After a three-year hiatus, Jadine Louie, Best of the Bay winner for music education, returns to take the podium as Artistic Director/Conductor of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, the first openly LGBT community music group in the world.
“Jadine has been the band’s longest serving Artistic Director,” says Blair Barrett, president of the Band’s board of directors. “During the time she has been away from us she has picked up new skills and insights, which will energize the band and take us to the next level.”
Dubbed both the “perfect deadpan” and “spiritual center” of the Dance-Along Nutcracker by the San Francisco Chronicle, Ms. Louie served as Artistic Director of SFLGFB from 1996 to 2006, longer than any other director in the Band’s 31-year history. During her tenure, the Band was named the Official Band of the City of San Francisco by the Board of Supervisors, performing more than 40 community concerts, 10 Pride Concerts and hundreds of parades, civic and community events. In addition to programming the Band’s 20th and 25th anniversary concerts, Louie transformed the Band’s nationally renowned Dance-Along Nutcracker from a concert with dancing into an outrageous variety show, featuring guest performers, professional dancers and program themes. She returned to the podium last June to guest conduct the Band at the 2008 Pride Concert celebrating the Band’s 30th anniversary and again in December to guest conduct the 2008 Dance-Along Nutcracker.
“I spent the last few years studying performance psychology, and now that I’ve completed that program, I realized that training would complement my work with the Band perfectly,” says Louie. “I’m thrilled to be back and am honored the musicians and the board selected me.”
Louie watched the Band’s first performance in the 1978 Pride parade perched in a tree near the main library. She was music director of two orchestras at the age of twenty-one, earned an engineering degree, and worked in the building trades before joining the Band and pursuing a fulltime profession in music. Louie is known among band members for her love of contemporary wind ensemble music and among audience members and students for her ability to make musical ideas accessible to all. She has been recognized for her work converting audiences to the cause of music as a vital component of community life as the Bay Guardian’s 2003 Best Justification for Music in the Public Schools and as 2002 Honorary Grand Marshall of the SF Pride Celebration. She was honored by the State Assembly and San Francisco Board of Supervisors at the end of her tenure with the Band in 2005. Ms. Louie shared the podium conducting the massed band of the Lesbian Gay Band Association (LGBA) at Gay Games V in Chicago and with composer Frank Ticheli at the 2005 LGBA conference in Palm Springs. Other past conducting/coaching credits include All-City Honor Orchestra, SF Recreation Symphony, Symphonic Tornado, Swingfever Big Band, Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic, Golden Gate Opera, Oakland Civic Orchestra, Community Women’s Orchestra, and Prometheus Symphony.