New York City Gay Men’s Chorus (NYCGMC), which is managed by the nonprofit umbrella management company Big Apple Performing Arts (BAPA), has selected Gavin Thrasher as Artistic Director following an international executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure in September 2019.
An experienced singer, conductor, and teacher, Mr. Thrasher possesses both a collaborative spirit and passion for youth advocacy and education. He most recently served as the Interim Artistic Director & Conductor for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA), where he shaped and refined the musicianship and sound of the ensemble, managed all educational programs, and created the concert season. Prior to this interim role, Mr. Thrasher served as GMCLA’s Assistant Conductor and Youth Programs Director. During his tenure he founded two new youth programs, providing music education to juveniles in the LA County Probation System Halls and Camps and offering semester-long choral and vocal music education to Los Angeles Schools. He also founded and served as Director of GMCLA’s a capella ensemble, Aftershock, and expanded upon GMCLA’s Alive Music Project, bringing the chorus into schools, sharing stories, and making connections with students. Mr. Thrasher’s additional leadership positions include Musical Director of the It Gets Better Tour in Los Angeles, Music Director of the Redlands United Church of Christ, Choir Director of the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, and Conductor of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music’s Apollo Chorus.
A dedicated music educator, Mr. Thrasher has held various teaching positions over the course of his career, including Adjunct Music and Vocal Director for the University of Redlands Theatre Arts Department and Private Conducting Tutor for the University of California Los Angeles. He has presented his work on GMCLA Youth Programs internationally and shared his expertise on youth music education at various choral symposiums. Mr. Thrasher holds a bachelor of music performance degree from the University of Redlands in California and a master of music degree from the University of Southern California.
In making the announcement, BAPA Board Chair Damian Kington said, “We are thrilled to welcome Gavin to Big Apple Performing Arts and NYCGMC. Gavin’s impressive credentials in choral conducting and performance development, his experience in mission-led choral programming and community engagement, and his fresh and innovative perspectives will position us for even greater success as we begin our fifth decade as one of the world’s leading LGBTQ+ performing groups. This Pride Month, we get to celebrate and commemorate everything that’s been achieved over the past 50 years and get excited about what the next 50 will bring. NYCGMC, under Gavin’s artistic direction, will play an important role in defining our community’s future and creating even more positive social change, just as we’ve done since 1979.”
“I am delighted to join New York City Gay Men’s Chorus as Artistic Director,” said Mr. Thrasher. “For 40 years, NYCGMC has touched people’s lives through music and been an integral part of the LGBTQ+ community in New York City and around the world. I look forward to working together with the membership to build on this foundation and create the future of NYCGMC as a voice for hope and change worldwide.”
“ACG was honored to work with Big Apple Performing Arts and New York City Gay Men’s Chorus to place Gavin Thrasher as Artistic Director,” said ACG President Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau. “Mr. Thrasher’s passion for choral music, dedication to music education, and commitment to advancing the LGBTQ+ community will support BAPA’s mission to achieve artistic excellence, provide a safe and supportive space, and use the performing arts to bring people together, change lives, combat fear and hatred, and challenge perceptions of the LGBTQ community.”