Pillars of Pride

The Pillars of Pride are an effort for LGBA to recognize extraordinary accomplishments by those actively supporting LGBA, LGBA Member and Affiliate Organizations, the Community Band Movement and the LGBTQA community. LGBA’s Pillars of Pride recognize outstanding service or contributions to the growth and development of LGBA by one of its members. A nominated member can be someone still active within LGBA or someone being honored posthumously.

LGBA’s Pillars of Pride recognize outstanding service or contributions to the growth and development of LGBA by one of its members.










Member Bands and individuals within Member Bands or Affiliate members may nominate a candidate by submitting the name to the President of LGBA with supporting documents. Nominations are reviewed by the LGBA Board of Directors and recipients are selected before the annual conference. Pillars of Pride are presented at the annual conference performance opportunities to recognize these outstanding contributors.

Nominations are closed for 2016. Come back to see recipients from Palm Springs

Previous Recipients 

2015 – Loren McGlade

Loren McGlade receives his pillar of prideLoren McGlade has been described as an “LGBA lifer.” Loren was present in Chicago in 1982 when members of 8 LGBT bands met to form the LGBA. He served on the LGBA Board of Directors, serving as Treasurer for the better part of 20 years. Loren participated in each of the Gay Games, and with Connie Moore, he carried the LGBA banner in the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade. Even after departing the LGBA Board in 2005, Loren continued to attend meetings, offering advice and counsel to successor Treasurers and other leaders. Locally, Loren joined the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band in 1984. Despite an intense travel schedule for work, he remained active until 2011. In late 1988, Loren was one of the founding members of the Jon Sims Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts. He has served on their Board ever since, serving as Treasurer first, and then as President for the past 10 years. He has helped manage LGBA’s endowed funds and assisted in the raising of a secondary round of fundraising for the endowment in the early 2000s.

Loren is among the very small group of individuals who have participated in Gay Games I –through Gay Games VIII in Cologne, Germany. This effort spanned 28 years and three continents. As a tribute to his many contributions to the Cultural Festival at the Gay Games Loren received a Legacy Medal from the International Federation of Gay Games, in Cologne. Loren may not have been the most visible or outspoken member of LGBA, but nobody can question his dedication and commitment to the organization’s mission. In a world full of volatile non-profit arts organizations, Loren can point to the stability of LGBA for more than 30 years and take a lot of credit for that achievement.

2015 – Connie Moore & Debbie Hunt


Rarely does a couple impact an organization in the way that Connie Moore and Debbie Hunt have. These two women are accomplished beyond compare. Not only do they have one of the longest running relationships as a couple in the LGBA, they are pioneers in the legal community in the Houston/Galveston area.

Connie first joined the Houston Pride Band in 1988 and immediately set as one of her goals to become involved at the LGBA level, bringing her gifts of charm, business acumen, leadership, and production experience to the national organization. Connie and Debbie, along with a small core group of dedicated members struggled through the ’90s to keep the band alive… down to just twelve members at its lowest point. After years of hard work, commitment, and a passion for music, the band is thriving once again, performing beautiful concerts with 40-50 musicians on stage.

Connie also participated in many other LGBA events, including Gay Games, annual conferences, and presidential inaugurations throughout the decades. In 2010, at Cologne’s Gay Games VIII, she received a Legacy Medal from the international Federation of Gay Games for her many years of contributions to the Cultural Festival at the Gay Games.

As attorneys specializing in family law, Connie and Debbie dealt with edgy, breakthrough issues for the LGBT community. During their 25 years of practice, they focused on securing legal rights for parents in same-sex relationships through adoption, surrogacy, and child custody litigation, estate planning, probate and guardianship litigation, contract negotiations, and corporate and small business formation. They have been voted “Best Attorneys – Houston and Galveston” in OutSmart Magazine’s annual Gayest & Greatest Survey from 2009 to 2014.

2014 – Judy Ames

Judy Ames

Judy Ames has long been a supporter of LGBA on the local, national, and international level.  Judy joined Baltimore’s Charm City Brigade in 1984, and served on that board.  She later spent many years with D.C’s Different Drummers as a musician and board member.  While Judy was the president of DCDD, the band grew in size and visibility, eventually hosting an LGBA Conference in conjunction with the 2000 Millennium March on Washington.

Judy’s first LGBA experience was the 1996 performance for President Bill Clinton, beginning a life-long commitment to LGBA and it’s mission of “Music, Visibility, and Pride”.  In fact, it was Judy who created that tag line for our organization.  Judy served many years on the LGBA board, and served as president from 2003-2006.  During her tenure she participated at Gay Games V in Australia, coordinated our efforts at Gay Games VI in Chicago, and helped to celebrate the LGBA 25th Anniversary at the St. Louis conference.

Leaving the LGBA Board did not end Judy’s commitment to our organization.  Judy and fellow LGBA past president Robb Blackwell put together the application that earned LGBA the opportunity to perform in the 2009 Inaugural parade for President Barack Obama.  We marched as the first ever LGBT organization to participate in an inaugural parade.  Judy continues to serve LGBA, along with other past presidents, in the creation of the “Presidents Circle” which raises funds for large scale LGBA events.  She is also a board member with her local Flower City Pride Band in Rochester, NY.


2013 – Doug Litwin

Doug Laura

Doug Litwin has been involved in the LGBT music movement since 1985 when he joined the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band. He has been a member ever since. His first involvement with LGBA was during Gay Games II in San Francisco when over 200 musicians came to town. As the librarian for the local Band, he managed all of the music distribution for the various performances that week. Doug’s first LGBA conference took place in Phoenix in early 1987, hosted by the original Desert Overture Band.

Doug has attended every LGBA conference and major event since that Phoenix conference in 1987, with the exception of the 2001 St. Louis conference (due to 9/11 travel restrictions) and the second Obama inauguration.

Doug has served in a number of roles with the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, currently as its Board Secretary. He has given even more of his talents to LGBA. He served on the LGBA Board for 20 years, including 4 years as President. He continues his work as a clarinetist, ardent volunteer, and as member of the boards of the Federation of Gay Games (Officer of Marketing) and the Jon Sims Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts (Secretary).

Doug’s love and dedication to LGBA and the gay band movement has made him a natural candidate for the Pillar of Pride honor. He graciously accepted the award in its inaugural year along with Laura Whitbeck in 2013 during the Atlanta LGBA conference.


2013 – Laura Whitbeck

Doug LauraLaura Whitbeck has been selected as a Pillar of Pride due to her commitment to the gay band movement since the very early days of LGBA.  Laura participated at the first Gay Games in San Francisco and many more LGBA conferences in the years to follow.  Having served on the LGBA Board, as well as the board of D.C.’s Different Drummers and Flower City Pride Band, Laura has been a constant presence in LGBA.

Laura played trombone with DCDD for many years, participating in concert, marching, and jazz bands.  Laura helped create and environment at DCDD that welcomed all musicians, and was always willing to help a fellow band member.  In recognition of her generosity, DCDD created the “Ames-Whitbeck Fairy Fund”, named for Laura and her partner.  This fund provides funds for dues, uniforms, etc. for band members in need.  During her time on the LGBA Board, Laura created and managed a scholarship program to help musicians attend LGBA conferences.

Laura has played a critical role, often behind the scenes, in the organization of LGBA events.  She was on the ground in DC, helping with registration for both inaugural performances for President Bill Clinton – long before e-mail or the internet.  Laura partnered with Judy Ames to organize the LGBA performance at the Millennial March on Washington, and later helped with the 2009 Inaugural Parade performance for President Barack Obama.  Her tireless effort to coordinate registration, rehearsal space, and other logistical challenges was a major factor in our success in that historic inaugural parade.  Hers is the type of commitment that inspires others and makes LGBA live on into the future.

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