Bruce M. Brownell grew up in Colfax, Washington. He attended Washington State University where he studied choral music and was the lead tenor in the WSU Opera Theater and Drama departments. Some of the roles Mr. Brownell has performed include Ferando in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte, Curly in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma, and Albert Herring in Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring. He was selected to perform for the National Opera Convention in 1977.
Mr. Brownell is the director of the Portland area Westside Singers, and has taught in several school districts. He has been a vocal music specialist in the Beaverton, Oregon School District since 1990. Under his direction, the Beaverton High School Choirs have received numerous awards and performed with Miss America, Katie Harman, and recording artists Alex Boyé and Shania Twain. Choral performances also include San Francisco, Canada, Safeco Field, Carnegie Hall, on National TV, and in Portland's Memorial Coliseum and the Rose Garden Arena.
Mr. Brownell has extensive experience with elementary and middle school choirs as well as being a choral clinician and certified Oregon choral adjudicator. In addition to his love of music, Bruce has a minor in coaching and has coached high school football and basketball for several years. Bruce and his wife, Erricka have three children and one Harley-Davidson.
The Westside Singers have been performing in Portland and beyond for over 70 years. Originally begun in 1945, the all-male chorus was known as the Forest Grove Gleemen. When women joined the chorus in the 1960s, the Forest Grove Gleemen became the Forest Grove Gleemen and Girls. As time passed, the chorus grew in size, drawing singers throughout Washington and Oregon. The focus changed to singing jazz standards and show tunes, and the name changed one more time to the Westside Singers.
Today Westside Singers is a jazz chorus of 30 singers, ranging in age from early twenties to the 90’s. We boast four members with over 50 years experience with the Westside Singers.
Our director, Bruce Brownell, has directed Westside Singers for 20+ years. His talent and dedication has crafted Westside Singers to become Portland’s premier jazz chorus.
The Westside Singers have performed at all kinds of local venues, including civic clubs, retirement homes, and private parties. We had the honor of singing the National Anthem at PGE Park and Memorial Coliseum. Internationally, the Westside Singers conducted a tour of Europe in the 1970s, and held a command performance for Princess Grace of Monaco. The Westside Singers had the privilege of performing at the 1986 Worlds Fair in Vancouver, B.C.
One constant dances throughout the 60+ year history of Westside Singers, and that is providing toe-tapping, finger-snapping, hand-holding musical entertainment throughout the Portland metropolitan area and beyond. That’s what makes us “Oregon’s Ambassadors of Song”.
The Westside Singers specialize in performing jazz standards from 1940’s and 1950’s, along with popular show tunes from the 1920s to today’s Broadway tunes.
Our current Playlist includes such favorites as ~
In The Mood
And All That Jazz (from the musical Chicago)
Puttin’ On The Ritz
I’m Beginning To See The Light
Sing, Sing, Sing
Sweet Georgia Brown
As Time Goes By
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
It Had to Be You
String of Pearls
River of Dreams
Sincerely/You Send Me
Girl from Ipanema
Birth of the Blues
Fly Me To The Moon
Under the Boardwalk
Lean on Me
On the Sunny Side of the Street
And Many, Many More…
Our Holiday season Playlist offers a great mix of secular and sacred favorites, such as ~
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Getting in the Mood (for Christmas)
Irving Berlin Medley
O Holy Night
Jazzy Old St. Nicholas
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Doo Wop Christmas
Carol of the Bells Kirby Shaw arr.
Joy to the World
The Westside Singers are always looking for quality musicians who enjoy singing, having a good time and performing all year round! We rehearse Wednesday evenings from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, in the Sanctuary. The entire parking lot is available. The rehearsal space is located through the main entry: turn left, then right.
Our next scheduled rehearsal is Wednesday, March 29 @ 7 p.m. We would love to see you there! Feel free to fill out our information sheet and someone will get back to you shortly.
& Concert Manager
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