New Director of the Gospel Choir and Youth Choir Director

figaro-dianeWelcome to Diane Figaro!

I am thrilled to serve at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church as Gospel Choir Director and Youth Choir Director! This is such a wonderful opportunity to work with singers in a very powerful way, as our choirs enliven worship and bring healing to the congregation and the community. Here is a description of my background. See you at rehearsal and worship soon! ~ Diane Figaro

Diane Figaro was raised in the small, mid-western college town of Elsah, Illinois. She has a B.A. in Music from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, with an emphasis in Piano Performance and a Minor in Education; an MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington; and a PhD in Musicology with a Minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.  As a part of her graduate work, she conducted field work in Tampere, Finland — supported by a Fulbright-Hays grant — and Santiago, Chile.

Diane has lived in Seattle a total of 22 years, where she has spent much of her time performing and directing church choirs. For many years, she worked as staff accompanist for Seattle University Choirs, was very active in Shades of Praise Gospel Choir, and sang with The Sound of the Northwest (Negro Spirituals Choir). Over the past 12 years she has served as Choir Director for adults and children at St. Benedict, St. Catherine, and Sacred Heart Parishes in the Seattle area and First United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon.

Diane is fortunate to be in a family that eats and breathes music. She is married to Rodney Figaro, whom she met singing in Shades of Praise Gospel Choir, and they have a daughter, Sarah, who is studying and performing voice. The Figaro family lives in Lynnwood.


Pacific Lutheran University Concerts

Ring in the season with a Christmas celebration that is sure to warm the heart and lift your holiday spirit! Celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, Choir of the West, University Chorale and University Symphony Orchestra will perform J.S. Bach’s advent cantata “Wachet Auf” (Wake, awake!). The program will also include one of Robert Russell Bennett’s beloved carol medleys, “The Many Moods of Christmas,” and traditional Christmas favorites and festive carols sung by the audience. Join us, In Sweet Rejoicing!

Saturday, December 3, at 8pm – Lagerquist Concert Hall, PLU
Sunday, December 4, at 3pm – Lagerquist Concert Hall, PLU
Monday, December 5, at 7:30pm – Benaroya Hall, Seattle
Friday, December 9, at 8pm – Lagerquist Concert Hall, PLU
Saturday, December 10, at 8pm – Lagerquist Concert Hall, PLU


An Evening of Music

evening-of-musicOn Friday night October 7th, 2016 Dan White, baritone and Linnea Olson, soprano will present “An Evening of Music” at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church.

They will be singing a variety of classical, opera, and theatre music with works by Purcell, Mozart, Grieg, Faure, A.L. Webber, Gilbert & Sullivan, and more.

Dan and Linnea will also be joined by some featured guests! Martin Olson will be including a selection of Nordic organ music with works by Grieg, Buxtehude, and Sobage. Phyllis Olson will also be joining all of them on flute.

In addition, the women’s and men’s choruses from the Swedish Singers of Seattle will be featuring a variety of Swedish choral music.

If you’re free, please join us at 7:30PM on October 7th at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church – 7500 Greenwood Ave N. Admission is by Free Will Offering!


Alliance for Gun Responsibility Summer Benefit Concert

Semmy Stahlhammer


Concertmaster of the

Stockholm Royal Opera

and friends present a

Summer Benefit Concert

In support of

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility

Isabel Blomme, cello
Atida Munthe Stahlhammer, cello
Karie Prescott, viola
Sergei Teleshev, klezmer accordion


Friday, July 22, 2016 7:30pm

Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church
7500 Greenwood N.
featuring music of
Bach, Mozart, Tor Aulin, Schubert and Dohnanyi
Klezmer Music
A free-will offering will be received to benefit
The Alliance for Gun Responsibility

In Concert This Month

Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 7 pm

Lutheran Summer Music Benefit Concert

We invite you to a very special youth concert in the sanctuary on Sunday evening, June 5 at 7 pm This concert will be a fundraising event for the PRLC members who will be attending Lutheran Summer Music, a month long music academy in Decorah, Iowa.

Entry is by donation only, and all proceeds go to benefit tuition for the youth attending Lutheran Summer Music this summer. We have a lot of musical talent here at Phinney — this is your chance to hear some of it showcased!


Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 3 pm

Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Northwest Chamber Chorus

“I have had pleasure enough; I have had singing.” Join the Northwest Chamber Chorus  in June as they celebrate the tenth year of their musical journey with director Mark Kloepper. Mark has selected his personal favorites from their concerts of the past decade. To name a few: JS Bach motet Der Geist hilft unserer Schwachheit auf, Ave Maria by Franz Biebl, spirituals My Soul’s been Anchored in the Lord and the rousing Ezekiel Saw de Wheel, two of Brahms’ Liebeslieder waltzes, and Home on the Range with harmonica solo by blues artist Jay Mabin.


Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 7 pm

Phinney Neighborhood Community Chorus

The Phinney Neighborhood Community Chorus is holding a special fundraising concert for the school it sponsors in Haiti. The chorus, whose motto is to “sing locally and act globally,” has raised thousands of dollars to benefit Lekol Pa Nou (“Our School” in Haitian Creole) since its first benefit concert in 2004.


Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 2pm and 7 pm

At the Shorewood Performing Arts Center

17300 Fremont Ave N, Shoreline, WA

Seattle SeaChordsmen

Seattle’s (and Phinney’s) favorite barbershop singers present Disney Noir: An Original Barbershop Musical.


Bach’s “Suites for Solo Cello” Marathon

Saturday, March 19, 10am-2pm

Twenty-six cellists from across the Pacific Northwest gather to perform all six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach. The order of the performance is suites 1, 3 and 4 before lunch break; suites 2, 5 and 6 after lunch. This event is free to the public. Donations gratefully accepted.

MLK Weekend Shabbat

MLK Weekend Shabbat5:30PM PRENEG – 6:00PM SERVICE

A musical evening featuring the Temple de Hirsch Sinai Adult Choir, the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church Gospel Choir and the Shades of Praise Gospel Choir from St. Therese Parish. Join us for a powerful message of hope and faith honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Temple De Hirsch Sinai
1441 16th Ave
Seattle WA

Ministry Focus: The Phinney Ridge Gospel Choir

~ Kent Stevenson, Director

Gospel Choir 2015“Gospel” means “good news” and the Phinney Ridge Gospel Choir continues to spread the Good Word through the upbeat rhythms and contemporary strains of gospel music at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church.

A lively, energetic group, the Gospel Choir often sings at special events in the community during the year as well as once each month at the 8:30 am service at Phinney Ridge Lutheran.

The Gospel Choir welcomes new voices and rehearses each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm in the Tree of Life Room.

As we enter the Advent/Christmas season, The Phinney Ridge Gospel Choir welcomes you to uplift your holiday season and join them in three holiday performances:

Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 “GUIDE US TO THY PERFECT LIGHT” Multi-Choir Christmas Concert 7pm St Bridget Church 4900 NE 50th Street, Seattle

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 “PATHWAY OF LIGHTS” Greenlake Center 5:30pm

Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 “PACIFIC PLACE MALL” Holiday Concert 5pm – 7pm


Ministry Focus: Cherubs and Choristers

~ Evelyn Hartwell, Director

In the pews 2014The Cherubs and Choristers are the two groups that make up the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Children’s Choir. I am in my second year of directing this group and it has been such a privilege to work with this wonderful community! The Cherubs and Choristers Choirs provide a positive environment where children learn to sing and share the blessing of music with others. It is a time of growing musically and spiritually, as we not only discuss music and vocal concepts, but how our music relates to worship and the liturgy in our service at Phinney Ridge Lutheran. Children’s Choir is also a wonderful opportunity for the children of Phinney to bond with one another over common goals and thoughts, a place to encourage one another with the love we have in Christ, to share our hope in God together in worship and praise.

Singing 2015


Ministry Focus: the Youth Choir

~ Valerie Shields

Youth Choir

Combined Youth and Children’s Choirs earlier this year

Shari Anderson, Jon Ross and I provide adult leadership for the Youth Choir. This choir is an exceptional group of young people – age 7th through 12th grade – who rehearse most Wednesdays throughout the school year, and lead worship about once a month, on Christmas Eve and at the Easter Vigil.

Teens have so many choices to make regarding where they spend their limited free time. Last week I asked those who were present to answer the question, “Why do you sing in the Youth Choir?”

They answered:

“Because I’ve been doing it my entire life and it’s just become a part of me.”

“Because I love singing, I love the people… as well as the songs we sing. The choir is a wonderful place. All the people are nice and we have become a wonderful group of friends.”

“…because it provides me with the opportunity to sing surrounded by youth of like beliefs. I love being able to share my faith through music with the great friends I have made… Worshipping God through music is truly shown by the songs and the people…”

“I enjoy helping lead worship and expressing God’s word using music. It is a fun, supportive environment and I always feel refreshed and renewed after participating in a rehearsal.”

“Because after being a part of Phinney choirs for so long (11 years), it would be weird not to.”

“I like to sing with people who enjoy singing as much as I do, to be in the community.”

“I sing in Youth Choir because I love to sing and Youth Choir is another way to get music into my life. Also, I love the friends I have made through church choir and coming to Youth Choir gives me an opportunity to sing and have fun with friends.”

“To experience fantastic music in a faith setting.”

In their own words, you can see a glimpse of what these incredible young church musicians give to this community, each other and to God.

I would add that these young people are truly a group who have created and sustained a place where it is safe to share one another’s joys and sorrows and where all are truly welcome.