Our History

Originally known as the Des Moines Men’s Chorus from 1985 to 1992, the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus (DMGMC) reorganized in 2001 under the guidance of Artistic Director and Conductor, Dr. Randal A. Buikema. In 2005, the chorus found new leadership under Dr. Rebecca Gruber, the current Artistic Director and Conductor.

The chorus has an extensive history of performances and honors. Newly reformed, the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus gave its first performance in May 2001, thanks to the dedication of supportive members of the community. The chorus now presents a three-concert season and performs at various events in the community.

Chorus Highlights


Concert sponsorship from the Meredith Corp. Diversity Group for SOUNDS WITHOUT BOUNDS

Holds Chorus Fundraiser EAT. DRINK. SING. – showcasing fine chefs in private homes

DMGMC performs with main stage act, Gloom Balloon, at the 80/35 Music Festival. An estimated crowd of 30,000 attend(s) the festival each year. (Question about subject-verb agreement here)


Collaborates with Simpson College Women’s Chorale

Celebrity performer Miss Richfield 1981 hosts the BIG GAY SING

Celebrates the anniversary of Walnut Hills UMC becoming a reconciling congregation


DMGMC and harMENy sing performances at the GALA Festival 2012 in Denver, CO

Transitions to online ticketing and produces a CD

Performs at the Roosevelt High School Pride celebration


Celebrates the anniversary of Varnum v Brien with MUSIC FOR A CHANGE and a judges’ forum

10th anniversary celebration Eos by David Conte, and Dr. Randal A. Buikema (founding Artistic Director and Conductor) guest conducting repertoire from the inaugural concert.


Performs in the Des Moines Social Club and Capitol Hill Lutheran Church

Concert in Grinnell, IA benefitting the food pantry

Performs A NIGHT AT THE OPERA with the Des Moines Community Orchestra


For the first time, sings at a same-sex wedding ceremony

Debuts first cabaret-style program, HOW SWEET IT IS!

DMGMC’s small ensemble harMENy, (men in harmony) debuts with Ben Hagen, director

Collaborates with Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble in a holiday concert


Performs for the Hoover High School/Meredith Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance

Commissions “In Our America,” by composer Ben Allaway

Performs a program advocating marriage equality at GALA Festival 2008 in Miami, FL


Performs at Governor Chet Culver and Lt. Governor Patty Judge Inauguration Ceremony

Joint concert with Minnesota’s GLBTA chorus, One Voice Mixed Chorus


Dr. Rebecca Gruber appointed Artistic Director and Conductor

Performs for the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, keynote speaker President Bill Clinton


Joint concert with the Des Moines Symphony, Westminster Church Oratorio Choir, and Iowa Youth Chorus under the direction of German conductor Markus Huber


Performs at Governor Tom Vilsack and Lt. Governor Sally Pederson Inauguration Ceremony

Performs for the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, keynote speaker Hillary Rodham Clinton


The Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus establishes itself under the guidance of Dr. Randal A. Buikema

DMGMC gives its first performance at Cottage Grove Presbyterian Church