In five years, the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida has grown to over one-hundred-and-fifty men and has put into practice their commitment to inspiring through song. Beginning in September 2010 as the dream of a few men who wanted to sing in a chorus, GMCSF continues to realize that dream and fulfill it in ways that can only be considered extraordinary. Director of Development Michael Mendillo is new to the GMCSF team and new to South Florida. We had the opportunity to chat with him about what he did before moving, the exciting things happening in 2016 for GMCSF, and his goals as Director of Development for the New Year.
KACALA: Where are you from?
Mendillo: I am originally from Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
K: What did you do before relocating to South Florida?
M: I received an undergraduate and a graduate degree in voice from the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester Virginia. For the past two years, I was Box Office Manager as well as working in donor relations and marketing for the conservatory. I also interned in Synchronization and Licensing for film and television at BMG Chrysalis in New York City.
K: What are some exciting things happening with the Gay Men’s Chorus in 2016?
M: The GMCSF has concerts in March, June, and December in addition to a few other cabarets and performances by our smaller ensemble Tropical Wave. We are thrilled to have received a grant from the Knight Foundation, in partnership with Island City Stage and Stonewall Museum. The chorus will also be traveling to Denver to participate in the GALA festival. The chorus also has a Magic of Music Fundraising Brunch on Sunday, January 17 at Pier 66, including performances by Tropical Wave and fantastic live and silent auction items.
K: What are some of your goals as Director of Development?
M: As Director of Development, I am hoping to raise more funds so the chorus can continue to do their work in the community, give high quality concerts, as well as increase their impact in South Florida. It is my hope that I am able to help bring the audience and donors closer to the work in a meaningful way. The chorus has done an exceptional job and I am thrilled to be working with these incredibly talented men.
K: What do you love so far about South Florida?
M: I love the people. Everyone here has been so incredibly kind and welcoming. As someone who moved here not knowing anyone, I already feel I have an incredible support system and I am happy to be a part of the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida’s family.