The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (SFLGFB) is a community concert and marching band based in San Francisco that promotes visibility and musical education for the Bay Area's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) communities. Although a majority of its members are GLBTI, many are heterosexual and join to support the GLBTI community and to partake in a high-quality community concert and marching band. The SFLGFB presents musical programs that help to build understanding between GLBTI and other communities.
The Band's current Artistic Director is Dr. Roberto-Juan Gonzalez; its drum major is Mr. Kim Boyd. Past artistic directors include Jadine Louie (1996–2006), Nancy Corporon (1990–1996), Wayne Love (1988; 1989–1990), Jeff Foote (1988–1989), Jay Kast (1986–1988), Lesesne Van Antwerp (1982–1985), Tom Smith (1982), and Jon Sims (1978–1982).
The SFLGFB was founded by Jon Reed Sims in 1978 as the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band and Twirling Corp. Sims, born in Smith Center, Kansas, was a musician and performer who formed the band in response to Anita Bryant's anti-gay campaign in the late 1970s. Upon its founding, it became the first openly-gay musical group in the world. In successive years, Sims created the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco, Lambda Pro Musica orchestra (now defunct), and encouraged the formation of the Big Apple Corps GLBT band in New York by Nancy Corporon and The Great American Yankee Freedom Band of Los Angeles by Wayne Love.
The SFLGFB has performed in many parades and venues, both GLBTI and non-GLBTI since its inception. Included in this roster are the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade, Senior's Connection on New Years Day, GLBTI pride parades all over California and the United States, San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Parade, Redwood City 4th of July Parade, Clarendon Elementary School's Gay Awareness Day, SF AIDS Walk, and many more.
Legal status Edit
As a legal 501(c)3 non-profit, the SFLGFB is dedicated to providing music and entertainment for any non-profit organization that requests their services and does not conflict with the mission of the SFLGFB.
For its dedication to community service, SFLGFB was first formally declared "The Official Band of San Francisco" on its 20th anniversary on behalf of the city's board of supervisors by Supervisor Tom Ammiano at Yerba Buena Gardens. The Board of Supervisors repeated the honor in May 2003 at the Band's 25th anniversary concert, The Beat Goes On, at Everett Middle School Auditorium, the site of the Band's first formal concert in December 1978.
Dance-Along Nutcracker Edit
The SFLGFB's most renowned annual event is the Dance-Along Nutcracker, usually held the first weekend in December at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Organized around a theme, the audience is encouraged to dance - wearing rented tutus - during movements of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. In between, professional entertainers such as Carolyn Carvajal, Trauma Flintstone and Cheer San Francisco perform for the audience. The event is family-friendly and has been called "the plum of the holiday season." The Dance-Along Nutcracker has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal and on NBC and HGTV.
See also Edit
- Freedom Band of Los Angeles
- Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps
- Lesbian and Gay Band Association
- Pride of Indy Band and Color Guard
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