Bob Seay, WGBH Morning Edition host reports:

It's Wednesday night choir practice at a church in Cambridge. But this is not your usual chorus… every one of the 20 members is transgender.

“My voice is changing upward now, I found out I had a lot higher range than I thought I did, so I'm like using music to get the voice that I want to have, but I also like to sing.”

That's Jessica - a transgender woman seeking to make her voice sound more feminine.

And then there's George, a transgender man seeking to sound more masculine.

“This chorus started up just as I was starting to identify as male and really start my medical transition.  So what's been exciting for me is to be able to learn more about my voice. I'm taking testosterone and my voice is getting lower. So I've been able to sing through that change and learn more about my voice through Sandi and through singing with other people, which is very exciting. Because I used to sing alto and now I sing baritone," says George.

The Sandi George is referring to is Sandi Hammond the Director of what's called the Butterfly Transgender Chorus.

“So Music's been in my life for as long as I can remember. I think my relationship to music has gone through some interesting shifts,” according to Sandi Hammond.

Hammond, who is not transgender, was once a singer and performer.  But she says she finds directing one of only five transgender choruses in the country a lot more rewarding.  She admits with member’s voices constantly changing, it’s a lot more challenging than what a traditional choral director faces:

“So one of the key elements is ...hey that notes too high... raise your hand .... I’ll help you find it in an octave below or you can skip it.

Now some choral directors would hate this. They would be like, I have a musical outcome, I have an image in my head of what this is going to sound like when we're is done. Nope.... I don't get to to do that, and frankly I don't care.”

"It's like going through the looking glass a little bit, that's what my voice would have been had I never gone through the adolescence that I didn't want in the first place..."

And for Laurie another transgender woman - reaching that higher range is transforming

“It was a mind altering experience for me. It was truly amazing to get comfortable in a higher range and to use that higher range. And it's just...it's like going through the looking glass a little bit, that's what my voice would have been had I never gone through the adolescence that I didn’t want in the first place, that I never chose for myself,” says Laurie.

The transgendered are becoming more public.

But some still fear being harassed-- or worse-- and that's why the rehearsal locations for the chorus are kept confidential.

“I mean like Jessica and I are very open and out, we're activists...we're talking to you right now so for us it's maybe different. I don't feel like personally it would need to be secret. It's pretty new that there are groups of transgender publicly coming together in groups whether it's a support group like us in a choir. So it's sort of new and I think that Sandi and the group wants to be on the side of being respectful for wherever people are in their journey,” says George.

"Are things in general changing?  From five years ago, ten years ago, asks Seay.

Jessica says, “Yeah, from five. I transition four years ago and before that I had a friend that transitioned at work two years before I did, and the difference between her acceptance and my acceptance with the society as a whole has been changing a lot over the last five years. It's still changing.  A lot of people, first the change was people didn't quite notice how many of us there were, and then they started to and then they got scared of us.”

"I love the fact when you're there singing you sound like every other chorus," says Seay.

“We try to,” says Jessica.

"I think that helps spread the word," says Seay.

"I think it does. It feels good for us and it feels like we can show people that we are like...we're singing, we’re singing serious chorale work here,"  says Jessica.

This is a big weekend for the butterfly chorus- their having their first public concert tomorrow night- and it's sold out. A second has been scheduled for next weekend as the transgendered singers literally come out.