In the News

Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps “Gets Loud” with The Roaring Music of Women: Spring Concert to Celebrate Female Composers and Remember Edie Windsor

February 1, 2018 (New York, NY)

In this pivotal time for women, the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (LGBAC) will perform a concert featuring female composers on April 7th, 2018. The Roaring Music of Women: A Tribute to the Iconic Edie Windsor will kick off at 7 pm at Symphony Space, as the band highlights women’s contributions to the musical field with works from a variety of eras and styles. This special event marks the first time the LGBAC has performed a full program showcasing female artists.

The concert will be dedicated in memory of the late LGBTQ+ rights pioneer, Edie Windsor. Calling the LGBAC “her band,” Edie was a dear friend and major supporter of the organization. Her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, will emcee the evening. In addition, the band will play the piece One Life Beautiful by Julie Giroux to honor Ms. Windsor and her zealous commitment to the queer community throughout her lifetime.

During the evening, the band will present the Edie Windsor Profile in Leadership Award to New York City politician Christine Quinn. A former Speaker of the New York City Council, Quinn is the first female and openly gay person to serve in this position. She represented the band for many years in Greenwich Village/Chelsea, and has staunchly advocated for LGBTQ+ rights for New Yorkers throughout her many years in office. The LGBAC is proud to publicly recognize Quinn for her leadership in the queer community.

This concert will also feature community involvement from additional New York City women. The band’s own tubist, Tara Fayazi, will arrange Ethel Smyth’s March of the Women, an anthem at the turn of the 20th century for suffragettes who campaigned diligently for the right to vote. The song will open the concert and feature six surprise guest singers. In solidarity with the suffrage movement, the ensemble will wear all white for the concert. Henco Espag, music director, said this piece inspired the concert’s theme: “I realized that, while I knew the story of Smyth conducting with a toothbrush through prison bars, I’d never actually listened to March of the Women. That was the inspiration to explore concert band works across the spectrum of women’s voices.”

Continuing to showcase New York City women, the LGBAC is excited to welcome the evening’s guest conductor, Kimberly Roof, who will conduct Spring Festival by Dr. Chen Yi. The piece celebrates the coming of spring, the most important part of the Chinese New Year. Roof is the assistant conductor for the Brooklyn Wind Symphony and teaches full time at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

In addition, the band will proudly showcase their 3rd annual New York City High School Musician Concerto Competition winner, and recipient of a $1,000 scholarship: August Haller will play R. Strauss’s Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Opus 11. Haller, 18, is a senior at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn and was a member of the 2017 National Youth Orchestra in the USA. The Concerto Competition, open to any and all New York City high school musicians, is uniquely and exclusively designed for wind and percussion instrumentalists and supports the LGBAC’s mission to embrace all people and provide a safe environment to make music.

Other works on the program include Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, Tatarian Dances by Elena Roussanova Lucas, Early Light by Carolyn Bremer, the world premiere of Gwen-Marie Lerch’s percussion feature Cancio Para Emilia, Flying High by Rika Ishige, and Tango, a piece for saxophone ensemble, by Karen Street. Concluding the evening with a bold finish will be Let’s Get Loud by Gloria Estefan, made famous by Jennifer Lopez.

Tickets for the concert, held at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, New York, are available at Symphony Space or (212) 864-5400: $15 balcony/$25 orchestra.

Contact: Hannah Webster
(716) 708-9993

The LGBAC Symphonic Band is proud to announce our 2017 Video Game Composition Competition Winner: Giordano Maselli

July 25, 2017

We had an overwhelming response to our contest with submissions from all over the country and a third of the total entries from countries outside the US. Giordano’s music will be performed live in concert on October 21st, alongside real-time play of a new video game by Matt Latas and Geoff Ekström.

Giordano Maselli, an italian composer, graduated with honors in Composition at the Conservatory S. Cecilia in Rome. He started his musical training at the age of three. After trying various instruments, by the age of nine he focused on the piano and scoring for visual media. He studied classic composition at the Arts Academy in Rome and privately with M° L. Pelosi, leading him toward admission to the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia. His compositions include scores for short films like “Tom”, “Shah Mat”, “Adele”, “Cattive Notizie”, the complete soundtrack of the “Last Monkey”  webseries, cartoon soundtracks for the firm Musicartoon, and video game scores with RedDoll.

Maselli has a series of interesting collaborations in the Youtube universe in fellowship with Matteo Bruno (Cane Secco), a popular Italian blogger with whom he creates TV spots, short films, soundtracks, event music, and music for the Internet. He has also worked with Video Eikon in several TV documentaries including the theme song of the Sky TV show “Itinerari di caccia”, Ballandi in “Morandi 7.1”, featuring Gianni Morandi, and with Pesci Combattenti in “Nessuno Può Volare.”

In 2014 and 2015 he was awarded Best Original Score in the 48h Film Project, given by Ian Anderson (frontman for Jethro Tull). In 2015 he entered the Italian movie market with “Hybris”, a psycho-thriller produced by Mirelatives Picture. The movie has been released in Italy and the soundtrack is available on iTunes.

As an orchestrator, he has collaborated with Riccardo Studer in several tracks of “Dylan Dog – Vittima degli eventi”, a fan movie directed by Claudio di Biagio, and with Goblin in “Dark Bolero”, a track from their recording called “Requiem For X.”

Maselli has also founded his own recording studio with the aim of working as closely as possible with other musicians in ‘live room’ composing. He is currently working on an album titled, “Start From Scratch”.

Official Website

Mets Become First New York Pro Sports Team To Host Pride Night

August 13, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 13: The New York City Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band performs prior to a game between the New York Mets and the San Diego Padres at Citi Field on August 13, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets are hosting the first ever Pride Night in New York major sports league history. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 13: The New York City Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band performs prior to a game between the New York Mets and the San Diego Padres at Citi Field on August 13, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets are hosting the first ever Pride Night in New York major sports league history. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

From CBS New York:

“‘The message is everyone is welcome that walks through the turnstiles to watch us play baseball,’ Bean said. ‘The LGBT community is part of every community.'”

Read the full article online.

Citi Field ready to host LGBT Pride Night

August 11, 2016

“The pregame show will feature the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps marching band and a performance by the Grammy-nominated Martha Wash, formerly of the Weather Girls.”

Read the full article online.

Big Apple Corps’ ‘Musical Excursions,’ with Stephen Schwartz, Liz Callaway & Dean Pitchford

April 11, 2016
From [q]

“The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (LGBAC) Symphonic Band, our community band, guided us through exotic “Musical Excursions,” on April 9, at Symphony Space, in its varied and enjoyable spring concert, which, as guest MC actor, writer, and director Dean Pitchford put it, ‘celebrate[d] our journey through life through music.'”

Read the full review online.

90 Seconds With Liz


The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps is thrilled to welcome Emmy Award-winner and Tony Award nominee Liz Callaway, to perform “Meadowlark” from The Baker’s Wife by Stephen Schwartz with the band on April 9 at Symphony Space. As with all great collaborations, the more you know of each other, the livelier the end experience. Artistic Director Kelly Watkins spent some time getting to know Ms. Callaway, her inspirations, and her memorable musical experiences in 90 Seconds With Liz!

When did you start performing and who were your early inspirations?
Liz Callaway: I was very shy and would only sing if my family left the house. I didn’t start performing until high school. Some early influences included Eydie Gorme, Marilyn McCoo, Barbra Streisand, and Pamela Myers (original cast of Company).

You’ve performed on Broadway. You’ve provided the voices to some of the biggest Hollywood animated movies of all time. You’ve sung on the world’s great concert stages with the best of the best.  After all that, what inspires you to keep performing?
LC: At this point what really appeals to me is having great experiences and working with interesting people in interesting places. Theatre is my first love, but my freelance life allows me to travel the world and have some amazing experiences. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you’ll see my life is never boring!

What do you consider to be the most memorable musical experience of your career thus far?
LC: That’s too hard because there have been so many! To name a few, Follies in Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, Baby, Anastasia, and recently singing a duet with Johnny Mathis.

What do you enjoy doing outside of music?
LC: Playing tennis, cooking, reading, and cheering on my NY Mets!

Big Apple Corps Invites Us to Festive “Holiday Theater,” with Guest Tubaist Carol Jantsch

December 12, 2015
From [q]

“The 103-member, 36-year-old Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (LGBAC) Symphonic Band, under the baton of Artistic Director Kelly Watkins, celebrated the Chanukah-Solstice-Christmas-Kwanzaa season with its spirited concert “Holiday Theater,” focusing on music from films, with a holiday slant, on December 12 at Peter Norton Symphony Space. Openly gay NBC-TV meteorologist Raphael Miranda was the guest MC and Philadelphia Orchestra principal tuba player Carol Jantsch was the guest soloist.”

Read the full review online.

The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Announces Collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Principal Tuba, Carol Jantsch


The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps is excited to announce its collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal tuba, Carol Jantsch, performing Bruce Boughton’s Concerto for Tuba and Winds with the band on December 12, 2015 at Symphony Space. Ms. Jantsch holds the distinction not only of being one of the youngest principal chairs of a major American orchestra—a position she’s held since 2006 while still an undergraduate at the University of Michigan—but also as the first woman to hold the principal tuba chair in any major orchestra.

Artistic Director Kelly Watkins first met Ms. Jantsch five years ago at the International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto, where Ms. Jantsch was performing as a featured soloist. Watkins describes her experience as having been “awe-struck by (Jantsch’s) facility and efficiency on the instrument.” She is clearly an impressive performer, with the Philadelphia Inquirer praising her as having “a sound as clear as it is luxurious.”

Ms. Jantsch began her career in music early, learning the piano at the age of six before later picking up the euphonium and, ultimately, the tuba when she was in seventh grade. She went on to study at the Interlochen Arts Academy before attending the University of Michigan where she studied with Fritz Kaenzig.

When asked how she thinks this performance will uniquely compliment the sound of The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps, Watkins said, “Her sound is pure, focused, and engaging, and she’s an incredible musician. These are elements I strive for in the overall sound of the Symphonic Band. The LGBAC is about as unique as it gets. To bring together all the elements we work year round to master in one performer is truly a unique opportunity.”

The LGBAC is proud to welcome Carol Jantsch to their stage.