San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) Artistic Director, Dr. Timothy Seelig, has announced the program for LUSTER: AN AMERICAN SONGBOOK at Davies Symphony Hall (201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco), on Tuesday, March 25 and Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 8 p.m. A celebration of 20th Century American music, LUSTER will feature the 300 men of the chorus and special guest Ann Hampton Callaway singing timeless classics from George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin. The performance will also include the world premiere of “Tyler’s Suite,” a multi-movement work created by top American composers of this century, presented in collaboration with the Tyler Clementi Foundation (TCF). Passionate about the story of Tyler Clementi, composer Stephen Schwartz selected John Bucchino, Ann Hampton Callaway, Craig Carnelia, John Corigliano, Nolan Gasser, Jake Heggie, Lance Horne, and Pamela Stewart to join him as they each created a movement for “Tyler’s Suite.” Tickets for LUSTER range in price from $25 - $75 and are available now by visiting www.SFGMC.org or by calling City Box Office at 415.392.4400.
"As a soundtrack of American life during the time of the Great Depression and two world wars, the American Songbook consists of timeless music that translated positive values and an optimistic spirit,” says Seelig. “The Chorus continues that tradition, presenting a new set of songs by today’s premier American composers, offering hope and bringing to light the important cultural issues of today through the story of Tyler Clementi.”
In 2010, the story of Tyler's death was heard throughout the world, as it highlighted the impact and consequences of bullying while sparking dialogue amongst parents, teachers, and students. With the help of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, SFGMC commissioned a musical work that will add eight new songs to the soundtrack that is the American Songbook of the 21st century, honoring the memory of a beloved son, brother and friend. “Tyler’s Suite” creates a new story of inclusion, dignity and acceptance for other youth and their families, through a musical experience that inspires community, activism and compassion. The story is one of hope and encouragement to families everywhere.
The creators of “Tyler’s Suite” include composer Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show); John Bucchino, whose songs have been performed by artists from Art Garfunkel to Patti LuPone; multiplatinum-selling singer, composer, lyricist, pianist, and actress Ann Hampton Callaway (Swing!); composer and singer Craig Carnelia (Working, Sweet Smell of Success); Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, three Grammy Awards, and an Academy Award, John Corigliano; critically acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist and architect of Pandora Radio’s Music Genome Project, Nolan Gasser; composer Jake Heggie (Moby-Dick, Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers); Emmy winner Lance Horne and lyricist and librettist Pamela Stewart, who wrote lyrics for the entire work.
Following the world premiere by SFGMC, “Tyler’s Suite” will be performed around the country by the six other co-commissioning choruses, including Windy City Gay Chorus in Chicago, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, Turtle Creek Chorale in Dallas, Texas and Seattle Men’s Chorus.
Tickets for LUSTER range in price from $25 - $75 and are available now by visiting www.SFGMC.org or by calling City Box Office at 415.392.4400.