The Tacoma Refugee Choir is a diverse, non-auditioned choral ensemble dedicated to using music’s exceptional power to foster unity, joy, and meaningful action and dialogue. We seek to support and befriend former refugees that now call our city home and to use our voice to advocate for greater compassion for refugees who continue to suffer.
Rehearsals are on Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Lighthouse Activity Center
at 5016 A Street, Tacoma, WA 98408.
More details about the choir:
- Former refugees are especially encouraged to join but everyone is welcome, especially immigrants, people of color, and anyone who has been estranged, persecuted, or harmed by various forms of injustice. Our hope is to ultimately create an ensemble that is reflective of the beautiful diversity of our community.
- There are no fees to join the choir. While the typical community choir has dues that average up to $300 per year, we have been able to make the choir completely free due to generous donors and sponsors and extensive volunteerism.
- There are no auditions to join and we maintain an open door policy for all (up to our maximum capacity). We encourage singers to come as often as possible but we also understand that many of the people we most want to reach have heavy pressures and demands on their time. Once someone comes to a rehearsal, they become part of our musical family and are always welcome.
- Musical training is not required. We teach most of our songs by rote and emphasize singing without judgment. Singers are encouraged to be part of the creation process and are given tools to better themselves as musical humans. We believe that everyone can sing and that we become better by simply doing it.
- Most of our songs come from the American pop music canon and we usually perform with live band. Our concerts are more typical of a pop concert than a typical choir concert.
- We always invite the audience into our welcoming community through a sing-along at each performance.
Perhaps the most powerful indicator of the choir’s early success is its ability to spread a spirit of hope and optimism among its members. Extensive research supports the idea that singing makes us happier, and our ensemble’s shared sense of purpose only magnifies this joyful response. At a time when many Americans are motivated by and responding to fear, we hope to inspire people to sing and allow music to empower them to use their voices for good. We hope that uniting our voices will create a collective, uplifting voice even more powerful than the sum of its parts.