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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 3, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 18
Magical thinking with Diverse Harmony
Section One
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Magical thinking with Diverse Harmony

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

DIVERSE HARMONY
LANGSTON HUGHES PERFORMING ARTS INSTITUTE
May 10 & 12


Seattle is home to many 'firsts.' We are a unique lot - there is no doubt about that. The same could be said for LGBT 'firsts' as well. And one that we can all be proud of is Diverse Harmony, the nation's first Gay-straight alliance youth chorus.

Diverse Harmony is a 58-member chorus presenting music that opens the hearts and minds of communities and provides a safe environment for youth of diverse backgrounds to share their love of music and be accepted for who they are.

'Our vision is a world in which differences are celebrated,' say Diverse Harmony officials on the group's official website, www.diverseharmony.org. 'Our mission is to create a safe, affirming environment where each person is accepted for who they are. Our common bond is the love of music and performance arts. We use our passion and the power of music to inspire all to celebrate the differences in our homes, communities and the world.'

Who couldn't get behind that? It's a great message and mission and really speaks to the core of what this group represents. Diversity and working together really does create harmony in every sense of the word.

Diverse Harmony was founded in Seattle in 2002. 'Over our 11 seasons we have grown to nearly 60 members, and have brought performances to communities throughout Seattle in our regular two-concert season,' say officials. 'The chorus has also performed tours to Denver, Chicago, Montreal, and Miami, and is traveling to Portland this June at the invitation of the Portland Gay Men's Chorus. Diverse Harmony is a member of GALA Choruses (the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses) and is considered a leading youth chorus among its membership due to our longevity and large membership.'

In tandem with their successful performances, Diverse Harmony serves as a safe space for their singers: youth age 13 to 22 who identify as LGBT, Queer, questioning, or allied.

'Weekly rehearsals have become a home base for many of our youth where they can feel respected and accepted, and have fun making music together,' say officials.

No tuition or membership fee is required of singers, and they accept all levels of musical ability.

UPCOMING EVENTS
Diverse Harmony has two events of interest coming up that you should support. The first is 'Magical Thinking,' a concert to celebrate the creative and imaginary worlds that youth invent, May 10, 7:30 p.m., and May 12, 2 p.m., at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (104 17th Ave S., Seattle). Tickets are $20, available at the door only. Age 22 and under free.

'Magical Thinking' will explore how imagination can transform the world as we mature through our youth and adulthood. 'Come join Diverse Harmony as we change the world into a better place with our thoughts and music,' say officials. The second event is the Diverse Harmony Celebration and Fundraiser, to be held May 19 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. This is a unique opportunity to hear more about Diverse Harmony's mission and learn what the youth are achieving through their participation in the chorus. Lunch will be served, and reservations are required. For complete details, contact Paul Fadoul at boardpresident@diverseharmony.org.

Diverse Harmony is led by Artistic Director Brayton Bollenbacher, now in his second season with the group. Bollenbacher holds degrees in vocal performance and sexuality studies from Ohio State University and an M.S.W. from the University of Washington.

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