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Amazing Board of Directors

James Dahlen

SGMC President

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Chief of the Program and Compliance Bureau, California Department of Tax and Fee Administration

James brings more than 25 years of career management experience. Currently, he serves as Chief of the Program and Compliance Bureau in the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. James has been involved in community LGBTQ+ organizations and initiatives over many years, previously serving as a board member and treasurer of All God's Children Metropolitan Community Church in Minneapolis for seven years. Prior to being involved in SGMC, James was a member of the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. He brings a unique musical perspective to the board, having studied music in college and performing most of his life.

James is passionate about the work SGMC undertakes and how SGMC can benefit the larger community. He believes strongly that fighting for equality for all marginalized groups is essential and goes hand in hand with the SGMC mission. James grew up in a very small farming community in North Dakota but now lives in Midtown with his husband Josh and two dogs, Cooper and Ashton.

James Tokuno

Vice President

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Food and Beverage Manager, Riverboat Delta King

James has more than 25 years of experience as a banquet and catering manager. From that experience, he brings event planning and execution skills along with organizing, scheduling, logistics, and conflict resolution skills. In his time with SGMC, he has assisted in organizing the annual Spaghetti Dinner, Crescendo Gala, and Crabaret. He has also served as the volunteer coordinator for Lazy Bear Week in Guerneville, California, an annual fundraising event that raises about $8,000 for SGMC.

James has known about SGMC for many years. In May 2015, he attended the Milestones concert at the Memorial Auditorium. Shortly after, SGMC members invited James to a piano bar at Sidetrax in Midtown and convinced him to join in September 2015.

James is most passionate about singing and giving back to the Sacramento community through song. He believes music is a gateway to the soul and can bring people together under any circumstance. James believes he inherited his musical talent from his grandfather, a self-taught guitar and accordion player. James can memorize music just by listening to a song continuously for a few hours. He says the lyrics take a little longer.

In 1980, James’s high school band was selected to represent California in a special 50 state band concert conducted by Meredith Wilson for President Ronald Reagan in Washington D.C. When they landed, the students received the news that President Reagan had been shot.

Shell Mercurio

Treasurer

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Director of Finance, California State Railroad Museum Foundation

Shell brings 30 years of government finance and eight years of nonprofit finance experience to the organization and her position as Treasurer. Shell was drawn to SGMC after attending several performances and becoming personal friends with several members. She does not sing, at least not well, but there is something about being enveloped in a roomful of song that lifts her spirits and feeds her soul. Being very grateful for where her life has led her, she finds being involved in a service capacity to an organization that celebrates people for who they are uplifting and gratifying.

Shell serves as the Director of Finance for the California State Railroad Museum Foundation. Having been released from the constrictions of working for a government organization, Shell loves the ability to dress casually for work and change the color of her hair on a whim.

Andrew Gibout

Secretary

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Tax Representative, California Department of Tax and Fee Administration

Having begun as a singing member, taking a break, and then returning to SGMC, Andrew had the opportunity to see several different sides of the overall organization and how SGMC operates. Andrew received his Bachelor’s in Theatre from Albright College and has collaborated with numerous arts organizations on their business and artistic operations. Andrew also brings several years in sales and marketing to the table to help with the financial logistics and branding that the SGMC audience loves.

To Andrew, SGMC is more than just a top-notch performing arts organization. It is a force for social justice, equality, social progress, and growth. He has seen people transform from their association with SGMC, whether as singers, musicians, volunteers, friends, audience members, or supporters. SGMC makes its community more whole and more human in the work it creates.

Manuel del Alto

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President, Real Estate

Manny moved to Sacramento in 2020 and couldn’t be happier. He joined SGMC in 2021 as a singing member. He quickly realized the significance of the organization in bringing together diverse segments of the Sacramento community. He is a teacher by profession, having taught Spanish at the University of California, Irvine, where he earned a Ph.D. As President of a small real estate organization, he brings to SGMC a strong skillset related to administration, budgeting, legal compliance, human resources, and communications. He is married and has two adopted children.  

Don Henkle

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Executive Retail Manager, West Marine

Don has been active in SGMC since 2019. a firm believer in diversity, equality, community, and a free speech advocate. Don has had previous board experience. Don served as a Board Chair for the LGBT Center in Las Vegas, NV, currently is Board Chair for Access Sacramento, and served as a member of the City of Sacramento Animal Care Advisory Committee.  

Don has been employed as an Executive Retail Manager for 40! years and counting. Don holds an AA in Vocal Performance from the University of Arizona.

David LaBarre

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Learning & Development Manager, The Wine Group

David brings ten years of human resources experience to the SGMC board of directors. Originally from Pennsylvania, he has a bachelor’s in music education (Choral Concentration) from West Chester University and master’s in Human Resources and Employment Relations from Penn State University. He spent six years working for Amazon as an HR Business Partner and Manager in several of their fulfillment centers, and in his last role at Amazon supported North America Customer Fulfillment as the lead for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), developing DEI goals, strategy, and learning and development. Currently, David is the Learning & Development Manager for The Wine Group. Prior to joining SGMC, David was involved with the Pennsylvania Theatre of Performing Arts in Hazleton, PA performing in roles such as Angel in RENT, and was an active singer and board member of The Camerata Singers in Allentown, PA.

David moved to California in 2018 with his husband Steven and two cats: Marius and Lestat. David’s hobbies include riding his Peloton bike, exploring different wine regions in California, playing piano, singing, and enjoying a glass of wine while watching the latest Marvel or Star Wars Disney+ series.

David’s passion for singing and giving back to communities through music lead him to join SGMC in the Fall of 2021. Since joining, SGMC has been so much more than that: the enthusiasm and uniqueness each member brings and the love and support for all within the chorus make David proud to be a part of this chorus family. He is honored to help SGMC foster pride and enhance lives, one song at a time.

Delta Pick Mello

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Executive Director, Sacramento History Alliance

Delta has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit management of cultural institutions. She has managed large-scale local events such as the Sacramento Zoo's Wild Affair and the California State Railroad Museum Foundation's Polar Express.  She is experienced in membership and donor management, as well as working with cultural and corporate sponsors to achieve mutual goals.  Delta also brings with her a background in theatrical production and performance. She is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento.

Delta feels that performance groups like SGMC can help to unite and bring joy to our community. The chorus also serves its membership by creating a support system and creative outlet for its members – many of whom may feel marginalized by society.  SGMC offers members an opportunity to express themselves through singing and a circle of friends that support them through life. Delta is a professional storyteller, performing for children and families at libraries, museums, and festivals.  She is also an amateur tap dancer.

Carol H. Paskulin

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President, Sacramento Women’s Chorus

Carol H. Paskulin is currently President of the Sacramento Women’s Chorus. She is thrilled to be a member of the SGMC Board and is delighted to be involved in a new and more active collaboration between the two choruses. Carol has served at the helm of several school-based parent groups and enjoys volunteering in a capacity that encourages understanding, cooperation, and empowerment. She currently substitute teaches and volunteers at Capital Public Radio.

Carol has been singing since Ms. La Fortune’s 4th grade holiday program and currently sings Alto 2 with the SWC. Among her hobbies are dressing the chorus, playing piano badly, watching entirely too much British crime drama, reading entirely too much crime drama, and adopting badly behaved cats. Raised in South Sacramento, Carol has lived in 21 cities from Montreal to Los Angeles. She currently lives with husband Marc, one dog and three cats in the wilds of Auburn.  She has three adult daughters and one son-in-law.

The Sacramento Gay Men’s chorus brings such love and joy to our community, and the support it gives marginalized people is phenomenal!

Talbott Smith

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Deputy Director, California Employment Development Department, Retired

Talbott is a long-time supporter, donor, and volunteer for SGMC. This is Talbott’s second time serving on the SGMC Board of Directors. During his hiatus from the board, Talbott continued to support SGMC, serving on the Artistic Director Search/Hiring Committee and Board Development Committee and participating in the most recent effort to update the SGMC Bylaws. He also assists with fundraising activities, welcoming members to rehearsals, ushering, and backstage support at concerts. Talbott retired in 2012 after a 38-year career with the California Employment Development Department, where he began working at age 20 and last served as a Deputy Director. Talbott currently serves on the City of Sacramento’s Ann Land and Bertha Henschel Memorial Fund Commission, to which he was appointed by the City Council in 2018. This fund provides grants to local non-profits to assist homeless and destitute individuals in the City of Sacramento. His extensive leadership and governance experience has made him an asset to the SGMC. Talbott is a lifelong singer and comes from a family with many generations of musicians and music educators. Although he has never been a singing member of the SGMC, the chorus has provided many years of enjoyment and opportunities for him to give back to the LGTBQ+ community. He has also cultivated many friendships through the chorus. The SGMC continues to inspire Talbott through its ability to create an extraordinary sense of family, offering an open, inclusive, and supportive environment to those who want to share their talents by joining together in song and providing the community with high-quality and entertaining performances of TTBB literature.

Our Staff

Lynda Walls

SGMC Executive Director

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SGMC Executive Director

Lynda brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management experience to her position with SGMC. She has served in various capacities with several organizations, including membership director, marketing director, and development director. Her responsibilities have also included volunteer management, event management, public relations, and financial oversight of programs, projects, events, and organizations. Lynda has served on several nonprofit boards, including time as president of the Old City Cemetery Committee and the Sacramento Area Museums association. Lynda also has a history of volunteer activism with LGBTQ+ organizations beginning in the early 1980s during the aids crisis doing everything from envelope stuffing to organizing marches. Although most of her volunteer work over the years has been around HIV/Aids Awareness, she also has a passion for supporting the unhoused and hungry in our communities.

Lynda completed her undergraduate work at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where she earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts with a focus on performance arts management, marketing, and audio and video production. Up until the late '90s, her early career was as an independent band manager, promoter, and producer on the club circuits and in small studios in Olympia and Seattle, Washington. In 2012, she earned a Master of Public Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management, emphasizing nonprofit management.

Lynda’s passion for SGMC stems from her love of music and former activism with the LGBTQ+ community. When asked what she feels is the biggest strength of SGMC, she quickly states, “Definitely the members—their bond with each other, their commitment to the chorus, and their incredible ability to welcome everyone truly making this organization feel like a family.” Although Lynda’s job description focuses on the administrative aspects of running a nonprofit organization, her background in working with young, developing musicians ensures that she always has the best interests of the singers as a top priority.

Christian Bohm

Artistic Director

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Artistic Director

Christian is a musical director, pianist, and vocal coach whose three-decade career has spanned the worlds of Broadway, cabaret, and choral music. He is delighted to be at the helm of the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus. Christian spent 5 years as the principal accompanist and assistant conductor for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus where he served as a vocal coach and accompanist to Alan Cumming, Rita Moreno, Sharon Gless and many other guest artists.

Christian has devoted his talents to many seasons at Sacramento’s Broadway At Music Circus as a singer/actor, rehearsal accompanist and pit musician. This fall, he begins his 27th year as a high school music teacher, specializing in chorus and music theory. He has traveled with his choruses to Italy, Paris, Israel, London, and across the United States winning festivals and competitions along the way.

Christian has a strong passion for social justice and equality but fostering the love and understanding of choral music is his main ethos and vocation in life.

Heather Waid

Principal Accompanist

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Principal Accompanist

Heather Waid is a highly sought-after pianist and vocalist, known particularly for her exceptional collaborative skills. Born in Sacramento, she received Master of Fine Arts degrees in both Collaborative Piano Performance and Vocal Performance from Notre Dame de Namur University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities & Religious Studies with a minor in Music from California State University, Sacramento. Heather has previously studied piano with Dr. Lorna Peters and Pat Constantine, collaborative piano with Daniel Lockert, organ with Rexphil Rallanka, voice with Dr. Lee Strawn, and vocal coaching with Louise Costigan-Kerns. Heather is the artistic director and co-founder of the Empire Arts Collective Pop Choir for which she both conducts and arranges music. In addition to this, she co-hosts the Music Untapped podcast with fellow musician Chris Langton. She has been the interim Crescendo/ Dolce Ensembles Director for the Sacramento Children’s Chorus and is currently their accompanist, as well as the accompanist for Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento. Heather maintains a private piano and voice studio, and also composes and arranges music.

Contact Us

2111 J Street, #275
Sacramento, CA 95816
info@sacgaymenschorus.org

A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization Tax ID Number: 68-0234567
© 2020 Sacramento Gay Men's Chorus.

2111 J Street, #275
Sacramento, CA 95816
info@sacgaymenschorus.org
877-283-1567