Sims, Jon Reed (1947–1984)
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Jon Reed Sims, American conductor, teacher, and founder of several gay and lesbian instrumental and vocal ensembles, was born in Smith Center, Kansas. He studied piano (from 1957) and horn, and was drum major of his high school band. He attended Wichita State University (B. Mus. in horn and B.A. in theory and composition, 1969), and Indiana University (M. Mus. in horn, 1972). He studied widely, including eurythmics at the Dalcroze School, New York; arts administration at Golden Gate University, San Francisco; dance in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco; and private studies in horn and composition (with Darius Milhaud). He taught at schools in Chicago (1972-1974) and San Francisco (1974-1978). In June 1978 he founded the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band and Twirling Corps, the first lesbian and gay musical organization in the world, which made its first public appearance that month at the Gay Pride Day parade. He then founded in rapid succession the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (November 1978), Golden Gate Performing Arts (an administrative organization, March 1979), the orchestra Lambda Pro Musica, and the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Men’s Community Chorus. Sims directed the San Francisco band until January 1982, including concerts at Louise Davies Symphony Hall (November 9, 1980), Grace Cathedral, and the famous disco Dreamland. From the beginning, Sims intended to create a nationwide network of gay and lesbian instrumental and choral ensembles; the success of that network, both during his lifetime and after, remains an astonishing legacy. Sims died in San Francisco from the complications of AIDS. Paul Attinello


“Sims, John.” In Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians . New York: Schirmer/Macmillan, 1992. See also Choruses and Marching Bands; Marches and Parades

Situated in Southeast Asia, Singapore is a small island city-state with an entirely urban population of 2.9 million. Beginning as a simple fishing village in the nineteenth century, then growing into a British port, postcolonial Singapore is now a modern, multicultural society, consisting of Tamils, Malays, Javanese, Arabs, Bugis, and Filipinos but with the majority (77 percent) being overwhelmingly Chinese. The government of Singapore has been led by the People’s Action Party (PAP) since 1959, Lee Kuan Yew being its most famous leader. Singapore has been described variously as a dictatorship, a hegemonic state, a corporatist state, and a technocratic state. As one of the most successful Asian

economies, Singapore is the confluence of the global and technological while retaining traditional Confucian ethics bound up with responsibility to the family and duty to the community.