Erin Guinup, Executive & Artistic Director
Erin Guinup is the founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Tacoma Refugee Choir. In their first three years, they have welcomed over 600 people from over 50 countries and performed for over 25,000 people at events including WE Day, Race & Pedagogy National Conference, and the Families Belong Together Rally in collaboration with Grammy-winning recording artists and political leaders. A passionate advocate of community singing and the power of music to heal and unite communities, she has spoken at TEDxSeattle and been featured on PBS with the Refugee Choir, led community singing events and spoken at national conferences for Chorus America, National Association of Teachers of Singing, American Choral Director’s Association, and the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm, Sweden.
As a solo artist, Erin frequently performs as a guest soloist with ensembles including Symphony Tacoma, Ensign Symphony, Northwest Repertory Singers and Tacoma Concert Band and her internationally performed one-woman show, The Ladies of Lyric and Song: Female Composers and Lyricists of the American Musical Theatre has been praised as “an amazing tour-de-force”. Specializing in both classical and contemporary technique, she is a sought-after clinician and voice teacher with students on Broadway, regional theatre and operatic stages, and television’s American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent. Other career highlights include playing Mary Poppins; conducting Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God, Handel’s Messiah, and the world premiere of Orson Scott Card and Mark Mitchell’s He is There; singing with Israeli-Palestinian choir Common Ground Voices in Jerusalem and Europe; premiering an original song with Symphony Tacoma; and vocal workshops with Fortune 100 companies including Amazon. She is a composer and author, contributing to the books So You Want to Sing Music by Women and My Body Was Left on the Street: Music Education and Displacement. Most recently, Erin was named one of five Women to Watch by South Sound Magazine.
Erin’s great-great-grandfather fled Germany in 1914 and arrived in San Francisco where he found community in the San Francisco Maennerchor (Men’s Choir). Other ancestors fled religious persecution in England on the Mayflower.