September 12, 2019
The Transpose PDX choirs, Transpose Community Choir and Acchord, empower their members through expanding musical skills, increasing visibility of marginalized identities, and providing a brave space in which to be seen and acknowledged as transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming in an increasingly hostile world.
We have an ambitious year ahead of us! As an organization, we are consistently working to lift up the work of trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming composers and arrangers while combating the tendency for artists in this demographic to be underpaid. Our largest goals this year are related to pay equity and to sending our a cappella group, Acchord, to the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA) 2020 Festival.
We are stepping up in paying fair and equitable wages for the tremendous talent we have within our music groups. The dedicated and skilled Bastien Eichvalds, also a founder of the organization, is leading into zir second year as the accompanist for Transpose. The incredibly talented Amir Shirazi, who is beginning their third season as our Artistic Director, has been a fundamental driving force in our organization since 2016. They serve on the Transpose PDX Board, Planning Team, Music Team, and other organizational committees. They also arrange and teach our music, conduct rehearsals and performances, and personally support every member’s musical goals.
“It is a great honor and joy for me to direct these choirs. As I help us shape powerful and harmonious singing groups, I am so deeply grateful to see us building strong community within the choirs and with the community at large. It’s incredibly important to me that every unique person in these choirs is fulfilled, supported, encouraged, and empowered, and everything I do is framed with that in mind. There are so few opportunities in this world for trans people to celebrate and explore their voices and selves with no barrier of cost or discrimination. I am proud that Transpose PDX creates space for that celebration and exploration of self.” – Amir, Artistic Director of Transpose PDX
We have an opportunity to perform at the next GALA Festival in 2020! This event, held once every four years, draws 6,000 singers from over 100 LGBTQ+ choruses from around the world to meet and share performances, workshops, and collaborative music making. Our a cappella chorus, Acchord, will be one of the first trans and nonbinary groups to be represented within this international LGBTQ music community.
“To me, GALA is the queer music Olympics. I went with another choir in 2012 and 2016, and have been looking forward to sharing this amazing experience with Transpose PDX. It is exhilarating to spend a few days with over six thousand LGBTQ people from all kinds of backgrounds and locations, coming together through our love of music. There’s a sense of connectedness and support, which so many don’t experience in their daily lives at home. Some are stepping out of the closet for the first time, while others have been trailblazing through oppressions for decades. Representation gets more diverse every Festival, and I cannot imagine a better group than our own to show up for gender expansive people in music.” – Oriol, member of Acchord and the Transpose PDX Board
We sincerely hope you’ll join us on our ambitious goals this season with your support as we strive to:
- Combat pay inequity for our conductors and accompanist
- Provide appropriate pay for composers and arrangers
- Send Acchord to GALA 2020
We appreciate your support with all of our efforts this year.
Transpose PDX Board
Emery Olson (they/them) – Board President
Jo Ayers (they/them) – Treasurer
Oriol Zemko (she/her or they/them) – Secretary
Amir Shirazi (he/him or they/them) – Artistic Director
Justin Diller (he/him)
Coren Rau (they/them or he/him)
Kimber Sieffert (they/them)
Sam Stoelton (they/them)
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