Our mission is to give voice in song to the concerns and goals of working people and allies who struggle for economic, social and racial justice. We sing as advocates for a society free from discrimination, where workers have the right to organize as a means of securing a just living in a safe environment. We perform at rallies, educational events, union meetings and on stages around the Seattle area to inspire and educate in four-part harmony, preserving a collective memory about the history, goals, and vision of the movement for social and economic justice. Singing lifts the spirit of our movement and gives courage when the struggle is hard in members’ lives, in the community and in the world.
The Seattle Labor Chorus was formed in March, 1997 for a performance at the Northwest Folklife Festival with Pete Seeger and several other well-known folksingers. Since then, the chorus performs for local unions, as well as in concert with folk musicians, including Charlie King. Past performances include the 50th anniversary conference of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, the AFL-CIO rally to protest the World Trade Organization, and the Western Workers Heritage Festival. Directed by Janet Stecher from 1997-2019, an experienced vocal performer and recording artist (in the duo Rebel Voices), the chorus is a nonprofit organization dedicated to economic and social justice, and the fundamental right of all workers to organize as a means of securing a living wage. Membership is open and there are no auditions. Officers are elected annually by the members. While the chorus primarily serves the labor community, its repertoire reflects the concerns of all who wish to promote a healthier, more equitable society.
Miriam Anderson is our current director. She is continuing our goal of giving labor a voice in the streets and in concert halls. She is an accomplished conductor, and she has a passion for singing songs of social significance.
To find out more about us, watch this video produced by Northwest Folklife:
"It is always a highlight of my year to sing with the Seattle Labor Chorus. The power, skill and joy they bring to my music, to our music, is infectious, illuminating, and inspiring. They embody the old adage, 'In Union we are strong.'" -- John McCutcheon
"The Seattle Labor Chorus is a labor of love. The chorus endows each song, old or new, with passion, conviction and deep understanding." -- Utah Phillips
"This CD [Songs of Working People] should come with a warning label: Listening to these fabulous songs so beautifully performed can lead to spontaneous acts of hand clapping, foot stomping, , singing along and hell raising." -- Anne Feeney
“In a perfect world we would wake up each morning to the music of the Seattle Labor Chorus. When the Seattle Labor Chorus sings, you can feel the spirit and energy of working people coming together in solidarity to make our world a better place to live. Music and song has been an essential part of peoples’ movements throughout history. The Seattle Labor Chorus is reawakening the labor movements’ recognition that we express our better selves through music and song; that we organize better through music and song; and that singing is damn fun!” -- Jeff Johnson, President Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Also watch "Will You Stand", a video by Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin about the 1997 events when labor groups joined with NW Folklife (resulting in the birth of the Seattle Labor Chorus).
We Remember Pete Seeger (1919-2014)
You can join us
What it takes to join us: - Show up and learn the songs Tuesdays from 7:15 to 9:15 Keystone Church 5019 Keystone Place North Seattle, WA 98103 We rehearse from the beginning of September to the end of May, with occasional rehearsals and events in the summer. You are welcome at any rehearsal; some will be easier than others for a newcomer. Please email ahead at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, you want to know a good time to come. Our rehearsal space is wheelchair accessible and in the basement of the church. We try to maintain a fragrance-free environment.