We asked each member to tell us their name, favorite musical and who they would like to meet if they could meet anyone! Click on the photos to read their answers!
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: Danny just joined Spectrum this season and has been singing since he was a kid. He would like to be an Owl because they are a symbol of wisdom. If he could be in a movie it would be Big Hero 6 because he wants to go to that school and invent stuff.
About: Dakota has been with Diverse Harmony for over five years. She has been singing since she could talk and would be a cat if she was an animal because you can sleep all day and be furry and cute. If she could be in a movie it would be the Harry Potter series.
About: Mason has been singing unofficially for 20 years and officially for five years. If he could be an animal, he would be a seahorse because the male gets pregnant. He would like to be in the Star Wars II and III movies so he could have a lightsaber and because of Hayden Christensen.
About: Rikky has been singing since elementary school. If he could be an animal, he would be a wolf. He loves the teamwork and pack mentality – minus the violence over being the alpha. He wishes he could be cast in Galaxy Quest! “On Tebb! On!”
About: Kristine is a new member of Spectrum but has been singing since high school. She would be a cat because she loves to nap and curl up and be warm. Being an extra in the Potter movies would be enough if she got a wand and set of Hogwarts robe for her to be in the movie.
About: Melodie is a new addition to the Spectrum family. She began singing when she was in the womb. If she could be a turtle so she could snap at you when she feels aggressive and hide in her turtle shell of awkwardness the rest of the time. She would love to be in an Adam Sandler movie because it would take the least amount of work for the largest payout.
Pronoun? I use They. About: Alex-Ryenn started singing “back in the summer of ’69.” If they could be an animal, they would be a baby goat and they secretly wish they could be a part of the Star Trek crew that got to throw tribbles at William Shatner’s head.
Pronoun? I use she. About: Kristen has been singing since birth. She would be Balbasaur if she was an animal because he thrives on sunshine and friendship, but can be super fierce in battle. She would love to be in a rom-com starring Ellen Page.
Pronoun? I use he. About: Graham started singing in first grade. He would also like to be a cat because they can do what they want. He wishes that they would make a Star Trek Deep Space Nine movie because it was the best Star Trek series and it needs a movie.
Pronoun? I use he. About: Collin has been singing since birth and if he could be an animal, he would be a barnacle (Ask Daneil if you want to know why.) If he could be in a movie, it would be that YouTube video where the waffle falls over. You should look it up because it is hilarious.
Pronoun? I use she. About: Meet Sarah! She has been singing in Spectrum for two seasons and has been singing since she started talking. If she could be an animal, she would be a bird so she could fly anywhere and sing a lot in the trees. Sarah also dreams of being the little Mermaid.
About: Daneil started singing when Daneil started talking and was an angel in a church play at Christmas when Daneil was two. Daneil would like to be a maine coon cat because they are large and fluffy with lots of hair. Daneil has continued with Diverse Harmony for 7 years because rehearsal is “like coming home.” Daneil can’t wait to continue making music with the DH family
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.
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.
Jared Brayton Bollenbacher, Artistic Director
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.
Michelle Horsley, Accompanist
Michelle joins as the accompanist this year to Diverse Harmony! As a previous member of the chorus, Michelle has a great understanding of what the mission and vision is of Diverse Harmony. Her work with the youth continues into the 2015-2016 season. We are delighted to have her on board!
Board of Directors
Bob Sittig, President
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 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.
Aaron Revoir, Board Member
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.
Saundra Whittemore, Board Member
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 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.
Sharon Bruhn, Board Member
Bio coming soon!
Donate to Diverse Harmony
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 deductible donation to Diverse Harmony. 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.
- 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:
1111 Harvard Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
For interest in Sponsorship opportunities please contact firstname.lastname@example.org