San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band Launches Commission Program Targeting BIPOC Composers

San Francisco, CA, September 1, 2021 — The San Francisco Lesbian Gay/Freedom Band, the Official Band of the City and County of San Francisco, is excited to launch its first composition commission program specifically targeting composers belonging to the Black, Indigenous, and Person of Color (BIPOC) community. The finished composition, scheduled to premiere in May 2023, is part of the band’s ongoing program to build diversity in every aspect of the organization.

“The Wind Band repertoire, and classical music at large, needs a greater diversity in voices,” says Pete Nowlen, Artistic Director of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Concert Band. “Our mission calls for us to foster understanding among diverse communities through our musical performance. Once complete, this composition will be available to other ensembles to perform. I’m excited that, through this commission, we can contribute to diversifying the voices available to wind bands around the world.”

First announced last year, the BIPOC Commission Program was largely funded by generous individual donations made at the band’s annual Dance-Along Nutcracker® in December 2020, with nearly 700 individuals donating a median of $20.

“The enthusiasm from our audience for the BIPOC Commission Program was overwhelming,” says Andrea Nguyen, Co-President of the band. “We blew past our donation target almost immediately. It’s clear that our audience agrees with us that we need more diverse voices composing music for the Concert Band community.”

The commissioned composition will additionally be provided as a gift to the over 30 member organizations of Pride Bands Alliance (formerly the Lesbian and Gay Band Association).

Composers interested in applying for the BIPOC Commission Program have until November 1, 2021 to complete the application. The complete schedule can be found below, and more information, including how to apply, is available at

Application schedule

  • November 1, 2021 — Request for Qualifications Due
  • December 1, 2021 — Request for Proposal sent to selected composers
  • February 15, 2022 — Proposals Due
  • March 31, 2022 — Composer Selected
  • January 1, 2023 — Composition completed
  • May 2023 — Premiere of composition


Brandon Moss & Alejandro Rios, Directors of Marketing
San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band

About the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band

The San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band is the first openly-gay musical organization in the world, inspiring the formation of LGBTQIA+ bands, choruses and performing groups around the globe. Founded in 1978 by Jon Sims at the height of Anita Bryant’s anti-gay crusade, the Band has made music to build understanding among communities of all sexual orientations and identities for more than four decades. In 2018, in honor of its 40th anniversary, the Band was named the Official Band of the City and County of San Francisco by the City’s Supervisors and Mayor London Breed. The Concert Band’s next performance will be Saturday, September 25, at the Golden Gate Park Bandshell. For more information, visit