Seattle Women's Chorus

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Seattle Women's Chorus (SWC) is a community chorus based in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 2002, the group is the largest LGBTQ-identified women's chorus in the world.[1] SWC is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses) and Chorus America. Both Seattle Women's Chorus and Seattle Men's Chorus are governed by the same non-profit organization, Flying House Productions.[2] Combined, they are the largest community chorus in North America.[1]

In addition to the full chorus, SWC also has a small vocal ensemble, Sensible Shoes, which represents SWC at events around the city.[3][4]

SWC has been led by conductor and artistic director, Paul Caldwell, since 2016.[5][6]


SWC regularly performs for audiences in Seattle at venues including Cornish Playhouse, Saint Mark's Cathedral, and McCaw Hall.[7][8] They have been joined by guest artists including country singer, Chely Wright,[9][10] Lesley Gore,[11] VEEP's Kathy Najimy,[12][13] and The Voice's Vicci Martinez.[14]

Each year SWC performs a free children's concert for Seattle-area families.[15] This event has featured youth performance groups including Village Theatre KIDSTAGE[16] and Diverse Harmony, the nation's first gay-straight alliance youth chorus.[17]

Marriage Equality[edit]

In 2012, SWC, along with Seattle Men's Chorus, traveled to five cities in western Washington, performing a free concert, "Voices United for Marriage," that encouraged residents to approve state referendum 74 which would legalize marriage equality for same-sex couples.[18][19][20] In November 2012, Washington became one of three states, along with Maine and Maryland, to approve same-sex marriage through a popular vote.[21][22] Pete-e Petersen and Jane Abbott Lighty, both founding members of Seattle Women's Chorus, were the first couple to receive a marriage license in Seattle's King County.[23][24] They were married on-stage during a holiday concert at Seattle's Benaroya Hall.[25][26]

In 2015, Seattle Women's Chorus performed at Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's rally to celebrate the Supreme Court decision that legalized marriage equality across the country.[27][28]


  1. ^ a b "For retiring artistic director, the Seattle Men's Chorus heralded much more than music". The Seattle Times. 2016-06-09. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  2. ^ "Seattle Choruses :: About". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  3. ^ O'Brien, John. "'Sandbox Radio' Presents Things That Go Bump 'In Nighttown'". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  4. ^ " - In Seattle, NFL, MLB, MLS Unite For Human Rights". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  5. ^ "Choruses' warm embrace helps new director heal, body and soul, after a hit-and-run". The Seattle Times. 2016-12-09. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  6. ^ Times, Windy City. "Local choral figure on career, Seattle job and brutal accident - Gay Lesbian Bi Trans News Archive - Windy City Times". Windy City Times. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  7. ^ Desk, BWW News. "SWC & SMC Set Dennis Coleman's Farewell Season". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  8. ^ "Seattle Men's, Women's Choruses: 2014-2015 Season - The Seattle Lesbian". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  9. ^ "Singer Chely Wright Joins Seattle Women's Chorus for "True Country"". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  10. ^ "Feelin' a little bit Country? Check out Chely Wright with the Seattle Women's Chorus this weekend. | Seattle Gay Scene | Your Daily Gay In Seattle". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  11. ^ "'60s take inspired twists in coming out of the closet". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  12. ^ "Kathy Najimy, Seattle Women's Chorus 'Swing Into Laughter'". The Seattle Times. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  13. ^ "Seattle Gay News - Mobile Edition - SWC guest Kathy Najimy funny, fierce, and warm - SWC guest Kathy Najimy funny, fierce, and warm - Friday, February 4, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 05". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  14. ^ "Women's chorus event to feature 'Voice' finalis | Bellevue Reporter". Bellevue Reporter. 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  15. ^ "STARLA SPEAKS | Local philanthropist 'makes mark in quiet but effective way' - Queen Anne & Magnolia News". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  16. ^ "Seattle Men's Chorus and Seattle Women's Chorus Combine Forces for Children's Concert at McCaw Hall - The Seattle Lesbian". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  17. ^ Nichols, JamesMichael (2013-11-12). "Diverse Harmony GSA Youth Chorus Welcomes LGBT Youth". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  18. ^ "VOICES UNITED FOR MARRIAGE". Tacoma Weekly. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  19. ^ "Over the Rainbow". City Arts. 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  20. ^ "Seattle Men's and Women's Choruses to perform free concerts in Tacoma and Olympia - Get Out". Tacoma News Tribune. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  21. ^ "Gay marriage wins approval in Wash. state". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  22. ^ CNN, By Ashley Fantz. "Washington voters pass same-sex marriage, CNN projects -". CNN. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  23. ^ "Same-sex couples now account for 1 in 6 Washington weddings". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  24. ^ CNN, By Michael Martinez. "Washington starts issuing same-sex marriage licenses -". CNN. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  25. ^ "Connelly: Gay power in Seattle: Just look at our power structure". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  26. ^ CNN, By Michael Martinez. "Washington starts issuing same-sex marriage licenses -". CNN. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  27. ^ "Gays in state celebrate recognition of their marriages nationwide". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  28. ^ "20 Photos from Mayor Ed Murray's Rally to Celebrate the US Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality". The Stranger. Retrieved 2017-07-07.