About
Extraordinary music makes us feel extraordinary.

Creating exceptional musical experiences to support diversity, inspire change, and empower communities.

Omaha to Des Moines and back again.

Approximately 260 miles on an unexceptional stretch of I-80 that left plenty of time for life-altering discussions. Six friends took the trip together having heard that the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus was holding a one-night performance in Des Moines. The year was 1984 — the same year that GALA Choruses, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses, was founded.

That night changed everything. 

On the drive home, the friends discussed the performance and the need for a similar chorus in Omaha. They wanted to spread the same messages of love, unity, inclusion, acceptance, and empowerment within their own community. They organized The Mid City Chorus with three other friends, nine men and one woman, and had their first performance at a variety show for the Metropolitan Community Church of Omaha. The reception was overwhelming. At the time, a gay or lesbian chorus was unheard-of in Nebraska. Their second performance was a Christmas concert at The Max. Around that time, the founding members officially changed the name of the Chorus to River City Mixed Chorus (RCMC) and solidified their place in GALA, joining the ranks of some of the top gay choruses around the country.

Since our humble beginnings, we’ve grown to more than 130 singing members, with hundreds of performances and sold-out holiday shows that showcase our personal brand of flair, from dancing, to acting, to lighthearted tomfoolery. (We just can’t help ourselves.) You can be sure of one thing: we’ll make you laugh, make you think, and, more importantly, give you a sense of belonging.

Redefining what a “Mixed Chorus” means.

In addition to the traditional definition of a mixed chorus, River City Mixed Chorus was one of the first GALA choruses to have both gay and lesbian singers. Back in ‘84, those were the only two designations. Fast forward to today and our members represent all identities under the spectacular LGBTQ+ rainbow, along with their allies. We’re still mixed and proud to be a true reflection of the diverse people who attend our shows.

River's Edge

As our reputation has grown throughout the community and beyond, so have the requests for performances. That’s where River’s Edge comes in. It’s our smaller ensemble available to perform at various events. We’ve performed at weddings, during services, at high schools, and other notable functions. It’s the same impeccable performances with the same undeniable messages, just in a smaller size.

Staff

Dr. A Barron Breland
Dr. A Barron Breland

Artistic Director

Adam Witte

Assistant Artistic Director

Keith Hart
Keith Hart

Collaborative Pianist

Travis Mullins
Travis Mullins

Chorus Manager

Board of Directors

The River City Mixed Chorus Board of Directors is composed of music lovers, identity allies, and inclusion advocates who are empowered to oversee and support the chorus in its efforts to create exceptional musical experiences that advance the message of diversity, inspire change, and empower communities.

Scott Focht
Chair

Bill Canney
Vice Chair

Mark Van Kekerix
Treasurer

Deb Manning
Secretary

J. Scott Barker
Board Member

Addie Barnhart
Board Member

Amy Carey
Board Member

Aiden Quinn
Board Member

Maggie Ramos
Board Member

Michele Yindrick
Board Member

Ex-Officio Board Members

Dr. A. Barron Breland
Artistic Director
(non-voting)

Eric Rodine
Chorus President
(voting)

Fiscal Information

River City Mixed Chorus is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, EIN 47-0679759. Additional information about our financials, governance, and impact can be provided.

Please contact us with your request in the comments.

Dr. A. Barron Breland

Dr. A. Barron Breland

Artistic Director

With degrees in Music Theory and Choral Conducting from the University of Georgia and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Dr. A. Barron Breland has a diverse background in many different fields of music, including the piano and saxophone. Currently, he is Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Fine & Performing Arts at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, conducting their premiere ensemble, the Creighton University Chamber Choir, and teaching classes in music theory, history, and conducting.

Breland is in demand throughout the Midwest as a conductor, chorusmaster, clinician, and adjudicator, and he has prepared choruses for Grammy and Tony-winning artists such as Laura Benanti, John Mellencamp, Brian d’Arcy James, and conductors Dale Warland and Ted Sperling. Breland has also served as Chorusmaster and prepared numerous works for the Omaha Symphony, including Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Carmina Burana, Elijah, Messiah, and many others.

Breland’s first exposure to professional choral music was as a member of the Atlanta Boy Choir where he performed with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, as well as in tours and festivals throughout Europe. Today, besides his leadership of the Creighton University Chamber Choir and RCMC, he is also the Music Director of Résonance, a semi-professional chorus whose debut album Pilgrimage was released in July 2020 on the MSR Classics label.

Breland became the Artistic Director of the River City Mixed Chorus in January 2011, and in his 10-year tenure with the organization the ensemble has grown to over 120 active singing members, has headlined conferences and performed alongside Grammy-winning Conspirare, and has taken the stages of historic and iconic venues around the region. All of the ensembles under Breland’s leadership perform regularly with the Omaha Symphony, and all have performed at state and regional ACDA, and NMEA conferences.

Adam Witte

Assistant Artistic Director

Adam Witte has never been one to shy away from a music genre or musical instrument. His tastes, talent, and curiosity run far and wide, taking him on adventures across Europe playing euphonium solos with the University of Nebraska-Omaha Symphonic Wind Ensemble, guiding him to sing acapella vocal jazz with Nexus, and prompting him to play keyboards with local band The Confidentials. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Omaha with an emphasis in euphonium.

Though his musical accomplishments are long and varied, vocal music has played a big role in Adam’s journey. He has always been involved in church music, from singing in the choir to playing piano and handbells; most recently, he served as Director of Music Ministries at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Omaha for seven and a half years. It only seems fitting that Adam became a singing member of River City Mixed Chorus only to be named Assistant Artistic Director a short year later. In addition to his engagements with RCMC and Nexus, Adam is also a singing member of the Omaha vocal ensemble Resonance.

Keith Hart

Keith Hart

Collaborative Pianist

Keith Hart was a public school music teacher in a previous life. As much as he loved the job and working with kids, he felt an undeniable tug from the theater world. He set his sights on a graduate degree in theatre, and worked on productions at various theaters in Kansas City.

With production experience under his belt, Keith moved to Omaha, Nebraska where he has worked as a pianist, musical director, and scenic designer for numerous theatrical productions. He also holds down a day job as Manager of Programs at Joslyn Castle.

The piano has been a constant in Keith’s life. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in piano from Northwest Missouri State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. His love of accompanying and playing with a wide range of soloists, ensembles, and choirs led him to River City Mixed Chorus in 2015, joining the organization as Collaborative Pianist.

Travis Mullins

Travis Mullins

Chorus Manager

Unlike the majority of RCMC’s members, Travis Mullins is never one for the spotlight. If he had it his way, he would forever remain behind the scenes (and curtains), busy working on managing the chorus’s day-to-day operations.

So how does a reserved intellect who doesn’t sing and prefers the audience seat to the stage find himself as the manager of a performance organization? For starters, he’s a big proponent of the arts and the positive effects it has on the community. He also believes that, as the state’s first and currently only LGBTQ+ chorus, RCMC’s messages need to be heard. And, his husband happens to be RCMC’s Artistic Director, Dr. A. Barron Breland, so the chorus was a part of his life before he became a part of its life.

Travis first served for four years as treasurer on RCMC’s Board of Directors while also volunteering his time on the chorus’s fundraising and marketing committees. His management experience and accounting skills didn’t go unnoticed, and in 2016 he was hired on with the official title Chorus Manager. During his free time, you can find him attending rehearsals and performances, proudly watching on as his favorite performers sing their hearts out.

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