The Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus (TCGMC) has announced the appointment of Ben Riggs as the organization’s fifth Artistic Director beginning August 1. Coming to the Cities as the Artistic Director of the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus (DGMC) where he served since 2007, Riggs was also Artistic Director of the Boulder Chorale, a 120-voice volunteer mixed chorus. Riggs holds a bachelor’s of music in piano from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, a master of music in choral conducting from the University of Colorado, and will receive his doctorate of musical arts in choral literature and performance, at the University of Colorado, this August.
Selected following a nationwide search for a new Artistic Director that had been under way since July 6, 2011, Riggs has also been an active performer in the Denver musical community, recently helping to found the Firesign Vocal Quartet and the Colorado Conductors’ Chorus, a unique ensemble comprised entirely of choral conductors. From 2003-2010, he was a member of St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, Denver’s only fully professional chorus.
“I am utterly delighted with the appointment of Ben Riggs to replace me as the Artistic Director of the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus,” commented current director Dr. Stan Hill, whose final Twin Cities performance will be the Chorus’s Pride Weekend concert, They Sang to Me, at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the U of M campus June 22 and 23.
“I have known Ben for quite a while as the Artistic Director of the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus and as a board member of GALA Choruses. He is a consummate musician, an innovative programmer, and one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. I can confidently say that Ben will empower the chorus to achieve all it is capable of achieving in the future.”
Riggs, himself, is “humbled and honored to have the opportunity to conduct the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, and I am extremely excited to become a member of the Twin Cities LGBT community.” He elaborated, “Under the direction of Dr. Stan Hill, TCGMC has attained the reputation of being one of the finest men’s choruses in the country. As their next Artistic Director, I hope to sustain both the musical excellence as well as the community experience that Stan fostered so incredibly well within TCGMC. My five years with the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus taught me that a gay men’s chorus is more than just a group of singers—they are a family. My partner John and I are very excited to become a part of the TCGMC family when we move to Minnesota this fall.”