History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Wisconsin - Organizations


Chorus, Men & Women




June 2012

Visit the Cream City Chorus Facebook page.

Go to the Cream City Chorus' Images and Articles Gallery.
Go to the Cream City Chorus' Concert Programs Gallery.


The Wisconsin Cream City Chorus (commonly known simply as 'Cream City Chorus') was founded in 1987 after a rift formed in the Fest City Singers.

According to the group's web site (approx. 2008):

    "Founded on April 1, 1987, The Wisconsin Cream City Chorus Ltd. is an organization with a rich, 19-year history and a unique place in the Greater Milwaukee area. Although many are familiar with the Cream City Chorus name, few are aware of what makes the group truly unique.

    "First and foremost is our message of celebrating diversity in all its forms. Originally formed as a chorus of gays, lesbians and their friends, the chorus now strives to celebrate the rich diversity of our community at large — not just the LGBT community — through the performance of quality choral music. As chorus president Hilary Giffen said in a recent press release, “The LGBT community is still very important to us, and its message is one we will never abandon. But it’s only one area where we believe diversity and tolerance must be shared and celebrated.” The chorus, which embraces all races and faiths, asserts that it is not enough to simply be diverse; the selection of music and message must also reflect that diversity.

    "Second, we are a member-controlled chorus. Every member, singing or nonsinging, has a vote. This includes board elections, approval of Artistic Directors, and even a voice in how the group moves forward into the future. Many feel this is one of the reasons the WCCC broadened its mission to celebrate diversity in all its forms. It was simply an official recognition by the membership of the ideals the group had already been embracing.

    "The WCCC produces two to four concerts annually. They include either a social event or a Bistro Show in October, a traditional Winter Concert in January; a “Signs” Concert in April which features artistic interpreters in the language of American Sign as guest performers; and The Cabaret Show in June which was comprised of solos and ensemble numbers, plus several full-chorus numbers.

    "In keeping with our goal of bringing a message of diversity to the community, the chorus also lends vocal talents to several organizations including AIDS-related, faith-based, LGBT, and civic. Below are listed only a few.

    • Cross Lutheran Church
    • Unitarian Universalist Church West
    • Unity West Church
    • Milwaukee LGBT Community Center
    • Milwaukee PrideFest
    • Camp Heartland
    • The UAW M.L. King Jr. Celebration
    • The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting

    "The Creamettes, an ensemble of the chorus, is also available for hire to perform at special events. Past performances have included:

    • Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits tour
    • Holiday Invitational Tournament
    • Memorial Services
    • Weddings and Commitment Ceremonies
    • and many others."

    (End excerpt from the group's website)

On April 1st, 2012 the group held their 25th Anniversary Concert: "We Are One: Celebrating Diversity" at Unitarian Universalist Church West. Their Facebook post read "Great music, special guest speakers and surprises abound!"

But the celebration was bittersweet. The Wisconsin Cream City Chorus announced that they would disband after their last concert on June 16, 2012, due to declining membership and interest.

Go to the Cream City Chorus' Images and Articles Gallery.
Go to the Cream City Chorus' Concert Programs Gallery.

Photos from Pride Parade
(date unknown)


'Come Join Our Song' flyer
(Wis. Light collection, date unknown)

Article: Final concert, 'Schlemiel, Schlimazel!'
celebrates 25 years of Cream City Chorus
(Quest vol. 19-06, June 2012)

Credits: web site concept, design and content by Don Schwamb.
Select items cited 'Wis. Light collection' courtesy of Jerry Johnson.
Last updated: June-2022.

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