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Who we are
Rainbow City Concert Band welcomes members of all abilities, backgrounds, and identities. We consider ourselves a “band family” and strive to make all feel welcome to be themselves. In a given instrument section you might find a student completing undergraduate work, a music teacher who enjoys the opportunity to perform on her favorite instrument, a recent retiree who suddenly has the time to pursue his passion for music, and a mid-life professional who dusted 20 years of neglect off her instrument case and decided to start playing again. What we have in common is a love of making music and the desire to do so in a fun, welcoming group.
What we do
We perform large thematic concerts with a symphonic scope and character in a number of different local concert venues. We use our rehearsal and sectional time to develop musically as individuals and as an ensemble, and to provide a comfortable musical home for our members.
We perform a wide range of classical and contemporary music and seek out compositions from a variety of genres, local artists and diverse composers. We take on challenging music but also focus on fun and thematic performances. The concert band rehearses and performs from fall through spring each year and we’d love to have you join us!
Rainbow City Concert Band held its first rehearsals in fall 1998, following the conclusion of the inaugural marching band season. Members decided that they didn’t want to wait until the following spring to make music again, and Rainbow City Band began its tradition of indoor concerts from fall through spring followed by marching band in the summer.
Founding conductor Jo-Ann Christen led the band for nine years, developing a small group of enthusiastic musicians into a full-fledged concert band. The band played in various venues in the Seattle area such as the Swedish Club, the Russian Cultural Center, the Bastyr University chapel, and several churches. The band partnered with several choral and instrumental groups, sharing the stage with the Seattle Men’s Chorus, Seattle Lesbian & Gay Chorus, the Total Experience Gospel Choir, and Gamelan Pacifica.
As Michael Clark took the helm as our second conductor in 2007, the band had grown to a point where its members and audiences no longer fit in smaller venues; the band began to perform consistently at Broadway Performance Hall on Capitol Hill.
As we continued to add performing opportunities for members, Michael was named Artistic Director to allow our ensembles to have different conductors under the same artistic guidance. The band continued to grow musically and artistically as performing at Broadway allowed concert production to include visual and lighting elements. The band also ventured into new types of events, such as accompanying the Seattle Women’s Chorus as a pit orchestra, producing a youth outreach concert, and hosting the 2011 LGBA conference with over 225 musicians performing at Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall.
Anne Kreider became the band’s artistic director and conductor in 2012, and continued to expose both the musicians and our audiences to new composers and musical styles, while also showcasing classic concert band repertoire and transcriptions.
After moving to the Edmonds Center for the Arts in 2010 to reach new audiences and play in a top-notch, newly renovated performing arts center, the band returned to Broadway Performance Hall in 2014 to provide a more central performance location with several transportation options. The band continued to provide unique performance experiences for its members and audience, such as our West Coast premiere of Quilt Panels (for my love, for my grief, for my letting go) in conjunction with Seattle’s renowned choral group The Esoterics. This moving commemoration of World AIDS Day 2012 was followed by a reception featuring the rare display of a section of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt.
Our most recent conductor and artistic director, Timothy V. Norris, Jr., joined us in the summer of 2017. Tim launched some new traditions including the annual Justice for All concert series and the annual Rainbow Ball Gala. In 2020 as we switched to virtual events, Tim led us in both rehearsing remotely and producing fantastic online events with visual elements to accompany the music program.
Interim Music Director Jennifer Lang-Powers led the concert band in its return to in-person events in 2022, concurrent with a change in homes to UCUCC in the University District, providing better rehearsal space and much better accessibility via public transportation for our members.
We hope to see you at an event soon!