Frequently Asked Questions

Who can sing in the choir?

All singers are now eligible to join, but priority is given to Boeing employees, retirees, contractors and members of their families.  Auditions are normally held during the first two or three rehearsals of our fall season, beginning the first Tuesday in September and during the first two or three rehearsals of our spring season, beginning the first Tuesday in January.  When a need for more voices arises, special auditions are held.  See Membership & Auditions or contact our president ( for more information.

How often do you perform – and where?

We usually have about 20 appearances per year.  We sing in auditoriums, performing art centers, churches, retirement homes, hangars — just about anywhere.  Some groups have annual music series events that include us, and we are often invited to help groups raise money for a piano, choir robes, or a family in a neighborhood that needs some help.  We sing with local orchestras occasionally, and like to perform for banquets and conventions, too.  Many choirs perform only two to four times per year, and that’s fine for them, but we just love singing, and have developed an addiction to applause and standing ovations.

What kind of music do you sing?

We do such a wide variety of music that if you don’t like the piece we’re currently singing, you’re sure to enjoy the next one because it will be very different.  Bach to Broadway is a fair description. Once on a tour to England, we noticed that a couple had followed us to four of our concerts, some of which were many miles apart.  When we questioned them, they said they were impressed with the variety and quality of our singing. When we sang Bach it sounded like Bach should sound, and when we sang Broadway, it sounded like Broadway should sound.  Most choirs, they said, can do one but not the other.

Do I have to be able to read music to join the choir?

The ability to read music is an asset, otherwise learning the music can be too difficult.

What are auditions like?

First, singers interested in joining are asked to participate in at least one rehearsal.  If they don’t like the music we’re doing, or don’t like the way the conductor works, there’s no sense in continuing.  Then, the conductor will meet with the candidates and  may have them sing something we’ve been rehearsing,  listening for pitch accuracy, tone quality, control,  diction, vocal range.  He’ll also be listening to the voice to assign its section.  We have eight sections from first soprano to second bass.  Candidates may be asked to sing a scale or a simple tune by themselves.

How can I book a concert?

We would love to hear from you and will get back to you as soon as possible.  Please send an email to and give us a brief description of your plans.

Are there limitations on when you can sing for us?

The choir members volunteer their time and energy, and lead busy lives — plus many work during the day.  We have restrictions on how many concerts we can do in a season and what time of day we can do them.  We normally can’t do day-time concerts during the week and evening curtain calls must be timed to allow our singers to get to the venue after work.  We like weekend events most any time from late September through early June, which is our normal rehearsal and concert season.  June, July and August are our vacation months, except when we are on tour.

Who pays for touring?

We have had seven very successful European tours and one to Australia and New Zealand.  Choir members pay their own expenses and take their own vacation time.  In addition to these formal tours, we also take short two or three day adventures to destinations like Spokane, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Cannon Beach Stormy Weather Arts Festival.  These trips are also financed by the individual choir members.

How do you get income for choir expenses?

The choir has been recognized by the IRS as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and we encourage our fans to help support our activities through tax-deductible donations.  We have a number of recurring expenses that are subsidized by our venue sponsors or free-will offerings.  We have a minimum honorarium for each type of concert we give, but we have waived this honorarium in certain situations.  We now have three CD recordings which provide additional income.  Members also support the choir by paying nominal annual dues, which are tax deductible.

How much does it cost to have the choir do a concert for us?

While we do a few no-charge or reduced-cost benefits each year for charitable groups, we ask an honorarium for most of our appearances.  This amount ranges from a minimum of $300 to a higher, negotiable honorarium .  The amount depends on the venue, the size of the audience and the purpose of the event.

Why does a choir, backed by a big company like Boeing, need to ask for honorariums to pay for concert?

In the past Boeing generously supported its recreation clubs, but now that help has been eliminated.  The choir prefers to give free concerts, but economic realities require a small stipend from our hosts.  Some of our expenses include renting rehearsal facilities and storage for our music library and piano, buying new music, the services of our conductor and accompanist, as well as the usual business expenses of insurance, licenses, royalties, etc.  (By the way, we could never afford to pay our conductor and accompanist what they are really worth to us.)

Why is your group perfect for a banquet?

Because we’re fun and exciting!  When we walk in, the audience knows it is going to be fun.  With the men in their tuxedos, and the women in their beautiful gowns and sparkling earrings, things are electric from the start.  Our conductor introduces us, and we often begin with our theme song, “Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines.”  Then we may follow that with a light classic, such as “What a Joy to Be Here!” by Johann Strauss, a couple of spirituals, and always some Broadway songs, like “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (this song is also on our first CD, Simple Gifts).

What community service projects do you support, and why?

We believe that sharing music brings joy, and joy heals.  Our work is very important, more important than we originally realized.  A few years ago, we sang in a nursing home for some folks who hadn’t heard live music for years.  We had a request from a doctor who said they really needed us. After our concert, the doctor introduced our conductor to a lady who was smiling with tears in her eyes.  He said she hadn’t responded to any outside stimulation for many years, but our music had touched her.

A portion of our concert income supports community services that use joy as a tool to help the healing process, and we send contributions to the Make A Wish Foundation and the Songs of Love Foundation.

We also supported the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche Cathedral in Dresden, Germany.  When we heard the City of Dresden was raising funds for reconstruction of their bombed-out Lutheran cathedral, we wanted to help.  We sang several benefit concerts around Seattle and gave portions of the proceeds from sales of our CDs.  In total, we raised more than $5000 for the reconstruction and to help them overcome the effects of devastating floods that occurred just weeks after we returned from our 2002 tour of Eastern Europe.

We have heard that you sing a Healing Prayer for those who are ill.  What is that about?

In 1998, Songs of Love asked us to create a song for Seth, a young cancer patient.  It was written by choir members Gloria Ball and Okemah Bohn, and our former long-time director Michael Kysar composed the music.  Mike turned the final verse into a chorale, titled “Healing Prayer.”  Over the years, as members and friends of the choir have encountered serious health problems, we have made many impromptu recordings of the song for them.