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.

#####

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.

Meet Troy Johnson

When life happens and you need to make some changes, why not get involved in something and see what happens.  That’s what Troy did, after ending a 14 year relationship he was in search of something new and just wanted to meet people.  Well, HMC offers about 100 possible new friendships and Troy must have found some friends since he is now in his 6th year with the chorus.  As a non-singing member in our HeartLight section, you can find him behind the scenes supporting HMC at events, concerts, rehearsals–everywhere we are so are our HeartLight members.

When not busy selling tickets, merchandise, or wine raffle opportunities you’ll have to look for Troy outside of Kansas City.  A frequent work traveler he also likes to explore fun and exciting destinations in his personal time.  When asked what he would do if he came into a lump sum of money his response was naturally, ‘plan a vacation.’  When he is not jet-setting he likes to play volleyball, stay fit with zumba and he loves to dance.

Meet Mike Sigler

Let’s meet Mike Sigler.  Mike joined HMC in 1992, that’s 27 years of song and dance and experience.  His smile and wit can light up a Tuesday night rehearsal, as well as his upper range as a Tenor 1.  One of his more unusual jobs he’s held over the years was as a tennis instructor back in college.  He continued in this position for a few years which must be why he is a natural at all the hand movements we use to accompany many of our songs.

Mike has met amazing people as a result of being in HMC.  New singers come in every year, festivals allow members to meet people from choruses all over the US and the world, guest performers, and joint concert events in other cities.  The opportunity to sing in front of KC civic leaders at a traveling Smithsonian exhibit comes to mind as a very fond memory made with his family in song.  Mike has a passion for social justice and if he won the lottery, he would donate most of his winnings to a charitable foundation.

A KCMO native Mike enjoys travel, gardening, reading and oh yeah, singing too!

See Mike onstage at our next performance as we present Smitten With Britain on March 28-29, 2020 at the Folly Theater. Visit our tickets page for more info!

 

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.

HMC Audition FAQs

So you are interested in auditioning for the Heartland Men’s Chorus?

What a fantastic idea! You’ll be a part of a singing legacy that has worked to change hearts and minds in our community while enriching the weekly lives of its many members and volunteers. But, you’ll have to audition first. #SorryNotSorry 🙂

What will I have to sing at my audition?

We want you to be confident! Sing a small excerpt of something you can and want to sing. Pick something that you can really shine on- doesn’t matter the style- pop, classical, broadway, it doesn’t matter! A capella or with some sheet music- either one works. Or, you can simply sing a traditional favorite like My Country Tis of Thee, Amazing Grace, or Somewhere Over the Rainbow! Next, we’ll check your voice for range for which section you belong, and it’s simple as that.

What should I do to prepare for the “audition”?

Low pressure- practice at home a bit so you can combat some very normal butterflies. No matter how much or how little you’ve auditioned- it still takes a courageous mindset to push through some of those nerves. You got this! 

Will I have to sing in front of the whole chorus?

Nope. You will sing in front of me and our accompanist Lamar Sims after one of the open rehearsals on September 3 or 10. The audition will be in a smaller hall to help create a stress-reducing environment. 

What happens at the audition?

We will offer you ways you can be involved with HMC- singing, volunteering, connecting HMC to other community partnerships, etc. We will let you know which section you will belong to (Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Baritone, Bass, Heartlight volunteer, etc.) both that night and in an email soon after. You’ll then be invited to join our members-only communication platform called Chorus Connection and you will be matched up with a chorus buddy before the membership orientation. 

We want to do everything we can to help support your talent! Relax and show us what you got! We are all rooting for you!

Shawn Cullen

HMC Interim Artistic Director

Season 34: Bright, British and unBreakable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Rick Fisher

816.931.3338

hmc@hmckc.org

For Tickets: 816.931.3338 or hmckc.org

 

Heartland Men’s Chorus’ 34th Season

Celebrates Kansas City’s FABULOUS Holiday Season, Includes a British Invasion, and Premieres New Music from the Composer of “The Addams Family.”
Andrew Lippa’s “Unbreakable” will have its Midwest Premiere.
KANSAS CITY, MO (August 19, 2019) — Rick Fisher, Executive Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), announced Monday their 34th season will again present three completely distinct concerts. All three performances include the show stopping productions for which HMC is known. All three concerts are created to change hearts and minds. However, each concert is also incredibly unique. “In our 34 years,” said Fisher, “we’ve kept audiences on their toes because they never know quite what to expect from Heartland Men’s Chorus. We literally keep them guessing. But they always know they’ll come away feeling terrific and having had a wonderful time.”

This year will be especially unpredictable because the Chorus is under the baton of Interim Artistic Director Shawn Cullen. Though not unfamiliar to Kansas City audiences since Cullen previously conducted HMC’s chamber ensemble group, “Burnt Ends,” it is his first time leading HMC for the entire season. Cullen hails from Arizona where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and a Masters of Music in conducting, both from the University of Arizona. He is currently a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory completing course work towards his Ph.D. and serves as Director of Music at the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church. Cullen is a proud member of the national board of directors for GALA Choruses.

HOLIDAYS 2019 – Making Spirits Bright! – December 7-8, 2019

Kansas City shines brightest during the holidays, so HMC will “flip the switch” in December to once again bring our exciting blend of familiar carols, choral classics and hilariously zany twists on everyone’s favorite holiday music in Making Spirits Bright!  At the Folly Theater, December 7-8, the HMC holiday show is a favorite among audiences. “The combination of nostalgic holiday favorites and hilarious performances by members of the Heartland Men’s Chorus are truly what bring the holiday concert to life,” exclaims Executive Director Fisher. “This annual holiday production has fast become one of Kansas City’s favorite non-traditional holiday traditions.”

Single Tickets to Making Spirits Bright in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall at the Folly Theater are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338 beginning October 15th. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7.

SPRING 2020 – Smitten By Britain – March 28-29, 2020

The United Kingdom rocks the airwaves with its incredible variety of musical genres and legendary artists. British talent is celebrated all over the world . . . from The Beatles to Adele, Sam Smith to Sir Elton John. This Ode to some of The Queen’s most distinguished musicians includes a musical journey from folk to pop.

Single Tickets to Smitten With Britain in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall at the Folly Theater are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338 beginning December 9th. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7.

SUMMER 2020 – MIDWEST PREMIERE EVENT – Unbreakable – June 13-14, 2020

A new musical by composer Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, I Am Harvey Milk) and creative team, Academy Award-winners, Dustin Lance Black (Milk, When We Rise) and Bruce Cohen (Milk, American Beauty, Big Fish), presents a historical arc to the experiences of the LGBTQ people over the last 12 decades. Illuminated by four characters drawn from real-life stories from throughout LGBTQ history, the work weaves together the themes of awareness and activism, and seeks to illuminate decades of setbacks as well as progress in the U.S.

Single Tickets to Unbreakable, in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall at the Folly Theater, will be available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338 beginning March 30th. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7.

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, 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 chorus can be obtained by visiting hmckc.org.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Parking

Information for Folly Theater parking can be found online at www.follytheater.org. The parking garage, immediately west of the Folly Theater, is the primary parking garage for Heartland Men’s Chorus patrons. Event parking is $8 per car and may be purchased upon arrival (cash only at the gate).

Sponsors

HMC’s 34th Season is underwritten by Hotel Phillips. The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, Missouri Arts Council, Hall Family Foundation, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Arts Council of Greater Kansas City, and Neighborhood Tourist Development Foundation (NTDF) are all among the many supporters of Heartland Men’s Chorus’ 34th season.

Student Discounts

Student tickets are available for $7 (with valid ID, one ticket per ID). They may be purchased in advance by calling the HMC box office at 816-931-3338 or at the door prior to the performances based on availability. The Box Office opens one hour prior to all performances.

Social Media

Receive updates by joining Heartland Men’s Chorus’ Page at www.facebook.com/hmckc, or following @hmchorus on Twitter or Instagram.

Season Tickets

Season tickets for all three shows, starting at $72, went on sale to the public on August 15th.

###

Please direct all media inquiries to Rick Fisher, 816-931-3338 or hmc@hmckc.org.

The Story Behind “Rock You”

Everyone knows the music of Queen. You certainly can’t watch TV without hearing one of their iconic songs because Queen’s music sells! And whether you realized it or not, “We Will Rock You” is the greatest arena rock song of all time, played at every football stadium across the U.S.A. But in addition to being the band that everyone loves, their contributions to the social landscape has gone way past their music.

Like many rock icons, Freddie Mercury is one of the most recognizable figures in the world. His enigmatic personality, extreme vocal range and flamboyant style were a force in popular culture. He made waves constantly in the music industry by embracing femininity in his wardrobe and stage presence, and blowing the super jock image of most rock bands in the 1970’s out of the water.

Being a rock star allowed Mercury to push gender boundaries. Mercury was the one who suggested naming the band Queen, which at the time was a derogatory term for a gay man. Onstage, he wore outfits that left gender and societal norms behind. Among his clothing choices were leotards, angel-wing cloaks, tight shorts, and leather or PVC attire that evoked a biker image then popular in gay nightclubs. But at the same time, Freddie kept his private life mostly out of public view, thus hiding his truly authentic self.

Freddie Mercury never offered an in-depth discussion about his sexuality with the public. However, it was well known that this symbol of rock had had relationships with both men and women. At one point he claimed to be bisexual, but he may have been a gay man who got involved with members of the opposite sex because he was trying to survive — and build a career — in the very homophobic world of the 1970s and 1980s. For most of Mercury’s life, the wider world didn’t accept gays and bisexuals. Born in 1946, he grew up at a time when same-sex attraction was considered a mental illness, a tragedy, a joke, or some combination of the three. LGBT people were barely represented in the media, and the message society had to offer was that not being heterosexual was unacceptable. Even Mercury’s Parsee parents practiced Zoroastrianism, a religion that saw being gay as a type of demon worship.

Freddie still didn’t label his sexuality even after his AIDS diagnosis. Having kept his condition quiet for months, Freddie finally issued a statement saying, “Following enormous conjecture in the press, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have Aids. I felt it correct to keep this information private in order to protect the privacy of those around me.” Freddie died the following day from Aids related complications at the age of 45.

In honor of living an authentic life, and encouraging our audiences to do the same, HMC is bringing the thrill of a stadium rock concert to the Folly Theater with more pyro technics in this concert than ever before! In HMC’s nod to this legendary band and their contribution to the social landscape, we hope you will come to see “Rock You!” Through music we shall all come together. Visit HMCKC.ORG.

Summer Concert Celebrates the Music of Queen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Rick Fisher

816.931.3338

hmc@hmckc.org

For Tickets: 816.931.3338 or hmckc.org

Heartland Men’s Chorus Presents  “Rock You: A Wild Ride Through the Music of Queen!”
Performances June 9 and 9, 2019 at The Folly Theater

Featuring 17 of Queen’s Most Iconic Hits!

KANSAS CITY, MO (April 17, 2019) — Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), announced today their 33rd season continues in June with ROCK YOU: A WILD RIDE THROUGH THE MUSIC OF QUEEN! Who better to bring the music of one of the greatest rock bands in history to life than Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus!

Featuring the most iconic hits from one of the world’s most beloved bands, Rock You will be a musical extravaganza that includes a full evening of rockin’ favorites. It will take you back to the 1970’s and 1980’s and have you screaming, “We Will, We Will Rock You” before the curtain falls!

Founded in 1970 in England, Queen released their self-titled debut album in 1973 in both the UK and the US. Despite not being an immediate success, they gained popularity in England particularly with two songs of the original album, “Keep Yourself Alive” and “Liar.” With their second album released in 1974, also known as the “heaviest” rock album they created, Queen II was heavy rock with a Baroque sensibility that combined emotional themes and fantasy which would become part of their staple. It also touted an iconic album cover depicting the album’s black and white themes that would be used by the band throughout their career. Through 25 years and 40 albums, including their 1981 Greatest Hits, the best selling album of all time in the UK, Queen’s sound with their explorations in funk, opera and pretty much everything in between formed the bedrock of their success and created a wide-ranging offering like no other band before or since. And oh yes, they created 189 songs of which HMC will cover 15!

Under the baton of Artistic Director Dustin S. Cates, Heartland Men’s Chorus will celebrate all that is Queen including (but certainly not limited to) favorites like:

  1. “We Are The Champions” – One of Queen’s biggest hits and most recognizable anthems, it begs to be sung at the top of one’s lungs. It was first released on their album News of the World in 1977.
  2. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” – Written by Mercury in 1979, no Queen show is complete without it. With its rockabilly flair and easily sing able lyrics, it was Queen’s first number-one single in the UK.
  3. “Bohemian Rhapsody” – A six-minute “suite” which was unheard of at the time, the song had several sections which included an intro, a ballad, an operatic section, a hard rock passage, and a philosophical ending. Although critical response was initially very mixed, it went on to become Queen’s most popular song and is considered one of the greatest rock-n-roll songs ever written.
  4. “Killer Queen” – Again written by Mercury for their Sheer Heart Attack album, the single was Queen’s first US hit and was Mercury’s tribute to a champagne drinking prostitute!
  5. “Love of My Life” – The lyrics alone of this 1975 song tell you everything that was happening in Mercury’s life as it was written for Mary Austin, he ex-fiancée: “Love of my life, you’ve hurt me. You’ve broken my heart and now you leave me. Love of my life, can’t you see? Bring it back. Bring it back. Don’t take it away from me, because you don’t know what it means to me.”
  6. “Somebody to Love” – Written by Freddie Mercury, it debuted on the band’s 1976 album A Day at the Races and also appeared on their Greatest Hits Reputed to be Mercury’s favorite song, the lyrics reflect a man asking God why he works so hard but cannot find love. He instead finds hope and not defeat.
  7. “We Will Rock You” – This arena rock epic was written to get audiences to participate more in Queen’s concerts. Written by Brian May in 1977, the song is written mostly in a cappella form using only stomping and clapping as a percussive beat. It has become one of the most utilized stadium anthems played at sporting events around the world.

Artistic Director Cates summed up HMC’s summer concert, Rock You, best by saying, “The curtain will be rising on ‘Rock You’ with all the inspiration that Freddie, Brian, Roger and John brought to their iconic music. In the words of Freddie Mercury, ‘We’ve gone overboard on every Queen album. But that’s Queen!’ Our summer concert will have you on your feet singing every word but also leave you with a message and a song in your heart.  It will be a performance for all ages . . . anyone who loves the music of Queen will love this concert!”

Rock You: A Wild Ride Through the Music of Queen! will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8th and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9th in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall at the historic Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street, in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Tickets to both performances are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7. Come as you are. Or come dressed as Queen! But visit hmckc.org today!

ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 33rd 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 2018-2019 season. High-resolution photos of the 2018-2019 Season can be obtained by contacting the chorus office at 816-816-931-3338.

Interim Artistic Director Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Rick Fisher

816.931.3338

hmc@hmckc.org

For Tickets: 816.931.3338 or hmckc.org

Heartland Men’s Announces
Interim Artistic Director

Interim to Direct 2019-2020 HMC Season While Nationwide Search Commences


 KANSAS CITY, MO (April 10, 2019)

Last month, Artistic Director Dustin Cates announced: “I have accepted a position at Temple University as Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education and will not be returning in my role as Artistic Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus next season. Raymond also accepted a position this week at Einstein Medical Center where he will serve as Associate Director of Pediatric Residency and Director of the hospital’s PRIDE program which will include starting a clinic for children who identify as transgender. We will be moving to Philadelphia shortly after the Rock You! concerts.”

Keith Hohly, Chairman of Heartland Men’s Chorus’s Board of Directors, announced Tuesday that Shawn Cullen, Director of HMC’s community engagement ensemble, Burnt Ends, would assume the role of Interim Artistic Director upon the close of the 2018-2019 Season. Hohly said, “Shawn has been such a fantastic resource to the Chorus over the last two years since he joined us. He was the logical choice to continue our mission of changing lives through music.” A national search will commence next fall for a permanent Artistic Director to begin in HMC’s 35th season in 2020.

As an educator, conductor and artistic director, Shawn Cullen has earned a reputation for his dedication to musical excellence and striving to make a difference within the communities in which he belongs. During his 8-year tenure as Artistic Director/Conductor with Reveille Men’s Chorus in Tuscon, Arizona, Cullen worked to inspire growth in membership and audiences alike while striving to produce musically excellent, mission-based programming with humor and heart. Mr. Cullen conducted Reveille in 16 local productions, numerous community OUTreach performances, two quadrennial GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association) Chorus festivals and travelled internationally to perform with the Puerto Vallarta Gay Men’s Chorus. Mr. Cullen also led Reveille to make their debut performance with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in 2013 for “Broadway Rocks!” as the first LGBTQ chorus to perform with a professional symphony orchestra in the state of Arizona. He joined Desert Voices Chorus as Artistic Director/ Conductor in 2013 helping to develop it’s new mission of “Fostering Community through Song,” making him one of the few conductors nationally to serve in artistic leadership for two GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association) Choruses simultaneously. In January 2017 Mr. Cullen accepted a three-year term as a national Board of Director for GALA Choruses helping to lead the North American LGBTQ and LGBTQ-allied choral movement and was the 2017 Fine Arts Teacher of the Year for Tucson Unified Schools and the 2018 RMC Community Leadership award recipient. Cullen joined the artistic team of Heartland Men’s Chorus in Kansas City in 2017.

In the education world, Cullen has held positions as an award-winning director of bands & choral music, performing arts mentor teacher and professional development coordinator in the Tucson Unified School District, Adjunct Faculty in University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, as well as the UMKC School of Education. Recognized for his skills as a versatile and collaborative musician, Cullen served as principal conductor for the Arizona Repertory Theater (2011-2017), housed within the University of Arizona’s School of Theater, Film and Television with nine production credits including “Into the Woods”, “Avenue Q”, “The Full Monty”, and “EVITA”.

Cullen is currently an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Teaching Fellow in Music Education and Curriculum & Instruction at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. His current research includes academic success for music students, conducting pedagogy, and the training of future music educators. Most recently his research was selected for presentation at the Desert Skies International Symposium of Research in Music Education. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education and a Master’s of Music in Conducting from the University of Arizona and is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association, the National Association for Music Education and serves on the national board of directors for GALA Choruses.

ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 33rd season. Founded in 1986 with 30 singers, 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 25 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’ 2018-2019 season. High-resolution photos of Shawn Cullen can be obtained by emailing hmc@hmckc.org.

HMC Welcome Heartsong and Choral Spectrum to celebrate Stonewall’s 50th Anniversary!

For our upcoming spring concert, Stonewall 50: All of Us, we’re inviting two local LGBT choruses to join us in celebrating 50 years of LGBT rights: Kansas City Women’s Chorus’ “Heartsong” and Choral Spectrum.

Heartsong of Kansas City Women’s Chorus is a special a cappella group of singers whose main purpose is to serve as ambassadors to the community in support of the Chorus’ mission: education about and advocacy for women’s and girl’s issues. They also perform as part of KCWC’s main stage concerts. Kansas City Women’s Chorus was founded in 1999 and today performs with 100+ women from diverse ages, ethnicities and religious backgrounds.

Newly formed in 2018, “Choral Spectrum” is a mixed chorus for both male and female voices that serves the LGBTQ+ community, including straight allies, and performs all types of music from classical to pop to spiritual to secular.  According to group founder and artistic director, Dr. Michael Robert Patch, the group was formed as an alternative to all female or all male choirs. “Whatever the music selections are, the overall performances will be uplifting and fun!”  Tickets to Stonewall 50: All of Us are available at hmckc.org.

 

Choral Spectrum