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.
During the period from mid-March until late July the choristers continued to meet via Zoom chat each Tuesday evening during the normal time of their rehearsals. In addition to keeping social contact, the singers made recordings of their parts of some of the songs that had been slated for the concerts. Our Artistic Director, Allen Leslie, and Accompanist Kate Jansen consolidated the input from each of our singers and produced three numbers that were used for the virtual opening of Pride Week.
Our performance year usually ends with Pride Week at the end of June when school is also out. This year we continued the Tuesday night Zoom chats until the end of July. As of the beginning of August we are in our “off season” mode with no scheduled Diverse Harmony activities. Normally our next season would start in September when the school year begins. Considering that most schools will be operating by remote instruction and our normal rehearsal facility will not be opened, we are not planning to try to start our next season in September. Like many other organizations we will be monitoring the situation as the months pass by to determine when it will be safe to have our youth together and singing again. The well-being of our members will always be our highest priority.
When the time comes when we can safely meet and sing, we will be conducting an active recruiting campaign to welcome new members, ages 13 through 18, to join Diverse Harmony. Until that time I
would ask you to be thinking of folks you might know that would enjoy the community that Diverse Harmony offers to youth of all orientations and those questioning who they are. Our mission statement is included on this web site. We will keep you informed of changes in our program via this web site.
Thank you for your interest in and support of Diverse Harmony.
July 4, 2020
Dear Diverse Harmony Choristers and Family,
This has been an extremely emotional week for all of us. Our core mission is: “to serve 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, where they can feel respected and accepted.” The black community has lived for far too long in a society that does not provide safety or respect. Our organization stands in solidarity with our African American family who are now actualizing their “stonewall” moment. The systemic violence against black and brown people is unacceptable. The lack of police accountability for systemic violence across this nation is unacceptable.
When our leaders in the LGBTQIA2+ community stood up 51 years ago for 5 days of riots against systemic police violence against our community that we now look back on as the stonewall movement, our leaders paved the way for the pride celebrations we take for granted today. Stonewall was conceived and led by black and brown leaders we must remember and acknowledge how we got where we are today by lifting others up. We cannot be complacent in this moment. We must declare our support and we do. We must show our support and we are. We pledge as an organization to take concrete steps in the days, weeks, months and years to come, to be a part of ending the violence and systemic racism.
In this moment we as an organization make a commitment to calling out racism when we see it, demanding accountability from our elected officials when we need to, holding ourselves accountable to living up to our mission statement to provide a safe space, a respectful space to our communities’ youth and in this moment expanding it to everybody in our community black and brown.
We stand in solidarity with our neighbors who are marching this week. We know that many of you, both choristers and family members are out marching as well, please know we support you.
Diverse Harmony/ Spectrum
Artistic Director: Allen Leslie
Board Members: Bob Sittig, Steve Walker, Bryant Vehrs and Daneil Newcomb
Choir Manager: Devin Mack
Business Manager: Heidi Toppel