGBTQ+ community by vote selected NMGMC to receive Albuquerque Pride’s “OUTstanding Performing Group” award. NMGMC also received the same recognition in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

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