Martin Named Interim Artistic Director

Garrett Martin Named Interim Artistic Director

At The Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus for 2015

Buffalo, NY — Garrett F. Martin, Organist and Director of Music at Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC), has been hired as Interim Artistic Director for the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus (BGMC) for 2015.
The first ever openly Gay person to lead BGMC since it’s start in
2001, Martin has led the 70-voice chorus in several rehearsals, including two nights of auditions for new members. The Tennessee native is preparing the group, which is open to both Gay and Straight men, for three Holiday concerts of “Believe” set for Dec. 11, 12 and 13.
“I’m proud to be the first Gay individual to serve in this position and thankful Abigail Rockwood, Associate Organist and Choirmaster of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, is our current Accompanist.”
“We’re rehearsing a well-balanced program of classical and pop selections sure to please a broad range of fans,” said Martin. The “Believe” repertoire includes such classics as Beethoven’s “Hallelujah” and Faure’s “Cantique de Jean Racine” to melodic Stroope’s “Homage” and Thompson’s “Stopping by Woods On a Snowy Evening.” Film Composers Alan Menken’s “Seize the Day” and Alan Silvestri’s “Believe,” the concert series theme, also will be featured.
Martin, who has served at WPC since 2013, directs and manages the congregation’s five choirs. He also coordinates Westminster Choir School, plans worship, oversees the maintenance of two historic Aeolian-Skinner organs and five Steinway grand pianos, as well as working with the “Westminster Presents” series and visiting artists. Martin conducts and plays all weekly worship and special services alongside his organ scholar.
Only 29, Martin has served churches in Tennessee, Florida and Texas. He holds a Performer’s Certificate in Organ and Accompanying from Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and a Master of Music degree in Sacred Music and Organ Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Martin also earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Church Music and Organ Performance from Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN. As a concert artist, he is exclusively managed by JSE Artist Management in South Africa.
Gino Drake, Martin’s partner, has worked with the Austin Children’s Chorus (ACC) for several years, beginning when Martin served as ACC’s Artistic Director, and is the CEO of an independent staffing firm. They have been together for five years.
“We’re very fortunate to have a person of Martin’s musical experience to be with our chorus,” said Rob Egan, BGMC President. “There’s a new enthusiasm in the group and many former singers have returned. It’s going to be a great season.”


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