Thursday, December 1, 2022

Sarah Shoffner Talks BGMC Holiday Concert Series (AUDIO)

Produced by Charlotte Robinson


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…

1 comment:

Marilyn Rosen said...

Sarah is a great voice for the Chorus and exudes the positivity that is always present at every Holiday concert. I laugh, I cry, I’m proud, I feel community and inclusion…..these concerts are irresistible and a great way to move into the holiday spirit!