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    • Lyrics & Music: Chester Bennington, Robert Bourdon, Brad Delson, David Farrell, Joseph Hahn, Mike Shinoda, and Francis White

      Arrangement: Christi Cary Miller

      Lyrics | Should've stayed, were there signs, I ignored? Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore? We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep There are things that we can have, but can't keep If they say Who cares if one more light goes out? In the sky of a million stars It flickers, flickers Who cares when someone's time runs out? If a moment is all we are We're quicker, quicker Who cares if one more light goes out? Well I do The reminders pull the floor from your feet In the kitchen, one more chair than you need oh And you're angry, and you should be, it's not fair Just 'cause you can't see it, doesn't mean it, isn't there If they say Who cares if one more light goes out? In the sky of a million stars It flickers, flickers Who cares when someone's time runs out? If a moment is all we are We're quicker, quicker Who cares if one more light goes out? Well I do Who cares if one more light goes out? In the sky of a million stars It flickers, flickers Who cares when someone's time runs out? If a moment is all we are We're quicker, quicker Who cares if one more light goes out? Well I do Well I do

      Program Notes | We open with the song that gives our concert its name and theme, "One More Light". Taken from Linkin Park's last album of the same name, the song was initially written as a tribute to Mike Shinoda's friend Amy Zaret, who died unexpectedly of cancer. A live performance of the song was later dedicated to Chris Cornell, after his death by suicide. The song gained further significance as the final single to feature lead singer Chester Bennington, who also died of suicide shortly after the album's release. This arrangement of the song is "Dedicated to those who have lost their lives to suicide and to those they've left behind that suffer from that loss. Let this song be a reminder that every life matters and there is always someone who cares." It is this central message and motif, of light that must be preserved, which provides our thematic throughline this evening, as we remember our fallen trans siblings.


      • Hannah Oshlag and Liv MaKennan-Bray (Saturday)

      • Jae Bernardo and Molly Wilvich (Monday)

      • Dani Weisz

      "Dedicated to those who have lost their lives to suicide and those they've left behind that suffer from that loss. Let this song by a reminder that every life matters and there is always someone who cares."

    • Haven Wilvich & Fox Hampton

    • Story | I’ve been in choirs since I was little and very recently discovered I’m a trans man. So when someone first told me about STANCE back in the summer, I thought “cool! A queer choir! That sounds fun!” The day of my audition, it was instantly confirmed that I’d love it. After the audition, I walked out of the building marginally composed, then proceeded to squeal and twirl down the sidewalk. The following week, during our first rehearsal, one of the icebreakers was “who here identifies as neurodivergent?” To my surprise, nearly everyone raised their hands, and I thought, “Wait, a queer, neurodivergent choir???” Immediately after the rehearsal, I called one of my best friends and literally shouted “MY PEOPLE!!” I was so excited; I knew I’d found my crowd. Still, I only thought, “this’ll be such a fun time!” Didn’t think much beyond that at first, to be honest. Funny how the lifesavers often come so unexpectedly. I came into STANCE just barely starting to heal from a lifetime’s worth of trauma and self-hatred. Little did I know this choir was about to change my entire point of view. My first time performing with STANCE at Redmond PRIDE in September, I was so empowered by the singers around me that I actually took my first step toward transitioning that same day! “My body, my choice” had finally sunk in. Over the next couple months, I dipped my toes in the STANCE social waters, and the result was far more positive than I ever expected. This incredible community has taught me that being me doesn’t always have to be “not enough” or “too much”; sometimes being my creative, awkward, emotional and bubbly self can be “just right.” Because of STANCE, for a couple hours a week I don’t have to wonder whether my existence is good enough; every rehearsal I am sure I belong, and it’s a feeling I’ve been craving my whole life. Joining our queer, neurodivergent choir has opened up a safe community space for me to explore emotional vulnerability, gender-based desires, and neurodivergent authenticity. All that to say, being a part of STANCE for the last 3 1/2 months has been lifesaving, life-changing and self-affirming in ways I never imagined possible

    • Lyrics: Stuart Kestenbaum

      Lyrics | Gather up whatever is glittering in the gutter, whatever has tumbled in the waves or fallen in flames out of the sky, for it's not only our hearts that are broken but the heart of the world as well. Stitch it back together. Make a place where the day speaks to the night and the earth speaks to the sky, Whether we created God or God created us it all comes down to this: In our imperfect world we are meant to repair and stitch together what beauty there is, stitch it with compassion and wire. See how everything we have made gathers the light inside itself and overflows? A blessing.

      Program Notes | As we continue into the program, we hold the light, with B.E. Boykin's beautiful setting of Stuart Kestenbaum's poem. From the beginning, this piece plays with rhythm, written in 12/8 with the right hand playing duplets over flowing sixteenth notes in the left hand. Hemiolas and rhythmic tension continue throughout the piece, giving it a feeling of constant motion and ethereal beauty. The words compel the listener to gather up whatever is glittering in the gutter; to stitch the heart of the world back together. Boykin's lush, shimmery setting of these words evokes the feeling of light overflowing, underscoring Kestenbaum's poetry and bringing out key words, such as "flames" (the first moment of four-part harmony), "compassion" (a moment of marked rhythmic variation), and of course, the word "light". Dr. Brittney E. Boykin received her PhD in Music Education from Georgia State University last year, with a dissertation on the "Lived Experiences of Black Women Composers". She is a composer, pianist, and choral director, and currently works as an Assistant Professor of Music at the Georgia Institute of Technology.



      Why I'm Writing

      Subhaga Crystal Bacon

      Words | Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Every day, I lifted the bandage to see the latest wound, infection spreading to rot. I was asked to write a poem about social justice, Black Lives Matter, gun violence. A Queer person who’s survived to elderhood, I wrote about this intersection of fears an epidemic beyond even the epidemic of the year. Suspended in time—sunlit window, feet on the red rug of my room, a new day, Googling trans murders—I was whole before, and a hole after. So fast in July: Marilyn, Dior, Queasha, Aja, then the long break, two-week vacation. I kept my vigil even prayed daily: let it be over. Please, no more. Then came Kee, August thirteenth, and two weeks later, Lea, the end of the month, and Elie Che, drowned off Jones Beach, maybe an accident, like Isabella after Labor Day, who fell or was pushed from a roof. No proof in either case of a crime. Fall brought the death of Aerrion Burnett, shot in Independence; Mia, by her boyfriend in Philadelphia. Michellyn, the sixth to die in Puerto Rico, but not the last. By October it was clear that the year would surpass the one before and the one before that. Brook the thirty-second, twenty years old, the twenty- first Black trans person murdered so far. So far, so far, we seem to come, celebrating National Coming Out Day that claimed Sara in Indianapolis. Two weeks later, Angel in Memphis. Everyday I checked for news, hung in hope for an end of violence, of death. Every day I held my breath until I knew who’d been slain by stranger or lover as autumn uncovered the bony limbs of trees. November 4, Skylar Heath mourned as he; on the seventeenth, Yunieski in Miami. Day of Trans Remembrance, November twentieth, Chae’Misha chased down by a man with a gun, and Asia, who said she was going on a date. Even chronicling this—the daily plunge to heartache— exhausts me. I wish I didn’t have this need to record what came before what follows here. One by one, each name, each life: Kimberly the oldest at fifty-five, Jaheim for her pantsuit, Courtney on Christmas, and Alexandria, the last of the year, Boxing Day. Year ends and year begins. On Epiphany, Tyanna, then Samuel, Bianca, Dominique, Fifty Bandz, Alexus, Chyna, JJ and Jasmine, Jenna, Diamond, Rayanna, Jaida, Dominique, Remy, Tiara, Natalia, Iris, Tiffany, Keri, Jahaira, Whispering Wind, Sophie, Danika, Serenity, Ollie—only seventeen— Thomas, Poe, EJ, Aidelen, Taya, Shai, Tierramarie, Miss CoCo, and Pooh. Names taken to reflect new lives. It’s September 4, 2021. That’s the count to August 23. Thirty-five trans lives taken in eight months. Thirty-five, the average life expectancy; mid-life, all the sweetness denied: to grow wise, get fat, find love, make home. I need to name this, the brutality of tallying the dead. Horror in equal measure, that they can and must be counted. Over halfway through a new year, new era, some might say, the list of names rolls out, rolls on. I’m here, not just counting, but incanting.



      Luther Hughes

      Words | Peeking through the clouds, Mt. Rainier, with its white tank top, several cities to glare upon, and a moral blue sky to angle into, must love by now to be American. When asked this by the woman in front of us on the night President Obama was elected, my mother and I in Walmart—Isn’t it a great night to be American—the cashier just nodded, but my mother yelled, Yes, it really is, thank God. And yes, yes it was, a great night to be American there between the bags of Lay’s and plague of batteries, to be Black in America, thank God! But, oh, mountainous beast, who am I to thank now, years later, walking home from the bus stop, surrounded by mid-winter-eaten trees and new-rise condos that my Love wasn’t shot by cops at work today mistaken as someone else? Is there a song for this strain of mercy? At home, the light flickers above us as we sip wine, letting the TV wash our bodies into quiet laughter. I know we should spend this time spitting on the name of America how we usually do when another Black person has been killed or when another country perfumes with our war, but there’s beauty unaccounted for tonight. There are crows out back, tired from the work of flight and pilgrimage, ashing the branches one by one. There is the crockpot of red beans in the kitchen, its chestnut chest bubbling with bay leaves and sausage. I fear I have made a mess of being an American. Love, I’m dumb with the fear of never doing enough. Is there anything else you want to say about what happened today, I ask him as he takes a spoonful of home into his mouth. The laugh track on TV peppers the room, and he shakes his head. What did I expect him—Black like me, American like me, in love like me—to say after dusting the day along to get inside this four-walled pasture amid the mourning of dirty laundry, the painting of a cracked moon guarding the wooden-black dresser. Do you like the food, he asks. Yes, I do, I say, and I kiss him on the cheek. Thank you.

    • Story | I hate my voice. I’ll be buying something at a store, and the cashier calls me “ma’am” — and then as soon as I say something in response, there comes the litany of, “Oh, I’m so sorry, sir! I mean sir!” “No, y- you had it right the first time.” Or on the phone they’ll be all, “Yes, sir, thank you sir, by the way, sir, we have you down as female, sir… you should look into getting that fixed.” I hate my voice. Popular music is categorized as “male vocals” or “female vocals.” Choral music has the “men’s sections” and the “women’s sections.” There are special, gender-implied terms for people who sing in the “opposite” section. Contralto. Countertenor. … Castrato. I have a fairly wide vocal range, and gravitate toward alto parts. But in an ensemble, I stick out like a squeaky sore thumb, and I always go back into my masculine little tenor box, never having the room to grow and experiment, to find what’s comfortable. I hate my voice. But then, I joined STANCE. A choir literally made for people like me, people who never really fit into the expectations they were assigned at birth, who are now able to shine, and experiment, and learn, and grow. Where trans voices come together to sing for the joy of it, together as one. Where folks of all genders and lack thereof make their home in every section. Here, a tenor can also be femme. We have this amazing space where we can all come together and share our joys and sorrows, our wins and rants, and support each other. We navigate our identities and our transitions, help each other to find the words for our shared pain, and to find comfort and solace, a path forward in the face of frustration and barriers. We have a space where we can experiment and improvise and grow, and where we can all simply be. STANCE has helped me to not feel so alone in this world, and has given me so many opportunities where I can grow and change and thrive. I learn to do better while also having the support of this wonderful queer community, this collection of misfits and weirdos, all coming together in our shared joy. My voice belongs here. I still hate my voice. But at least here, it isn’t so bad, when we all sing together.

    • Lyrics | Sing, be, live, see This dark stormy hour The wind, it stirs The scorched Earth cries out in vain Oh war and power, you blind and blur The torn heart cries out in pain But music and singing have been my refuge And music and singing shall be my light A light of song, shining strong Hallelujah, hallelujah Through darkness and pain and strife I'll sing, I'll be, live, see Peace

      Program Notes | Sing. Be. Live. See. This is the entreaty which opens Frank Ticheli's "Earth Song". In "Holding the Light" we sang about the broken heart of the world, and the need to stitch it back together. In "Earth Song", we continue this train of thought and sing of the scorched earth crying out in pain - but how music, singing, the light of song, can bring us peace. Ticheli, professor of composition at USC and primarily known as a wind ensemble composer, initially wrote the music to this piece as part of a wind ensemble piece - an influence that can be heard in the warm, lush chords sung by the chorus throughout, featuring some distinctive dissonances in the higher voices. But as he was writing, he found the music had a very choral quality to it, and added words inspired by his desire for peace in the midst of the United States' involvement in the Iraq War. "Earth Song" has become very popular over the years with choirs of all sizes and levels, its simple but powerful message resonating in hard times ever since.

    • Shaki Peters, 32, Amite City, LA, July 1

      Subhaga Crystal Bacon

      Words | She was full of laughter and an abundance of life. Shaki, there’s a plant that grows here, where I live, called Shadbush—it’s also known as Service Berry— but it’s the genus I thought of yesterday, seeking shade on the hillside, carrying you with me in the heat of day. How it gives shade, gives fruit, dark purple, seeded, and nourishing. Your face, Shaki, in the one photo I can find, is round and open, dark and sweet. Your eyes seem to tip up a bit at the outer corners. Your lips are full, plush as pillows. I keep waiting for some story to explain your murder. I don’t know how much that matters in the long run, but it might fill the gap around your death. I keep thinking about the name Amite City from the French for friendship. Like my hometown, Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love. Likewise, no friend to trans women. I spent a month in Louisiana in 1984. It was hot and humid and I loved the way sweat soaked me, sticking clothes to skin. I used to move from shade to shade, the shadows of buildings, banana trees, and one very large fig tree in the yard of the house I rented, hand-shaped leaves the size of fans. In 1984, Shaki, you weren’t even born yet. It was a heyday for being Queer if you don’t count AIDS. We were all trying on gender like a wig or a dress or suit and tie. I used to go to a drag bar in Philly where I had a crush on a zaftig redhead I now know to have been trans. She was very kind to me, taking my face in her soft hands, fragrant and styled like the mother of a childhood friend I had to share a bed with one weekend. I clung all night to the far edge in fear that I would accidentally touch her. There was a ripeness in her, sweet, nourishing, a kind of femme that makes my heart ache, that I’ve never known or been. There are many kinds of shadow, Shaki, many kinds of shade. I think of you now inhabiting that: luscious, lush, safe.

    • Story |

    • Lyrics: James Rado & Gerome Ragni

      Lyrics | We starve - look at one another Short of breath Walking proudly in our winter coats Wearing smells from laboratories Facing a dying nation Of moving paper fantasy Listening for the new told lies With supreme visions of lonely tunes Somewhere inside something There is a rush of Greatness, who knows what stands in front of Our lives? I fashion my future On films in space Silence tells me secretly Everything Everything Manchester England England Manchester England England (eyes look your last) Across the Atlantic Sea (arms take your last embrace) And I'm a genius genius (and lips oh you the doors) I believe in God (of breath, seal with) And I believe that God (a righteous kiss) Believes in Claude (seal with a righteous kiss) That's me, that's me (the rest is silence) That's me (the rest is silence) (The rest is silence) We starve-look At one another Short of breath Walking proudly in our winter coats Wearing smells from laboratories Facing a dying nation Of moving paper fantasy Listening for the new told lies With supreme visions of lonely tunes Singing Our space songs on a spider web sitar Life is around you and in you Answer for Timothy Leary, dearie Let the sunshine Let the sunshine in

      Program Notes | The musical Hair debuted Off-Broadway in 1967 and became a cultural touchstone of 1960s hippiedom. Like "Earth Song", one of the driving forces behind the writing of Hair was the fervent desire for peace in the midst of an unpopular war. This is part of why lyricists Rado and Ragni would later decry Miloš Forman's 1979 film adaptation for its unfaithfulness to the source material (though the accompanying album, which composer Galt MacDermot worked on, was one of the best rock albums of the '70s). The message has been further jumbled over the years as "Let the Sunshine In", at its core a protest anthem and the closing number of the show, became commonly paired and associated with "Aquarius", a much more joyous and carefree song and the opening number of the show. We present here the original closing sequence from Hair. At the end of the show, Claude, the main character, leaves the "Tribe" to join the military and is killed in the Vietnam War. The lyrics of "The Flesh Failures" express anger with a capitalistic society that is largely indifferent to and unaffected by the suffering and inequities of the world. "Moving paper fantasies" is likely a reference to money, while the "new told lies" refer to the lies told by the US government to justify the Vietnam War. As Claude sings a reprise of his own theme song, "Manchester England", a group of singers from the Tribe seem almost to taunt him, singing some of the last words uttered by Romeo before his suicide in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, as well as Hamlet's final words, "the rest is silence". The whole company then finishes with "Let the Sunshine In", a protest anthem not just calling for, but demanding, an end to pointless death.


      • Ada Han

      • fluffy

      • Rosemary De Luca

      • Mitchie P Vega

      • Tesseract King


      • Adaleigh Martin

      • Alyssa Ingersoll

      • Yoshi Das

    • We encourage you to view the images and names of those we have lost this year in the entry hallway and reflect on what TDOR means to you. Please take a candle for the reading of the names and return when you hear the piano playing. 

    • Please light your candles. You are welcome to read the names aloud from the list below with us. 

      Names of those we remember this year

      1. Myles Fitzpatrick, 17, New Jersey, suicide

      2. Emma Borhanian, 31, California, shot

      3. Adalyn Anderson, 24, Oklahoma, suicide

      4. Daniel Davis Aston, 28, Colorado, shot

      5. Kelly Loving, 40, Colorado, shot

      6. Diamond Jackson-McDonald, 27, Pennsylvania, shot

      7. Day Rodas, 27, California, overdose

      8. Morgan Dee, 32, Indiana, suicide

      9. Destiny Howard, 23, Georgia, shot

      10. Mar’Quis “MJ” Jackson, 33, Pennsylvania, beaten

      11. Henry Berg-Brousseau, 24, Kentucky, suicide

      12. Caelee Love-Light, 27, Arizona, shot

      13. Levi Martin, 17, Massachusetts, suicide

      14. Gwen Gatewood, 22, Michigan, suicide

      15. Jasmine “Star” Mack, 36, Washington D.C., stabbed

      16. KC Johnson, 27, North Carolina, beaten

      17. Manuel “Tortugita” Teran, 26, Georgia, shot

      18. Olivia Snow, 47, New York

      19. Maria Jose Rivera, Texas, shot

      20. Unique Banks, 20, Illinois, shot

      21. Ivory Nicole Smith, 27, California

      22. Imanitwitaho Zachee, 26, Kentucky, shot

      23. Cashay Henderson, 31, Wisconsin, shot

      24. Cait Eowyn Earhart, 19, Missouri, suicide

      25. Kayleigh Scott, 25, Colorado, suicide

      26. Siyah Woodland, 18, Maryland, shot

      27. Ashley Burton, 37, Georgia, shot

      28. Mo Moore, 18, Kentucky, possible suicide

      29. Rasheeda Williams, 35, Georgia, shot

      30. Acacia Rylee Stanley, 52, Washington, suicide

      31. Stephanie Petty, 19, Wyoming, suicide

      32. Banko Paso/Brown, 24, California, shot

      33. LaKendra Andrews, 26, Texas, shot

      34. Om Gandhi, 16, Utah, shot

      35. Nova Dunne, 14, New Hampshire, suicide

      36. Cam Chamberlain, Texas, possible suicide

      37. Mia Alaina-Lorene Knight, 20, California, suicide

      38. Ashia Davis, 34, Michigan, shot

      39. Channell “Uvita” Perez Ortiz, 29, Puerto Rico, shot

      40. Jacob Williamson, 18, South Carolina, murdered

      41. Michelle Dionne Peacock, 59, Indiana, stabbed

      42. Colin Smith, 32, Oregon, stabbed

      43. Fernielle Mary Mora, 26, New York

      44. Elena Esther Adem, Texas

      45. Camdyn Rider, 21, Florida, shot

      46. Mykal Rae, Virginia, suicide

      47. DeVonnie J’Rae Johnson, 28, California, shot

      48. Dolli Goins, 27, Oregon

      49. Luis Angel Diaz Castro, 22, Puerto Rico

      50. Lovely Page, 54, Illinois, shot

      51. Tom-Tom Robertson, 28, Indiana, shot

      52. Catherine Wheeler, 35, Ohio, suicide

      53. Tree Crane, 17-18, Utah, suicide

      54. Bre’Asia Bankz, Arizona, shot

      55. Codii Lawrence, 25, West Virginia, run over

      56. Alexa Andreevna Sokova, 34, Florida, shot

      57. Charm Wilson, 32, Ohio, run over

      58. YOKO, 30, Louisiana, run over

      59. Thea Cassidy, 18, Pennsylvania, suicide

      60. Sherlyn Marjorie, 35, New Mexico, murdered

      61. Erin Ezra Young, 24, Iowa, suicide

      62. Allen O’Donnell, 20, New York, suicide

      63. Rani Baker, Oregon, suicide

      64. Chyna Long, 30, Wisconsin, shot

      65. Dominic Dupree/Palace, 25, Illinois, shot

      66. A’nee Roberson, 30, Washington D.C., run over

      67. Lisa Love Turman, 35, Illinois, shot

      68. London Price, 26, Florida, shot

      69. Alice Olen, 17, Washington, suicide

      70. Kai Cooper, 46, Washington, suicide

      Additional names we learned of in the last week: 
      71. Alexsandra Olmo, 43, Illinois, shot
      72. Dee Rutzen, 16, UT, suicide
      73. Skylar Harrison Reeves, 30, Washington D.C.
      74. River Paige Olmsted, 17, Pennsylvania, suicide
      75. Naomi McNew, Indiana, suicide

      In the last year alone, we have lost at least 75 people due to transphobic violence and suicide in the US. Globally many more lives have been lost and we know that the numbers are vastly underreported or misidentified. We encourage you to think about ways that you can show up to support your trans friends and neighbors to show them that they are loved and valued for who they are. 

      If you or someone you love are hurting and need help, please reach out to friends or contact the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860

    • Summer Taylor, 24, Seattle, WA, July 4

      Subhaga Crystal Bacon

      Words | They were always the first one to call people out for being sexist, racist — standing up for queer and trans people . . . they were the one that was so vocal. Dancing the Cupid Shuffle wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, protective gloves, a mask around their chin, Summer Taylor, activist, sibling, child, animal lover, killed by a car driven the wrong way up a closed ramp into the crowd. Summer, white, non-binary, Seattleite had all the privilege of race, love, family support, college, meaningful work, and strength of conviction fed on these nutrients. They stopped to dance on their way to City Hall at 5:30 in the morning, another nightlong protest, the Black Femme March, festive, a celebration, the Interstate closed, a space created for them to stand together. The day before, Diaz Love, injured in the crash, posted on Facebook: the death threats from hate groups is real, real this weekend. Love, recovering, in pain, the threats keep coming, writes: If they thought this murder would make us back down, they are wrong. Summer, the last death in the first half of 2020, stands in stark relief for what they stood for: Black trans femme sisters, trans brothers, femme dykes and gay boys, white, black, brown the rainbow of gender no car can mow down.


      Lyrics: James Weldon Johnson

      Lyrics | My heart be brave, and do not falter so, Nor utter more that deep, despairing wail. Thy way is very dark and drear I know, But do not let thy strength and courage fail; For certain as the raven-winged night Is followed by the bright and blushing morn, Thy coming morrow will be clear and bright; ’Tis darkest when the night is furthest worn. Look up, and out, beyond, surrounding clouds, And do not in thine own gross darkness grope, Rise up, and casting off thy hind’ring shrouds, Cling thou to this, and ever inspiring hope: Tho’ thick the battle and tho’ fierce the fight, There is [a] power [in] making for the right.

      Program Notes | Following the reading of the names, we continue with Marques L.A. Garrett's "My Heart Be Brave." The text for "My Heart Be Brave" comes from the poem "Sonnet" by James Weldon Johnson, an early leader of the NAACP and noted Harlem Renaissance writer of poems, novels, and spirituals, whose most famous work is probably the poem "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing". Marques L.A. Garrett sets this text beautifully, and its message of bravery and perseverance through dark times provides a ray of hope for the future as it implores us to "rise, rise up, rise up" and declares finally that "there is power in making for the right." Garrett himself writes of this piece: "In the midst of discrimination, our heart—the very core of our being—must lead us into rightful change. And as we continue doing right, the principles of honesty, love, and justice will give us the power to strive for what is due of all humanity." In addition to his wonderful body of work as a composer, Garrett is also noted for his groundbreaking database "Beyond Elijah Rock: The Non-Idiomatic Choral Music of Black Composers", an invaluable resource for choir directors and all lovers of great choral music, both historical and current. He holds a PhD in Music Education and remains active as a conductor, singer, and clinician.


      Lyrics | (English Translation) Longing Like water, running day and night, your longing lies awake. You think about a vanished time that lies so far away. You look out into the light of morning and you are alone. Like water, running day and night, your longing lies awake.

      Program Notes | "Sehnsucht" is the first of a set of six art songs by Johannes Brahms, collectively known as "Sechs Quartette". It is a setting of a poem by the German art historian and poet Franz Kugler. A secular humanist, Brahms is somewhat anomalous among his Classical and Romantic era peers in that he openly preferred not to set sacred texts for his music (though professional musicians, then as much as today, often had to rely on churches for income). Sehnsucht, German for "longing", evokes just that - a feeling of longing. The push and pull of diminished chords and dissonance plays throughout the piece as the simple 2/4 time in which the piece is sung at times feels at odds with the triplets in the underlying piano accompaniment. The piece, predominantly in a minor key, offers a traditional musical "beacon of hope" at the end with a Picardy third, making major what once was minor.


      Marilyn Cazares, 22, Brawley, CA, July 16

      Subhaga Crystal Bacon

      Words | She was strong and she would look anybody in the eye and say, 'I'm very proud of who I am.’ Marilyn, it’s hard to keep up with the pace of hate this year. This summer, it seems to flower like a noxious weed, sending spores to couch themselves into what should be the beauty of your freedom to be yourself, brave, your proud Aunt Lorissa’s proud niece. It’s rare for family to use the word niece for those who are transgender, as if they hate recognizing their changed, their brave children. Is it so hard to let them flower, to allow them to find their own beauty? All that imposed invisibility is couched in misgendering and deadnaming. Your couch was set ablaze, Marilyn, Aunt Lorissa’s niece, by someone who had to kill your beauty to cover over his own self-hate. Did he see in you the seed and flower of a life he did not feel the bravery to love? To love what is, we must brave life or risk watching it go by from the couch, separated by walls and doors from the flowering. We must be willing to witness living. My own niece has also been hurt at the hands of one who hates her self-sufficiency, her fierce beauty. Our family nickname for her is beauty heart. It’s a way of saying, let my love make you brave, protect you from the world’s random acts of hate. Marilyn, I’m telling you this only as a way to couch the heartache of your Aunt proclaiming you as niece. She told the world about your painful flowering from a boyhood of taunts and hurt. You were a flower amidst the heavy feet of those who fear unfamiliar beauty, one born a boy who grows up to be a niece. That transition is the thing that made you, Marilyn, brave. Your murder and the burning of your body on a couch did not extinguish your beauty with the flames of hate. Your people came to leave flowers for your bravery, Marilyn. Your beauty lives beyond the burnt couch. No one can kill your Aunt Lorissa’s niece with hate.


      A Shiver in the Leaves

      Luther Hughes

      Words | Are you, are you Coming to the tree Where the dead man called out For his love to flee Strange things did happen here No stranger would it be If we met at midnight In the hanging tree — James Newton Howard, “The Hanging Tree” A muss of flies showers his open mouth where the blood crusts. Dead, he will not speak. I can see how pain chewed the neck. I rest my head against the tree, sleep and wake in his call. Like legs of a spider, his nature extends, saying, Like you I once harbored beauty saying, Like you my beauty takes the kingdom of blackness. It is dawn in the man’s eyes, a cavern, a slow thaw to memory. I look and look and look. Who is to say what death is or is not? He has his limbs, a sky overlooking... I know he is dead, nothing will change but still I whisper in his ear, Breathe. I want you to breathe.

    • Story | Hello, my name is Victor and I am, at 62 years of age, probably the oldest member of this choir. But, I’m also very new on this journey of transitioning. Even though I knew since the age of 5 that I was in the wrong body, there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it, growing up in the conservative town I grew up in during the 60’s. So, I got really good at making the best of the hand I was dealt. My sacred space was the creek. I would go to the creek to get away from all those gendered expectations that were forced down my throat, and I could be me because Nature doesn’t care. Nature made us! I would spend hours and hours at the creek, inevitably falling in and getting my shoes wet, going home and hiding them, and then literally getting a beating when they were found for disobeying and yet again going to the creek. I learned how to cosplay this role that was forced upon me, and I did it really well. Time moved on, puberty hit, and I thought, “Ooh, this body’s not so bad, I’m going to take it for a ride.” And I did. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) I got married, I had kids, I would NOT TRADE that experience for anything. I have no regrets. Being a parent and birthing these two children into this world is my most meaningful accomplishment. My daughter is my biggest supporter. The first thing she said to me when I told her I was transitioning was, “What’re your pronouns?” and the second thing she said to me was, “If you’re happy, I’m happy.” And all my son said when I told him was, “OK”. And so I had the career, in a male dominated industry, and I thought I was just one of the guys. They didn’t treat me like one, and they certainly didn’t pay me like one. When the kids were grown, I started living my life for myself, but there was something still not quite right. I still got this jolt every time I looked in the mirror. It didn’t match. And then one night, at age 60, I looked in the mirror and saw what could be. I started seeing a beard upon my chin. And I was jolted in a good way. “OH!” Time has caught up, medical science has caught up, society has caught up, and there was NOTHING holding me back. The joy that flooded through this body was exquisite! And then I found STANCE. Oh my God! This choir offers so much more than just a place to come together and sing. You’ve heard the other stories. We did not collaborate on them, this is the first time I’m hearing the others. This choir gives us a place, much like my childhood creek, where we can show up, as ourselves, and express. There’s no justification, there’s no explanation, there’s just joy in coming together and being who we are. I give so much gratitude to Haven for founding this choir and everyone who works so tirelessly to create this space that we get to show up in every week. And props to us for showing up because as you’ve also heard tonight, it’s still not safe to be out and seen. This choir changed my life, but if there’s one thing I want you to take from this story, it’s that it’s never too late. I am living my best life! There is a voice inside of us. It flows in you and it flows in me. Some days you can find it, and some days it’s hard to see. There’s twists and there’s turns and there’s lessons to learn. By the creek.

    • Lyrics | Come with me to the little creek Where my thoughts are running free. They might run swift or they might run deep, But these waters wind their way through me. When we reach the hill, we'll follow it down. Cross the rough and rocky ground. Get a little bit lost and a little bit found, But it evens out when we hear that sound. Why are we so scared to search our centers? It may seem so, but every door you enter You find a piece of something inside you never knew. Keep moving through. You've got your pain, I've got mine. It's hard to say it'll work out fine. But we can share the load when we share a sigh. At the creek our dreams are by design. It flows in you, and it flows in me. Some days you will find it, some days it's hard to see. There's twists and there's turns and there's lessons to learn by the creek. Take a breath and think. Please don't be so scared to search your center. Let those seeds grow, 'cause every door you enter You find a piece of something inside you never knew. Keep moving through. Believe it's true I know that you Will keep moving through. Make a little change at the little creek.

      Program Notes | The last few pieces on the program move us from the more dark and intense focuses of the earlier parts of the program, and into a place of comfort. Matt Carlson's The Little Creek was written to bring comfort in times of struggle. With the feel of a folk song, the verses go back and forth between 3/4 and 4/4 time, giving the melody a particular lilt. It implores the listener to "search your center" and "keep moving through" the challenging times because no matter what, there is always the hope that with each other, we can move forward into better times and happier days. Matt Carlson works as a vocal music teacher in Pennsylvania and holds a Master's in Choral Conducting.


      Yunieski Carey Herrera, 39, Miami, FL, November 17

      Subhaga Crystal Bacon

      Words | The freeze has returned. Sunrise flares over the near hills turning the view pink and blue, the colors of the trans flag. Another trans woman has been killed. Winter approaching even in Miami, where her man, who got her name tattooed on his hip, jealous and tweaked out on meth stabbed her with a knife and fork at 4:00 in the morning a time we should all be sleeping, for a short while safe in our own bodies and dreams. Snow turns blood red as day comes on here far north of her death. A beauty Queen, salsa dancer, she told him she’d found a better man. Through his tears he told them this. In the picture, he’s built like an exclamation point, all upper body bulk, like a wedge against her sibilant curves. A knife and fork, tools to devour what sustains us.


      Stay Safe

      Luther Hughes

      Words | The dog outside won’t stop swallowing the city with its harping. Sooner or later some good citizen will peek through their blinds asking themselves about the fuss, wanting to know what cruel somebody abandoned such loyalty—some Golden Retriever, some snip-tailed Rottweiler, who knows. Next to me, he is asleep, the one I love, the one who promised me a dog in the long seasons to come. He says when the sun is at its most weary, when the sky collapses into the Cascades, when the wounds of autumn vanish into miles of snowy flesh, then. The truth is, who knows what will happen to either of us. We are always one bullet away from the graveyard, a murder of memorial hymns. And if that’s the room we’ve been born into, why do sparrows break the morning with song? Why do fir trees fight bark and root for their green? Sometimes I hear the Earth’s sunken voice saying, Come home, come home. And who am I to argue with the one who has given us so much? But dear eager Earth, I want him to live forever. I want the dog outside to have met my dead dog. I hardly think of him, of how our neighbors shouted at us to shut him up. One day they did it for us, poured searing water onto his body. The grass around him became shredded hairs. The flies fevered and worried. I watched what happened to an animal unwelcomed, underserved. When I tell him this as he armors himself for the day, he says that will never happen again. Oh, to be as certain as wind! Not true, I want to say, but I can’t have everything. I can’t have the yellow from the small patch of dandelions, can’t have the echo of laughter rolling over rooftops, over the hush of engines and bicycle bells, can’t bring the dead back to life. We won’t live forever, but I am afraid some wrong citizen will mistake him for a scar on the neighborhood—they will take him from me. I settle with a covering spell: Stay safe. He walks out the door and into a spray of sirens.

    • Story | CW: Suicide Ideation I've wanted to die for over 20 years. That voice got louder and louder over the years, and it took a lot of figuring stuff out, but eventually I saw the patterns. It grew loud whenever I looked in the mirror, whenever I put on clothes, whenever I put on yet another layer of glamour in front of other people. With the help of friends, therapists, doctors, and 50% off sales on dresses, it got better; the voice simmered down. But there's one thing that I couldn't escape. It came back whenever I heard my own voice. I hated it so much. And then, almost a year ago, I sung this next song in my first rehearsal with STANCE. My voice genuinely belonged for the first time. I still struggle with my voice and my body everyday, but the struggle is easier with friends, and I can sometimes even see the future, a future for me and for all of us.

    • Lyrics: Michael Dennis Browne and Craig Hella Johnson

      Lyrics | What could be the song? Where begin again? Who could meet us there? Where might we begin? From the shadows climb, Rise to sing again; Where could be the joy? How do we begin? Never our despair, Never the least of us, Never turn away, Never hide our face; Ordinary boy, Only all of us, Free us from our fear, Only all of us. Only in the Love, Love that lifts us up, Clear from out the heart From the mountain’s side, Come creation come, Strong as any stream; How can we let go? How can we forgive? How can we be dream? Out of heaven, rain, Rain to wash us free; Rivers flowing on, Ever to the sea; Bind up every wound, Every cause to grieve; Always to forgive, Only to believe. [Chorale:] Most noble Light, Creation’s face, How should we live but joined in you, Remain within your saving grace Through all we say and do And know we are the Love that moves The sun and all the stars? O Love that dwells, O Love that burns In every human heart. This evergreen, this heart, this soul, Now moves us to remake our world, Reminds us how we are to be Your people born to dream; How old this joy, how strong this call, To sing your radiant care With every voice, in cloudless hope Of our belonging here. (Heaven: Wash me . . .)

      Program Notes | Craig Hella Johnson's brilliant oratorio "Considering Matthew Shepard" details the life, death, and aftermath of Matthew Shepard, the 21-year-old college student who was brutally murdered in 1998 in a homophobic hate crime. It is written in the form of a passion play, casting Matthew Shepard as a Christ figure. "All of Us", the 32nd and penultimate movement of the oratorio, represents a sort of resurrection. It poses many questions, not all of which are (or even can be) answered, but it is ultimately optimistic about the prospect of positive change in the wake of horrific atrocity, through the power of Love and of "All of Us". Johnson is a highly decorated choir director and composer, a Grammy Award winner who went to a variety of prestigious schools, earning his doctorate at Yale. He is the founding Artistic Director of Conspirare and has a sizable body of work and achievements. He lives in Austin with his husband. Michael Dennis Browne is a poet and librettist who has worked with many noteworthy composers, including Stephen Paulus and Craig Hella Johnson, and is a professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota.


      • Basil Freeling

      • Taylor Hays

      • Emma King

    • I Have Room for You in Me: A Litany

      Subhaga Crystal Bacon

      Words | For the handsome trans-woman and cis-gender wife, for the suit and tie and heels, for the skirt and corset and beard, I have room. No one can say a life is not right. I have room for you in me. For the one whose father loved her like a son until she became one, I have room for you in me. For those who claim their own names, break free from the limited born-as cocoon, for the one with the wide-hipped sashay, big hands smoothing her dress, I have room for you in me. For him whose voice rings high, whose chest bears scars under hair and ink, I have room. For the one who wears their self-made clothes and hand-painted shoes, not trying to pass, I have room for you in me. For the pregnant man, and woman father, I have room for you in me. For the sex worker’s food and rent. For the elderly boy’s sparse whiskers and soft eyes. For the statuesque matron, the broad beamed man; for your lives and your loves and your rights, I have room. I have room for you in me.

    • Story | Today, I feel as if I am one of the luckiest people in the world. Here I am, surrounded by my beautiful peers. Surrounded by all of these amazing souls. I am here today with my good friends, and my partner, Ashley. When Ashe and I met, we were living in the deep south, surrounded by transphobia, fear, and mistrust. I didn’t know if either of us would make it out alive. But with the strength and the will to love, to live, to be, not only are we surviving here but we are thriving. We are loving, living, being alongside one another. Hand in hand, lifting eachother up, there is nothing that you, all of you, and I cannot do. When I am surrounded by all of you, I feel a steady and unwavering light inside of me. It’s warm. I dedicate this speech to my partner for life, Ashley, and to the ones we sing for tonight. In remembrance, let us love, live, and be. Thank you.

    • Lyrics: Sheila Dunlop

      Lyrics | Let my footfall on this blessed earth tread lightly as a falling leaf. Let my shadow from this blessed sun shut no one from the light. Let my dance beneath these holy stars grow stronger with the years. Let my heart expand with sky-wide love. Those who go before hold high the steady light that shows me where I am.

      Program Notes | "The Steady Light" brings our concert to a close, a piece that embodies all of the various themes of the evening - the idea of Light, of care for the Earth, of love for art and for others, of growing resolve, and of inclusion of all people. This beautiful piece was written by Reginald Unterseher, a Washingtonian born in Walla Walla, currently working in Richland. We hope that this evening's service has resonated with you, and that you feel enriched, and empowered to make a difference in the world. Let us all carry our Light and our Love out into the Earth, and to make it a better place for All of Us to live in.

  • Thank you to our sponsors

    Thank you to our One More Light concert sponsors for your support this concert cycle! By supporting trans joy, you've helped STANCE have a successful season.

    Special thank you to our partners at Traction, especially Shelley O'Neill, Michael Woodward, and Michelle Matlock for making this event successful and sponsoring our first season. 

  • Land & Labor Acknowledgement

    We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered together on the land of the first peoples of Seattle: the Duwamish, Muckleshoot, and Stillaguamish tribes, past and present. We strive to honor with gratitude the land itself and the stewardship of these indigenous tribes.

    We respectfully acknowledge the enslaved people, primarily of African descent, on whose exploited labor this country is built, with little to no recognition. Today, we are indebted to their labor and the labor of the many Black and brown people that continue to work in the shadows for our collective benefit.

    Thank You

    Fox Hampton (he/they)

    Fox is a Black, queer, trans masc born and raised on occupied Duwamish land. He is currently a Co-Director at Alphabet Alliance of Color (AAoC), a small nonprofit that serves QTBIPOC in the Puget Sound region. When he's not at work, Fox is parenting his chunky tuxedo cat, daydreaming new worlds, and performing drag as a member of The Dab Boiz.

    Luther Hughes (they/them)

    Luther is the author of A Shiver in the Leaves (BOA Editions, 2022), and the chapbook, Touched (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018). They are the founder of Shade Literary Arts, an organization for queer writers of color, and cohosts The Poet Salon Podcast with Gabrielle Bates and Dujie Tahat. Recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Rosenberg Fellowship and the 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize, their writing has been published in The Paris Review, Orion, American Poetry Review, and others. They’ve been featured in The Seattle Times, Forbes, Essence, KUOW Public Radio, and more. Luther lives in Seattle, where they were born and raised.

    Subhaga Crystal Bacon (she/they)

    Subhaga is the author of four collections of poetry including Transitory, 2023, winner of the BOA Editions, Ltd. Isabella Gardner Award for Poetry; Surrender of Water in Hidden Places, 2023, winner of the Red Flag Poetry Chapbook Prize; Blue Hunger, Methow Press, 2020, and Elegy with a Glass of Whiskey, winner of the A. Poulin New Poetry America Prize from BOA Editions in 2004. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, she’s a teaching artist working in schools and libraries with youth and adults as well as private students. Her work appears in a variety of print and online journals including The Diode Poetry Journal, The Bellevue Literary Review, Indianapolis Review, Ghost City Review, among others. A Queer elder, she lives in rural northcentral Washington on unceded Methow land.

    We encourage you to support our guest poets by purchasing their newly published volumes of poetry, A Shiver in the Leaves by Luther Hughes and Transitory by Subhaga Crystal Bacon, available in the lobby. 

    Thank you to everyone who helped promote the event and provide space for the livestream.

    • Evelyn Dickinson, The Logical Alternative

    • Melissa Dickinson, The Logical Alternative

    • AJ Gearhart, Catalyst Cafe

    • Laura LeMoon

    • Carolyn Fort

    • Beyond These Walls

    • Country Doctor

    • Donna Popich

    • Dwayne Linde

    • Entre Hermanos

    • Gay City (Seattle's LGBTQ Center)

    • Gender Justice League

    • GenPride

    • Greater Seattle Choral Consortium

    • GSBA

    • Lambert House

    • Lavender Rights Project

    • Pizza Klatch

    • QLaw Foundation

    • Seattle Gay Scene

  • Thank you to all of our amazing singers who show up every week to make this community possible. 


    • Basil Freeling, Jenn Odell, Jules Hepp, Liv MaKennan-Bray, Logan O’Laughlin, Nat Oleander Smith, Star Dorminey, Yoshi Das


    • Emmalyn King, Galaxy Salo, Jae Bernado, Jay Nelson, Riley Murphy, Molly Wilvich,  Sam Cristol, Taylor Hays, Vedin Pavlović


    • Bailey Harkins, Ellie McCormick, fluffy, Jade Dikelsky, Mitchie P Vega, Serenity Yingling, Spiderweb Powers, Winter Miller, Rosemary De Luca, Sonya Vasquez, theo geer


    • Dani Weisz, Deck Miller, Devynn Parkinson-Eagan, Fern Slater, Hannah Oshlag, Haven Wilvich, Jake Sapp, James August Rose, Leo Snipes, Malcolm McAdams, Myra DeMeré, Katie Vitale, Morgana Andersen, Morgan Fiskevold, Tesseract King, Thea Bolton, Victor Westbrook, Wing Mui

    Bold = Section Leader

  • The Seattle Trans and Nonbinary Choral Ensemble, better known as STANCE, was founded in 2022 as the first chorus that is led by and for gender diverse singers in Washington. Our mission is to provide a vocal community free of gendered expectations to explore and express ourselves through music. We have rapidly grown from a grassroots movement to our current 77 member capacity. And with your support, we hope to eventually expand to include a trans youth chorus.

    STANCE Leadership

    Executive Director
    Haven Wilvich (she/her)

    Haven first dreamed of a trans and nonbinary led community choir in 2016 when she got fustrated with how difficult it is being a feminine Bass singer in traditional choirs. When she's not focuse on community building, she does vaccine research, watches birds, and kayaks Washington's many beautiful bodies of water.

    Artistic Director
    Kaelee Alicia Bolme (she/her)

    Kaelee is a Seattle-area music director, singer, pianist, composer, actor, and playwright. She is the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of STANCE, and is very proud of what STANCE has been able to accomplish in its first year of existence, both musically and in terms of the wonderful community that continues to grow in and around it. She sings tenor (and occasionally alto) with Seattle Pro Musica, serves as Director of Music at First Christian Church of Kent, and has been known to music direct for theatre on occasion, including productions of Little Women and Into the Woods with Rosebud CTC, and an upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle at Reboot Theatre in March 2024. She also works as a professional piano accompanist for middle and high school choirs, has taught workshops for the Fifth Avenue Theatre, and co-wrote the original musical Starshine. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies from the University of New Orleans, where she studied piano, conducting, voice, and composition.

    Assistant Artistic Director
    Mikey Prince (they/he)
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual international Transgender Day of Remembrance.

    “Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”
    — Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith


    Each year, we remember the names of the transgender people whose lives have been lost to anti-transgender violence in the past 12 months. These are the people we know of whose lives have been taken due to anti-transgender violence, but it should be noted that these crimes often are misreported, go underreported, or are not reported at all.


    The week before Transgender Day of Remembrance, people and organizations around the world now participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues members of the community face.​


    Adapted from GLAAD. For more information, visit Remembering Our Dead.


STANCE is a small grassroots organization largely funded by individual supporters like you. If you are able, we encourage you to make a one-time or monthly donation to support our ability to continue creating art that celebrates trans joy and community building through music. 

Thank you for attending!

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