A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 25, 2021
Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (marching band)

The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps was founded in 1979 as the New York Gay Community Marching Band by Nancy Corporon (music director) and Bob Wolff (general manager). The name change to “Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps” occurred in 1983. The band’s logo features a red “Big Apple,” the skyline of New York City, and an LGBT rainbow.

“At the time (1979—ed.) it was only the third such band in the United States,” the band’s website states. “Today, The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps is New York City’s premier symphonic and marching band.”


Wikipedia: Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (LGBAC) is a community band based in New York City. Founded on September 24, 1979 as the New York Gay Community Marching Band, LGBAC is the third-oldest community band in the United States dedicated to serving the LGBT community.

Mission
The mission of LGBAC is to provide the lesbian and gay community with a supportive and friendly environment for musical and artistic expression and, through performance, to promote social acceptance, equality, and harmony for all. Membership is all-inclusive, predominantly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer, and the band welcomes heterosexual players as well.

The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps—About Us
In 1979, ten years after the Stonewall riots, New York City’s gay band was born.
At the time it was only the third such band in the United States. The spark for this novel idea came at the same time as the First National March on Washington, D.C. As New Yorkers prepared for the rally, two gay musicians, Nancy Corporon and Bob Wolff, had a dream of their own, inspired by Jon Sims, a San Francisco musician credited with founding the gay band movement. With Jon’s help, Nancy and Bob were soon posting flyers all over Christopher Street asking musicians to get their instruments out of the closet and join the ranks of a very special new band. Only one year later, that band would become the first openly gay and lesbian musical organization to perform at Lincoln Center.

Today, The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps is New York City’s premier symphonic and marching band.

18 October 1979, The Advocate (Los Angeles, CA), “NYC Gay Band Seeks A Place, Players” by Scott P. Anderson, pg. 11, col. 1:
The newly formed New York Gay Community Marching Band needs space to rehearse in, musicians to play, and nonmusicians to help produce concerts and other band events. The band’s first performances are slated for November and December.
(...)
The purpose of the band, according to music director Nancy Corporon, is to provide a context in which women and men, gay and straight, accomplished and untrained, can come together to make music under professional leadership with an emphasis on service to the gay community and to the community-at-large.

For further information call or write Robert Wolff, General Manager, New York Gay Community Marching Band, c/o National Gay Task Force, 80 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011; (212) 741-5800.

Newspapers.com
30 June 1980, Daily News (New York, NY), “12,000 gays march in parade for rights” by Donald Flynn, pg. 10, col. 3:
The New York City Gay Community Marching Band headed the parade, which was sponsored by the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee.

Newspapers.com
12 February 1983, Newsday (Long Island, NY), pt. 2, pg. 18, col. 3:
Garden City—Big Apple Corps marching band and Stonewall Chorale, 3 PM. Adelphi University Center, benefit for State Gay and Lesbian Lobby sponsored by LI Gay and Lesbian Coalition, $7.50.

YouTube
Wake Me Up
Jun 3, 2014
Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Band
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps at Queens Pride, 2014!

YouTube
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Performing Uptown Funk
Jul 2, 2016
Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Band
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Performing Uptown Funk at the Heritage of Pride March in New York City, June 26, 2016

YouTube
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band - Dancing Queen
May 18, 2019
Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Band
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band performing Dancing Queen at New Hope Celebrates! Pride! May 18, 2019

Daily Beast
Pride May Be Canceled, but This LGBTQ Marching Band Plays On
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps marching band was due to be playing a number of Prides this summer. Then coronavirus happened. Now they’re taking their triumphant sound online.

Matt Alesevich
Updated Jun. 22, 2020 10:33AM ET / Published Jun. 19, 2020 4:20PM ET
A year ago, 160 members of the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps (LGBAC), New York’s oldest LGBTQ marching band, eagerly waited at the start line of the World Pride 50 parade in New York.
(...)
Founded by musicians Nancy Corporan and Bob Wolff in 1979 as the New York Gay Community Marching Band (the name changed in 1983), the two recruited members by setting up card tables and chatting up passersby in Sheridan Square in Manhattan’s West Village. To advertise, they posted flyers with the tagline “Get your instrument out of the closet” around Greenwich Village coffee shops.

Facebook
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps
November 26, 2020 at 11:55 AM ·
Thankful. For the perseverance and creativity and vision of our founders, Nancy Corporon and Bob Wolff in 1979, and of our magnificent Artistic Director Marita Begley, pushing us since 1982. Thankful for every Apple who has ever carried an instrument or flag or banner or water bottle, from 1979 through the future we look forward to, for every parade-goer who has cheered us on in sun and heat and rain and wind, for every tireless advocate for the LGBTQ+ community who has pushed for visibility and representation, for all of you. For the families and friends we’ve made in our band community. For the opportunity to share our love and joy with the whole world. So very thankful, every minute of every day of the year.

YouTube
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band performing “September!”
Jun 20, 2021
Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Band
The Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band performing “September” at our Pop-Up-Concert at the AIDS Memorial on June 19, 2021.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Friday, June 25, 2021 • Permalink