COLUMBIA CHOIRS is a community based, non-sectarian family of choirs training singers in nine choirs, ages pre-school through adult. Since 1984, we have been bringing singers together for international award-winning music training and performance opportunities. At present, Columbia Choirs serves 200 singers, bringing quality music to communities across Seattle’s Eastside.
It is our mission to unite people through the power of music to create a singing community.
We strive to give everyone access to the best instruction in choral music.
Our conductors and accompanists create an ideal learning environment for every singer.
The performances of our choirs in public concerts and competitions reflect their dedication to singing artistry and excellence.
We embrace the diversity within our community.
The unique talents of every singer enrich our organization.
Columbia Choirs welcome singers as active members of our local music community.
Music gives a sense of belonging to the individual.
It shapes the society where music is practiced and heard.
Our choirs perform to connect a wider community in the shared appreciation of beauty and music.
Columbia Choirs founder, Steve Stevens
, started the choirs in February, 1984. He is one of the most experienced conductors of community based children’s choirs in the United States. A native of Texas (Fort Worth), Mr. Stevens is a professional singer, conductor, adjudicator, clinician, arranger and composer. He has conducted the Texas Boys Choir (1971-77), the Northwest Boychoir (1977-84), and founded and conducted the Northwest Youthchoir (1982-84). Steve founded the Columbia Boys Choir (1984), Columbia Girls Choir (1988) which he joined together to become the Columbia Children’s Choir in 1993. In 1989 he founded the Columbia Vocal Ensemble, in 1999 the “Con Brio” Women’s Choir, and in 2009 he founded Concord Chamber Choir. Choirs under his direction have consistently won international acclaim for their high standard of singing artistry and musicianship. His choirs have performed in United States, Australia, British Isles, Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and Scandinavia. They have also appeared on national network television in the U.S.A., Europe, Japan and Russia and have sung for a President of the U.S., the Pope, and for members of the British Royal Family. Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in voice music education from Houston Baptist University and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Southern Methodist University.
We believe singers are special people and deserve the best possible music and training as they develop their talent for singing. The music we study and perform is carefully selected for its message content and quality of craftsmanship. Our staff teaches music and individual songs as landscapes of emotion. The combination of attention to the details of music (scientific) and using one’s voice to express the emotion (art) of music leads singers of all ages to broaden their awareness of themselves. We encourage and celebrate individual, personal growth at Columbia Choirs and deeply believe in the positive things our training does for our members.Steve Stevens, Columbia Choirs Founder
Awards and Concert Tour History
- Honored Guest Choir for the Tchaikovsky Music Festival of Winners (Russia), the culminating national festival of regional winners from throughout Russia.
- Gold Awards for choral excellence in the Montreal, Quebec and Vancouver Choral Festivals of Canada
- Award for Choral ExcellenceFestival of Music and Youth in Vienna, Austria
- Gold Medals in the International Choral Kathaumixw in British Columbia, Canada 1st place in the folksong and the children’s choir competitions
- Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (Wales). The choir is honored with participation (four times) in this prestigious festival in Wales (1989 – placing 8th; 1993 -8th; 1995 – 4th; 2003 2nd in the World.
- “Choir of the Year” and two Gold Medals in the Bournemouth Competitions Festival in England
- Gold Medal (Women’s Choir division) ) Cantonigros International Music Festival in Barcelona, Spain
- Silver Medal (Children’s Choir division) Cantonigros International Music
- Two Gold Medals (Children’s Choir division) Golden Gate International Children’s Choir Festival in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. Mr. Stevens named most outstanding conductor of the festival..
- Selected for national recordings by Silver-Burdett Music Textbook Publishers.
- Recordings were used to be an example to children and to help school children throughout the world learn songs appearing in the textbook series.
- Children’s Choir selected to represent the United States at the “World Vision International Children’s Choir Festival” in South Korea
1985 – Inaugural tour: Wyoming and Montana
1986 – U.S. East Coast, (New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Williamsburg)
1987 – Germany & Austria (International Youth Music Festival, Vienna – “Award for Choral Excellence”)
1988 – California and British Columbia (International Choral Kathaumixw, 2nd place)
1989 – Great Britain (International Musical Eisteddfod, Llangollen, Wales – 8th place; and the Grand Prize “Choir of the Year” at the Bournemouth Competitions Festival)
1990 – Russia “Tchaikovsky Music Festival” (International Guest Choir for Festival of Winners)
1991 – Australia (International Music Festival, Sydney)
1992 – British Columbia, Canada (International Choral Kathaumixw)
1993 – Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic and Germany
1994 – British Columbia, Canada (International Choral Kathaumixw)
1995 – Great Britain (Bournemouth Competitions Festival – 1st place and 4th place at the International Musical Eisteddfod Llangollen, Wales)
1996 – British Columbia, Canada (International Choral Kathaumixw)
1997 – California (Children’s Celebration Choral Festival)
1998 – Italy, France and Spain (Internacional Festival de Music de Cantonigros, near Barcelona) – Women’s Choir won grand prize (over women’s choirs from England, Hungary, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain and United States); our combined boys and girls concert choirs won 2nd place in the children’s choir division.
1999 – California – Golden Gate Children’s Choral Festival – in San Francisco Bay Area
2000 – Germany, Austria and Czech Republic (Munich, Leipzig, Eisenach, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague)
2001 – Orlando, Florida (Disney World: Children in Harmony Choral Festival)
2002 – Arizona (Con Brio)
2003 – New Mexico, Ireland, England and Wales (2nd Place Youth Choir Division in Llangollen Royal International Musical Eisteddfod, Llangollen, Wales)
2004 – South Korea; children’s concert choir represented the United States at the World Vision International Children’s Choir Festival in Seoul and surrounding region;
– Con Brio Women’s Choir went to Salt Lake City, Utah to “Women In Song” Festival;
– Vocal Ensemble to Vancouver, B.C. Gold Medal at Vancouver Heritage Festival
2005 – Con Brio Women’s Choir went to Portland Oregon for a joint concert with Belle Voci, a Portland Women’s Choir Children’s Choir to Eugene, Oregon to the “Pacific International Children’s Choir Festival”
2006 – San Francisco “Golden Gate Children’s Choir Festival/Competition” (Children’s Choir winner of two gold medals and Steve Stevens honored as most outstanding conductor at the festival; Vocal Ensemble won Silver Medal at the International Choral Kathaumixw in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
2007 – Italy (children’s choir and vocal ensemble) Amalfi Coast and Rome; San Francisco (Con Brio Women’s Choir)
2008 – Southern California (Disneyland) Vocal Ensemble; Children’s Choir to International Choral Kathaumixw, Powell River, B.C. (winner of gold medal in children’s choir competition)
2009 – Pacific International Children’s Choir Festival (PICCFEST) in Oregon, U.S.A.
2010 – England and Wales; the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales
2011 - Victoria (Con Brio Women's Choir); partner with Philomela Women's Choir
2012 – San Francisco Bay “Golden Gate International Children and Youth Choral Festival” (Children's Choir winner of Classical Competition Gold Medal
2013 – Crescent City Children and Youth Choir Festival – New Orleans, LA. (Children’s Concert Choir and Vocal Ensemble)
- Tucson, AZ (Con Brio Women's Choir); Women in Song Festival
2015 - Portland, OR (Con Brio Women's Choir); partner with Aurora Women's Choir
2016 - Italy (Children's Choir/Youth Choir); performed mass in St. Peter's Basilica
- New Jersey/New York (Con Brio Women's Choir); partner with Cantigas Women's Choir
2018 - San Francisco Bay “Golden Gate International Children and Youth Choral Festival” (Children's Choir/Youth Choir)
- Brooklyn, NY (Con Brio Women's Choir); partner with BVS Women's Choir
2019 - Olympic Peninsula (Con Brio Women's Choir); partnered with NorthWest Women's Chorale - Ireland, Wales, and England (Bel Canto and Cantabile)