Friday, December 16, 2022

Dr. Jason Peplinski Talks Sin City Classic Sports Festival (AUDIO)


In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Dr. Jason Peplinski, Commissioner of the Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA) and Co-Executive Director of the Sin City Classic Sports Festival that takes place January 12th to 15th in Las Vegas, Nevada. GLASA created the Sin City Classic in 2008 as an LGBTQ softball tournament meant to provide a safe and competitive atmosphere for LGBTQ athletes. Over the past 16 years the tournament has grown into the largest annual LGBTQ sporting event in the world including 24 sports and approximately 10,000 athletes and fans. As the Sin City Classic continues to grow and evolve this year they’re adding two new competitions: pickleball one of the fastest growing sports globally and sand volleyball. Hosted at the Flamingo Las Vegas GLASA remains committed to creating the best experience possible for a diverse roster of dedicated athletes who participate and the fans and allies who come to enjoy the festival. The Sin City Classic Sports Festival kicks off with the Opening Night Registration Party held at the Flamingo Las Vegas. Competitions and nightly social events then take place around the city with the weekend culminating in the Closing Night celebration to be held at the LINQ Promenade’s Brooklyn Bowl as a way to celebrate the weekend’s activities. The festival will also be presenting the second annual Ken Scearce Leadership Award. The award was created in 2022 to honor the memory and legacy of Ken Scearce the Executive Director of the festival who passed away in 2021. The award recognizes athletes, leaders, coaches, referees and other volunteers who dedicate their time and skills to promoting the value and importance of LGBTQ sports. We talked to Jason about what he hopes to accomplish at this year’s Sin City Classic Sports Festival and his spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Dr. Jason Peplinski began his stellar teaching career in Lancaster, California. In 2004 he accepted a job as the Assistant Principal of Royal High School and from there he served as Principal of Abraham Lincoln School in Simi (2004-07), Moorpark High School in Moorpark (2007-09) and then Santa Susana High School from 2011-13. He then became Director of Educational Services at the Simi Valley Unified district office and was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. In October of 2014, Dr. Peplinski was named Superintendent of the Simi Valley Unified School District. In June of 2022 Dr. Peplinski retired from his superintendency with the Simi Valley Unified School district and began a full-time faculty position with California Lutheran University. The Sin City Classic Sports Festival takes place annually in Las Vegas Nevada over Martin Luther King weekend with presenting sponsor Lexus as well as Caesar’s Entertainment, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Piranha Nightclub, the Los Angeles Dodgers, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For More Info & Tix…


Thursday, December 1, 2022

Sarah Shoffner Talks BGMC Holiday Concert Series (AUDIO)


In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with Sarah Shoffner the new Executive Director of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) about their upcoming holiday concert series entitled “Joyful & Triumphant & Gay.” Founded in 1982 this fabulous 200+ voice ensemble is presenting their first live holiday concert since 2019. Performances under BGMC Music Director Reuben Reynolds are December 4th at 3P at Mechanics Hall in Worcester and evening performances December 9th, 16th, 17th and 18 at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, MA. The title of the show is a tribute to Dean X. Johnson the accompanist and assistant director of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC) who died of AIDS in 1998 at age 42. Johnson composed “Joyful and Triumphant!” with fellow NYCGMC member Jeff Baron at the height of the AIDS crisis in 1992. “Joyful & Triumphant & Gay” opens with the traditional French carol “Sing We Now of Christmas” and features classics like Bruckner’s “Ave Maria” and “Locus iste” alongside modern holiday fare that includes Cyndi Lauper’s “Christmas Conga”, “A Place Called Home” from “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” and Kylie Minogue’s “Christmas Isn’t Christmas ’Til You Get Here.” The concert will also feature two pieces by American composer Jacob J. Narverud including “Sisi Ni Moja” which means we are one in Swahili and a performance of the powerful “Ukrainian Bell Carol” as a reminder of the horrible human costs of war and our capacity for joy despite them. The chorus will also debut a new suite by BGMC Principal Accompanist and Assistant Music Director Chad Weirick which draws on classic carols and Christmas music to reflect his experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. We talked to Sarah about what she hopes to accomplish with BGMC and her spin on our LGBTQ issues. 

Sarah Shoffner joined BGMC as Executive Director in September 2022. Sarah’s expertise is in developing strategies and programs to help arts and other nonprofit organizations achieve their operational and artistic goals. Shoffner most recently served as Boston Ballet’s Benefactors’ Circle Development Officer. Previously she served as BGMC’s Engagement Manager for six years where she modernized the organization’s development systems including ticketing processes and launched the Ovation Society, BGMC’s donor loyalty program. In addition to the leadership roles Shoffner has held in nonprofit arts organizations Sarah holds a Master of Science in Arts Administration from Boston University and two degrees from the University of South Florida in Business Management and Dance Studies. BGMC’s fabulous holiday show “Joyful & Triumphant & Gay” celebrates the season with traditional favorites, modern classics and just lots of gay camp fun. For More Info & Tix…