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Updated: Sep 7, 2022

November 18, 2021

Contact: Mandi Collier (she/her)

Director of Communications, GFBLA


Phone: 806-679-9836


Los Angeles — After more than two years since its last in-person concert, the Gay Freedom Band of Los Angeles will host its debut performance at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Koreatown. The concert, themed “I’m Still Standing - The Music is Alive Again” will be held Dec. 12 at 3 p.m.

Led by Artistic Director Justin Raines and Assistant Artistic Director Joseph Vranas, GFBLA will present new musical selections “Festive Overture” by Dmitri Shostakovich, “Satiric Dances” by Norman Dello Joio and Peter Meechan’s poignant “Song of Hope” featuring Vranas on trumpet. In keeping with the theme, the band will also perform Elton John’s hit “I’m Still Standing.” Preparations for the concert are currently underway at GFBLA’s new rehearsal space at the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) Arts and Recreation Center.

“After nearly two years, we are very excited to return to public performances,” Raines said. “Live music is essential to our collective health and well-being not only as musicians, but as a community and society. Music has always been connected to healing, and as we enter this new chapter of history, music is essential.”

Vranas added, “I’m excited to be a part of GFBLA’s return to live performance and delighted to say that we sound better than ever! I hope you will join us in this celebration of music, community and the wonderful talents of our members.”

Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours is required for entry. Though this is a free event, donations will be accepted and appreciated. Costs to keep the band running continued during the pandemic, so any donations received will help pay for storage space, venue rentals and member scholarships. Organizers will be hosting a donation drive prior to the event in conjunction with Giving Tuesday on November 30th. All donations can be made via PayPal to the Freedom Band Foundation of Los Angeles, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit community benefit organization which supports GFBLA, and are tax-deductible.

About the GFBLA:

The Gay Freedom Band of Los Angeles promotes acceptance and celebrates diversity by bringing together musicians from across Southern California for performance and educational opportunities that embrace equality, inclusion, and the love of music. We welcome musicians with all levels of experience and from all backgrounds. Founded in 1978, GFBLA is one of the oldest LGBTQ+ concert bands in the world. Originally named the Great American Yankee Freedom Band of Los Angeles, this group was created to promote visibility of the LGBTQ+ community and to provide entertainment at pride celebrations. The scope of the band has since expanded, focusing now on providing a positive environment for everybody, enriching the community through music, and setting an example of acceptance and camaraderie among all people. Throughout its forty years, GFBLA has witnessed many of the important milestones in gay history. Drawing from the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic and the battles for marriage equality and transgender rights, our musicians bring a deep well of experience to all of our performances. Learn more on Facebook, Instagram or at


If you would like more information regarding GFBLA, or to schedule an interview with Artistic Staff Justin Raines or Joseph Vranas, please contact Mandi Collier via email at

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