MenAlive — Orange County Gay Men's Chorus was founded in September 2001 by Rich Cook with 13 singers.
Today, wIth more than 130 members and a support team of 50 plus volunteers, MenAlive has grown into one of Orange County's largest choruses as well as an active and respected partner in Southern California's arts scene.
MenAlive is more than Arts and Entertainment. We promote understanding and acceptance for the LGBT community, countering the fear and discrimination that threatens all of society, especially youth. We do this through the love of performance, community outreach and friendship.
The Chorus is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization.
The Mission Statement of MenAlive, below, has been the guiding philosophy of the Chorus since the first year of its founding:
Through music, men's voices unite to entertain, inform, bring healing, joy, friendship and build bridges to the public at large.
MenAlive's shows are much more than just "choral performances." They are full productions that can combine song, dance, and theatrics to create shows of enormous popular appeal for all ages and backgrounds. The Chorus performs a wide range of musical styles including classical, jazz, gospel, traditional, contemporary, and popular.
The Chorus presents a three-concert series each season using mostly our home theatre, the Irvine Barclay Theatre in Irvine, California. At times, for very special shows, we have also used both the main Segerstrom Theater and the Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
Several major and noted guest stars have joined MenAlive in performance over the years, including Liza Minnelli, Michael Feinstein, Debbie Reynolds, Sam Harris and Broadway legend Bernadette Peters.
Our current Artistic Director, Bob Gunn was selected by a search committee in 2014 to suceed Rich Cook. Bob is a founding member of MenAlive, and served as Assistant Director since early 2002. A professional musician with more than 25 years of experience, Bob holds a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance, Music Theory and Education from Azusa Pacific University.
Bob's comprehensive musical career includes experience as pianist, keyboardist, singer, producer, conductor, arranger, orchestrator and even recording artist. After graduating college, Bob spent years on the road performing with several rock groups. Today, Bob and his partner reside in Aliso Viejo.
Artistic Director Emeritus
Rich Cook, founder of MenAlive, has been the Artistic Director since the Chorus' inception in 2001. Cook is an experienced director who came to MenAlive and the gay choral family via the Christian/Gospel music world. His background includes serving as musical director/artistic director for several large Christian ministries, including Pat Robertson's Political Rallies, Trinity Broadcasting (TBN), and Melodyland in Anaheim, California. He also served on the Gospel Music Association's Board of Directors. Besides being a skilled director, Rich is also an accomplished ASCAP and BMI composer with numerous published songs and works.
MenAlive has released one CD, "Curtain Up! Light the Lights" in 2006. This celebration of Broadway showstoppers includes many of best-loved tunes from the Great White Way, from such classics as The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, to such current blockbusters as The Lion King and Wicked.