Seattle Peace Chorus Programs
The Many Faces of Peace
2012 Spring Concert on May 5-6 at Seattle's Town Hall featured the Northwest premiere of Song of Wisdom from Old Turtle by Douglas Wood and Joseph Martin, based on the popular children's book. The Chorus was joined by Spirit of the Sound choir, directed by Eric O'del. The Chorus also performed British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem which drew on the writings of Walt Whitman composed during his service as a nurse in the Civil War. Soloists were Steve Tachell (baritone) and Linda Strandberg (soprano) with professional orchestra.
Sing Out for Women
The 2012 Fall concert on November 3 was a wonderful evening of music celebrating women’s rights and social justice. After decades of progress, women around the world still lack freedom to vote, freedom from violence, freedom of choice over their own bodies, and freedom from repression. On the eve of our national election, as women’s rights were debated, Seattle Peace Chorus spoke out. Pioneer of “Women’s Music” singer-songwriter Cris Williamson’s albums became the soundtrack for a movement and helped foster the birth of an entirely new genre of music. She sang many of her most loved songs, with new arrangements premiered by the chorus. The concert also featured Grammy award-winning singer/musician Nancy Rumbel of Tingstad & Rumbel and original compositions by Seattle composer-songwriters Carol Sams and Dell Gossett, and other women composers.
Canto General - Song of the People
Seattle Peace Chorus' 2013 Spring concerts will be encore performances of Canto General. This is the epic work for which poet Pablo Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis (who composed the music for Zorba the Greek) loved the poetry so much when he met Neruda that he set it to music. It is an incredible and glorious piece with exciting rhythms and choral parts. Frederick N. West, Music Director, is one of the 3 or 4 conductors in the United States who has directed it. The Chorus has presented it twice before, the last time in 2005 for the 100th year anniversary of Neruda's birth. 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the military coup in Chile and the Chorus will be performing it twice -- at Seattle's Town Hall (June 1, 2013) and at Cleveland High School (June 8.)
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Seattle Peace Chorus' November 2012 Fall Concert, Sing Out for Women, called attention to the issues related to women's rights in our country and around the world, featuring music by women composers. 100% of those completing audience surveys rated the quality of the performance as "4" or "5." Some written comments included: "Loved Cris Williamson and Nancy Rumbel! And of course, the Seattle Peace Chorus!" "I appreciate the theme of this concert.....I loved the changing sound." "Thanks for your hard work and good spirit."
As an all volunteer organization, funding is needed for ongoing support of the Chorus' work, including scholarships for singers who cannot afford to pay membership dues. Many singers are self-employed, work for non-profits, in other public service jobs or are unemployed. Funds also help offset the costs of concert production, e.g. guest artist fees, rental of venues, etc.