Performances

West Seattle Outreach

On March 15, 2015, Diverse Harmony continues our community outreach with a small intimate concert at The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in West Seattle. The concert will start at 7:30 and will include our large chorus and small ensemble. The concert will free to all. Hope to see you there.

Back to School

Diverse Harmony celebrates PRIDE on June 26 and June 27 with our “Back to School” concert. Once again, we will be at Broadway Performance Hall in the heart of Seattle’s gayborhood. The concert is a mix of the throwbacks from the 70s and 80s and will focus on the day in the life of a student.  The concert will be at 7:30 on both night and end in time to celebrate PRIDE with your family and friends.

The Choir

 

We asked each member to tell us their name, what pronoun they prefer, what brought them to DH, most desired superpower, what they’re passionate about, and what they love most about Diverse Harmony.

 
Choir-Paul Ryan V
Paul Ryan V

Pronoun? He. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I joined Diverse Harmony because I wanted to try something, I’ve never really joined a choir before; Diverse Harmony is not just a choir, it’s also an organization that spreads awareness to our community about Equality and I want to be part of it. How did you hear about DH? My friend, Brandon. Superpower? Flying, so I could travel the world and visit people who are important to me. Passion? Probably being an Ambassador, I want to go into the Society of Diplomats and just travel the world and experience other cultures. Love Most? The people, they’re really welcoming.

Choir-Collin G
Collin G

Pronoun? He. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I’d graduated high school and wanted something musical to fill the void that orchestra had left my life. How did you hear about DH? Melly! Superpower? Invisibility. Often, it would be really nice to be able to walk around and not be noticed by people and have to interact with them socially. Passion? I’d like to get my PhD in Marine Biology and teach at a University. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Emily M
Emily M

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I wanted to sing more and meet new people and to be in an environment that is accepting. How did you hear about DH? I first saw them at a concert, then Brandon brought me. I loved the music so much and the people that I stayed. Passion? My greatest passion is Art in any form. Singing, photography, acting, building brings me joy. I aspire to create art through singing and other forms and to educate people about the gay community through that art. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Damian W
Damian W

Pronoun? They. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? It primarily just seemed fun and I was invited. I stayed because it felt like a safe comfortable space. How did you hear about DH? A friend told me about it. Passion? The thing that makes me happiest is making others happier and more confident in themselves. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Jude M
Jude M

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? Bridget played bass in my band and made me come. How did you hear about DH? Bridget (Friends). Superpower? The power to fill things. Hungry? Fill your plate. Bored? Fill that empty space in your room with a bouncy castle. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Amy D
Amy D

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? Because I’ve always liked being in choir, and thought this one would be fun. How did you hear about DH? My friend was in DH and talked to me about it. Love Most? The fact that they turn every song gay is hilarious and also representation which is super cool. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Jordan S
Jordan S

Pronoun? He. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I was having trouble in my school choir and my friend convinced me to join. How did you hear about DH? My friend, Devin. Superpower? Mind reading. I want to know what others are thinking. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Dimitri C
Dimitri C

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? A member came to my high school GSA and encouraged me to join. How did you hear about DH? A friend kept taking me until it became routine. Superpower? 3 more powers. Passion? My greatest passion is music and I aspire to release my own stuff.

Choir-Bridget B
Bridget B

Pronoun? They. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I’m always looking for new places to sing, so when I heard about DH I jumped on the opportunity. How did you hear about DH? Some girls in my school choir brought it up during class. Passion? I really want to use my voice and words to have some impact on the world. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Shayla
Shayla

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I’m in my first few weeks here. First joined to see my friend Bridget, but I really like both being in a choir and this choir. Cool people… How did you hear about DH? I met Bridget and Allison (both are in the choir) at my school dance. They invited me to the choir and I decided to come. Passion? Writing. I write short stories and have won competitions with them, but I really love words in general. Essays, novels, journals… everything.

Choir-Kassidy H
Kassidy H

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I was looking for a place to make friends where I wouldn’t be judged for who I am. How did you hear about DH? A friend of my mom’s knew about it and thought that I would be interested. Love Most? There are many things that I love about the choir. I love that anyone can be a member and feel safe with who they are. I also love that I have kind of developed a family here. Bonus? GSA.

Choir-DJ P
DJ P

Pronoun? Anything. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I needed a place where I was free to be myself. How did you hear about DH? My mom told me about it. Passion? I want to open my own restaurant in Seattle. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Ryan F
Ryan F

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? A girlfriend dragged me here, didn’t even know what it was. How did you hear about DH? Same. Passion? I love Japanese, for one thing, but I also simply love studying culture. This has led to a vast collection of books about religion, myth, legend, folklore, and music from various regions. I want to be able to bridge the gap between cultures, if I can.

Choir-Jonathan L
Jonathan L

Pronoun? He. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? Because I like to sing. How did you hear about DH? Friend’s dad is in Seattle Men’s Chorus. Love Most? The thing I love about DH is it feels like home. A safe place to come and be yourself. Bonus? LGBTQA.

Choir-Brandon P
Brandon P

Pronoun? He. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I joined to be in a community to be myself. How did you hear about DH? Chorus member (Paul Bartell, Sylvie). Superpower? Elemental Bending/control (Periodic Table-wise). I can create gold, fly, breath underwater and many other things. Passion? My career as a massage therapist. Love Most? The music and the community.

Choir-McKenzie R
MacKenzee R

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I was asked to come to a performance that my friend Emily was in, I want, then I wanted to join so I did. Emily kept asking, I kept reassuring. How did you hear about DH? My friend, Emily Moody. Passion? Definitely singing, drawing, writing poetry and a ton more. I would love to keep going up with my singing. I also got into Seattle Talent with my confidence of Diverse Harmony. Love Most? I love that it is a safe place to just chill/hangout, get to know people and make new friends/family.

Choir-Jorah A
Jorah A

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I’m not good at making friends and I want to meet open-minded people. How did you hear about DH? My mom’s in SWC. Superpower? Super smart so that I can make cool gadgets. Passion? I want to become a writer. I also want to study at Cambridge. Love Most? All the awesome people. They all have such cool personalities. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Leah M
Leah M

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? Because I was looking for a supportive community. How did you hear about DH? I went to the “When I grow up…” concert and thought it was so cool! Passion? I make and sell chocolates shaped like anything from frogs to robots. I also work at a summer camp that I love so much! I aspire to be a social worker when I’m older!

Choir-Jenna
Jenna

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I joined Diverse Harmony because it seemed like a fun experience and it really is a great experience. How did you hear about DH? My friends. Superpower? Teleportation, because I wouldn’t have to walk anywhere or get a ride anywhere. Also I would walk places. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Maya
Maya

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I joined DH because I really love singing, I wanted to also have experience and improve my voice in singing. How did you hear about DH? I had a few friends coming here and they convinced me to join so I figured why not. Passion? I really love movies, one day I really hope I could become a movie maker, making independent films and having people watch and critique. Love Most? The passion and acceptance of having similar to you and becoming friends.

Choir-Joanna
Joanna

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? Because many of my friends were already in it, and I wanted to make more queer friends. How did you hear about DH? From numerous friends. Superpower? Flying, because I want to. Love Most? The community. I love that we all respect each other, and never act like it’s a chore to be “politically correct.” We do our best to love each other. Bonus? QSA or Queer.

Choir-Katie H
Katie H

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? Because it sounded like a wonderful, pressure-free area to sing, enjoy friends’ company, and have fun – also my first season was the Walt’s Vault, and the music really appealed to me. How did you hear about DH? One of my best friends had been in DH and told me about the new season, which sounded wonderful (the Walt’s Vault season), so I came in and absolutely loved it. Superpower? I would rain glitter that turns into trees because everyone loves glitter and trees. Passion? I have a great passion for photography, music, and travel. I hope to study wildlife biology, pediatrics, or photojournalism (Haven’t really decided yet). Love Most? I love the open arms with which I was welcomed into DH, the passion each member holds for the music we sing. Bonus? LGBTQA.

Choir-Lucy S
Lucy S

Pronoun? They. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I wanted an opportunity to sing more and meet other teens who were in the gay community. How did you hear about DH? I had multiple friends in the choir. Superpower? I would have the superpower to interact/talk to llamas. Only llamas. Passion? I love to write. I’ve been writing since I was able to hold a pencil. My goal in life is to publish a novel. Love Most? How kind everyone is to one another. Even if you don’t know someone, you have a friend in them. Bonus? LGBTQA.

Choir-Alek M
Alek M

Pronoun? He. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? All of my friends were there and I missed them. How did you hear about DH? Aforementioned friends. Superpower? Teleportation. I am so sick of busing. Love Most? When things get down to the wire with the show and (almost) everyone is dedicated to making it work, it’s an incredible feeling of unity and shared purpose. Bonus? QSA or Queer.

Choir-Ally
Ally

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I love the songs they sing and I knew there were a lot of accepting people. How did you hear about DH? I had a singing teacher at the time and recommended it to me.
Superpower? I would REALLY love to have fire powers. Passion? Later in life I would like to be a tattoo artist because art and music have always been my passion. Love Most? I love the caring and accepting people here and I love how easy it was to make friends. I met some of my best friends here and I love them!

Choir-Sonja H
Sonja H

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I joined Diverse Harmony because it is a fun and truly cool choir to belong to. How did you hear about DH? I heard about Diverse Harmony from a parent of a fellow DH member. Superpower? Invisibility because you could walk through anything and never get away with anything.

Choir-Maddie H
Maddie H

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I was missing some kind of connection to the queer community when I got to college, and I found that in DH. How did you hear about DH? Testimony via a few members, and then attended the DH spring concert. Superpower? Flying. Passion? My passion is finding a way to combine infrastructure and environmentalism. I want to build cities that preserve what nature we have left and improve the standard of living for everyone. Bonus? QSA or Queer.

Choir-Devin M
Devin M

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? Because my friends dragged me along. I stayed because I loved the community. How did you hear about DH? Via Ballard High School GSA. Passion? I aspire to learn as many languages as I can to be able to see the world and come to know all varieties of people. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Shana
Shana H

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? To support the youth community. How did you hear about DH? Looking at choirs online. Love Most? It’s a family where I can be myself, no matter what! Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Tyler B
Tyler B

Pronoun? I use He. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? A friend who was in the choir brought me. I’d missed both high school choir and GSA so I thought it would be great. How did you hear about DH? Both the friend and my choir director had it in a list for those of us graduating. Superpower? I’d want the powers of a Disney princess. You get to control animals, anytime you sing everyone else in the world will back you up and dance. It’s pretty great and at the end you get a happy ending. Bonus? QSA.

Choir-Melly J
Melly J

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I needed an extracurricular activity in high school to gain focus in my life. My love of singing brought me to DH. How did you hear about DH? I had a friend in high school who was a member of the choir, then a few years later I joined with another friend of mine. Bonus? QSA.

 
 
 Gwen C-B

Pronoun? She. Why did you join Diverse Harmony? I love to sing. I started singing for my little brother. How did you hear about DH? My brother-in-law talked to members on the bus. Passion? I want to become a pastry chef and open my own café called Connolly’s Café.

 
 

The Ensemble

Introducing the Diverse Harmony Ensemble
 

We are proud to add a young adult small ensemble to the family. Below meet our initial 13 member group, having made a yearlong commitment to perform and promote Diverse Harmony. We asked each member to tell us their name, what pronoun they prefer, what brought them to DH, a favorite animal, Disney character, type of music and what they like about DH.

 

About Us

Our Mission

Diverse Harmony is the nation’s first queer-straight* alliance youth chorus. Based in Seattle, Washington, our 58-member chorus presents 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.
  • 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.

*Diverse Harmony was formed in 2002 as the nation’s first gay-straight alliance youth chorus. Since that time, we have realized that the term gay does not encompass our entire chorus family. In 2014, we are fully supporting our community by identifying as a queer-straight alliance youth chorus. Queer is an umbrella term that supports gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans-individuals, asexuals, queers, questioning individuals, allies and other individuals that may not identify with those titles. We believe that everyone should be loved for who they are and represented with the appropriate language and queer is the appropriate term for our Diverse Harmony family. For more information on the term queer, please visit PFLAG by clicking here.

Our Story

Diverse Harmony was founded in Seattle in 2002 as the nation’s first queer-straight alliance youth chorus. Over our thirteen seasons we have grown to nearly 60 members, and have brought performances to communities throughout Seattle in our regular two-concert season. The chorus has also performed tours to Denver, Chicago, Montreal, Miami, and Portland. 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 our successful performances, Diverse Harmony serves as a safe space for our singers, youth age 13 to 22 who identify as queer, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and 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.

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

Diverse Harmony is led by Artistic Director Brayton Bollenbacher, now in his fourth season with the organization. Bollenbacher holds degrees in Vocal Performance and Sexualities Studies from the Ohio State University and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington.

Our Staff
Brayton Bollenbacher, Artistic Director 

Brayton conducting cropped

Brayton has been the Artistic Director of Diverse Harmony since 2011 when he took over the chorus. At the time of his hiring, there were 23 singers and performances were held in the Fellowship Hall of Seattle First Baptist Church. Currently, Diverse Harmony has 40 to 60 singers in the large ensemble each season and Brayton has been influential in creating the Diverse Harmony small ensemble, which currently has 13 members. Brayton received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from The Ohio State University in 2006 and a Bachelor of Arts in Sexualities Studies in 2007, completing a thesis on How Gay Male Bias influences the Gender Performance of Drag Queens in and out of Drag. After spending six amazing years in Columbus, OH, Brayton moved to Seattle to complete a Masters in Social Work at the University of Washington. Currently, he is working at Harborview Medical Center is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Brayton is hoping to continue to see the growth of Diverse Harmony with the upcoming summer camp in 2015 and hopeful in starting GSA and public school music outreach programs as well as developing a musical theater winter program. In 2016, Brayton has agreed to be the Artistic Director for the GALA Youth Invasion concert held in Denver, CO at the 2016 GALA conference. Brayton couldn’t be more honored to spend every Tuesday and every other Monday with the amazing singers involved in Diverse Harmony and learning about how they are all working to change the world.

John Sparkman, Accompanist

John Sparkman

John has been in the Seattle area since 2010 and has played for DH since 2012. He can’t clearly remember a time when he wasn’t singing or playing an instrument, even from his earliest days in his teeny-tiny hometown of St. Pauls, NC (think Steel Magnolias, only Betty runs the beauty shop, not Truvy). He’s a Tarheel, graduating with a degree in music in 2002 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves as Director of Music at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, a compassionate, challenging and inclusive progressive Christian community in Kirkland. Outside of music, John’s an avid cyclist, a wannabe runner, needs to talk to someone about his Starbucks problem, and is a full-time, frequently frustrated Seattle sun-seeker.

 Rob Hatch, Business Manager

 Rob’s information can be found at http://www.companis.org/workers.

Patrick Green, Chorus Manager

Patrick

Patrick comes to DH as a Companis worker, his previous placement was with Teen Link providing suicide prevention and awareness education in schools.  Patrick is an HIV/AIDS educator speaking in schools around the Puget Sound and for the American Red Cross for over 20 years.  Patrick’s partner of 16 years is Tim Phillips, the lead pastor at SFBC where DH rehearses.  He also sings with the community choral group Joyful Noise.

Chorus Representatives
Melly J.
RJ C.
Jorah A.
Alek M.
Tyler
Board of Directors
Bob Sittig, President

BobSittig

Bob Sittig is the Administrator of Seattle First Baptist Church.  As a result of his association with the church, he has watched Diverse Harmony grow since its inception as the chorus has rehearsed at that facility throughout its existence.  A retired Mechanical Engineer he spent his career in industrial process machinery design and corporate management.  As a father of three and a grandfather of seven, Bob has an appreciation for the struggles young folks face in today’s fast pace environment and he feels that Diverse Harmony plays an essential part in providing a safe and encouraging place for those who can’t find it elsewhere.

Steve Walker, Vice President

steve

Steve Walker is the Vice President of Diverse Harmony. He was formerly the Executive Director of the National Gay Pilots Association and a retired airline pilot. He also serves on a commission at Seattle First Baptist Church. He is excited to serve our queer youth at Diverse Harmony and help them gain their own identities through the love and sharing of music. As a music ‘geek’ throughout school, music was his primary escape while dealing with his own sexual identity.

Deborah Gross, Secretary
Jim Maynard, Board Member

jimheadshot2

Jim Maynard is the Director for Communications and Community Engagement for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.  He lives in Seattle with his husband and they have two adult sons living in Salem, MA.  His passion for supporting LGBT youth and providing a safe space for them to be themselves is what drew him to serve on the board of Diverse Harmony.

Aaron Revoir, Board Member

Aaron headshot

Aaron joined the board of Diverse Harmony in 2014 and is proud to be part of such an important organization.  A native of Southern California, Aaron moved to Seattle in July of 2011 for a change of scenery and hasn’t looked back.  By day, Aaron is a Project Manager for Amazon.  In his spare time Aaron enjoys singing with the Seattle Men’s Chorus as an Upper 1st Tenor, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Bill Sechter, Board Member

Bill Sechter 

Bill Sechter is a new member of the board but a long time fan of Diverse Harmony and their mission.  He is a local entrepreneur helping others start and build their businesses while building his own. Leading Fund Development, Bill hope to help the organization and the youth served realize its ambitious but exciting goals.

Saundra Whittemore, Board Member

Saundra1

Saundra has worked with youth and families since 1989 and currently works with kids and families in home and community settings through Wonderland Developmental Center. She lived aboard a boat when first moving to Seattle and loves the beautiful Pacific Northwest more than any of the places she has lived worldwide. Saundra’s passion for supporting DH and QSA youth shines through in her interactions with the youth and as she serves on the board of Diverse Harmony.

Metta Williams, Board Member

Metta

Metta joined the board because she is a big believer in Diverse Harmony’s mission of building a community. She says youth deserve our efforts to provide a safe, welcoming place for them to explore what community can mean for each of them. She has experience as the Treasurer for Seattle First Baptist Church which helps her fill this role for Diverse Harmony. Her career life is as an insurance agent for Aflac, and what’s left of her time she spends in the yard with her dog Pejsku.

Leanne Damborg, Board Member

Leanne

Leanne joined the DH board in 2013. Her commitment for the youth is grounded in ‘welcome’ – that all youth know they are welcome in all aspects of their unique and wonderful selves. Leanne is honored to be part of an organization that provides that essential welcome, along with creativity and excellent musical training and opportunities. A Seattle native, Leanne earned her BA and MA from Seattle University, and works as a Business Administrator at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in West Seattle.

Tyler Stoops, Board Member

Tyler

 

 
 

Support Us

Diverse Harmony sustains its powerful vision through the generous gifts of individual donors like you. Whether it is your love of music, your belief in our mission, or both, please consider making a year-end deductible donation to Diverse Harmony as you consider your gift giving this holiday season. Your donation allows us to continue sharing our music and building community together. It goes without saying that every amount helps! Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution today.

Our young singers pay no membership fees or dues to perform, and we also make free concert tickets available for all youth age 22 and younger. Please consider making a donation today. Diverse Harmony is a 501 ©(3) nonprofit organization. Gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Donate Now

Clicking the button above will take you to the Seattle Foundation, where you can complete your donation to Diverse Harmony.

  • A donation of $60 could fund food and beverage for the singers’ snack break at one of our weekly rehearsals.
  • A donation of $150 could cover gas for two vehicles of singers and chaperones to one of our tour performances.
  • A donation of $300 could cover the cost of a session of supplemental music or dance instruction for the youth.
  • A donation of $650 could provide performance shirts for all our singers.
  • A donation of $1,000 covers the cost of an upgrade to our audio equipment for rehearsals and performances.
  • A donation of $5,000 could provide funding for the youth to work individually with a counselor or caseworker on issues of coming out, bullying, and school stresses.
  • A donation of $10,000 could underwrite the cost of a performance tour for the full chorus.
 

If you would prefer to send your donation via check, please mail to:

Diverse Harmony
1111 Harvard Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

For interest in Sponsorship opportunities please contact info@diverseharmony.org

*Credit card donations are made through the Seattle Foundation and Click and Pledge.

 

 

Contact

Diverse Harmony
1111 Harvard Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
206-389-5858
info@diverseharmony.org
 

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