Arts and Entertainment

Seattle Men's and Women's choruses to perform in Langley

The Seattle Men
The Seattle Men's Chorus will join the Seattle Women's Chorus in a benefit for CADA at South Whidbey High School on June 4.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Flying House Productions

A little song in the heart can help in more ways than one.

For those who suffer at the hand of domestic violence, one local organization does what it can to provide citizens with services through an annual fundraiser that takes the mind off the harshness of the reality.

The Seattle Men’s and Women’s choruses will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 4 in a fundraiser that will benefit Whidbey Island’s nonprofit Citizens Against Domestic & Sexual Abuse (CADA).

The concert will feature the programs “Heartthrobs,” by the men singers, and “Sisters in Song,” by the women, in a performance in the auditorium at South Whidbey High School.

Margie Porter is the executive director of CADA, an Island County organization that maintains its headquarters in Oak Harbor and provides free, confidential assistance for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, rape, child sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

Porter said she is grateful to the Seattle men’s and women’s choruses for donating their talents to help CADA for a third year in a row.

“We’re about 90 percent grant funded, so our board tries to make up that extra 10 percent through fundraisers,” Porter said.

It’s important money, she said, because it allows CADA to provide its clients with basic necessities such as food and other supplies; things for which grant money can’t be used.

“One of the reasons these clients stay in an abusive relationship is because they don’t have the means to get out,” Porter said.

“This is the part that is important to me; to help clients become self-sustaining. We are a fiscally responsible organization and we work hard to make sure donors’ dollars go to our clients,” she said.

Considering the seriousness of what she does, Porter said the story of abuse is not a fun one. Still, the goal of this event is to provide an entertaining evening to the community while raising awareness about CADA.

“We just want people to know we are here. It’s a way for us to get our services out there because they are so needed in our community,” she said.

The Seattle Men’s Chorus has been thrilling fans lately with a musical look at America’s boy bands, featuring a high-energy program that pays tribute to six decades of male singing groups.

For “Heartthrobs,” the men sing the gamut of favorites from the Ink Spots to the Jonas Brothers, as well as selections from the Beatles; the Bee Gees; the Temptations; Earth, Wind & Fire; Menudo; the Backstreet Boys; and ‘N Sync.

The women have prepared a show-stopper and bring to the stage some of the finest songs ever written for women and about women.

The repertoire of “Sisters in Song” is drawn from a variety of musical genres including pop music, Broadway, new takes on familiar tunes and original compositions. South Whidbey audiences will hear, among other favorites, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Oh Happy Day,” “She Works Hard for Her Money,” “How Can I Keep from Singing” and “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’.” Plus, the women will treat everyone to a rendition of the entire score of “Sound of Music” performed in just five minutes.

It’s probably safe to say that these singers are the top of the heap.

These choruses have gained national recognition as two of the largest community choruses in America. The Seattle Men’s Chorus was founded first, in 1979, and is also the largest gay men’s chorus in the world, with more than 300 singing members. The Seattle Women’s Chorus premiered onstage in 2002 and now has more than 200 singers. The two choruses combined are larger than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Porter lauded the groups for lending their services to the cause. Such fundraising allows them to extend outreach services to the schools with such programs as anti-bullying campaigns that work to help children change behaviors, focus on healthy friendships and learn that hands and words should not hurt other people.

“The services that we provide have been needed here for years,” Porter said.

“People may think that because it’s so beautiful here bad things don’t happen, but we’re just like everywhere else.”

Tickets cost $25 and are available in Clinton at Pickles Deli at Ken’s Korner, at Useless Bay Coffee and Moonraker Books in Langley, at Bookbay in Freeland, at Bayleaf and Whidbey Natural Pet in Coupeville and in Oak Harbor at Wind & Tide Bookshop, Harada Physical Therapy and Whidbey Coffee and Cafe.

The event is sponsored by Windermere Offices on Whidbey Island and Puget Sound Energy.

For more information about services, call the CADA office at 360-675-7057 or visit www.cadacanhelp.org.

Patricia Duff can be reached at 221-5300 or pduff@whidbeynewsgroup.com.

 

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