Guest Blogger Mary K. Robertson is part of Pride Foundation’s community in Oregon. She shares the triumphant story of Eugene’s Soromundi Choir, a musical place that celebrates song and diversity.
Oregon’s largest lesbian choir is ready to hit the road in support of LGBTQ youth. Soromundi: Lesbian Chorus of Eugene will tour the Pacific Northwest April 17-20. This “Be The Change” Tour focuses on interactive dialogue with designated youth groups in each community. Each performance is unique and creates an older/younger generation interface by combining drama, Soromundi’s music, and the words of the young people themselves.
“There is a growing understanding nationwide that LGBTQ youth are socially marginalized and in need of support and visibility. All youth are at risk of being bullied or harassed, but LGBTQ students face particularly hostile environments,” says Soromundi President Amber Smith. She notes that suicide rates continue to be high in these at-risk groups. “We want to show up for these kids,” says Smith. “The tour is designed to create connections, increase community education, and build community support for diversity.”
Combining grants, donated venues, sponsorships, and contributions from choir members allows the ticket proceeds from each concert to go directly to the youth groups in each community. Concerts are currently scheduled for Portland, Tacoma, and Seattle. “We may have a few impromptu performances,” laughs Smith. “This crowd has such great energy; you never know when we’ll start singing.”
Soromundi: Lesbian Chorus of Eugene is in its 24th season. Its 90+ members commit to a sometimes grueling performance schedule, says Smith, because “we’re dedicated to the ideal that our visibility, our energy, and our harmonies can counteract ignorance and fear.”
For more information on the “Be The Change” Tour and to buy tickets for each of the concerts, visit www.soromundi.org.
Performances are scheduled as follows:
April 17, 7:30 PM, Portland Community College Cascade Campus. Concert benefits PCC Rock Creek Queer Resource Center and Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center ( SMYRC)
April 18, 7:30 PM, Kilworth Memorial Chapel, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma. Concert benefits Oasis Youth Center.
April 20, 7:30 PM, First Baptist Church, Seattle. Joint concert with the Seattle Women’s Chorus and Diverse Harmony youth chorus. Concert benefits Diverse Harmony.
Contact: Mary Robertson
Jett is Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Oregon. Email Jett.