The Stonewall Chorale

A nonprofit organization

Based in New York City, The Stonewall Chorale originated in December 1977 as the Gotham Male Chorus, and specialized in Gregorian Chant and Renaissance music. In 1979, women joined the chorus for the first time, and the name was changed to Stonewall Chorale, the nation’s first Lesbian and Gay chorus.

In 1983 at Lincoln Center, the Chorale opened the first national festival organized and sponsored by GALA (the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses), now an international organization with more than 150 member choruses.

The Stonewall Chorale is among the various LGBTQ interest groups that emerged in major cities and proved crucial to creating support networks during the AIDS crisis. Stonewall has performed in public, community, civic, and corporate venues, and remained – for more than four decades – a reminder of the power of music to foster community. 

In celebration of its 40th season in 2017, the Chorale commissioned a new composition for choir and instrumental ensemble from esteemed choral composer James Bassi. This commission presented us with a unique opportunity to give the international choral community a new major secular work that reflects the vision and values of not only the composer, but the choir for whom it was commissioned.

In 2019, the Chorale presented the New York premiere of "Quiet No More," a piece co-commissioned by gay choruses from around the US, with contemporary jazz and rock by Ann Hampton Callaway, Julian Hornik, Michael McElroy (Broadway Inspirational Voices), and Our Lady J (Pose, Transparent), among others.  This multi-movement work commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and the Chorale later joined gay choruses around the country to perform the piece at Carnegie Hall.

We were less than two weeks away from our March 2020 concert Here Comes The Sun when the pandemic shut everything down. For our entirely virtual 44th season, we met weekly to practice sight-singing, explore LGBTQIA+ history, and socialize as a community. We also spent that  season exploring how to become a more equitable and inclusive group, working through GALA's New Harmony curriculum on race and ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, community engagement, accessibility, and socio-economic status. We developed community standards that both celebrate our history and chart a path forward for the nation's first gay and lesbian choir.

Our devotion to coming together in song during the pandemic was featured in the Columbia News. 

In 2021, we opened our historic 45th season with December Sunrise, a particularly satisfying way to restart our in-person performances with a large-scale concert with full orchestra. 

Our second concert of this season, Music for the Soul, featured Deanna Witkowski and her trio and the music of Mary Lou Williams. This concert of jazz repertoire stretched us musically and made for a wonderful contrast to our usual classical choral repertoire. Curtain Up!'s program of opera and Broadway choruses originally planned for June 2020, but made for a terrific gala performance to celebrate the conclusion of our historic organization's 45th anniversary.

Michael Conwill, who served as our Board President for seven years and steered us through the pandemic, said it best:

For 45 years this organization has been a trailblazer as the first LGBTQ choir in the nation in the late 1970's, less than a decade after the Stonewall uprising. We endured the worst of the AIDS crisis when many of our members succumbed to the disease in the 1980's and early 1990's, then through the 1990's and into the new millennium we celebrated political and legal victory after victory in guaranteeing LGBTQ people the same rights as everyone else in this country, undoing the deliberate bigotries that had been enshrined in our laws and culture.

Now a calculated, relentless, undemocratic political movement threatens to undo all of the progress we have made. As our rights were affirmed through the years we were often presented with the question of what is the rationale for specifically LGBTQ organizations, a question which in the last five years needs no explanation. Our visibility, our outreach, and our political actions are as important now as they were to the crowds that formed around the Stonewall bar in 1969.

Your gift will help us offer singer scholarships and will underwrite the cost of our guest artists and instrumentalists. On this GiveOUT Day, we appreciate whatever support you can provide to the nation's first gay and lesbian choir!

Organization Data


Organization name

The Stonewall Chorale

Tax id (EIN)



PO BOX 920
NEW YORK, NY 10113