Mission: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Straight Ally (LBGTQA) Voices of Harmony embrace and inspire an inclusive community through song.
This inclusive mixed chorale's purpose is to establish a safe and creative space where all are welcome and use the power of our voices to enrich, empower, entertain, enlighten and educate. We are a non-audition choir open to all levels of musical skill and talent.
Harmony was founded in 1992 after the Colorado state Amendment 2 was passed making it illegal for the state or any local government to enact laws protecting citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Harmony responded with concerts, outreach and collaborative efforts seeking to overturn the amendment and to bridge the gap between the LGBT and straight community.
In today's political and cultural climate Harmony's mission is as vital as ever. According to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security, hate crimes in the state nearly doubled in 2018. The agency's report states hate crimes are on the rise after declining in the previous two years. Harmony's music selections and passionate singers have broadened to address gender, racial, environmental and social justice issues as well as bullying.
Demonstrating the importance of our mission is Harmony's increase in membership in the last year from 47 to 72 - an increase of 53%. Harmony's members range in age from the 20s to 80s and come from the Denver metro area and northern foothills communities.
Harmony performs two concerts annually, one each in the fall and spring. Our outreach and collaborative activities are ongoing. Collaboration and partnership are built into our DNA. Recently Harmony had the exciting opportunity to collaborate with the Arvada High School Chorale, the Hazel Miller Band and composer Steve Malloy to present the Rocky Mountain premiere of "Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the Dream" in February 2018. This concert highlighted the life and accomplishments for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s mentor, Bayard Rustin, who is often ignored by history because he was openly gay. In April 2018, Harmony again partnered with Hazel Miller as well as local artist Kimyana Lee to present "Aquarius: The Music of the 60s" where we celebrated timeless treasures and iconic protest songs. In Spring 2019 Harmony showcased rousing and poignant songs from Broadway musicals with social justice themes. Although we usually are on hiatus in the summer, Harmony was contacted by the OMS Production company in July 2019 and invited to perform with Hugh Jackman in his The Man. The Music. The Show World Tour at the Pepsi Center.
A GALA chorus, Harmony has performed in venues across the country. The Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses GALA) is an international association of LGBT choruses founded in 1982. Every four years GALA produces a festival bringing in choruses and singers from this country and from around the world to participate in venues in various cities. Harmony has performed in every GALA festival since 1992. The last festival, held in Denver in 2016, attracted over 120 choruses and 6,000 singers. The 2020 festival will be held in Minneapolis and Harmony will be there. Harmony has also performed at the Lincoln Center in New York City as part of an international chorale presentation of Tyler's Suite.
Unique to Harmony is our continuing efforts to outreach to and include communities beyond the immediate Denver metro area. We have gone 'on tour' to rural areas such as the 2014 tour to La Veta, CO and La Cruces, Sante Fe, and Albuquerque New Mexico. In 2017 Harmony embarked on the We Rise Again Tour to the eastern plains. Harmony, along with Hazel Miller, performed in Holyoke, Haxtun, Fleming, and Sterling CO. For the last five years Harmony has been conducting rehearsals and giving performances in the northern foothills communities of Longmont, Loveland, Ft. Collins and Greeley.
In the upcoming years, Harmony is planning on working with various organizations to expand our outreach. We are reaching out to Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and the Gay and Straight Alliance in high schools to offer support for their activities and events, as well as to ask for volunteers to help with our events. Harmony is also looking to lead the way in a coalition of LGBTQIA+ organizations. By having representatives of multiple groups meet on a regular basis, we can support each other's efforts and achieve more together.
Harmony funds its efforts through a diverse mix of member dues, ticket sales, grants, business sponsorships and individuals ---- like you!
We extend our invitation to support inclusion and social justice through giving to Harmony during Colorado Gives Day - AND joining us. Harmony begins its 2020 Spring season in January. Watch our website at https://www.harmonychorale.org/ for dates and locations for rehearsals.
Philip Vo, GSA Vice President at Mapleton Early College High School: "Having you at our school was beyond remarkable! We sincerely appreciated the effort and time you put into raising awareness for anti-bullying in our school. Our students loved the show[...]. Even the staff remarked how great the presentation was. Your choir brought a wonderful energy into our school and was a great way to promote community bonds throughout our school."
Cass Chatfield, Choral Director at Standley Lake High School: "On Tuesday, you taught them more in 45 minutes than I could have possibly taught them all year. You sang music that spoke to them in a way I never could. [...] you sang to them of overcoming obstacles in such a way that they *know* that your obstacles were real. You assured them that it does, in fact, get better...even when it feels that it never will. You showed them how to be proud of who they are, no matter who they are. That they are, all by themselves and without qualifications, 'good enough.'"