Harvey Milk | News | San Francisco

Founding Member of SF Gay Men's Chorus Recalls Harvey Milk's Death at 34th Anniversary Vigil: VIDEO


As many of you know, yesterday was the anniversary of Harvey Milk's assassination 34 years ago. Last night there was a candelit vigil to mark it in San Francisco's Castro district. Activist and videographer Sean Chapin sent along a touching video about his legacy.

Chapin writes:

The video follows an original chorus member (Robert Rufo) who was at the chorus' first-ever public appearance, which was at the candlelight vigil on the steps of City Hall the night when Harvey Milk was assassinated.  Robert Rufo remembers what it was like that night, and how the chorus has been living the legacy of Harvey Milk since then over the last 34 years.  The video shows Robert Rufo and the SF Gay Men's Chorus sining at the 34th anniversary memorial service and marching with candles to the Castro. 

Speakers at the memorial service last night included Supervisor Scott Weiner, Harvey Milk's campaign manager Anne Kronenberg, Mayor Ed Lee, former Mayor Willie Brown, George Moscone's son Jonathan Moscone, California State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Supervisor David Campos and Harvey Milk's nephew Stuart Milk.  The song/recording in the video is "Thou Lord Our Refuge", which the chorus sung that night at City Hall when Harvey Milk left us in 1978, as re-arranged by chorus member Edwin Morales and performed earlier this year in 2012.  The chorus in June 2013 will be premiering a landmark concert called Harvey Milk 2013, Living The Legacy.


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  1. That guy looks like Spike from Buffy.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Nov 28, 2012 3:49:18 PM

  2. He's a very nice guy. Not many original members are left.

    Posted by: CJ | Nov 28, 2012 4:45:56 PM

  3. "The video shows Robert Rufo and the SF Gay Men's Chorus sining at the 34th anniversary memorial service,,," I'm not sure where "sin" enters into this story. One mans sin is another man's fetish?

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Nov 28, 2012 7:11:10 PM

  4. They were sine-ing, not sin-ing. I can tell you from personal observation that some of those guys have a big hypotenuse.

    Posted by: CJ | Nov 28, 2012 8:57:22 PM

  5. I remember Robert well, he also used to twirl a baton in front of the S.F. Gay Chorus at Gay Day Parades. I used to live across the street from a house they used to do their practice on Duboce just down from Alpine Terrace. Their voices filled the air like a summer fog.

    Since the early 70s, there were many groups forming, like the Gay Community Softball League, that was the first of it's kind in the country. There were Clog dancers and gay wrestlers. That was the beauty of the 70s, we found things to do other then just go to gay bars and the baths. The early days of the chorus put on many shows at various times of the year. It's nice to know they are still entertaining the "troops!" Thank you Gay Chorus, and of course Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone who opened so many doors and closed closet doors forever in S.F. and beyond.

    For us pioneers of the Castro it's a reminder of how far we have come,on our march for equality and human rights under our Rainbow banners, with politicians, athletes, entertainers, and dreamers. We did overcome!

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | Nov 29, 2012 4:21:03 AM

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