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May 18th, 2005 Meg Daly | News Stories
 

Swan Song for Gay Men's Chorus Director

Chorus chief leaves after less than a year.

     
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The executive director of the Portland Gay Men's Chorus is leaving after less than a year, citing conflict on the board of directors as a key reason.

"The kind of leadership I wanted to offer and what the organization needed at this time didn't match,'' now-former director Tomi Douglas wrote last week in an email to chorus members. "The recent dissent in the board that you've all been witness to is the best example of this.

Incoming board president Dale Clinton refused to talk about Douglas' May 12 resignation or her email beyond saying her departure saddened him.

The 25-year-old chorus will install an interim director while searching for a permanent replacement.

When asked if Douglas' being straight and female proved a problem with board members, Clinton said, "The chorus is going to look for the best candidate to lead us in the direction we need to go. It really won't matter what their gender is."

Douglas, 31, declined to elaborate on her email, and several board members also refused comment.

Douglas, a recent WW intern, was the marketing and sales manager for Portland Center Stage from 1999 to 2002. She became director of the New York City gay men's chorus in 2003 before returning to Portland to replace Tony Stroh, who had led the Portland chorus for about three years.

Douglas, who will be marketing director for Oregon Children's Theatre, wrote that she had seen the Portland chorus as a tremendous opportunity, but that "in the past year and especially recently I've realized it just isn't going to work."

 
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