Seattle Peace Chorus – Trip to the Soviet Union
In 1985 the Seattle Peace Chorus traveled to seven Soviet cities (Moscow, Kalinin, Yaroslav, Alma Ata, Samarkand, Tashkent, and Leningrad). As an effort to reach out to the Societ people and build connections and relationships through music. The group consisted of 49 members at the time and all of them embarked on the journey to the Soviet Union. Their goal was to use music and songs to communicate the message of peace among the Soviets and the Americans. Travelling to cities like Tashkent where they aimed to not only sing for Uzbek people but sing with them, they also tried to learn some Uzbek songs so they could go back to Seattle and sing them with the people there.
After a successful tour in 1985 in 1988 the peace chorus was invited to return to the Soviet Union and sing with Soviet choruses. The relationships that had formed from the peace chorus stemmed into something bigger and a bond was created between the group and the Soviet people. Not only did relationships form with adults but it also passed down to children. Soviet schools and US schools would send each other letters. Students from Bryn Mawr Elementary in Renton Washington sent letters to a school in the Soviet Union and after awhile they recieved photographs, drawings, and handwritten letters from the Soviet students in return.
During the 1990 Goodwill Games that were held in Seattle the chorus proposed to facilitate a people-to-people exchange between the US and USSR. They proposed to do a non-currency exchange, they invited three soviet performing groups. One group was a children's chorus from Moscow, a non-professional citizens' chorus, and the third a folk troupe from Tashkent. The group proposed that the Soviets would perform the Soviet National Anthem, the soviet children could combine forces with local childrens choirs for some special events, and a special concert that would feature chorus groups from both the Soviets and Americans.