The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus (CGMC) was founded in January 1990 as the dream of five individuals: Doug Althauser, Kevin Cary, Bob Germain, Phil Martin, and Jack Wisniewski. After months of discussion and research, these five men incorporated the Chorus and began rehearsals in September of that year. Rehearsals were held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, and the debut concert took place on December 9, 1990 at the Thurber Theater on the OSU Campus. Fifty-one men sang in that first concert.
In 1990, the Chorus hired David Price as its inaugural Artistic Director. Mr. Price served seven years directing the Chorus and helping establish strong traditions and high musical standards. During his tenure, Mr. Price took the Chorus to its very first GALA Festival performance, in Denver, Colorado in 1992. In addition, he helped found Vox Alterna in 1991. During this time, the Chorus released its first CD called, “Stepping Out.” The Chorus again went to GALA with Mr. Price in 1996.
In 1997, the chorus hired David Monseur as its new Artistic Director. Mr. Monseur served as the director of the Chorus until 2010. Under his guidance, the Chorus held its first Joy! Concert at the King Avenue United Methodist Church. Mr. Monseur expanded the Chorus by founding Illuminati, which debuted internationally at the GALA Festival in Montreal, Canada in 2004. In addition, the Chorus released another CD, “Rocket Man,” the music of Sir Elton John., and Joy! is now a holiday musical tradition within the central Ohio community.
In 1999, Ann Hampton Calloway performed with the Chorus and dedicated one of her songs in memory of the Chorus’s accompanist, the late Robin Rakes. The Chorus has also performed with arts groups including: ProMusica, Ballet Met, Opera Columbus, Anna and the Annadroids, Cincinnati Chorus, and others. The Chorus has performed for the Ohio Democratic Party Fundraising dinner, where Governor Ted Strickland accepted and proudly wore a Chorus pin!
In 2007, the Chorus hired its first Executive Director, Patrick Roehrenbeck, to help coordinate and establish the Chorus as a tier one arts organization.
After Mr. Monseur left the chorus in 2010, Dr. Tim Sarsany was hired as Artistic Director. Since that time, Dr. Sarsany has carried on the tradition and mission of the Chorus with great distinction.
The Board has also established the Crescendo Fund, an endowment fund which will ensure a solid financial grounding for the future.