Tyler Clementi’s Story to Be Told by SF Gay Men’s Chorus in Musical Suite

On March 25th, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus will premiere a series of songs, "Tyler's Suite," celebrating the life of Tyler Clementi (right). The college student was himself a musician before his suicide in 2010, which in turn prompted a great deal of national discussion surrounding the issue of LGBT youth and bullying.

ClementiThe musical piece will be comprised of multiple movements written by some of today's great composers, including Stephen Schwartz, and is being presented as part of a larger performance titled "Luster: An American Songbook."

BroadwayWorld.com reports:

"As a soundtrack of American life during the time of the Great Depression and two world wars, the American Songbook consists of timeless music that translated positive values and an optimistic spirit," says [Artistic Director Dr. Timothy] Seelig. "The Chorus continues that tradition, presenting a new set of songs by today's premier American composers, offering hope and bringing to light the important cultural issues of today through the story of Tyler Clementi."

With the help of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, SFGMC commissioned a musical work that will add eight new songs to the soundtrack that is the American Songbook of the 21st century, honoring the memory of a beloved son, brother and friend. "Tyler's Suite" creates a new story of inclusion, dignity and acceptance for other youth and their families, through a musical experience that inspires community, activism and compassion. The story is one of hope and encouragement to families everywhere.

Other composers involved in the project include "John Bucchino, Ann Hampton Callaway, Craig Carnelia, John Corigliano, Nolan Gasser, Jake Heggie, Lance Horne, and Pamela Stewart." The piece will also be performed by gay men's choruses in Chicago, Los Angeles, NYC, San Diego, Dallas, and Seattle.

Visit the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus website for tickets and more information.


  1. will says

    This sounds mocking & morbid. I’d much rather see a contemporary HBO comedy-drama of his life giving us a fuller view — a modern story set at Rutgers University of how we live now, a conflicted guy making his first attempts at coming out, but also showing us a lighter, idiosyncratic side. A “musical suite” sounds like a dull tribute at best and unconsciously mocking and opportunistic at worst.

  2. Bob says

    With the Foundation involved.. will the work be honest?
    Will they show how Tyler felt so rejected by his mother that he did not stop at the house to see his parents, as he passed close by on his way to thrown himself off the bridge, or will they make the self-centered roommate the sole villian?

  3. Zell says

    This poor kid was so embarrassed that he was filmed having gay sex that he killed himself. Now the entire country knows, and we just won’t let it go. Yes, it’s a terrible tragedy, but Tyler Clementi would be absolutely mortified at this, and rightfully so.

    Also, I can’t help thinking that he had other problems besides just the video. Generally people who commit suicide have a host of issues, it doesn’t just stem from one incident (there are exceptions). We should let this man rest in peace.

  4. Calvin says

    You all have clearly never heard some of the great tribute pieces to come out of the GLBT Choral movement. Yes, it is a sad topic, but there is nothing “mocking” about it (Come on, you really think the oldest Gay Men’s Chorus, many members who lived in SF during the early years of the AIDS crisis, under the direction of Tim Seelig, who was thrown out of his own church for being gay, aren’t capable of using music to pay tribute to our fallen brethren? Do you think the only things Gay Men’s Choruses perform are drag numbers and Show Tunes? You need to get out more.)

    SFGMC has commissioned numerous works relating to important social issues of our time, often leaving their audiences in tears but also charged to go out and make a difference. It is wonderful that Tyler (who BTW did not “think it better to be dead than be gay”; it was the humiliation ad harassment by his roommate that pushed him over the edge, not simply his own sexuality) will be forever memorialized in a musical work.

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