Rainbow Women’s Chorus works together to develop musical excellence in an atmosphere of mutual support and respect. We perform publicly for the entertainment, education and cultural enrichment of our audiences and community. We sing to enhance the esteem of all women, to celebrate diversity, to promote peace and freedom and to touch people’s hearts and lives.
In 1996 Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus (SVGMC) returned from the GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association) choral festival in Tampa, Florida, so inspired that they wanted to host a GALA Choruses Festival here in San Jose. However, GALA required that both men and women singers be represented, so SVGMC asked Lynne McLaughlin, former director of SVGMC, to form a women’s chorus. Lynne became the music director of Rainbow Women’s Chorus and soon enlisted Ruth Huber, then living in Texas, to join as co-director.
Rainbow Women’s Chorus is a member of GALA Choruses, an international group dedicated to changing the world through song. In 2000, RWC was GALA Festival co-host with Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus, with over 5000 singers joyfully attending. RWC participated in the next Festivals: 2004 in Montreal, 2008 in Miami, and 2012 and 2016 in Denver. The 2020 event scheduled to be held in Minneapolis was rescheduled because of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Co-Director Ruth Huber was instrumental in founding both RWC and Tapestry Singers (the Austin Women’s Chorus). She is also a composer and receives commissions from choral groups from around the country. Ms Huber writes songs each year for RWC, often LGBTQ-themed. For a list of her compositions written for RWC, visit this link: https://rainbowwomen.org/previous-concerts
Co-Director Betsy Wagner is a founding singer and has been co-director since 2000, taking over from Lynne McLaughlin when Ms McLaughlin moved out of the area. Ms Wagner also creates the choralography (a visual component — gestures and footwork) to enhance the words of the song). In 2003, she helped found RWC’s small ensemble, Vocal InFusion, RWC’s eight member a capella group.
Doug McGrath was RWC’s first accompanist, Doug Forsyth was accompanist from 1998 – 2009, 2015 – 2016 and 2019 until the present. Kathy Disney was accompanist in 2010-2014 and 2017 – 2019.
In addition to averaging two concerts per year, RWC performs for the community: They have opened San Jose City Council sessions, performed at the San Jose Children Discovery Museum, San Jose City College’s LGBTQ celebrations for National Coming Out Day, Santa Clara County Fair, San Jose Pride, Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Center, Oracle Corporation for their annual Pride banquets, celebrating Transgender day in Hayward, National AIDS day at San Jose City Hall and every year since 2010 they have participated in benefit concerts to support Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence. They also sing at church services, weddings, memorials, community events, civic events, birthday parties and more.
14938 Camden Avenue, Suite 61, San Jose, CA 95124