Music is an Outburst of the Soul

 

 
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Mission, vision & values

Our Mission

We celebrate the inherent dignity of all people through excellence in men's choral music.

Our Vision

Changing lives … one song at a time!

Our Values

We believe the transformative power of music will heal and enlighten to change people.

We welcome the life affirming changes we create both inside and outside the chorus.

We change society's beliefs about LGBTQ+ people through our commitment to excellence.

We honor all who came before us whose sacrifices made it possible for us to sing out.

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Our Artistic Director

Kyle Goyens

Tampa native Kyle Goyens is excited to be the Artistic Director of The Gay Men’s Chorus of Tampa Bay!

A proud product of Hillsborough County Schools, he received his Bachelors of Science in Music Education from the University of South Florida and is currently in pursuit of a Master's degree in Music Education from the Florida State University in their Summer MME program, which he will complete in 2019!

An educator of 7 years, he has built two middle school choral programs in Tampa that did not exist at Orange Grove Middle Magnet School of the Arts and Ben Hill Middle School to an enrollment of 180 singers respectively. Both schools consistently received high ratings at state assessments, received High Enrollment Awards from the Florida Music Educators Association, andperformed in various venues such as Disney and Washington D.C. In 2017, Kyle Goyens was named the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year for Ben Hill Middle School for his dedication and passion of impacting students of all backgrounds.

Kyle is an active adjudicator for the Florida Vocal Association and has conducted All-County festivals for middle and elementary choirs in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Osceola county. Kyle is a member of the Festival Singers of Florida, a group dedicated to expanding the awareness and appreciation of ensemble singing and the choral arts by providing community performances of the highest quality.

Kyle is a proud and active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Florida Vocal Association, Florida Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Sigma Phi Epsilon.

 

Our Officers & Board of Directors

 
 
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Bill Kanouff

President

Bill has been a Tampa businessman for more than 30 years. Well known in the LGBTQ+ business community for his businesses, Tomes & Treasures and A Different Grind Coffee House. He has been an officer of the Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and most recently served on the Board of the Ybor Youth Clinic. He sings Tenor 2 and raises show dogs with his partner, Gene Biller.


Juan Fontanez

Vice President

Juan sings in the Tenor 2 section of the chorus and is a real renaissance man with talents and interests which include illustrating superheroes,  being a karaoke rockstar and volunteering in the community as a member of the board of directors for the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce and also the West Pasco Chambers Young Professionals Group.  A geek with a heart of gold and a passion for belting out Broadway and 90s R&B songs at random.

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Zac Clements 

Secretary & Communications Director

Zac Clements, Bass 2, joined the Chorus after moving to the Tampa Bay area in 2013.  He is an IT consultant supporting accounting and reporting functions.  When not working or singing, you can find him in the pool, watching Hulu, or playing Monopoly.


Harold Harkins

Treasurer & Finance Director

Harold, also a Bass 2, has been singing with some version of a Tampa Bay gay men’s chorus since 1993 and with GMCTB since 2004. His favorite thing is singing with GMCTB, and the high point of his life, so far, was singing When We No Longer Touch in Denver with our dancers at the GALA Festival 2016 to an audience of 3,000 cheering GALA singers. A second favorite thing was singing our national anthem to kick off the Tampa Bay Ray's game just after the Pulse Nightclub massacre to an audience of 40,000 Rays fans; and a third favorite things are canoeing, kayaking and hiking, especially in the mountains.

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Ricardo Rojas

Membership Director

Ricardo Joined the Chorus in 2018 and sings in the Baritone section. When he is not singing he is the fabulous and effervescent Drag Queen named Sugar.


Will Hession

Programming Director

Will has been singing with GMCTB since 2012 and sings Tenor One. He is all diva, but without the attitude...most days. His favorites include West Side Story, Star Wars, and tacos. 

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Cristian Davila 

Public Relations Director

Cristian Davila, Baritone, has been with the chorus for only one season and joined the Board of Directors to assist with the creation of the new website and our social media pages. He loves spending his free time working on his food blog, and playing with his Welch Corgi named Kimchi. 

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Ruthie Nelson 

DIRECTOR 

Ruthie Nelson, highly sought after as a soloist and chamber musician, is a non-singing member of GMCTB and a member of the board of directors. She was named the Florida Female Vocalist of the Year by the Florida Federation of Music Clubs in 2006 and has sung with Seraphic Fire,  The Richard Zielinski Singers, The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and GMCTB. Currently, Nelson is on the voice faculty at Hillsborough Community College, the College of Central Florida, and Patel Conservatory, the director of the Tampa Bay Children’s Chorus and The Ocala Children’s Chorus, has a private voice studio, and is the music director at the First United Methodist Church of New Port Richey.

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History

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The Gay Men’s Chorus of Tampa Bay, as a member of the Tampa Bay cultural arts scene can trace its lineage back to Tampa Bay Arts which was the corporate parent of the Tampa Bay Gay Men's Chorus. TBGMC, began in the fall of 1987. In 1996 TBGMC and Crescendo, the Tampa Bay Women’s Chorus, with the help of numerous other community organizations hosted over 6,000 gay men and women for the quadrennial GALA Festival here in Tampa. After this Herculean, collaborative event, Tampa Bay Arts expanded it’s scope to become a funding organization for various Tampa Bay gay arts organizations. In 2002, due to a programing conflict with Tampa Bay Arts, about half the members of TBGMC formed Una Voce: The Florida Men’s Chorale, Inc. (UVFMC) taking its artistic director, John-Phillip Mullinax as its director emeritus. TBGMC continued until 2004 when it and Tampa Bay Arts closed and a number of the remaining members joined Una Voce.

GMCTB as we are now known in our 16th year, has performed two major concerts in Tampa and St. Petersburg each year along with more intimate cabaret-like events. We sing to celebrate the work of those who have gone before us in the fight to obtain and retain equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community; and to carry the message further. And sometimes, we sing just for the sheer joy of making music. We have also performed and participated in the St. Pete, Tampa and Pasco Pride events and were a featured guest of the Richey Community Orchestra in New Port Richey and of the Ft. Worth (Texas) Men’s Chorus in 2003. In 2006, the chorus, under the direction of Dr. Timothy Seelig along with 21 other choruses from around the world, performed Kristopher Jon Anthony’s powerful requiem, When We No Longer Touch, at Carnegie Hall in New York City. We regularly provide music for various community benefits and events including the presentation of the national anthem at sporting events, most notably to an audience of 40,000 Tampa Bay Rays baseball fans following the Pulse massacre in 2016.  Every four years, we join thousands of our brothers and sisters in song to share our best work in a 30 minute set to an audience of our peers, making our international debut at the GALA Festival in Montreal Canada in July 2004. Since then the chorus has presented at the GALA festivals in Miami-2008, Denver-2012 and 2016 and at the Various Voices Festival in 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. More recently we performed: Andrew Lippa's  song cycle, I Am Harvey Milk, to commemorate this man who died in the fight to obtain equality; the music of the Beatles and a fabulous holiday show entitled, We Three Queens!

In 2016, the Board of UVFMC voted to begin a name/re-branding process to make our name easy to remember and to clearly describe who we are – The Gay Men's Chorus of Tampa Bay. We have been amazed at the number of people who have exclaimed, "I didn't know we had a gay men's chorus!" when they saw our banner. We are a member of GALA Choruses, Inc. which provides support and leadership for the North American LGBTQ+ choral movement. We are also a Florida nonprofit corporation with charitable status under § 501(c)(3) of the United States Code. Donations are deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.