The Bay City Chorus (BCC) was founded on January 15, 1991, for the purpose of developing a professional quality singing group. The following statement, taken from BCC’s constitution, describes its mission: “Through performances and other activities, the Chorus will provide educational, cultural and social enrichment for its members and the audience. Bay City Chorus is open to all men and women who are respectful on the gay and lesbian lifestyle.”
A simple flier was distributed inviting interested folks to a “Let’s Dish” pot luck to be held at Za’s bar in Green Bay on February 10. Here the developing group would discuss their own expansion and also begin plans for a spring concert. They formalized some basic understandings regarding membership responsibilities, BCC’s affiliation with the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses, and fundraising plans.
The original Board of Directors included; President Dave Wilsmann, Vice President Steve “Reba” Jones, Secretary Kitty Ronsman, Treasurer Brian Harder, and Members At Large Jacque Eisenbrandt, Jason Pues and Rich Rouse. James Roach assumed the role of Music Director, with accompanist Tom Hurley.
BCC’s first rehearsal was held at Union Congregational Church in Green Bay on April 7th, 1991. The fledgling chorus was committed to holding rehearsals every Sunday thereafter. As their first real gig, BCC sang the song “Hand In Hand” at Brandy’s II anniversary. In the following month (May) BCC performed for the community at the gay Memorial Day Picnic held at Baird Creek Park in Green Bay. The mini concert was abruptly shuffled indoors, avoiding a sudden downpour. And in June the group marched in Milwaukee’s Gay Pride parade.
The Chorus’ very ambitious schedule included Spring Concerts, Holiday Concerts, Center Project (ARCW) events, Pride events, nursing home caroling and other assorting gigs. BCC expanded and improved in every aspect, and received more than their fair share of acclamation via the local media outlets.
As all good things do, BCC seemed to run its course by the end of 1996. However, the group reunited one last time for a concert in late 1997.
The LGBT community is very proud of the representation provided by this outstanding team of talented individuals.
Credits: History and description by NE Wisconsin LGBT History Project,
Paul "Cricket" Jacob and Lloyd Schaefer;
Web site design and layout by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: August-2010.