History of Our Voice Milwaukee
Our Voice Milwaukee has been known in the area under a couple of names including City of Festivals Men's Chorus and Men's Voices Milwaukee. The chorus has a rich history with being an active part of the LGBT community in Milwaukee.
As OVM, the chorus revisited it's mission and established a path forward just before the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited the engagement the chorus could do for a few years. However, more recently, the chorus has brought on David Hein as the Artistic Director and the group has tripled in size since the first concert after COVID-19 restrictions.
We are looking forward to what is next for Our Voice Milwaukee!
Founding Artistic Director Emeritus
Ken Forney was with Our Voice Milwaukee since our inception. In addition, he was also Director of Music Ministry at Bristol Lutheran Church in Sun Prarie. Ken often worked with local musicians and choral groups as a clinician. He actively worked as one of our main points of contact as we built community through song. His proudest achievements include the many partnerships Our Voice Milwaukee has successfully undertaken through our first 4 seasons including the nationwide It Gets Better Tour, One Voice Mixed Chorus of Minneapolis, and locally Women’s Voices Milwaukee, SAGE, the Milwaukee LGBT Center and many more. Ken is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater with emphasis in Piano Performance and Choral Music. He is now living in California.
Accompanist in Memoriam
Mary Schuett was Our Voice Milwaukee's beloved Accompanist and our biggest cheerleader who suddenly passed away in February 2016.
Forever in our hearts, Mary was much loved by the chorus and will be remembered. Succeeded, but never replaced.
To honor her life and spirit, the Mary Schuett Spirit Award was created to recognize members, both singing and non-singing, for their contributions to Our Voice Milwaukee. This award is given for displaying patience, love, understanding, acceptance, and, like Mary herself, willingness to show passion and devote extensive time in support of the chorus and its mission.
Current Artistic Director
David Hein is the Artistic Director of Our Voice Milwaukee Chorus. He teaches at Alverno College where he directs the Alverno College Choir and teaches courses in Alverno’s Music Therapy Program. He is principal organist and sanctuary choir accompanist at The United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay. He is also a production editor with Accelerando, LLC, a music technology and education company, working with their flagship music education product MatchMySound. David has taught music at the elementary, middle, high school, and collegiate levels; as well as private voice, piano, and organ instruction. Prior positions include Assistant Professor of Music at Marian University, Artistic Director of the Fond du Lac Children’s Chorale, as well as full and part-time church music positions in Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Roman Catholic parishes. David has choral music arrangements published with Neil A. Kjos Music Company and Choristers Guild, and he has been a writer for the Choristers Guild curriculum series Of Primary Importance. He serves on the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra board of directors, chairing the Education Committee. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, GALA Choruses, and The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. He holds music degrees from St. Olaf College and Michigan State University.