Heartland Men’s Chorus Fact Sheet

Artistic Director:Shawn Cullen
Executive Director:Dudley Hogue
Board Chair: Steve Dodge
Chorus President: Tom Dillon
Founded:September 1986; 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
Membership:approx. 150 (120 singing, 30 non-singing)
Repertoire: Eclectic mix of men’s choral music including classical, jazz, gospel, traditional, broadway and popular styles
Annual Subscription Series: 3 programs/7 total performances
Primary Performance Venue:Folly Theater, 300 West 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri
Concert Attendance (2018-19):5,822
Community Outreach and Special Event Performances: Approximately 12 per year (during the 2018-2019 season, nearly 25,000 people saw the Chorus perform at community outreach performances)
Merchandise:Ten commercial CDs in release, and two DVDs of extraordinary concert events: “The Few, the Proud,” examining gays and lesbians in military service (narrated by Col. Margarethe Cammermeyer), and “All God’s Children,” focusing on the spiritual lives and experiences of the GLBT community (narrated by Rev. Mel White).
Member: GALA Choruses, the international association of the lesbian and gay choral movement; and Chorus America, serving the spectrum of professional, volunteer, youth and symphony/opera choruses
Annual Operating Budget:$282,562 core operations for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020

Audience Demographics:

  • Arts Savvy: 80% of our audience has attended one or more local performing arts events in the past 12 months.
  • Educated: 77% of our audience has a Bachelor’s degree, with more than 40% also having completed graduate studies.
  • Affluent: More than 58% our audience members have an annual household income of more than $75,000.

HMC represents a unique element in the cultural diversity of the region that we serve:

  • As a performing force, we are the largest men’s chorus in the region.
  • In terms of infrastructure and budget, we are the largest community chorus in the region.
  • We are the premiere cultural institution in the region serving the LGBT community, and the oldest such organization.
  • By budget size, we are the largest LGBT organization in the region.

Excellence in Performance

HMC is among the most well-reviewed local arts organizations:

  • “Heartland Men’s Chorus has proven itself an irreplaceable part of Kansas City’s diverse and vital arts community,” The Kansas City Star
  • “The choir consistently proves itself one of the most exciting and talented choral groups working in the Midwest,” Pitch Weekly
  • “Amazing clarity, precision and refinement—and, when needed, plenty of power,” The Kansas City Star

National recognition includes:

  • 1998 GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Award
  • Performed at the 2009 American Choral Directors Association national convention
  • Chosen to perform at the national signature event of the Lewis & Clark bicentennial, “A Journey Fourth”
  • 2009 MAINstream Coalition “The Dr. Robert H. Meneilly STAND UP, SPEAK OUT Award”
  • 2011 OUTMusic Award, “Outstanding Choral Recording”
  • 2017 “Non Profit Organization Partner of the Year”  by Mid America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
  • 2017 Petey Awards “Inspiring Community Organization”

Advancing Men’s Choral Music

The Chorus has commissioned or co-commissioned several major works, including:

  • We, the Unknown, an oratorio written by Timothy Takach with libretto by Robert Hill and Pat Danneman exploring the possible identity of the WWI soldier in the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington Cemetery.
  • I Am Harvey Milk, a song cycle written by Broadway composer Andrew Lippa celebrating the life and legacy of one of the first heroes of the LGBT civil rights movement.
  • A Very Special Christmas Special, by Eric Lane Barnes and David Maddux, an entertaining and twisted revue of television holiday specials of years gone by.
  • The Promise: A Christmas Miracle, by Robert Seeley and Robert Espindola, a moving song-cycle that explores the holidays through the eyes of a family during a time of war.
  • Life is a Cabaret, a concert tribute to the songwriting team of Kander and Ebb. About the concert, John Kander wrote in The Kansas City Star, “That night was something special…I have raved about it ever since.”
  • Oliver Button is a Sissy, a half-hour musical based on the children’s book by Tomie De Paola. The work received its Kansas City premiere with Mr. De Paola narrating, and marked the first “Family Matinee” performance of the Chorus. HMC was also honored to be included as part of the Folly Theater Kids Series.
  • Two Flutes Playing, by Kansas City composer Mark Hayes, a major work featuring orchestra and dance.
  • Country Angel Christmas, also based on a children’s book by Tomie De Paola.

The Chorus also has commissioned several song arrangements, featuring the talents of Greg Gilpin, Eric Lane Barnes, Mark Hayes, Scott Farthing, Paul Siskind, Jacob Narverud and others. Newly commissioned works and arrangements are regularly included in HMC’s subscription concerts.

Building Community

Heartland Men’s Chorus supports a diverse cross section of the community through its outreach programs, which include benefit performances, complimentary concert tickets and volunteer efforts. Some of the benefiting organizations include:

  • AIDS Service Foundation
  • AIDS Walk Kansas City
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Kansas City Diversity Coalition
  • Kansas City Free Health Clinic
  • KCPT Public Television
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • MainStream Coalition
  • Missouri Citizens for the Arts
  • National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  • Passages
  • Pride Kansas City
  • SAVE, Inc.
  • Shawnee Mission School District
  • Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Topeka AIDS Project

Reaching Out to Diverse Audiences

In addition to hundreds of performances in the Kansas City metro area, HMC has performed throughout the two-state area: Columbia, Jefferson City, Joplin, Springfield and Maryville in Missouri and Baldwin City, Lawrence, Wichita and Topeka in Kansas. HMC has shared stages with other GALA choruses in St. Louis, Chicago, Washington, Denver, Tampa, San Jose, Miami, Dallas, Portland, London, Paris, Hamburg and Montreal.