By GALA Expert
May 6, 2023
A brief description of offerings and history of the GALA Choruses organization.
GALA Choruses is the name of the non-profit organization that serves an association of LGBTQ choruses in North America. We represent the largest group of choirs in the global LGBTQ Choral Movement. GALA Choruses cultivates the artistic development of 15,000 singers from nearly 200 choruses in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. We serve choruses, small or large. Help is here whether you have 5 members or 250, and a $10,000 or $3 million budget.
What We Offer
GALA Choruses, Inc. offers our members networking opportunities and Discussion Groups, an annual Leadership Symposium, a full array of administrative support, and a sizable Online Resource Library, in addition to our signature event: the quadrennial LGBTQ Music Festival!
GALA Choruses found its roots in the formation of Philadelphia’s Anna Crusis Women’s Choir in 1975. This was followed in rapid succession by the formation of the Stonewall Chorale, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC), and choruses in New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and Vancouver.
In 1982, SFGMC went on a tour of 12 cities nationwide (they are pictured here in a 1980 parade). This inspired the formation of many new lesbian and gay choruses. Representatives of 12 of these choruses met in Chicago to discuss shared concerns they had about being gay/lesbian choruses in a society that was less than welcoming. GALA Performing Arts was tentatively formed.
The following year Gay Games I was held in San Francisco. 14 choruses met for the First West Coast Choral Festival. This led to the permanent establishment of the GALA Choruses Network. The name was changed to GALA Choruses, and a 501(c)(3) status was obtained in 1982.
The following year, membership grew to 39 choruses. Today nearly 200 choruses—primarily in North America but also from around the world—are members of GALA Choruses. These organizations participate in the quadrennial Festival, an annual Leadership Symposium, monthly Zoom groups, compositions, partnerships, virtual events, and the 411 program, bringing expert assistance directly to our choruses.
There is much more to learn about GALA’s history!