Seattle Men’s Chorus visits Langley for benefit

The Seattle Men’s Chorus

Voices from one of the largest choral organizations in Washington will travel to the South End for a performance benefiting victims of violence.

The Seattle Men’s Chorus will perform a concert to benefit Island County’s Citizens Against Domestic & Sexual Abuse (CADA) next Saturday, April 5 at South Whidbey High School Performing Arts Center.

The performance, “Totally Wicked,” will include music of Stephen Schwartz, who wrote hit musicals such as “Wicked,” “Pippin,” “Godspell,” and more. The event also features members from the Seattle Women’s Chorus and Diverse Harmony.

This is the fourth time the group has performed on Whidbey to benefit victims of violence. In 2012, they performed to a sold-out audience.

“The first time they were coming here, I didn’t know what to expect; I had no idea how much fun they have in their performances,” said Margie Porter, executive director of the citizens group. “It’s a really fun time.”

The chorus enjoyed performing for the Island audience so much, they contacted the Island County group to perform again this year.

“It’s an honor for us that they want to come back to this community,” Porter said.

The event is the organization’s largest fundraiser for the year. The group hopes to raise a majority of its $25,000 fundraising goal for the year through the concert. Because the organization is primarily grant-funded, money from the event goes toward helping clients in personal ways that grants don’t cover, such as paying for transportation to get clients to a safe place and providing gift cards for personal items for clients who come to the center with nothing.

In 2013, the service provided help for 1,084 women, men and children and 1,557 bed nights at Marjie’s House, an emergency shelter in Oak Harbor.

Of the total number of people served, about one-third of the clients are from South Whidbey, Porter said. It’s important to note, she added, that the services are offered for all of Island County, not just the North End.

For board member and concert chairman Kyle Waterman, the concert is a way for the community to become aware of the services the organization provides.

“It’s a great way to celebrate public awareness of a difficult issue,” he said. “There’s important work being done at the shelter and throughout the Island County area. As a community, we don’t always talk about difficult issues such as domestic violence and sexual harassment. This is an uplifting way to highlight that work.”

Waterman said he also appreciates Porter’s hard work for the group.

“She makes CADA about more than just a shelter. She’s actively working for prevention, which is a different take than other service groups. She tries to end domestic violence, not just cope with it,” he said.



“Totally Wicked”

The performance begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at South Whidbey High School. Tickets cost $35 and are available at various Whidbey Island businesses or by calling 360-675-7057.

A pre-concert event will take place earlier in the day for $125. A small ensemble from the men’s chorus, Captain Smartypants, will perform with wine and hors d’oeuvres served at a private home.