We are thrilled to announce that the long time Artistic Director from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC has taken the position of VOICES Artistic Director. Jeff says, “I’m honored and excited to join VOICES of Kentuckiana as their new Artistic Director and I look forward to being part of the vibrant Arts community of Louisville. It is important to me to carry on VOICES’ mission of celebrating diversity and fostering positive social change through music. VOICES has a rich 20 year history and I am delighted that we can celebrate their history while being part of the Chorus’ evolution as we move together into the future.”
Under his leadership, GMCW became recognized as one of the finest and most prominent men’s choruses in the country, with more than 275 singing members and a reputation for musical diversity and innovation. From classical music to newly commissioned works to fully staged productions of Broadway musicals, GMCW was a musical leader in the LGBT choral movement under Jeff’s direction. Jeff is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA).
During Jeff’s tenure GMCW received many honors. In January, 2009, the chorus was selected to sing My Country ‘Tis of Thee at “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial which was broadcast live on HBO and with an audience of more than 10,000. In December, 2010 the chorus performed with Angela Lansbury, Carol Channing and Chita Rivera at the nationally televised Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Broadway composer Jerry Herman . In December, 2002 the chorus was featured at the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. Under Jeff’s direction the chorus’ small outreach ensemble, Potomac Fever, performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama on three occasions and has entertained at the home of Vice-President and Dr. Biden for the past five holiday seasons.
Jeff led the chorus in recording 11 CD’s, including three original commissions: Alexander’s House, Songs of My Family and Changing Hearts. Under Jeff’s leadership the chorus has won six WAMMIE awards from the Washington Area Music Association including the 2103 Outstanding Choral Recording for Alexander’s House. Other WAMMIES include awards for Best Choral Group in 2012, 2010, 2005 and 2003. GMCW’s 20th anniversary CD, “I Dream of a Time” won the 2002 WAMMIE award for outstanding choral recording.
Jeff joined the chorus as a singing member in 1986. In 1997 he began directing the small a cappella ensemble Potomac Fever, a job he held for the next 10 seasons, culminating in a European tour, at which Potomac Fever sang at the opening ceremonies of Various Voices, the European LGBT choral festival in Munich. He resumed directing Potomac Fever in 2003. Under Jeff’s direction, Potomac Fever attained a wide following with its distinctive style, characterized by fluid phrasing and warmth of tone. In July, 2014 Potomac Fever performed at the 2014 Various Voices choral festival in Dublin.
In 1989 Jeff began an eight-year run as Assistant Director of the chorus, working with Music Director Jim Holloway. Jeff had the honor of directing GMCW at an inauguration concert for President Clinton in 1996. Jeff also directed the festival chorus at the first World Outgames in 2006 in Montreal.
Having worked with high school students as a choral director and school counselor before directing the chorus, Jeff is most proud of founding GMCW’s youth outreach program in 2002 offering free tickets to high school students and their teachers. The program grew significantly as the chorus began visiting schools. GMCW also hosted two workshops on LGBT issues for teachers and school counselors. During Jeff’s last season with GMCW members of the chorus visited 10 high schools in the Washington, DC area.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education and voice from Montclair State University and Master of Arts in counseling from George Washington University. As a singer he has been a soloist in many professional and church choruses and has performed with such preeminent choral conductors as Robert Shaw, Roger Wagner, and Dennis Keene.
Jeff’s greatest pleasure is sharing his life with his wonderful husband, Roger, and their mini-dachshund, Mocha.