McGuire Named Conductor Laureate
Event Date: January 18, 2011
Posted: January 11, 2011
Location: California, USA
San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus is pleased to announce that it has bestowed upon Dr. Kathleen McGuire the title of Conductor Laureate. In the thirty-two year history of the Chorus, she is the first recipient of this prestigious title. The honor bears witness to her outstanding artistic achievements with the Chorus for more than a decade.
Dr. McGuire remarked: “I am deeply moved by this great honor, and feel sincerely humbled to be recognized in this way. I will treasure the title – and my fond memories of the Chorus - always.”
The appointment comes following Dr. McGuire’s final concert as the Artistic Director and Conductor of SFGMC. Guests from around the world attended the 9 p.m. concert at the Castro Theatre on 24th December, which featured the premiere of Dr. McGuire’s re-voicing for men’s chorus of “Judah and his Maccabees” by Karen Hart. Other highlights of the evening included the presentation of two framed posters spanning Dr. McGuire’s decade at the podium and a bust of Harvey Milk (with whom McGuire shares her birth date). Associate Artistic Director, Carl Pantle, led members of the Chorus, including alumni who were invited to come on stage, in an emotional final gesture of gratitude to McGuire at the end of the concert by linking arms and singing “Irish Blessing” in her honor.
Michael Tate, Board President, was also on hand to deliver a speech of appreciation that brought the entire audience to its feet in a spontaneous and heartfelt standing ovation for Dr. McGuire’s contributions to SFGMC.
San Francisco City Supervisors David Campos and Bevan Dufty will formally present the title to Dr. McGuire at San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday, January 18 at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Dr. McGuire came to the US in 1995, received her doctorate at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and began her tenure as Artistic Director of SFGMC in August of 2000. A hallmark of her time with SFGMC has been the way in which she encouraged the Chorus to connect with diverse communities in search of freedom and equality. It is in this tradition that in September 2010, Dr. McGuire founded Singers Of The Street: a choir for people who are homeless or marginalized and those who support them, singing for justice, healing and joy. She also continues as Conductor of the Community Women’s Orchestra, having begun her tenure with them in 2005.
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