Heartland Men’s Chorus Announces New Executive Director

HMCKC announces the promotion of HMCKC Development Director, Dudley Hogue to Executive Director after the retirement of Rick Fisher on June 30, 2022. 

Dudley has served the Heartland Mens Chorus Kansas City in a variety of roles, on and off stage. He has been a performer, Board Chair, Production Manager, Choreographer, and event chair all prior to becoming the Development Director in 2019.

“I am incredibly excited to become the Executive Director of the Heartland Men’s Chorus Kansas City,” Hogue says. “It is important to me to continue the legacy of the Chorus and improve community building while increasing support for this fine organization.” 

In his former life, Dudley was the Executive Director of the New York City Gay Mens Chorus, Executive Director of the Kansas City Womens Chorus, Board member for GALA Choruses, as well as Advancement Director and Interim Executive Director for GALA Choruses, during which he helped plan GALA Festivals. Dudley has been seen on the stages of many community theater stages throughout the Kansas City region and has been on several not-for-profit boards across the country. Dudley is passionate about LGBTQIA causes, and what the performing arts can do to move us all closer to equality. 

Heartland Men’s Chorus Hires First Business Manager

After 36 seasons, HMCKC is growing and expanding with the hiring of Vince Pugh in the newly created position of Business Manager. Vince started July 1st in the new role and he will manage the day-to-day operations of the organization, including accounting functions, and ticket sales.  He will also assist in event planning and donor relations. 

Vince Pugh brings years of organizational and project management experience with a passion for the performance arts. Most recently, Vince worked at the Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce where he lead all marketing, events, and programming. Vince understands the importance of community and what’s required to help foster an organization built on creativity.

Vince has a diverse background in event planning, musical theatre, and interdepartmental management. His experience married with his love for people has him eager for this new chapter.

In his free time, he enjoys running marathons, performing, and spending time with his husband, David and their two fur babies, Stevie and Birdie.

HMCKC Becomes Top 2022 AIDS Walk Kansas City Team

HMCKC Becomes Top 2022 AIDS Walk Kansas City Team

For the past 34 years, Kansas City has come together to raise money to support those men, women, and children affected by HIV and AIDS with AIDSWalkKC and the AIDS Service Foundation. The foundation provides educational and financial resources to four local organizations that directly support the more than 5,700 men, women, and children in Kansas City affected by HIV/AIDS.

Heartland Men’s Chorus kicked off our fundraising campaign to support AIDSWalk Kansas City 2022 at the end of February and set a goal of $15,000. Heartland Men’s Chorus has a long history of support and is one of the many proud sponsors of this iconic event. As members of the organization, we came together and created fundraising pages, participated in raffles to raise money during rehearsals, collected donations after our Spring and Summer concerts, and donated to personal fundraising pages. In addition, on the day of the walk, during the opening ceremonies, we entertained and created event energy by singing three songs from our Spring concert.

We are proud of the efforts of our membership and the support of all those who donated. We raised $14,036 and, although short of our $15,000 goal, ended as the top contributing fundraising team for 2022. We know all these funds stay local and look forward to being an AIDSWalkKC 2023 Partner.

HMCKC’s First Executive Director is Retiring After 25 years!

After 25 years of dedicated service to HMCKC, Executive Director Rick Fisher will retire on June 30, 2022. In Heartland Men’s Chorus Kansas City (HMCKC) history, only one individual has served as Executive Director.

For over two decades, Rick has worked diligently to ensure the financial security of the Chorus. He has established himself as a leader in the local LGBTQIA and Kanas City arts communities. Throughout the changing history of the last 25 years, Rick has served as an unwavering and constant influence for the Chorus.

Rick’s legacy looms large in the history of HMCKC. It seems only appropriate that his accomplishments be recognized as he retires. At his suggestion, we are asking you to join us in honoring him by donating to our endowment fund, a fund that Rick helped create. We hope to raise $25,000 to celebrate Rick and ensure a bright future for HMCKC. Any questions regarding the endowment fund and/or this fundraising effort can be sent to Dudley Hogue, Development Director, at dudley@hmckc.org.

Rick will be honored at our performances of Unbreakable at the Folly Theater on June 11 and 12, 2022. We hope you will be there to help us celebrate Rick and his invaluable contributions to Heartland Men’s Chorus.

Heartland Men’s Chorus Presents Unbreakable: A New Musical About Queer History

From Selma to Stonewall, the common attribute of our country’s most powerful social justice movements is resilience. Unbreakable presents a historical arc of the experiences of LGBTQ people over the last 12 decades, weaving a musical tribute to how our community has evolved, triumphed, suffered, and soared. This new musical co-commissioned by HMCKC and 8 other choruses from across the United States is brought to you by Tony Award-nominated composer Andrew Lippa (I Am Harvey Milk, The Addams Family, Big Fish, The Wild Party).

Through the 75-minute concert, you’ll learn of the often untold stories of LGBTQ+ people who truly changed history. Joining the chorus on stage include local guest artists Kristen Altoro-Nevins, Joel Morrison, Malik Hughes, and Stacey Stofferahn.

HMCKC presents the Great Plains premiere of UNBREAKABLE on June 11th & 12th at The Folly Theater. Tickets on sale @ hmckc.org

 

About Heartland Men’s Chorus

Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 36th season. Founded in 1986 with 30 singers to make music, HMCKC quickly became a safe oasis for a community scarred by fear and hatred.  Now with 80 singers, HMCKC is a vital part of Kansas City’s robust arts and cultural scene, making the historic Folly Theater its performance home for 27 years. More information can be found at Heartland Men’s Chorus. 

Now’s Your Chance to Join or Come Back to the HMCKC Singing Family!

HMCKC alumni singers!
Have you missed singing and performing?
Missed the fellowship and connection?
The participation in part of a beautiful legacy and a new evolved mission and vision?
Now’s your chance to come back to the HMCKC singing family!

Sign up below for your returning singer voice check for 8/24 or 8/31 with the LINK BELOW or join us for an open rehearsal on September 7th and/or September 14th at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral- Founder’s Hall from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Returning singer voice checks will be held after open rehearsals and will include the same voice checks occurring on 8/24 and 8/31.

Schedule your audition here:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090C49ACAB2DA4FC1-heartland

HMCKC is committed to the health and safety of our singers and we do require proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to participation. Please bring a digital copy or paper copy of your proof of vaccination and a mask to your voice check and/or open rehearsal.

VOICE CHECK REMINDERS
Please be prepared to sing a song of your choice or a simple traditional song like Amazing Grace, America the Beautiful, etc. If you choose an excerpt on your own, please bring sheet music with the excerpt marked for our accompanist. We will do a quick and painless check for matching pitch, hearing and singing harmony, call and response aural recall, assess your level of music reading, and a vocal range check.

Questions? Visit www.hmckc.org or contact Artistic Director Shawn Cullen, at shawncullen@gmail.com.

HMCKC Announces Enhanced Safety Measures For All Members

For 36 seasons the Heartland Men’s Chorus has entertained audiences in Kansas City. In the last year, all performances moved online because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but we are planning for in-person performances for this new season.

HMCKC is committed to our singers’ health and safety, and we do require proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to participation for all singers and non-singing members of the chorus.

“It’s been far too long since we’ve been able to make music, create fellowship, and deliver our message of love and acceptance! The health and safety of our singing members remains our first priority and we’ll stay hyper-vigilant until we pass through this moment of our legacy. Embrace the newness of today’s world with new ways to invite joy into your life- join us!” says Shawn Cullen, Artistic Director and Conductor of the chorus. 

Heartland Men’s Chorus is utilizing enhanced safety measures for Season 36 including the wearing of masks, indoor social distanced small ensemble singing, the use of outdoor rehearsal spaces, reduced contact rehearsal protocols, truncated rehearsal times, and the use of proper HVAC air filtration in rehearsal and performance spaces. All HMCKC members are now required to show proof of being fully vaccinated with a paper or digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card. 

The Heartland Men’s Chorus plans three in-person concerts for Season 36, starting with our annual holiday concert, Joy, scheduled at the Folly Theater on December 4th and 5th. 

Heartland Men’s Chorus’ New Vision, New Mission, & New Look

M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y 

For Immediate Distribution    July 15, 2020

 

Media Contact:

Rick Fisher, Executive Director

Heartland Men’s Chorus

hmc@hmckc.org

(816) 931-3338

www.hmckc.org

 

Heartland Men’s Chorus’ New Vision, New Mission, & New Look

With Singing On Hold, HMC Keeps Focused on Its Future

 

KANSAS CITY, MO – As a nonprofit founded during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, Heartland Men’s Chorus is using the current pandemic to focus on its future. A planning committee made up of HMC board members, staff, and singers started on a new vision, mission, and branding in late 2019. “The continuity we had as a branding team, respecting the history and meaning of the organization to its stakeholders, while also looking ahead, created a seamless and constructive

ideation and design process that had energy and momentum,” says Matt Schulte, HMC Board Member.

 

NEW VISION: “Singing to inspire a world of love and acceptance.”

“It feels very “infinity and beyond” to me, and it leads with “singing” as that is our #1 calling as a chorus,” says Stefan White, HMC Board Member and singer.

 

NEW MISSION: “To build community, celebrate pride, and empower authenticity.”

Brandon Shelton, a longtime member, started singing with the Chorus in 2005. He is currently the HMC Design Manager and he was also hired to create the new icon and look. “Having worked professionally for 20+ years developing and steering major brands throughout the world, I was honored to be asked to join the committee responsible for the overhaul of HMC’s brand – two of my greatest passions colliding before me in a golden opportunity I could not pass up. In creating the new brand, it was very important to me that we respect and build off the rich heritage of the chorus, 35 years strong, while setting our sights well into the future,” says Brandon.

New Artistic Director Shawn Cullen was also part of the branding team and believes the new look will build on the foundation he started when he was hired. Cullen says, “A legacy of musical excellence, creative expression, and enriching fellowship that changes the hearts and minds of singers and audiences alike. Now more than ever, it seems that united voices against inequities, injustices, and ignorance are needed loud and proud. We stay present so our faces are seen and our songs are heard while we stand with voices strong for those that need us now and always.”

The new branding will be used on www.hmckc.org, on all social media platforms, and printed material going forward.

 

About Heartland Men’s Chorus

Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 35th season. Founded in 1986 with 30 singers to make music, HMC quickly became a safe oasis for a community scarred by fear and hatred, while plagued by a virus. Now with 120 singers, HMC is a vital part of Kansas City’s robust arts and cultural scene, making the historic Folly Theater its performance home for 26 years. The Kansas City Star has called Heartland Men’s Chorus “one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City.” More information can be found at Heartland Men’s Chorus. # # #

New brand launch video: https://youtu.be/cJ3d8XfJKo4

HMC Celebrates Pop from Across the Pond

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Rick Fisher

816-931-3338

hmc@hmckc.org

 

FOR TICKETS:

http://hmckc.org or 816-931-3338

 

Heartland Men’s Chorus Celebrates British Pop Music

KANSAS CITY, MO (February 19, 2020) — Rick Fisher, Executive Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), today announced the continuation of their  34th season with Smitten With Britain, 8:00 PM on Saturday, March 28 and 4 PM on Sunday, March 29 at the Folly Theater, 300 W 12th Street, downtown Kansas City. High res photos can be found here.

Under the baton of the Artistic Director for the 2019-20 season, Shawn Cullen, the Chorus aims to entertain all who are within the sound of their voices. Smitten With Britain is a high energy revue of six decades of popular music from the United Kingdom. Moments of levity and irreverence combine with the rich sounds of tenor and bass voices to produce the kind of pops concert experience HMC has become known for in Kansas City.

Cullen speaks about the creative impetus behind this program: “In planning this show, my vision was to pay homage to artists and sounds that influenced generations of both past and present. “Pop music” is a touchstone for communities no matter your ethnicity, gender or sexual identity and continues to shape all parts of our human culture.”

The program for the concert reads like a who’s who of popular artists from across the pond including Adele, Sam Smith, Sting and Elton John and groups like the Beatles, the Eurythmics and the Spice Girls. Production numbers will give a nod to London’s West End from shows like Kinky Boots and Billy Elliot.

Tickets for Smitten With Britain are on-sale now. Seat prices range from $18-$43. Order online at hmckc.org or call the box office at 816-931-3338.

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ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 34th season. Founded in 1986 with 30 singers to make music, HMC quickly became a safe oasis for a community scarred by fear and hatred, while plagued by a virus. Now with 120 singers, HMC is a vital part of Kansas City’s robust arts and cultural scene, making the historic Folly Theater its performance home for 26 years. HMC also presents regional outreach concerts in a five-state area and has performed nationally and internationally in joint concerts with other GALA choruses. They regularly perform at GALA Choruses International festivals. The Kansas City Star has called Heartland Men’s Chorus “one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City.”

Visit www.hmckc.org for more information about Heartland Men’s Chorus 2019-2020 season. More information can be found at Heartland Men’s Chorus.

HMC Brightens the Holidays!

For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Rick Fisher

816-931-3338

hmc@hmckc.org

 

FOR TICKETS:

http://hmckc.org or 816-931-3338

 

Heartland Men’s Chorus Brightens the Holidays

Kansas City shines brightest during the holidays, and we want you to flip the switch on your holiday season with the Heartland Men’s Chorus! HMC holiday concerts mark the start of the holiday season for thousands of Kansas Citians. HMC kicks off their 34th season with Making Spirits Bright!, 8:00 PM on Saturday, December 7, 2019 and 4 PM on Sunday, December 8 at the Folly Theater, 300 W 12th Street, downtown Kansas City.

Under the baton of the Artistic Director for the 2019-20 season, Shawn Cullen, the Chorus aims to brighten the spirits of all who are within the sound of their voices. Cullen reveals his programming aesthetic saying “This concert illuminates the season with nostalgic holiday favorites-classics to contemporary, and of course those hilarious numbers that make your face light up like the Plaza lights.”  He goes on to give a sneak-peek at what audience members will experience: “We’ll share a message of love and light while encouraging us all to stay grateful and connected to those that mean the most.”

The concert includes standards like “Do You Hear What I Hear” and “The First Noel” that will thrill the audience with the vibrant new sound that Cullen is creating with the Chorus. But of course, it’s the festive tongue-in-cheek numbers that make this show KC’s non-traditional holiday tradition! Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? HMC calls for a pink holiday in a take-off on the popular song. Do you want to celebrate in Beverly Hills, L.A.? We’ll encourage you to spend “Chanukah in Santa Monica.” You’ll laugh out loud at the story told by the “Davey Dinckle Carol” of the wayward boy who saved Christmas for his town that was buried in a blizzard.

From familiar carols to “Forgotten Carols from Other Lands” by the irrepressible E.L. Barnes, from traditional to popular with just a bit of Broadway thrown in, the singers of HMC invite you to experience this eclectic holiday celebration that has a little something for everyone!

Tickets for Making Spirits Bright are on-sale now. Seat prices range from $18-$43. Order online at hmckc.org or call the box office at 816-931-3338.

#####

ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 34th season. Founded in 1986 with 30 singers to make music, HMC quickly became a safe oasis for a community scarred by fear and hatred, while plagued by a virus. Now with 120 singers, HMC is a vital part of Kansas City’s robust arts and cultural scene, making the historic Folly Theater its performance home for 26 years. HMC also presents regional outreach concerts in a five-state area and has performed nationally and internationally in joint concerts with other GALA choruses. They regularly perform at GALA Choruses International festivals. The Kansas City Star has called Heartland Men’s Chorus “one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City.”

Visit www.hmckc.org for more information about Heartland Men’s Chorus 2019-2020 season. High-resolution photos of the 2018-2019 Season can be obtained from the Press section of the Website.