Our mission is focused primarily on seniors in residential facilities because they often have limited physical abilities, which may make it impossible or difficult for them to attend live musical performances. Based on available research and our experiences, senior residents suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia can recall the words to songs they used to sing when they were younger.
During every concert, the audience is encouraged to sing songs - familiar to them - with the choir. Choir members hand out song sheets and then stand or sit with the audience.
The Issaquah Singers concerts improve the quality of life for seniors. Here are just a few quotes from the residents:
“I loved your beautiful concert. I knew the songs and sang along!”
“Thank you for coming and singing to us today. I hope you were paid well.”
“The fiddle player and dancing jig doll were wonderful. I’ve never seen that.”
“Today I liked being so close to hear a choir in concert.”
“Just because our eyes might be closed, doesn’t mean we aren’t enjoying the music”
Who We Are
The Issaquah Singers have served Issaquah and the surrounding area since 1976, singing four-part harmony music from the turn of the century to current popular songs. The value of Issaquah Singers is the visible joy and improved quality of life that we bring to residents of senior living centers. In addition, choir members, ranging in age from 30 to 80+ years old, experience the joy of learning new music and performing together to enrich the lives of others. Choir members are not auditioned; anyone who can sing on pitch or carry a tune is welcome to join. Some members are trained musicians, others have little formal training and a few do not read music.
Meet Our Director
Dorothy Hay has served as the conductor for Issaquah Singers since October 1988. She also conducts a choir at a retirement community in Seattle and has conducted other choirs prior to Issaquah Singers. Dorothy worked 26 years as a high school counselor and career specialist in the Issaquah School District. She holds a B.A. in Music Education from Whitworth College and a M.Ed. in School Counseling from Seattle University.
In 2004 she was a member of the combined choirs of University of Washington and Yakima Valley Community College that toured and sang choral concerts in China for three weeks. In 2006 after hurricane Katrina, she initiated a concert with the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra and Eastside Master Chorus to raise hurricane relief funds for Issaquah’s sister city, Picayune, Louisiana.
Dorothy also initiated an Issaquah Singers concert held at Pickering Barn in September 2012 on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 2001 to honor those who lost their lives and first responders who work every day to protect the public. In 2017 Issaquah Singers joined the Issaquah Philharmonic Orchestra to present selections from Handel’s “Messiah.”
In addition, she served on the Educational Advisory Board for the Experience Music Project in Seattle for several years.