Rainbow City Marching Band
Who we are
We are a group of LGBT and allied musicians who have a great time making music and putting smiles on thousands of faces every summer. We come from many backgrounds, musically and otherwise, and range from recent graduates to retirees. Some of our members are new to their instrument, some are music professionals, and many of us picked up our instrument after years of neglect for the opportunity to re-live the great time we had marching in high school or college.
And we like to have fun. Although we work intensively during our rehearsals and annual retreat to prepare a great performance for our audience, we wouldn't be there if we weren't having a great time.
What we do
Together with spinOUT, our color guard, we perform in parades and festivals in the Pacific Northwest, bringing the joy of music, the energy and excitement of a classic marching band, and the spirit of a group of adults who refuse to grow up to a broad and diverse audience.
Each year, we escort the grand marshal of the Seattle Pride Parade along Fourth Avenue in Seattle. We select a number of other parades in the greater Seattle area, usually appearing in one or two neighborhood parades that are part of Seattle's largest summer celebration, Seafair, We bring pride, visibility, and a polished performance to parades without a lot of openly LGBT participants. And we target outreach performances to cities, neighborhoods, and festivals where we think our participation can enhance their events. Outside Seattle and its suburbs, we've traveled to Bremerton, Spokane, Bellingham, and Tacoma, as well as Vancouver, BC. And we don't ignore our neighbors -- we enjoy our rehearsals as much as our parade performances, with crowds of delighted kids and parents coming outside to greet us and follow along as we play in the Wedgwood neighborhood.
Marching band is where it all began so many years ago. In 1998, Rainbow City Band was founded and debuted at the Seattle Pride Parade, then a neighborhood parade on Seattle's Capitol Hill. Our members had a blast at this and other events during the summer, and were thrilled to have a new group of friends among whom they could be themselves and make music - even though many of them hadn't played for decades!
Our membership and ambition grew, and we began to participate in more parades and festivals. We became fixtures at the Fremont Solstice Parade, the Seattle Pride Parade, and the Kirkland Fourth of July Celebration. We explored various summer parades in Renton, West Seattle, Redmond, Greenwood, the International District, and Wallingford. We supported smaller but growing Pride celebrations in Tacoma, the Kitsap Peninsula, Bellingham, and Spokane. And we marched in large, televised parades like the Seafair Torchlight Parade.
Our uniforms have evolved with the band. Starting out with all-black uniforms and a rainbow sash, we moved to a casual look with t-shirts and white slacks. As our visual performance became more important and polished, we dug into our pockets for band-owned uniforms consisting of vests and (honestly not very comfortable) hats. As the time to replace our aging uniforms has arrived, a committee of members worked with a uniform supplier to design a snazzy new outfit for us, and we're in the midst of raising funds for our next-generation uniform to increase both marching comfort and our wow factor on the streets.
Come see us at a parade this summer!