Calling All Choral Groups: Make History and Join the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Opening Ceremony Choir

Renowned choral director Rafe Wadleigh to lead 2,018-member vocal ensemble

SEATTLE – March 2, 2018 – The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games unveiled today one of the entertainment elements of its upcoming Opening Ceremony on Sunday, July 1: a 2,018-member choir. Choral groups of all sizes from across the Pacific Northwest are invited to lend their voices to what will be one of the largest vocal ensembles ever assembled in Washington State.

The Opening Ceremony for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will take place at Husky Stadium and celebrates the official start of six days of competition and events across Puget Sound. From July 1-6, more than 4,000 Special Olympics athletes, coaches and delegates representing every state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia will vie for medals in 14 individual and team sports.

The 2,018-member vocal ensemble will be led by choral director Rafe Wadleigh. Known for his musical versatility and strong command of both academic and popular music styles, Wadleigh is the director of choral music for the Middle and Upper Schools at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma. He also serves as chair of the school’s performing arts department. Wadleigh has more than 20 years of experience directing choral ensembles, building music programs and performing.

“This performance will be an incredible moment of community through harmony that will be life changing for the singers who choose to lend their voices to this amazing choir,” said Wadleigh. “The spirit of the Special Olympics USA Games is one of acceptance and inclusion, and the 2,018-member choir will embrace this mission. Professional choristers will sing with school groups. Singers with and without disabilities will join voices with small church choirs. Children will sing with their parents. All will feel welcome and all are needed.”

To register to participate and for more information, please go to

In addition to the 2,018-member choir, the Opening Ceremony will feature ceremonial elements such as the Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the Special Olympics Flame of Hope, as well as other musical performances and entertainment. More details on the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Opening Ceremony will be announced later this month.

About the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Washington from July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 participants representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, along with the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators, will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement and its 50th anniversary; promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport; and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2018 USA Games will also highlight Special Olympics’ work in sport, education, health and community-building. 

For more information on the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, please visit and follow on Facebook (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames), Twitter (@2018USAGames) and Instagram (@SpecialOlympicsUSAGames).

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