History

History and Vision

The Annual Pride Concert, first produced in 1979 at Grace Cathedral, is one of the longest-running annual performances in San Francisco and represents one of the first forms of open artistic expression to come from Harvey Milk’s Castro and the LGBTQ community. For 37 years, the Pride Concert has provided a showcase for the community music and dance groups that kicked off the gay music movement that was begun in this city and quickly spread to cities across the country and around the globe. These programs have provided a safe space for LGBTQ artists to come together to develop their talents and to demonstrate how the LGBTQ community enriches the society at large despite the discrimination it faces.

Historical Highlights

2015 – The 37th Annual Pride Concert was an historic celebration. Dubbed The Panama-Pacific Centennial / Pride Concert, it took place at the historic Palace of Fine Arts. This concert featured works written exclusively for and about the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the 1915 Worlds Fair. As the main event of the evening, the concert featured works such as Amy Beach’s “Panama Hymn”, Camille Saint-Saens’ “Hail California”, Victor Herbert’s operetta choruses, P.I. Jacoby’s “1915 San Francisco”, John Philip Sousa’s “Pathfinder of Panama March”, M.L. Lake’s “A Day at the Pan Pacific Exposition” and a commission by composer John Hirten for this fabulous celebration – plus many more pieces. All pieces were intrinsically linked to the 1915 Worlds Fair.

2014 – The 36th Annual Pride Concert, “Together Strong” took place at the gorgeous Kelly Cullen Auditorium and featured the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, and Camerata California.  The concert was emceed by the fabulous Trauma Flintstone. The West Coast premiere of Nathan Hall’s “I Am In Love With The World” on texts by Maurice Sendak, as well as the world premiere of a new work for concert band and mixed chorus by composer Phillip Orem on texts by Nelson Mandela were featured. The concert also celebrated the life and legacy of the José Sarria, Empress José I, The Widow Norton.

2013 – The 35th annual Pride Concert, “Ripped From The Headlines: Celebrating LGBT Stories” took place on Saturday, June 22, 2013 in the Main Concert Hall of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The show celebrated landmarks in the LGBT Civil Rights Movement and our nation’s progress toward equality for all. Our emcee and honorary guest host was Supervisor Scott Weiner. Special musical guests joining LGCSF and the Freedom Band included the Metropolitan Community Church, Vocal Minority, the small ensemble of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Oakland-East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus, featuring its small ensemble OnQ. Highlights included the soulful “I Hear America Singing” (Andre Thomas), the moving “Seize The Day” (Alan Menken and Jack Feldman), and the ultimately life-affirming medley “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables/I Am Who I Am”.

2012 – The 34th Annual Pride Concert, “Give Them Hope” took place in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This concert featured the premier of Jack Curtis Dubowsky’s “Harvey Milk: A Cantata”, the first choral piece about Harvey Milk to be written or performed.

2011 – The 33rd Annual Pride Concert, “Five Pioneering Ensembles, One Fabulous Performance” – kicked off pride weekend with music by the world’s first and most recent openly LGBTQ music ensembles performing some of the flashiest music written for chorus, orchestra and wind ensemble. The concert featured the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, SFGMC Ambassadors and San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, with Emcee Trauma Flintstone. The program included an Americana-style tribute to honor the 2011 Pride Theme, “In Pride We Trust,” and the lifting of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

2Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 9.30.10 AM010 – The 32nd Annual Pride Concert, “The Sound of Fabulous”, returned to Mission High and celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, joined by San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, and guests San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, and Voices Lesbian Choral Ensemble.

2009 – The 31st Annual Pride Concert featured the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco and the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, with special Guests the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, The Lollipop Guild, and Vocal Minority.

2008 – The 30th Annual Pride Concert celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, joined by the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco and guests San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

2007 – Returning to the Unitarian Universalist Society, the 29th Annual Pride Concert dubbed “Here’s Where I Stand” featured the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, joined by the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco and San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus with special guests GLAM Youth Choir.

2006 – The 28th Annual Pride Concert, “We Are What We Are”, was held at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and featured the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, and San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.  Special guests GLAM (Gay, Lesbian and Allied Musicians) Youth Choir made their debut Pride performance. Also featured were guests the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus and Candye Kane.

2005 – The 27th Annual Pride Concert returned to Grace Cathedral and featured the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Special guests included GLASS Youth Choir from Seattle and Cris Williamson.

2004 – The 26th Annual Pride Concert featured music by The Beatles, paying tribute to gay Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein.  Alan Cumming was the special guest.   The concert took place at Mission High School.

2003 – The 25th Annual Pride Concert was held at Mission High and featuring the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus,  the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, and guests the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band.  B.D. Wong is the guest of honor and narrates musical “Oliver Button is a Sissy”.

2002 – The 24th Annual Pride Concert at Everett Middle School featured San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, and guests San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, Sharon Gless, and Sir Ian McKellen.

pride_12001 – The 23rd Annual Pride Concert was held at the First Congregational Church and featured the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco and San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

2000 – The 22nd Annual Pride Concert was held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church and featured San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco with guests the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and the lesbian a capella quartet Out On A Clef

1992 – The Annual Pride Concert included the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, and the Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus

1985 – The Annual Pride Concert included the Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus

1979 – The First Pride Concert (dubbed the Annual Gay Music Celebration) was produced at Grace Cathedral with the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band and San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.