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Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC records

Identifier: MS2230

Collection Scope and Content

This collection contains financial records, marketing material, recordings, photographs, meeting minutes, fundraising records, and production records that document the origination and on-going work of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC. These records date from 1980-2013.


  • 1980-2013

Restrictions on Access

Documents containing personally identifying information about members not already identified in publicly available documents are restricted for a period of 75 years form date of creation. Documents with such restricted information have been placed into boxes with an "R" designation and sequestered from the public for the period specified above.

In the case of officers and other members who are publicly identified in tax fillings, press releases, incorporation documents, and other documents generated by the GMCW which have been released to or are available to the general public shall not be subject to this restriction.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical Note

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW) is one of the area's most highly respected arts and community service organizations. It is also known as the Federal City Performing Arts Association (FCPAA). Its mission is to “entertain through excellent musical performance, to affirm the place of Gay people in society, and to educate about the Gay experience.” It has more than 225 singing members, nearly 100 support volunteers, more than 400 subscribers, nearly 500 donors, and an annual audience of nearly 10,000. The Washington Post has called GMCW “one of the world's best male choruses.” (March 2001)

GMCW was established in 1981 after the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus' historic national tour and performance at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Following that concert, a handful of committed citizens decided it was important that Washington also have a chorus that would use music and entertainment to create a positive and affirming experience for members and audiences, while educating the community about the Gay experience and advocating for equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation.

GMCW is at the forefront of the gay and lesbian choral movement. It sets a standard of excellence in the arts and community service as it achieves artistic excellence while simultaneously touching lives and changing hearts – both on stage and in the community. The Chorus has performed at a variety of venues throughout the Washington area including the Kennedy Center, the National Theatre, the Warner Theatre, Constitution Hall, the Lincoln Theatre, and Lisner Auditorium at the George Washington University. The Chorus also performed at President Clinton's second inaugural in 1996, and in 1998, toured three Scandinavian capitals. While in Scandinavia, GMCW was received by Sweden's Princess Christina to thank chorus members for singing in support of Noah's Ark, a Swedish AIDS services organization.

During its 20th anniversary season, GMCW performed at Carnegie Hall and Boston Symphony Hall in joint concerts with the New York City Gay Men's Chorus and the Boston Gay Men's Chorus. In December 2002, GMCW was honored to perform as part of the 25th annual Kennedy Center Honors in tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. This performance was televised nationwide, bringing the Chorus into millions of homes across the nation.

GMCW also has a commitment to commissioning new works for men's chorus. Recent examples include Changing Hearts by Alan Shorter for men's chorus and chamber orchestra, and Oseh Shalom by Paul Leavitt for men's chorus and brass quintet – both of which can be heard on our CD, Changing Hearts. GMCW has won a number of awards, including the prestigious Mayor's Arts Award for artistic excellence in 1989, a Distinguished Service Award from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance in 2003, and a Capital Pride Directors Award for Arts in 2005.

The Chorus can be heard on a variety of recordings, including: Singing Free, Pride and Joy (nominated for both a WAMMIE and a GLAMMA award – given by the national Gay and Lesbian Music Association), Let It Shine!, And in That Moment, I Dream of a Time (winner of a 2002 WAMMIE Award), You've Got to be Carefully Taught: The Songs of Sondheim and Hammerstein, with two-time Tony-Award nominee Laura Benanti, and Changing Hearts, our Silver Anniversary Album.

Source: Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC website ( retrieved 2006.


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This collection contains financial records, marketing material, recordings, photographs, meeting minutes, fundraising records, and production records that document the work of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC. These records date from 1980-2013.

Collection Organization

Organized in 7 series: Governance, Financial records, Marketing and development records, Productions, Audiovisual materials, Photographs, and 2015 donation [preliminary inventory].

Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC in 2008. A second donation arrived June 29, 2015 (Accession 2015.037).
Guide to the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC records, 1980-2013
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America