Come together: An ethnography of the Seattle Men’s Chorus family

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

1 Scopus citations


This ethnography of the Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) examined the culture of a highly successful chorus with particular attention to the members’ musical and social interactions in both rehearsals and gatherings outside of rehearsals. The shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices of the SMC, the largest community chorus in North America and the largest gay men’s chorus in the world, were explored. Overarching themes that emerged were the chorus as a “chosen family” and the artistic director as a servant leader who takes care of his “family.” More importantly, the presence of all three types of social capital (bonding, linking, and bridging) in the SMC is the crux of this study’s examination into why it is so successful. The SMC’s indicators of social capital are discussed, as well as how they manifest in relationships among the chorus members, artistic director, and the community, which has implications for community ensemble practices at large.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTogether in Music
Subtitle of host publicationCoordination, Expression, Participation
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780198860761
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Seattle Men’s Chorus
  • chosen family
  • gay men’s chorus
  • servant leadership
  • social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Health Professions
  • General Psychology


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