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.
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.
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.
Julie L. Ortman
Mark Van Kekerix
J. Scott Barker
Ex-Officio Board Members
Dr. A. Barron Breland
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.