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BARS Hits Top 10 in iTunes!

BARS has hit the top 10 in iTunes classical albums!  This is the world's largest music store and we hit number 3!  The album is the recording for "I Am Harvey Milk" in which members BARS collaborated with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus this past June. The world-premiere original cast recording of Andrew Lippa's I AM HARVEY MILK was released Oct 22nd and features members of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, Andrew Lippa, Noah Marlowe, and Laura Benanti under the direction of Dr. Timothy Seelig. San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) Artistic Director, Dr. Timothy Seelig, announced the original cast recording of I Am Harvey Milk is now available for purchase and download. The world premiere of the choral work, I Am Harvey Milk, concluded the Chorus’s 35th anniversary season at the Harvey Milk 2013 concert. The recording is a perfect culmination of SFGMC’s 35-year history, which began at the candlelight vigil for slain Supervisor Harvey Milk. With music and words by Tony® and Grammy Award nominee Andrew Lippa (Big Fish, The Addams Family, The Wild Party), I Am Harvey Milk features Lippa as Harvey Milk, Tony® Award-winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, NBC’s “Go On”) as the Soprano Soloist and Noah Marlowe (Mary Poppins, Fun Home) as young Harvey, along with the 300 men of the Chorus. Recorded live during the world premiere at Nourse Theatre in San Francisco, the recording is mixed and mastered by multi-Grammy award-winner, Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Ranch. The recording is available now at SFGMC.org and is also available on iTunes. I Am Harvey Milk weaves the story of Harvey Milk’s life – from boyhood to his rise as the first openly gay man to hold public office in California to his assassination. Part choral work, part theater piece, I Am Harvey Milk is an emotional celebration of an American icon. Complete track listing is as follows: 01. An Operatic Masterpiece 02. I Am the Bullet 03. You Are Here 04. Friday Night in the Castro 05. Was I Wrong? 06. A Decent Society 07. Sticks and Stones 08. Lavender Pen 09. Thank you, Mrs. Rosenblat 10. San Francisco 11. Leap 12. Tired of the Silence I Am Harvey Milk is conducted by Dr. Timothy Seelig, orchestrated by August Eriksmoen, and features the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus accompanied by Carl Pantle on piano and members of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony. I Am Harvey Milk at Nourse Theatre was produced by Bruce Cohen, in association with Robb Nanus and Jessica Leventhal, directed by Noah Himmelstein, and Video and Projection Design by Andrew Lazarow.


Dawn Harms appointed BARS's new Music Director

Dawn Harms, Music DirectorIt is with great excitement and pleasure that Bay Area Rainbow Symphony announces its new Music Director is Dawn Harms. Dawn brings passion, expertise and wonderful musicianship to guide BARS's artistic course and the orchestra is thrilled to be working with her. Dawn's dynamism and energy will continue the upward trajectory of BARS as it enters its sixth season.   About Dawn Harms   Dawn Harms's very diverse career ranges from being a chamber musician, violin soloist, concertmaster, and conductor.  Dawn is a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster for the New Century Chamber Orchestra and Co-Concertmaster with the Oakland East Bay Symphony.  She also records regularly at Skywalker Ranch Studios on sound tracks for movies and video games.   Dawn Harms's very diverse career ranges from being a chamber musician, violin soloist, concertmaster, and conductor.  Dawn is a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster for the New Century Chamber Orchestra and Co-Concertmaster with the Oakland East Bay Symphony.  She also records regularly at Skywalker Ranch Studios on sound tracks for movies and video games.   Ms. Harms was chosen as a Fellow at the exclusive American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, where she worked with some of the top conductors of the world.  Her recent guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, the Livermore Amador Symphony, and Symphony Parnassus.  She was also invited to conduct the extra shorts on the film Ratatouille which is exclusively found on the DVDs.  Her recent solo appearances include, Folsom Symphony, Paradise Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Symphony Parnassus, and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra.  She has appeared in concert with Frederica Von Stade, Zheng Cao, Eugenia Zukerman and has premiered and performed works by Jake Heggie.  In March 2012, Dawn was fortunate enough to solo with BARS, playing the 4 Seasons of Buenos Aries, by Astor Piazzolla.  Now once again she is delighted to get to work with BARS as a conductor.   A strong advocate for Music education, she was music director and conductor of the Amarillo Youth Orchestra.  She designs and performs her own family show throughout the United States, New Zealand, and Japan.  Dawn recently performed her one-woman family show with the Lincoln Symphony in Nebraska, the Oakland Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, and the Napa Youth Symphony.  Dawn plays on her cousin Tom Waits's CDs "Alice" and "Blood Money." Dawn also has two solo CD's, "The Black Swan" and "The Hot Canary" that can be found on cdbaby.com.  She is currently on the faculty at Stanford University.

Harwood named Orchestra Management Fellow; BARS welcomes next ED

Saturday, May 21, 7p: Benefit Dinner at Ton Kiang, 5821 Geary Blvd, SF (Map) | Tickets

Ian Harwood, BARS Founder and Executive DirectorBARS announces the departure of founder and Executive Director, Ian Harwood, who as been named a 2011 League of American Orchestras Orchestra Management Fellow.

In honor of Mr. Harwood’s service to the arts and LGBTQ community, we invite you to a farewell dinner and "roast" on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 7pm at the award-winning Ton Kiang. BARS will also introduce its next Executive Director, Mr. Tyler Wanshura, at the benefit dinner.

Tickets may be purchased in advance only and are limited in number.

Mr. Harwood and his work has been recognized by the League of American Orchestras, the only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, and has been named a 2011 Orchestra Management Fellow. Ian has accepted this prestigious honor awarded to two individuals nationally. Over the course of 2011-2012, the fellowship will take him to Aspen Music Festival, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Memphis Symphony. The focus of the 12-month program is to fast track administrators who have direct managerial experience and have demonstrated potential to lead a professional orchestra within five to ten years. The redesigned program also includes more extensive mentoring by orchestra executive directors, a professional development stipend, and visits to orchestral and non-orchestral organizations known for their innovative entrepreneurial environments. The 31-year-old program’s alumni lead many orchestras across the country including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and Saint Louis Symphony.

Mr. Harwood says, “Every day for the past four years, I’ve been humbled by the non-stop support of BARS, by our musicians and audience alike. I’m confident, that under Mr. Wanshura’s leadership the organization will continue to ‘raise the bar’ and challenge stereotypes of LGBTQ and community arts groups.”

Tyler Wanshura, BARS next Executive DirectorAs Harwood prepares to depart, BARS announces its new Executive Director, Tyler Wanshura. Mr. Wanshura is a native to Minnesota where he received a BA in Studio Art from St. Olaf College. He has resided in San Francisco for just over a year now after receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree in Arts Administration from Southern Utah University. Wanshura has worked recently with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Braithwaite Fine Art Gallery, Theater Crescendo, Minnesota Opera, and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.

Wanshura says, “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the BARS community. This is an incredibly talented and dedicated group of artists. I look forward to continuing the amazing trajectory BARS is following.”

Press contact: Tyler Wanshura, twanshura@bars-sf.org