As one of the largest and most active LGBT community bands in the country, we are proud to participate in the LGBT community at the local, regional, and national levels. Beyond leading the grand marshal at the front of the annual Seattle Pride Parade, we lend our spirit and talent to other events and causes important to the LGBT community. Our ensembles have performed at the Seattle AIDS Walk, Walk for Hope, and numerous fundraisers for non-profit organizations. We have partnered with several of Seattle's LGBT choral groups for performances, including the Seattle Men's and Women's Choruses and the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus.
Each year, we look for opportunities to support the community in smaller cities in the Northwest, celebrating with friends in locations such as Spokane, Bremerton, Bellingham, and Tacoma. In cities large and small, we strive to entertain our audiences, proudly be ourselves, and let others know that they've got friends who understand them. We've had many touching moments in our years of outreach, from a parade participant exclaiming, "The band's here! Now it's a real parade!" to a servicemember in uniform stopping by to say a quiet "thank you" before returning to duty.
At the national level, Rainbow City Band is a member of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA), a network of almost 40 concert and marching bands from around the world who work together to strengthen each member organization, support the creation of new bands, and promote music, visibility, and pride. Not only do we share expertise and advice, but musicians from member bands gather each year for a conference and a unique performance opportunity. And every four years, some of our members participate in Team Band, a cultural participant in the quadrennial Gay Games held in locations around the world.
Finally, we're enormously proud to have raised funds to endow an annual scholarship through the Pride Foundation to support aspiring musicians and music educators. Our own music educators have made a tremendous impact on the experiences our members have and in the quality of our programming, and we're excited to continue paying it forward.
Seattle has a vibrant arts community, and the large number of community music organizations active in the area provide residents with a great variety of performances from which to choose. Certainly, our world-class symphony and opera attract professional musicians to the area, and music programs at local colleges such as Cornish College of the Arts, the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University, and Shoreline Community College draw students interested in music performance, composition, conducting, and more.
These organizations and programs nurture a strong music community with a deep network of musical organizations and groups. Many of our members participate in other orchestras, bands, and chamber music groups. Over the years, our ensembles have collaborated with many of these community music groups, either as hosts at our concerts or as guests at their events. Collectively, we promote community music, increase support for access to music and music education in our schools, build enthusiasm for all types of musical ensembles and styles of music, and bring people from many backgrounds together to share the experience of music.
Puget Sound Community
Community is also those around us. As citizens of the Puget Sound region, we're partly responsible for making it - and keeping it - a great place to live. Each one of our members has a unique connection to the community. We work for many companies, or study at various schools around the region. We support other organizations and causes, from human services to advocacy to the environment. We belong to churches, clubs, and alumni organizations. We're avid vans of local sports teams from roller derby and kickball to our national championship teams like the Storm and the Seahawks.
These interests shape our interactions with one another and open up opportunities for us to participate as a group. We've performed at halftime shows for the Seattle Storm, supplied live music for church services, provided entertainment for corporate events, and supported countless fundraisers in the Seattle area. And we've put smiles on many people's faces as they walk by a rehearsal or march with us through their neighborhood, bringing a little musical sunshine to our corner of the country.