Thom Lynch Appointed Executive Director of Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles
Date: January 23, 2011
Location: California, USA
Thom Lynch has been appointed executive director of the renowned Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA), it was announced by Board Chair John J. Duran. He assumed the post on January 18, 2011. Mr. Lynch replaces outgoing director Hywel Sims, who departs after six years of exceptional service.
"Thom’s extraordinary leadership skills, vision and experience will help the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles continue its solid growth, further build upon its artistic excellence, and chart new directions for the organization,” said Duran. “We are very pleased to have him at administrative helm of the chorus. His appointment comes at a time of increased – and significant – visibility for GMCLA in Los Angeles and beyond.”
Duran adds, “It is with gratitude that we recognize Hywel as being the heart of GMCLA for the past six years and for navigating the chorus beautifully during a period of exceptional growth. We wish him the very best.”
Mr. Lynch, a former gospel singer who has worked in the non-profit field for more than 20 years, most recently served as Interim Executive Director of San Francisco’s New Leaf Services. He is the former CEO & President of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center and COO of Project Open Hand. In addition, Mr. Lynch worked on “No on 8,” is a member of the advisory board of the Human Rights Watch, and helped found and served on the Diversity Board of the San Francisco Forty-niners football team. He recently returned from a two-year sabbatical in Madrid, Spain, where he volunteered for Orgullo Madrid. A well-known voice for the San Francisco LGBT community through news media and advocacy, Mr. Lynch is recognized as an accomplished fundraiser and leader of emerging organizations. While in San Francisco, he helped found the world’s first economic development program for the LGBT community, and the first job training and placement program for transgender workers. The New England native holds a BS from Valley Forge College and attended graduate school at Ashland Theological Seminary.
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, founded in 1979,has built an international reputation for musical excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the Los Angeles community and promoting civil rights, tolerance and acceptance though music. Praised by critics for presenting “meaningful entertainment,” the choir has also been described as “inspired,” “expressive, innovative, and utterly moving.” It is one of the largest and most influential men’s choirs in the nation and is the first gay men’s choir to perform for a sitting president – William Jefferson Clinton. In addition to presenting concerts each season in Southern California at Glendale’s Alex Theatre and elsewhere, GMCLA tours nationally and internationally. The 230-member choir has released 14 compact discs, commissioned more than 300 new works and arrangements and has guest starred on such TV shows as "$#*! My Dad Says," starring William Shatner, “Will & Grace” and “Six Feet Under.” In October, it produced an anti-bullying musical video message featuring Cyndi Lauper’s moving anthem “True Colors” for the “It Gets Better” project, quickly becoming a viral sensation that has received nearly 400,000 hits to date. GMCLA presents its popular annual holiday concert December 18 and 19 at the Alex Theatre, with country music legend LeAnn Rimes joining the chorus as special guest for the December 19, 3 p.m., matinee. GMCLA returns for a command performance at the LA County free Holiday Concert at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion December 24. The season continues March 26 and 27, 2011 when Guest Conductor Cristian Grases leads the concert entitled “A Mighty Voice” at Los Angeles Theatre Center in Downtown LA. “Totally! Our ‘80’s Show,” with Guest Conductor Andres Cladera, closes the three-concert season on July 9 and 10, 2011, at Avalon in Hollywood.