The Labor Heritage/Rockin’ Solidarity Chorus is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is made up of workers from many unions, as well as students and independent folks who love to sing. We are dedicated to building more democracy and representation within our unions and we come together to celebrate our love of music and workers’ culture.
The Chorus is directed by musician and labor organizer Pat Wynne. Under her leadership, we borrow from many musical traditions such as South African and Gospel; traditional and newly composed labor songs; songs in Yiddish, Latin, Spanish and Xshosha; and parodies of popular songs created in the Joe Hill tradition. Pat Wynne’s musical mission is to create a new canon of labor music that better reflects the diversity of our working population. Our accompanist and Pat Wynne’s musical collaborator is Bernard Gilbert.
The Joe Hill Award was given to Pat Wynne, director of the San Francisco Labor Chorus, on June 21, 2014, by the Labor Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. The award honors artists who have contributed to the successful integration of arts and culture in the labor movement. It is given every year at the Great Labor Arts Exchange to persons based on their dedication, participation and promotion of labor, labor arts, culture, organizing and/or history. Other to have received this award are Pete Seeger, Cesar Chavez, Utah Phillips, Jon Fromer etc.
Above: Pat receiving the Joe Hill Award
Pat Wynne’s book, “Singing Out and Fighting Back,” is now in the American Folk Life Archive at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. This book contain 12 performance pieces Pat wrote for the San Francisco Labor Heritage Rockin’ Solidarity Chorus. The book was designed and assembled over 3 semesters by students in the Computer Design Department at City College of San Francisco. The book contains approximately 80 songs, many arranged for 4 part harmony. Also in the Archive is Pat’s CD, “Singing is Believing,” and a DVD of “The Great Migration,” Pat’s performance piece, as performed by the Rockin’ Solidarity Chorus.
Above: Pat at the Library of Congress, as they accept her book for the collection