SF Gay Men's Chorus gets new conductor
by Seth Hemmelgarn
The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus has selected a new artistic director and conductor.
Tim Seelig will start in January. He'll replace Kathleen McGuire, now the artistic director of the group Singers of the Street, among other projects. She announced her resignation from the GMC earlier this year after a decade conducting.
Seelig, 59, said he is "completely honored, thrilled, and humbled."
"It's absolutely one of the most amazing organizations in all the choral world, and to be selected is beyond my wildest imagination," he said.
Teddy Witherington, the chorus' executive director, praised Seelig.
"Tim was selected because he had everything that we wanted and more," said Witherington. He said Seelig has a history of "producing jaw-dropping choral experiences."
Seelig's career, which spans more than 30 years, includes conducting, singing, teaching, and writing.
He currently lives in Dallas, where he's wrapping up three jobs. He's been the director of the nonprofit Art for Peace and Justice, on the music faculty at Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts, and founding conductor of Resounding Harmony community chorus. He recently conducted his sixth appearance at New York's Carnegie Hall, and he continues to serve as guest conductor for others in the United States and internationally.
At the GMC, Seelig will receive a salary of $92,000.
Seelig said choruses such as San Francisco's GMC "have all morphed and changed through the years, and I'm sure the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus will change according to my style, as well as simply the way of the world."
He said he has an appreciation for a "truly wide range" of repertoires, and his background includes opera singing.
"There's a male choral sound that comes out of that" that's "very exciting," said Seelig, who said his start date with the San Francisco chorus hadn't been determined, but it would be in the first half of January.
Shawn Northcutt, Seelig's partner of almost 12 years, already lives in San Francisco's Upper Haight neighborhood. Seelig has two adult children and is expecting his first grandchild in December.
McGuire is staying with the chorus through next month's "Home for the Holidays" concerts, billed as the chorus' "musical sleigh ride" that take place at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street.
Shows are December 16 at 8 p.m. and December 24 at 5, 7, and 9 p.m. Special guests on the 24th will include Bay Area Reporter society columnist Donna Sachet.
Tickets start at $20 and are available online at http://www.sfgmc.org, by phone at (415) 865-2787, and in person at the chorus' box office at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street.
A special $10 ticket is available in advance via the box office for unwaged (i.e., students, seniors, and those receiving benefits/assistance) upon proof of status.