Diverse Harmony

The Nation's First Queer-Straight Alliance Youth Chorus

As is the case with all of us, this last year has been tough, especially for our youth. We have been on hiatus for several months now with the plan to have our choristers meet again in the fall. First though, we are going to provide eight weeks of zoom classes for all youth who are interested in becoming a better choral sight reader.

This weekly Zoom program will start on July 6 at 7pm until August 24. It has been created by our Artistic Director, Allen Leslie. This is an exciting opportunity for our youth to improve their choral capabilities and experience.

Also, they can consider joining the Diverse Harmony chorus once school starts in September.
There is no fee to join or dues to pay – just show up on Tuesday evenings and sing!

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We are delighted to share the good news that Diverse Harmony received $8,000 from the ArtsFund. The Nonprofit Community Recovery grant is intended to cover expenses incurred due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the Washington State Department of Commerce, the NCR Grants program distributed grants to nonprofits statewide across arts, culture, science, and heritage organizations, neighborhood associations, sports and recreation organizations, and veterans’ organizations. We are very grateful for the recognition from the ArtsFund and the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Diverse Harmony: the nation’s first queer-straight alliance youth chorus

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

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Open Letter to the Community (PDF download)

July 4, 2020

Summer 2020 Web Update (PDF download)

August 9, 2020

Friends of Diverse Harmony,

These past several months of dealing with Covid-19 have been a challenge to all of us, and the youth of Diverse Harmony have been no exception. When activity came to a halt in March, our choir was putting the final touches on a concert that was scheduled for presentation on March 21st. In addition to that concert preparation, the group was also getting ready for a July trip to Minneapolis for the GALA Festival which takes place every four years. Of course, all of these plans had to be cancelled with many other activities we all experienced…

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Our Story

Diverse Harmony was founded in Seattle in 2002 as the nation’s first gay-straight alliance youth chorus. Over eighteen years we have seen the choir grow 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 — with an upcoming trip to Minneapolis in July 2021.

Diverse Harmony is a member of GALA Choruses (the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses) and is considered a leading youth chorus among its ranks 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, asexual, or allied, among many others. 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.

Since our founding, we have realized that the term gay-straight alliance does not encompass our entire chorus family. As of 2014, we are fully supporting our community by identifying as a queer-straight alliance youth chorus.

Queer is used as an umbrella term that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, asexual, queer, questioning, and other individuals that may not identify with other titles. 

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

Our Mission

• 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.

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.

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Diverse Harmony

The Choir

DH performs songs from a wide variety of genres — from contemporary pop to classical to Broadway — through which our members create themed shows or even stage musicals that we perform at the end of each season. Whether they came for the music, the friends, the community, or the snacks, DH choristers often leave their first rehearsal feeling like they have a new musical family to welcome them every Tuesday night.

DH performs songs from a wide variety of genres — from contemporary pop to classical to Broadway — through which our members create themed shows or even stage musicals that we perform at the end of each season. Whether they came for the music, the friends, the community, or the snacks, DH choristers often leave their first rehearsal feeling like they have a new musical family to welcome them every Tuesday night.

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Board of Directors

Meet the Diverse Harmony Board and Staff

Bob Sittig

President

Bob Sittig is the retired administrator of Seattle First Baptist Church. As a result of his association with the church, he has watched…


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Steve Walker

Vice President

Steve Walker is the Vice President of Diverse Harmony. He was formerly the Executive Director of the National Gay Pilots Association and…


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Daneil Newcomb

Secretary

Daneil is a social services provider for youth and young adults in the Seattle Area. Their work focuses on empowering young people…


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Bryant Vehrs

Treasurer

Bryant attended the MA Psychology program at the College of William and Mary followed by the Clinical Psychology PhD program…


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Heidi Toppel

Business Manager

Heidi comes to Diverse Harmony as a Companis volunteer. She is a retired CPA and tax attorney. She serves on the boards of Naral Pro-Choice, WA…


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J. Allen Leslie

Artistic Director

Allen has been teaching Music in the Shoreline School District for twenty-four years, led choirs as a Music Director, and worked for various…


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Upcoming Shows

Check back soon, as more performances will be added!

Pictured above – Diverse Harmony travelled to Portland in 2013 to celebrate Pride and do outreach. We assisted in the creation of Portland’s own queer youth chorus, which is called Bridging Voices.

Request a Performance

Postponed – TBD

Concert at Seattle First Baptist Church


June Concert

Time and loaction TBA


Postponed

GALA! Minneapolis. MN


Friends of Diverse Harmony

Seattle First Baptist

SFBC, a Welcoming and Affirming American Baptist Church, has been the home of Diverse Harmony from its inception. The choir utilizes the church’s wonderful facilities for weekly practices and performances. Members of the church are avid artistic and financial supporters of Diverse Harmony.


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Companis

Companis fosters skilled volunteer service by placing dedicated professionals with nonprofit agencies that need staffing assistance. Companis placed Heidi our Business Manager and Judith our Webmaster with us. Companis staff and volunteers are avid artistic and financial supporters of Diverse Harmony.


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ArtsFund

ArtsFund strengthens the community by supporting the arts through leadership, advocacy, and grant making. The Seattle-based nonprofit has been building community through the arts for over 50 years and is one of the nation’s leading United Arts Funds. Diverse Harmony is a grateful recipient of two grants from the ArtsFund: one in 2020 from its COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund and another in 2021 from the Nonprofit Community Recovery program.


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