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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 23, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 04
The voices of Diverse Harmony evoke the power of positive music
Arts & Entertainment
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The voices of Diverse Harmony evoke the power of positive music

by Paul Torres - SGN A&E Writer

'THE LIFE OF LOVE'
DIVERSE HARMONY
January 16


The creative and fun-filled spirit of youth is expressed in Diverse Harmony. They are the United States' first queer-straight alliance youth chorus. Their recent performance was titled 'The Life of Love' which was presented at Broadway Performance Hall. As the program notes stated, the concert told the story of relationships and how we yearn for love, pursue love, fall in love, and the different possible outcomes of love all told through Broadway, pop, classic, and country music. 22 songs, including the encore, were sung. It was entertaining, heartening, and an inspirational evening.

Diverse Harmony now has 60 members of youth age 13 to 22 identifying as allied, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Queer, and questioning, and Transgender. Their aim is to promote respect and dignity.

In the wake of the tragic death of Leelah Alcorn, it is especially poignant to see young people embracing their individuality in a loving and supporting environment. It was an evening for celebrating differences.

Artistic Director Jared Brayton Bollenbacher led the group who soared through exquisite renditions of 'Matchmaker,' 'Falling Slowly' from the film Once, and the Willie Nelson penned 'Crazy.' John Sparkman was the accompanist.

Other songs included covers of Adele ('Love Runs Out' vs. 'Rumour Has It'), Sting ('Fields of Gold'), Green Day ('Good Riddance'), George and Ira Gershwin ('Someone to Watch Over Me' and 'The Man I Love'), Marvin Hamlisch ('What I Did for Love') and The Beatles ('When I'm Sixty-Four'). The fun songs kept the audience smiling and foot-tapping. The moving songs put the audience in a reflective mood.

One scene focused in on a young man's death from HIV/AIDS. It is an issue that this generation needs more education about. These brave and bright youth are a force of natural talent. Diverse Harmony proves itself to be a force for positive change, too.

It is obvious these members love their music and performing. First year chorus member Gwen Connolly-Brown proclaimed that 'Music is my anchor!' It is a promising sign to know these youth are up and coming in our community.

With endearing raw talent and charm, Diverse Harmony is a prime example of Seattle originality and diversity. Now in their thirteenth year, they are bound to carry on as long as there is music, spirit, and unconditional acceptance for the beautiful energy of youth.

Next up for Diverse Harmony is their Green & Gold Gala and Auction! It is on Saturday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at ACT Theatre's Bullitt Cabaret. Followed by their Pride Concert Friday and Saturday, June 26 and 27 at Broadway Performance Hall. Check www.diverseharmony.org for details and to donate to this brilliant chorus. Like them on Facebook at facebook.com/diverseharmony.



[EDITOR'S NOTE: Diverse Harmony's board of directors has worked hard this past year to stabilize Diverse Harmony's finances, garnering direct corporate, business and organizational support along with donations from a large number of individuals. This summer Diverse Harmony will be hosting a summer music and performing arts camp for youth. Your support of Diverse Harmony will help support and sustain their mission to provide a safe place for GLBTQA youth to be themselves and build friendships and grow in their talent and artistic expression.]

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