Issue 61: November 2013-February 2014
Congratulations to us! You are now a member of the largest Sweet Adeline Region in the world! As you know, our region has been growing constantly for some time. In fact, Region 34 has added 66 new members since the end of May! This means we now have 53 more members than the next largest region which is in Great Britain and over 200 more members than the largest region in the US. This milestone was reached before any of our prospective choruses charter! Australia is certainly a good place for barbershop! Well done to all the choruses that have had membership drives and helped us to increase our numbers.
The girls of MAXX Factor took to Australia like platypuses to water – and the feeling was mutual! See report page 5.
2013 Education Grant Winner Congratulations to the 2013 Regional Education Grant recipient, Justine Cox of Headliners Chorus! Justine’s outstanding application resulted in her winning the $2,000 grant to attend the A Cappella Harmony Academy (AHA) in Tulsa, Oklahoma next July. Justine, who has been a SAI member since 1996, starting out with Wollongong Harmony Chorus, has been Headliners’ Choreographer since 2001. With her choreo team, Justine has helped the chorus improve their scores for showmanship each time they’ve competed. Justine said, “I am absolutely thrilled to have been chosen to attend AHA next year. It’s such an honour and I can’t wait to learn more and bring it back to my chorus and the Australian region. The first thing Justine Cox I did was to check out the program, then find out which choruses I could visit around Oklahoma and Texas. I am looking forward to touring our headquarters in Tulsa and to breathing in the history of our art form!” We know we are sending a very worthy representative of our region to AHA! Another Regional Education Grant will be offered in 2014 – see the March 2014 OzChords for entry information and conditions.
New Look OzChords Spotlight on Sydney Convention Competition Changes Key Competition Deadlines 2014 Leaders’ Lunch Be an MC for Sydney Convention What to watch for at Convention Recent Events Fanfares Quartet Workshops – 21 September 2013 Chorus Administrator Training MAXX Factor success What’s Coming Up 2014 Australian Regional Schools/Coaching 2014 Directors’ School/REF Training Young Women in Harmony Takes Off RMT Round Up Finances Events Membership Marketing Directors’ Coordinator Communications Education CAL Laughter – the Benefits Vocal Care with Helen Bolton Getting Value from Quartet Coaching Chorus Chorale Calendar of Events Important Regional Contacts
Our Mission: To be the leading musical organisation for Australian women
page 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 6 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 9 10 10 11 12 13 14-25 26 26
New Look OzChords In the survey members completed a few months ago about communications in Region 34, you gave us a lot of good ideas, insights and requests about OzChords. So in this issue, you’ll see some steps towards creating a “new look” magazine, designed to be even more effective in providing information to make your understanding of Sweet Adelines Australia as well-informed, relevant and up-to-date as possible. The first change you’ll notice is the “What’s Inside” notice on the front page. This will help you more quickly find the information you need in our ever-growing publication. The “Between the Lines” column will in future reside on Page 2. The first part of the magazine is now devoted to important things taking place in Region 34. You’ll be able to read about outcomes of past activities (see “Recent Events”), as well as important future opportunities you won’t want to miss (see “What’s Coming Up”). Previously, this information was contained in the Regional Management Team reports, and you told us this made it more difficult to find. You will discover that the RMT reports now appear later in the publication as an “RMT Round Up”. Here you’ll read a summary of other priorities your RMT Coordinators are working on that aren’t covered elsewhere in the magazine. In this issue, and in future OzChords, you’ll find even more general information articles – ideas to help you become better singers and better members, featuring a string of “contributing writers”. For example, see the article written by Kerry Silcock on how quartets can make the best of a coach’s visit on page 13. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new column, “Fanfares”, for announcements of special achievements within the region (see page 4). Finally, since it is clear you all like to read about how others are carrying out “chorus life”, you’ll enjoy the continuation of stories and reports provided by choruses. You’ll find these in the “Chorus Chorale” section towards the back of the magazine. We are still in the “trial” phase of our new format, and would welcome any comments or suggestions you might have for making OzChords an even more read-able and helpful publication. Please send your suggestions to email@example.com. Sandy O’Neill, Editor
SPOTLIGHT ON SYDNEY CONVENTION
Competition Changes in 2014 Commencing at regional competitions around the world, in 2014 there will be two divisions in each of the Quartet and Chorus Competitions— the International Division and the Open Division.
This is for competitors who wish to qualify for International Competition. You will compete with two contest arrangements and receive numeric scores. Choruses will be able to qualify for Harmony Classic and International based on winning scores. This division is the same as our past Regional Contest format.
This is a new division for competitors who do not wish to qualify for International Competition. You will present a 10 minute entertainment package that includes one contest arrangement and you will receive a level (not a numeric score) and a completed score sheet from the judges. Competing in the Open Division will satisfy the requirement that a registered chorus must compete once every three years. However, you will not qualify for International awards. (Last year’s outgoing champions may also compete in the Open Division for level scores.) A Regional Audience Choice Award will be established for the Open Division for both quartets and choruses, and will be based on votes by audience members.
See the page on the SAI website dedicated to the new Open Division. It’s worth reading and checking back periodically as updates come through. You can access this information at this link: http://www.sweetadelineintl.org/index.cfm?id=467 or go to www.sweetadelineintl.org then, Competition Competition Scores and Information. On this page you’ll find the Open Division Fact Sheet, Scoring Criteria and 2014 Contest Handbook. An updated Competition Handbook will be provided by SAI later this year. Once this information has been received, we will run a webinar on this topic to give more details about the new Open Division, eg judging criteria.
Key Competition Deadlines QUARTETS
Competition entry deadline - 17 March 2014
Competition entry deadline - 18 March 2014
Draw for Order of Appearance - 24 March 2014
Late entry deadline - 1 April 2014
Late entry deadline -2 April 2014
Competition Pack emailing - 31 January 2014
2014 Leaders’ Lunch – Thursday 15 May, Sydney Your Regional Management Team is calling all chorus management team and board members, incoming and outgoing! You’re invited to the 2014 Leaders’ Lunch! Getting our admin leaders together at Convention is becoming a tradition in Region 34 and this year we are doing things are little differently. We hope you will join us on Thursday of Convention at the Millennium Room of the ANZ Stadium, overlooking the Sydney Olympic Park. This function is planned especially for YOU as a way of recognising the time and passion you dedicate to your choruses! If you are on your chorus management team or board, please leave a space in your weekend agenda for this luncheon which will be followed by our AGM at 2.00pm. Timing will be 12.00pm to 3.00pm on Thursday 15 May. Further details will be released early next year. Debra Griffiths, Regional Events Coordinator
SPOTLIGHT ON SYDNEY CONVENTION
Convention Planning We are well into planning for our 14-18 May 2014 Convention, and have assigned jobs to various NSW choruses to help with the events throughout the five days. As always, scheduled Convention Bulletins will be sent out to members and chorus TC’s and Presidents. See Bulletin No 2 (out in October) for information about registration and events throughout the Convention.
What to watch for at Convention See the October Convention Bulletin (No 2) for more details on all of the following:
Don’t miss the Master Class on Banners are back! A banner parade Sunday morning with Kim Vaughn will take place during the Opening and Sue Beck! Ceremony! Showcase will take place on Sunday, 1.30-3.30pm! Don’t leave town before it! The AGM will be held at the new time of Thursday, 2.00pm. Be sure your chorus is represented.
Be sure you’re there for the Mass Sing on Sunday at 12.00pm!
Be an MC for Sydney Convention!
Briefings for both choruses and quartets will be on Thursday evening from 6.30pm. All competitors must be represented.
The STAR Chorus in 2014 will be under the direction of Carole Macintyre – rehearsal early Saturday morning!
Seeking Expressions of Interest Having a varied pool of people as MC’s is proving to be a great way to feature fresh faces and new skills at Convention! So we’re inviting members with a pleasant speaking voice and a bit of pizzazz to apply to compere various sessions and events over the 2014 Convention weekend. To be eligible for MC’ing, please note the following criteria: 1. You must be available for either the Quartet Competition or Chorus Competition (which means you may be competing in one, but not in both). 2. You must be able to attend the 90 minute MC Briefing/Training Session on the morning of Thursday 15 May (time to be confirmed). 3. You must be available for the Chorus/Quartet Briefing session at 5.00pm Thursday 15 May. Below is an Expression of Interest form. You will notice we are asking for more information this year than in the past, for example your height. (Yes, that’s right! We need to ensure the audience can see you over the lectern if you are a shortie!) We are also requesting a sample video from you – just make a video on your (or someone else’s) phone or ipad using the “script” below, and send it through with your application.
Expression of Interest for 2014 Convention MC Role Name
I am available to attend the: (tick if available) MC Briefing on Thursday 15 May (morning) Chorus /Quartet Briefing session at 5.00pm Thursday 15 May
I will be competing in 2014:
I attach: (tick if attached)
A description in my own words of my experience relevant to this role
A recent photo, in pdf format (head shot preferred)
A video of myself doing a sample competition announcement, using this script: “We are ready for our first contestant. Will everyone please be seated. Please close the doors. Contestant Number One, from Dallas, Texas, under the direction of Dale Syverson, RICH-TONE CHORUS!”
Please complete, scan and email this form, together with attachments, to our Regional Events Coordinator, Debra Griffiths on firstname.lastname@example.org by 8 December 2013 3
Fanfares High Excitement in the West!
Indian Blue Chorus has been granted chartered status in Sweet Adelines International – on 7 October, after only 33 weeks as a prospective chorus! Warmest congratulations from all Region 34 to all Indian Blue members!
Off to Hawaii
Best wishes to both Endeavour Harmony Chorus and Hi-Jinx for the International Competition in Hawaii. As they say, “Break an eyelash!” Many members will be watching the webcast and cheering you on. And you’re sure to be hearing the Aussies in the audience – Oy, Oy, Oy!
Followers of Facebook will have noted that Endeavour Harmony Chorus did very well at the AUS-ACA Video Competition, taking away three first prizes: in the categories of Community, People’s Choice and Best Barbershop Song. Congratulations, girls – well done!
Newly Certified Directors
Congratulations to Northern Beaches’ three members who have recently completed their director certification through the DCP: Geesje van de Linde, Trish Tuffin and Kylie Shanley. Kudos to Linda Wareham for mentoring such good people!
Quartet Workshops – 21 September This year these workshops were held in Perth, Sydney and Adelaide on 21 September. The simultaneous running of the Quartet Day in three states seems to be a good way to go. We plan to keep this date as a permanent one on the calendar so that everyone can plan the year in the future. Our Regional Education Faculty (REF) ran these schools. We thank Alex Morris in Sydney, Vicki Dwyer in Adelaide and Carole Macintyre and Kali Caramia in Perth for putting so much effort and planning into these very informative and enjoyable days!
Characters and characterisation at the Quartet Workshops held in three states
2013 Chorus Administrator Training On 14 September in Sydney’s Baulkham Hills a very special opportunity for management team and board members of local choruses took place. Paula Davis, a member of the Sweet Adelines International Board, presented a day of training for present, future and past administrative leaders of Sweet Adelines choruses. As Chair of the Regional Leadership Committee, which works with and trains our regional leaders around the world, Paula was visiting Australia to deliver training for the RMT. When asked if she would stay and provide training for our chorus administrators, Paula was delighted to do this for us. The chorus leaders who took the opportunity to be part of this day said that they went away with so many more tools for the administration and overall good health of their chorus, including: • Working with Challenges • Developing and Mentoring Future Leaders • Encouraging and Managing Change • Management Team and Music Team Collaboration Chorus admin leaders enjoying the training provided by Paula Davis (fifth from left)
Melbourne Chorus and Geelong Harmony at MAXX Factor Concert (front row L-R: Leanne Rich, Melbourne Tenor Section Leader; Alex Morris, GHC Director; and Claire Dickinson, Acting Co-Director of Melbourne Chorus
Gina D’Souza singing with MAXX Factor at the Queensland workshop
MAXX Factor with Already taken Quartet
MAXX Factor Hailed a Success This generous and talented quartet took Brisbane and Melbourne by storm in early August and blew us away with their superb singing and warmth of spirit. Many members travelled from other states and country areas to experience one of the best examples of quartet singing in the world. Their concerts were a great success, supported by outstanding performances by Brisbane City Sounds, Redland Rhapsody, Geelong Harmony and The Melbourne Chorus. Watch out for these gals at our Competition next year!
MAXX Factor with Natural Blend Quartet
Photography by Alan Singer
Getting your head (and mouth) around barbershop vowels MAXX Factor reminded us that we need to sing our vowels to ensure we all match. We DO NOT pronounce vowels the same when we sing as when we speak, and there are more dipthongs (ie combined vowel sounds) than you may be aware of! Here’s how barbershop vowels should be sung:
Sounds as in...
Short A “a”
Hat, Pass, Dad
Short A “ah”
Law, Talk, Star
Long A (Dipthong) “ay” + “ee”
Late, Behave, May
Dipthong Short A “ah” + “oo”
Crown, Brown, How
Short E “eh”
Said, Many, Fair
Long E “ee”
We, Be, Seem
Short I “ih”
Sit, Big, It
Dipthong IR “ur”
Girl, Pearl, Twirl
Long I (Dipthong) “ah” + “ee”
I, Sigh, Smile
Short O “aw”
Top, Song, Spot
Long O “oh”
Go, So, Boat
Long O (Dipthong) “oh” + “ee”
Joy, Boy, Toy
Thanks are also due to...
Short OO “uwh”
Look, Foot, Brook
the Brisbane and Melbourne marketing teams who worked tirelessly to sell the message to the wider community and to chorus networks. Thanks to Emily Edwards and Denise Kolcze for the Brisbane event and Anna-Marie Shew and Ann Moorhouse for the Melbourne event.
Long OO “oo”
Do, Move, Soon
Short U “uh”
Up, Love, Some
Long U “oo”
You, True, Tune
Long U (Dipthong) “ee” + “oo”
MAXX Factor was very generous in their time with all of us Down Under and particularly generous with their crowns. A tour highlight must be our members trying them on! Did you see them on Facebook? The workshops were well received too. Among other things, MAXX Factor reminded us of how the basics are so important to master (and keep working on) in order to be brilliant! The Melbourne Chorus TC, Elidia Rymer, said, “I would like to thank you, the RMT, for the fabulous opportunity to have MAXX Factor in Melbourne. They were not only excellent to listen to, but they were also so generous with their knowledge and time with everyone who attended the workshop. They were inspiring and fun to learn from and with.” See the financial results from the MAXX Factor tour in the RMT Round Up, page 7.
Special thanks to... Jill Wardrop and Wendy Rossiter, State Events Coordinators for QLD and VIC respectively, and to all the people who helped them, for the wonderful on-the-ground organisation of the MAXX Factor events.
Debra Griffths, Regional Events Coordinator
Susan Grigson, Regional Marketing Coordinator
WHAT’S COMING UP
2014 Australian Regional Schools and Coaching We are moving away from having our main education event attached to Convention and instead will be holding education events in August or September each year. We are pleased to announce that Dede Nibler will be travelling to four states in August 2014 for coaching and running Regional Schools. Dede was already booked for private coaching in QLD and WA but was able to extend her stay to travel farther and wider! Dede will be travelling to QLD, NSW, VIC, SA and WA for coaching and/or workshops. Dates for the Dede Nibler Regional Schools are as follows:
NSW: 2-3 Aug: Workshop in Sydney VIC: 23-24 Aug: Workshop in Melbourne SA: 30-31 Aug: Workshop in Adelaide In QLD and WA choruses will have combined evening coaching sessions/open coaching sessions. More information will be posted on the regional website later this year. Lea Baker, Regional Education Coordinator
2014 Directors’ School and REF training Directors and Assistant Directors, get ready for another jam packed school in January 2014! The dates are 17-19 January 2014 at the St Josephs Centre in Baulkham Hills (Sydney). The theme will be “Let the Music Set You Free”. Our guest educator for this school will be Molly Huffman, member of the International Faculty. REF will receive training on the Friday, and Directors and Assistant Directors on Saturday and half of Sunday. One Assistant Director from each chorus will be subsidised $100 by the region to attend the event. We are very excited that our region has grown to be the biggest in the world with several prospective choruses in the pipeline. It is hoped that all prospective chorus Directors will join us at the Directors’ School so that we can get to know them. Molly Huffman, visiting International Faculty
Registration reminder Invitations have been issued via email to register for the 2014 Directors’ School. If you haven’t received the invitation as a Director, REF, or First Assistant Director, please let me know immediately by emailing to email@example.com. Engelina de Jong, Regional Directors’ Coordinator
We need YOU to be part of the team making it happen Musical directors and chorus members, please support this exciting initiative! • Encourage chorus members under 25 to apply • Members will benefit from this great training • Any female singer under 25 can participate • Watch out for the YWIH Facebook page • Email your singing contact with good news • Send your contacts to YouthChorus@SweetAdelines.org.au Tell your school/singing teachers about this great opportunity A 25th Anniversary Convention highlight in Sydney, 2014 not to be missed!
Information on how to apply at www.ywih.org.au
REGIONAL MANAGEMENT TEAM ROUND UP
Facts about our Finances Conventions We had budgeted to break even with 600 attendees at Perth Convention, but with more than anticipated registrations, webcast income and higher than expected showcase and session tickets sold and some cost cutting with expenses there was a surplus of $22,500. Planning is now well on the way with upcoming conventions and we have spent $32,000 to date in advance for the next three conventions.
ICAP (International Competitor Assistance Program) Hi-Jinx, our 2013 Quartet Champions, received $4,000 to assist the girls to compete in Hawaii this year. Perth Harmony Chorus, our 2013 Chorus Champions, has nominated to compete in Baltimore in 2014 and has received $5,000 of the first tier of the ICAP. Endeavour Harmony Chorus has 88 members competing in Hawaii this year and has received the second tier of ICAP of $3,800. The chorus has now received $8,800 in total from our ICAP.
MAXX Factor Tour As forecast our expenses for the MAXX Factor Workshops exceeded income by $25,729.22 and we will be using some of the Education Provision reserved from last year’s Profit & Loss to cover the costs. The MAXX Factor shows had a combined profit of $1,470.40 and the choruses who performed, ie Brisbane City Sounds, Geelong Harmony Chorus, The Melbourne Chorus and Redlands Rhapsody Chorus, each received $367.60. The original plan was for the region to share in the profits but the RMT decided that the choruses would receive the profits with nothing going to the region.
New Members Since the invoices for regional fees were sent in May, we have had 66 new members and I thank the choruses concerned for advising me when new applications are forwarded to International. The process for regional notification has been streamlined and is working well. Jan Mahoney, Regional Finance Coordinator
Membership Matters Prospective Choruses Indian Blue are thrilled to have received their charter! Their speedy development from Step 1 in the Steps Towards Chartering to this final accomplishment is a testament to their enthusiasm and skills. Congratulations to all in WA who were part of this journey! Vocal Edge and Canberra Harmony are not too far behind and we look forward to having them as full members of the organisation very soon. We also have Honeysuckle Suite and Soundwaves A’Cappella who are still in Step 1 but moving along their musical pathway. How exciting to have so many people wanting to be part of this wonderful musical adventure.
Please Share Your Ideas! Don’t forget to let us know of any special things you are doing to attract members to your chorus. We’d love to share new ideas. Remember too that there are a great many resources available from the International website, all developed to help with member recruitment.
Hawaii-bound I am looking forward to meeting with other regional membership coordinators in Hawaii and hopefully will have some great things to bring back with me. Best wishes to you all, Val Norris, Regional Membership Coordinator
Events in our Region There is always a new event coming up in Sweet Adelines Australia and it is great to see so many members taking the opportunity to be part of the various entertainment and education opportunities Sweet Adelines has to offer!
State Event Coordinators 2013-2014 Events in the various states are coordinated by a team of State Events Organisers who am I very lucky to be able to call on to provide on-the-spot-knowledge and experience of venues to suit our needs. I would like to say a big thank you for the work they continue to do in the organisation of state-based events. NSW Queensland SA
Kris Dodd Jill Wardrop Janet Caldwell
Wendy Rossiter Bec Mutton
If at any time you think you would like to be part of the Events Team for Region 34, don’t hesitate to contact me, or one of the State Events Coordinators. There is always a place for a willing hand on our Team. Debra Griffiths, Regional Events Coordinator
REGIONAL MANAGEMENT TEAM ROUND UP
Moments in Marketing Marketing Network Taking Shape Thank you to the choruses who sent in their contact details for the new marketing network made up of marketing coordinators, publicity officers, web mistresses and promotional divas! Let’s work together to grow marketing opportunities and support each other. As mentioned in the “call out” for marketing network members, International has refreshed the Real Women, Real Harmony, Real Fun marketing materials. This is one of the versions you can use to illustrate brochures, business cards, guest passes and much more:
Tools and Resources – only a Click Away Already one marketer has noted the challenges of developing marketing materials. It can be made much easier by taking an exploratory trip in the Members Only area on the International website, under Marketing Resources. You will discover templates and the Ad-builder which are all very intuitive and easy to customise. Before you start, read up on how to use the SAI logo under Graphic Standards. There is no need to make life more challenging than it needs to be. By tapping into these resources you will save time too. For example, here’s a sample of a SAI marketing piece (see right). Don’t like this photograph? Just insert the photograph from your chorus photo library, your chorus logo and our regional logo and it’s done, and ready to go to the printer.
Publicity and Facebook on the Move Congratulations to all those choruses who have developed media campaigns to support their show or special performances. From one end of the country to the other, the sound of barbershop is being heard on radio or being seen in local newspapers. I just love the way choruses are turning to Facebook to promote sign-up for shows or for short news stories. Some international choruses are taking the use of Facebook to a new level, including videos – something that we will be talking more about soon. Susan Grigson, Regional Marketing Coordinator
Notes from the Directors’ Coordinator Hello to All Directors and aspiring Directors!
2014 Directors’ School By now, you will have received the invitation to register for the Regional Directors’ School in January 2014. Can’t wait to see you there! (See page 6 for more information.)
Directors Certification Program (DCP) As highlighted in the last OzChords, Carole McIntyre has taken over from Fay Baker as DCP Coordinator. For anyone interested in learning more about barbershop, the DCP program is worthwhile registering for. To find out more about DCP go the Sweet Adelines International website. Directors, promote this to all your members! Engelina de Jong, Regional Directors’ Coordinator
Need to contact another chorus? Want to find out when/where other choruses rehearse? Need to reach someone on the RMT or REF? Need to find out who holds a certain regional appointment? Want to consult with your counterpart on another chorus’s management team? Go to the Regional Directory! The Directory is also posted on the Links & Contacts page of the Members Only area of the Regional Website at http://www.sweetadelines.org.au/members-only/links-and-contact-lists.
REGIONAL MANAGEMENT TEAM ROUND UP
Communicating with you Keeping Score! Each year, the Regional Leadership Committee (RLC) of Sweet Adelines International reviews the operations of each of its regions. They ask each RMT to submit a State of the Region report and ask choruses to respond to a survey to evaluate their understanding of and satisfaction with the activities, communication and leadership in the region. The feedback helps both International and the RMT with future planning and ensures we’re delivering on the commitments we make to our members. Choruses responded saying they value our communication and leadership, seeing the RMT working hard in the best interests of members across the region. We are now Sweet Adelines International’s biggest region, so the RLC is very interested in how we’re managing things with an enviable membership of over 1350. The Harmonic Progression that saw consolidation of regions in the past year was introduced because previous member numbers in some regions weren’t sustainable. Our region is growing and we have four prospective choruses (and one brand new chartered chorus, Indian Blue!) whose members are not included in our official figure! What is great about a large membership is there’s a wealth of talented management teams whose feedback is highly valued. The three biggest issues chorus management teams said they’d like us to focus on are: keeping our events affordable; marketing Sweet Adelines Australia; and ensuring smaller choruses have access to education and resources to help them grow. Each of these areas is part of the Regional Strategic Plan that we report on in the State of the Region Report and our activities in 2013-2014 seek to address them. We had the benefit of discussing these issues with Paula Davis of the International Board of Directors and the RLC who came to Sydney for an RMT training day in September. She also worked with management team members of a number of NSW choruses on the following day and shared her enthusiasm at the talent, imagination and resourcefulness in our chapters. The RLC acknowledged the work we did in 2012-2013 in streamlining event registrations, using technology to supplement our education program delivery and simplifying the standing rules and constitutions that govern us. To quote from the RLC’s report: “Thank you for sharing your success with your online registration system and the details of how it was of benefit to you. Other regions will be interested to hear about your experience! “We appreciate the challenges you face with the geography of your region and the resulting effort it takes to provide your members with affordable events they are able to attend. The use of online tools such as webinars, online forums and online meetings can be helpful when distance and cost get in the way of attendance at your regional events. Some of your regional members may also have great ideas, so reaching out to them and inviting their input may provide you with some ideas you can further develop. “We are confident that Headquarters resources will be able to help you resolve the challenges with your standing rules. We are confident of a successful outcome resulting from your positive approach to working through this with them.” To help us learn and grow, seven of us RMT members will be attending the RMT Forum in Honolulu. It’s a full day conference where we’ll learn, share and network to benefit all members. Each of us has a long list of questions to ask our counterparts so will seek them out all through the week! Bring on 2014! It’s an exciting time to be part of the Regional Management Team! In the New Year we’ll welcome some new RMT members and celebrate the 25th anniversary of being a strong and thriving region. Sharon Cartwright, Regional Communications Coordinator
Paula Davis with Region 34 Management Team at their training day
REGIONAL MANAGEMENT TEAM ROUND UP
Education Updates What’s been done? Side By Side In July this year, Side By Side was held in Los Angeles, the event aimed at Judges and Directors. We had a small but enthusiastic contingent from Australia attending. It was a great weekend of learning and to top it off, we got to meet and rub shoulders with Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect/The Sing Off).
RMT Training Once every two years each Regional Management Team receives a day of training provided by Sweet Adelines International. The Region 34 RMT received training at our September meeting in Sydney by Paula Davis, member of the International Faculty. Paula was an excellent trainer and we learnt a lot from her. Paula kindly stayed on to run a workshop for chorus administrators the following day.
What’s coming up? AHA 2014 On 25 and 26 July 2014, SAI will be holding the A Cappella Harmony Academy (AHA) at the Renaissance Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Academy offers you the opportunity to delve into every aspect of performing, from vocal skills to mic technique, from music selection to entertaining your audiences. You won’t want to miss this event featuring top-notch International Faculty and our special guest, a cappella expert, Lisa Forkish. Options include an added day of training on Thursday 24 July, with the Performance Packaging Boot Camp, Musical Leaders’ Workshop or Directors’ Lab, as well as a Quartet Track that runs through the entire weekend. All a cappella harmony singers are encouraged to attend this dynamic weekend of learning, networking and fun! Details are on the International website: www.sweetadelineintl.org. Lea Baker, Regional Education Coordinator
The Australian contingent with a special Queen at 2013 Side By Side: (L-R) Lea Baker, Dianne Jenkins, Vicki Dwyer, Carole Macintyre, Betty Clipman, Jan McCarthy and Kali Caramia
Chapter-at-Large Our CAL membership currently stands at 58. As always, this number fluctuates as members return to choruses after extended breaks while others decide that CAL membership is the preferred option in their busy lives. Chapter-at-Large membership entitles the member to receive OzE-Notes, OzChords and Pitch Pipe publications. The member can attend any regional or international events and receive membership rates for registration. They can belong to and compete with a quartet. The best benefit is that no matter where you live, you can still be part of our wonderful organisation. We have CAL members in remote areas of Australia, who love that they can still belong to Sweet Adelines. It is great to hear that several of our CAL members will be attending the International Convention in Hawaii in November and will be singing with the mic testing chorus and the World Harmony Chorus. Jennie Harrison, Region 34 CAL Coordinator
Darlene Rogers teaching “Vocal Choreography” at 2013 Side By Side
Finance Message to CALs At the time of writing this article there are still 22 CAL members, ie over a third of our CALS, who have not paid their regional fees. Registrations for Convention 2014 will begin shortly and all members are required to be financial to register at the members’ rate and to compete in Sydney. Also, to avoid slipping through the cracks, all CAL members need to please keep personal profiles up to date on the International website, especially email addresses. In the past we have had to have CAL members reinstated as members of Sweet Adelines International so that they can compete because they have not paid their International dues. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen in future! Jan Mahoney, Regional Finance Coordinator
Key Changes Director Change at Hobart Harmony Hobart Harmony is delighted to welcome back their former Musical Direct, Jenni Pyefinch. Russell Bailey, who directed the chorus over the last three years, is now focusing on his men’s barbershop commitments.
New Face for Melbourne Chorus Welcome to a former Kiwi chorus director! Traci Voss (ex Dunedin Harmony Chorus Music Director) has stepped into the directing role for Melbourne Chorus.
Big 9-0 for Founding Member One of the founders of the first Sweet Adelines Chorus in Sydney, Chad Fydler, celebrated her 90th birthday at a party on 19 October. Her founding partner of Sydney Town Chorus, Ruth Williams, was also there along with other former Sydney Town Chorus singers including current SAI members, Adrienne Richardson, who arranged the gift, and Doris Ward. Sista! quartet sang some ol’ time Sweet Adelines favourites, bringing back happy memories for Chad, her friends and family. (L-R) Sharon Stewart, Roxana Grunwald, Ruth Williams, Chad Fydler, Sharon Cartwright, Clare Davies at Chad’s 90th celebrations.
Laughter – the Benefits are Physical! Aside from the joy of singing, another reason we all love being with our chorus friends is the level of laughter we share together. No wonder! Not only does laughter lighten our hearts, but research shows it has both preventative and therapeutic values. Laughter helps keep us healthy by enriching the blood with ample supplies of oxygen, an essential lifeline for our bodies and brains. In addition, the increased supply of oxygen provided by a good belly laugh improves our physical stamina. Laughter helps to boost the immune system, another master key for maintaining good health. Laughter is an effective antidote for depression, anxiety and psychosomatic disorders because it increases the production of serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. Laughter alleviates pain and gives a sense of wellbeing by releasing endorphins, the body’s painkiller hormones. Laughter also lessens physiological stress. The stress-reduction hormones it releases lead to relaxation, and thereby lower pressure in the body’s blood vessels. This helps control high blood pressure and heart disease. While there are, of course, many factors contributing to these conditions (eg heredity, obesity, smoking, excessive intake of saturated fats etc), stress is also a key determinant and this can be impacted by laughter. By lessening negative stress, laughter also helps reduce the incidence of other diseases or conditions such as frequent coughs and colds, peptic ulcers, insomnia, allergies, asthma, menstrual difficulties, tension headaches, stomach upsets and even – it is claimed! – cancer. You may have noticed that laughter gives an excellent internal massage to the digestive tract; it also enhances blood supply to important internal organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands. Here’s one you may not have thought of: laughter ensures a good sleep and reduces snoring because it relaxes the muscles of the soft palate and throat. You can imagine how this also benefits your singing voice! Finally, laughter creates a happy glow to your face. This isn’t simply an illusion! – when you laugh, your eyes shine brighter because a thin layer of tears is squeezed from the lachrymal sacs. So take time to look for the funny side, to enjoy the absurd, to tickle your own funny bone and to LAUGH! There is no doubt it’s good for you! From www.laughyteryoga.org
VOICE CARE FOR SWEET ADELINES
Stemple’s Vocal Function Exercises Many of you would be familiar with the “Jean Barford exercise”, producing a note as quietly as possible for as long as possible. Well, here is a little bit of history about it. Jean told me when she was judging in Australia a couple of years ago, she was given this exercise by a speech pathologist, Joseph Stemple. Stemple developed this series of exercises aimed at “restoring proper balance among the speech systems of respiration, phonation and resonance” by “restrengthening and balancing the laryngeal musculature, improving vocal fold flexibility and movement, and rebalancing airflow to muscular activity.” So, it’s not just a breath control exercise… it’s so much more! Take up the challenge and see what you can do in seven weeks! This is especially good for those who have been having vocal challenges with voice loss or difficulties with the passagio (the “break” in your voice). The Vocal Function Exercises should be done twice in a row, two times per day. They should be produced as softly as is possible with an easy onset (initiation of sound) and forward placement of the tone (avoid a swallowed or dark vocal sound). Exercise 1 – Warm-up Exercise: Sustain the vowel sound “eee” for as long as possible on the musical note F above middle C. The tone should be produced as softly as possible, but without breathiness. A good supported deep breath should precede voice. The “eee” should be produced with an extreme “forward” tone focus – almost, but not quite nasal. The goal is to sustain the sound without breaks for as long as possible. Sustain an “eee” as long as possible. Goal: 40 sec without breaks or of the same duration as your maximum sustained “sss”. Exercise 2 – Stretching Exercise: Glide from your lowest to your highest note on the word “knoll” (American pronunciation “nahl”) or on a lip or tongue trill. Voice should be soft, and a forward focus used. If breaks occur, continue to glide without hesitating. Goal: no voice breaks. Exercise 3 – Contracting Exercise: Glide from a comfortable high note to your lowest note on the word “knoll” (American pronunciation ‘nahl’) or on a lip or tongue trill. Voice should be soft, and a forward focus used. If breaks occur, continue to glide without hesitating. Goal: no voice breaks. Exercise 4 – Low-impact Adductory Power Exercise: Sustain the musical notes C-D-E-F-G, each as long as possible on the word “ol” (“old” without the “d” – American pronunciation, ie “ahl”). Lips should be rounded; a sympathetic vibration should be felt on the lips. Goal: 40 sec without breaks or of the same duration as your maximum sustained “sss”.
The following Systematic Taper is recommended: Week 1 – Full program 2 times each, 2 times per day, preferably in morning and evening Week 2 – Full program 2 times each, 1 time per day in morning Week 3 – Full program 1 time each, 1 time per day in morning Week 4 – Exercise 4, 2 times each, 1 time per day in morning Week 5 – Exercise 4, 1 time each, 1 time per day in morning Week 6 – Exercise 4, 2 times each, 3 times per week in morning Week 7 – Exercise 4, 1 time each, 1 time per week in morning Helen Bolton, Consultant Speech Pathologist
Find us on Facebook!
If you are a Facebook member, please “Like” the Sweet Adelines Australia Facebook page! Your posts, comments, “Likes”, photos and promotions of upcoming activities are what will make our Facebook page come alive. We’re always posting great news from around the region, as it breaks. The SAA Facebook page is a fun way for those of our members who enjoy social media to keep directly connected. Think of it as an ongoing backyard barbeque where you can drop in from time to time and contribute to the conversation.
Facebook pages we know you’ll “Like” If you need some inspiration for new pages to “Like”, put these words in your Facebook search bar, see what’s on offer and join the conversations! We’ve put lots of other pages in previous editions of OzChords too. • Sweet Adelines Australia • BarbershopHistory.com • Sweet Adelines International • BarbershopMe • Young Women In Harmony Sydney Showcase • Barbershop Tags Or, put in the name of your favourite choruses and quartets – they’re bound to come up too!
Attention OzChords Contributers! Your quality contributions and punctual submissions for our national SAA magazine really DO count! The next issue of OzChords will be published in March 2014. Please email your articles, photos, stories etc by 7 February 2014 to editor, Sandy O’Neill on firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to supply the name and chorus title of the person who writes your material. If you do not receive acknowledgement within five days that your contribution has been received, please re-send it to Sandy. Important note about photos: Please remember we cannot improve on the quality of photo you provide, so PLEASE ensure the ones you send are good quality and high resolution – ie large pixel size. Also, please provide your preferred caption and, for shots of up to six people, identify those who are in them.
GETTING VALUE FROM QUARTET COACHING
It’s all set. Your quartet has decided to have some coaching. The budget has been agreed, the coach booked, the time organised. Here are some tips to get the best possible value from this special opportunity:
Preparation (It’s all in the preparation!) Quartet identity If you haven’t already done so, take some time to identify your quartet’s “personality” and purpose, so you can share this with your coach, ie: • Are you competing? • Are you going to perform in your community? • What kind of performances will you seek? This usually determines the kind of music you’ve chosen to sing.
Fees Agree on the coach’s fee (or gift), the method of payment and who will handle this.
Location You may be coached live, by Skype or be recording yourselves to send off for feedback. Whatever your coaching method, choose a location that works for everyone, where you won’t be interrupted.
Duration This depends on your budget and each person’s availability as well as your goals for the session – and your stamina!
Quartet’s strengths and weaknesses Take some time to identify your quartet’s strengths and those areas that you need to work on. This will help you to identify your goals and hopefully a “fit” with your coach. Coaches have their own style, identity and level of expertise just as each of your quartet members has.
Goals Your goals will be influenced by your coach’s expertise and your previous coaching experience. Find out his or her strengths and specialist skills in advance. Select the music you want to be coached on and think through what specifically you want to achieve by being coached. Are you: • Getting ready for competition? • Wanting to improve your competition score? • Getting ready for a particular performance? • Wanting coaching on vocal production, aspects of barbershop technique, music interpretation? If you have competed before it’s a good idea to be familiar with your judges’ comments – you may have a goal of improving a particular category, improving your score, placing in the top ten at Competition – or all of the above!
Music Know your music – learn and practise it before the coaching session. Have a basic breath and interpretive plan and idea of the character or story. Identify the parts of the song that are challenging. Define why you have chosen this music. What is it about this music that appeals to you? Often a coach will ask these questions.
Be on time and bring: • Your enthusiasm, confidence and skills (leave your “baggage” at the door) • A clean copy of your music to give to your coach • Your music, pencils, recorders • An outline of your plan and goals for the session Nominate one of your quartet members to be the spokesperson if that works for you. Record the session, take notes and mark up your music. Be: • Flexible – often the plan will be changed as your coaching session progresses • Willing to do what works for the quartet as a whole • Professional and focused • Willing to try things, take risks and make mistakes Treat your coach and each other with respect and let any nerves and personal idiosyncrasies be! This is the time to be kind to each other. Remember your coach is not there to act as a counsellor or to solve personal problems and personality differences. Let your coach do his/her job – you may not like your coach (he or she may not like you either!) but remember it’s not personal – focus on your music and your goals. Enjoy it! You may as well!
Before your next quartet rehearsal, ensure each individual reviews your coaching session – look at your music, your notes, listen to your recordings, sing the music with the coach’s suggestions. At your next rehearsal identify those elements from the coaching that you will try out and possibly take on board. Practising those things at this rehearsal is the best way to find out what works! Acknowledge yourselves for what you have accomplished – even a seemingly very small step! Kerry Silcock
About Kerry This year Kerry marks her 20th anniversary singing barbershop. She started off singing baritone with a prospective chorus in the NSW Blue Mountains and is currently a member of the mighty Bass section of Endeavour Harmony Chorus, preparing to represent Region 34 Australia (Contestant #13) at International Competition in Hawaii – exciting! She says that over the past 20 years she has been very fortunate to have received coaching and feedback, in quartets and choruses, from so many generous (and in some cases, long-suffering) people – friends, family, chorus friends, music directors, Sweet Adelines International Judges, chorus and quartet champions. Kerry states, “The first quartet I ever saw (on really poor quality video) was Mischief Down Under singing at Sydney Regional Competition in 1994. They looked like they were really enjoying themselves, they sounded great to me, they made it look so easy – and I loved those little black sparkly dresses! I decided then that I wanted to do that too. “I first competed at Regional Contest with RealTime Quartet in Adelaide 1998. We came tenth. I last competed this year 2013 in Perth with Premonition Quartet and we came... tenth!”
Harmony in Paradise Recently Harmony in Paradise Chorus performed at a special View Club Convention wind-up service at our local Sharks Football Club Events Centre. We enjoyed singing for, and the feedback from, the members of this very worthy club. Our red tops looked very smart against the black curtain backdrop and our costumes (and singing) were commented upon very favourably. Our five new members (this year) sang with us and they are pictured, all smiles. Also pictured is our new director Else Shepherd, who was especially pleased with the response to our singing the mass sing tune, Shelter, which the View Club ladies said fitted their own criteria so perfectly, that they would like to adopt it as their theme song.
HIP new members: (L-R) Carol Loveridge, Leeanne Argyle, Maggie Pernet, Kiki Loch-Wilkinson, Judith Burgess
The chorus also sang at the annual “Springtime on the Mountain” event which is an open gardens trail on Mount Tamborine on the Gold Coast. We sang at different gardens throughout the morning and then enjoyed a very sociable lunch at member Joan Hughes’ home. The photo (right) was taken in Joan’s garden and for the occasion our costume manager decided we would wear pastel colours with pearls to fit in with the pretty gardens in which we were singing! Norma Young, Secretary
Brisbane City Sounds
A bouquet of barbershop: HIP at “Springtime on the Mountain”
Welcoming new faces Twelve new members graced the risers in August this year for their first Brisbane City Sounds retreat. The chorus has grown substantially in the past year. This is thanks to enthusiastic participation in the Sweet Adelines Open House program in January and a commitment to regular public performances that keep attracting interested women to drop in and see what we do on a Thursday night. “It is a great time for BCS, we are hovering around 50 members now, and have even had to purchase (with the help of a council grant) a fifth riser to accommodate the whole group,” Musical Director, Rose McGee said. “Of course it’s not all about numbers – these new women help keep our chorus vital and bring fresh energy and talents to the group,” she said. “Ours is a community minded organisation and I am so excited to see how our newcomers are getting involved in leadership roles, the showmanship team and many who are already keen quartetters. It was also great to see how everyone worked together at our annual retreat. A Sweet Adelines’ weekend away can be a little overwhelming for the uninitiated – but we learned a lot, had great fun, and uncovered many hidden talents at our Saturday night small group performance,” Rose said. “It’s a taste of the fun they will have in Sydney in May next year!” Many thanks to our guest coach, Dede Nibler, for helping us all through this transition phase in the history of BCS. We are all learning more about our sound as we accommodate new voices and share our experience. Leigh Vollans
Hot Ginger Chorus Hot Ginger Chorus welcomed 20 guests who came to try barbershop in three Open House nights during September and October, and five of them committed to go through the audition process. In addition, the Sunshine Coast chorus has already enlisted seven new members since the start of 2013. Louise Boylen, Marketing Chair
Hot Ginger Bass Section Leader, Pam Cockshaw (fourth from left), welcomes Open House guests Amanda, Rene, Sue and Josie
Circular Keys Chorus Doris Ward – another award! 2013 marks a special point in our SAI history – acknowledging some very special people who have been members of Sweet Adelines International for at least 25 years! This includes our wonderful Doris Ward, founder of Circular Keys Chorus in 1996. Still singing Bass on our risers, she often shames us lesser mortals with her indomitable energy and spirit! Bass Section Leader for many years, she willingly shares a lifetime wealth of knowledge and skills with all her riser buddies, and also with Vicki Dwyer, our much-loved Master Director. Vicki was also “selected” by Doris in a nifty succession planning manoeuvre!
Doris on the 10th Anniversary of CKC
Under Doris’ directorship we sang lots of fun gigs in some very interesting places: the inaugural Easter Show when it relocated to Homebush in 1998; The Pines in Dural; (nervously) on the diving platform at Olympic Park Aquatic Centre for the Water Polo World Championships in 1999; on board the Norwegian Gem for Jeans for Genes Day and in Jan Black’s award winning garden in Arcadia amongst the roses and butterflies (with t-shirts to match!). Not content with just Regional Comps, Doris has also joined as an OOTER with other choruses, such as Christchurch, to sing in Indianapolis in 2004, and looked very cute too in her “beautiful doll” outfit! Of course she has also accompanied the Keys to Nashville in 2009 and Denver in 2012 – and I must say is great fun to travel and sleep with! (She doesn’t actually seem to need sleep and is very good company chatting all night!) Doris just loves being on stage – she is a born performer – just look at any show photo to see the inner and outer glow! She has been gratified to see us win gold medals at every level, and to see Vicki become Master Director in Newcastle in 2011. It must be wonderful to know that she kicked all this off, with lots of hard work and “just in time” learning as a new Director. Fortunately she had a wonderful team to start with – many are still singing with us. This created the best possible group dynamic that has grown and blossomed, attracting like-minded chorus members who continue to add to our very pastoral and caring environment, encouraging and training singers with varying skills from all walks of life. In 2006 there were great celebrations for the 10th Anniversary of CKC – and the Doris Ward Award was inaugurated – giving happy recipients an annual acknowledgement of a job well done and making Doris a “life member” of CKC!
Doris front and centre at CKC’s first competition on the Gold Coast in 1996
Doris (middle) with the “Dixie Chicks”
Doris has always enjoyed quartet life too, being much in demand for her rich dulcet Bass tones (she’s highly regarded for being a very low woman…). She has sung with the glamorous Hi Gloss, winning a medal on the Gold Coast in 1996, and with Touché, also ‘medalling’ in Adelaide in 1998. In this latter case Doris was versatile enough to sing Baritone, sensible girl! Later on she sang with her good friends from Flying Colours, and more recently with Girl Friday – again competing in Regional Comps, resonating like mad and loving it! She even enjoys a kitchen quartet – like What Four? – with gigs for Anglicare and other charities. Lately she has been much in demand for some scratch quarteting with the Keys – even singing Lead where requested! What versatility! (That just leaves Tenor, doesn’t it?) As part of the celebrations we threw Doris a surprise posh high tea on 4 August, and she was amazed to see so many “old” friends paying their respects. There was also a wonderful video compilation of interviews including those who were unable to come (thanks Deborah!), a photo book and lots of hugs, cards and congratulations from all her loving family, friends and riser sisters!
Doris’ husband, Max, cutting the cake at Doris’s high tea celebration on 4 August
Always dynamic and stunning on stage, whether dressed as a prisoner or sultry diva, Doris is one of our treasures and always gives 110% to whatever she does, whether singing, helping at garage sales and spring fairs, selling sausages or putting on a Bass skit (remember the famous “Dixie Chix”?). We know she’ll be with us for her next “milestone” which may be a significant birthday, or 30+ years with SAI, or both! What a spectacular role model and a Sweet Adeline to the core! CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS MEMORABLE MILESTONE, DORIS – WE LOVE AND SALUTE YOU! Stephanie Wallbank, PR Team
Doris with Girl Friday at Hobart Convention 2008
CaC – swooning over Mary Rhea?
CaC members at the Bunnings sausage sizzle
Coastal a Cappella The last couple of months have seen lots of fun, learning, performing, fund raising and much harmony for Coastal a Cappella. In August, we had a visit from the lovely Mary Rhea who provided us with workshop days and coaching sessions. These days gave us new skills, new ideas and ways to energise. Thanks Mary! On a cool winter’s evening in August we donned our scarves and beanies and headed off to the gorgeous Wollombi Valley where we performed at the opening of Laguna Public School’s annual art show. We sang our hearts out at this wonderful fundraiser and enjoyed browsing the art from the local talented artists. We also enjoyed a hearty meal and were entertained by some local musicians, and it wasn’t really that cold after all! We had the pleasure of performing with Soundwaves Chorus and other talented Central Coast musicians to raise money for the Local Health District Children’s Fund. Once again, our super Director and Assistant Directors guided us through this fabulous afternoon. It was the first bigger performance for a couple of our newer members and boy, didn’t they do well! We are so proud of them! Not only can women in harmony sing, they can also cook a mean sausage on a good old Aussie barbie! These extended talents mean that chorus members spend extra time together raising funds to benefit the group. How magic being part of such a dedicated and committed group of women! Seventeen of our team are flying out to the Hawaii, International Convention – gee, look out Hawaii! There is so much excitement in the air. Have a great time girls. Once back from this wonderful trip the chorus will be planning our big show, in March next year at the Impact Centre. We are already learning new songs, new moves and definitely putting our new skills to good use. Here’s to the next few months of enjoying working hard and making great harmonies with great women!! Cath Maguire, Events Coordinator
Nola Foster and Shelley Robertson, becoming a Sweet Adeline
Hobart Harmony Hobart Harmony has had a very busy time since Convention in Perth! The end of May saw us say a fond farewell to our Musical Director of the last three years, Russell Bailey, and a welcome back to former Director, Jenni Pyefinch. We would like to thank Russ for all his hard work during his time with us, and wish him well as he continues to develop barbershop skills in the men’s groups in Hobart. Winter in Hobart usually means many of our members go off travelling in search of sun and warmth and this year was no exception. But rather than mourning the lower numbers at rehearsals, we decided to hold a membership drive. We made all of July a drop-in month: “Join us in July”. A number of women came and had a go at what we all LOVE doing – barbershop singing! We have had a delightful time meeting these new women and sharing music and laughter. So far three new members have passed audition and several others are waiting in the wings for their turn. Our first two new members, Olga and Catherine, made their debut with us in the Clarence Eisteddfod in September, where we won the Open Choir section. Well done ladies and welcome aboard! On the social side, the chorus came up with a novel and highly successful fundraising event to make the most of the Tall Ships being in town. On Wednesday 25 September, our TC, Marilyn, opened her riverfront house to chorus members and (paying) guests, to enjoy a champagne lunch and watch the Tall Ships sail out of Hobart. It was a roaring success, with singing (of course), champagne and beautiful food, and weather that was kind enough for people to go outside and admire the boats! Many thanks go to Marilyn for the wonderful idea and hospitality and to everyone who contributed.
(L-R) New Hobart members, Catherine McCallum and Olga Kraus
With several recent public performances behind us, including the National Midwives Conference held here in Hobart, and some gratifying “repeat business” performances still ahead, we are now looking towards Sydney. Vocal skills, new songs, coaching, choreo… never a dull moment! Hope to see you all there. Jenni Pyefinch, Musical Director
Perth Harmony Chorus
“.. still reeling from my experience on Wednesday night of being hugged by 70+ women in the space of less than five minutes. That’s being hugged at an approximate rate of one hug every four seconds. What a way to initiate a new member! I am delighted to be able to be part of PHC. Already I am learning so much – about the art of barbershop, honing sight-reading and listening skills in order to memorise reams of music, the crucial effect of direction on the overall sound, the liberating importance of understanding the voice for every singer, the joy of rising up out of humdrum life into a realm where we fly as a flock in song. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you remember the name of the person beside you or not, for the essence is the beauty of the moment we are in together, right now.
Perth Harmony has welcomed over 25 new members in 2013, some from other Australian choruses who’ve come to settle in Perth and many who are brand new to barbershop and loving it! Our inductees go through a unique welcoming ceremony. As Carole directs us through Candle on the Water (a Perth Harmony favourite) the whole chorus peels down off the risers to individually greet the newcomer with a hug! Our newest recruit shares her thoughts on her induction (see sidebar). Well said, Shamara – what a fantastic Bari you have already become! Special thanks go to Carole for inspiring ALL of us, as we strive collectively and as individuals to hone our skills and become just “the best we can be!” What a journey we are on and what fantastic leadership we have! Best wishes go with Endeavour Harmony and Hi-Jinx to Hawaii – we will be glued to the webcast and sending hugs and positive vibes as you take to the International stage in November! Go Endeavour Harmony! Go Hi-Jinx! We’re so proud of you!
“Thank you each for your heart-warming welcome into this extraordinary organisation which you help create and especially to Carole whose combination of leadership, expertise, musicality, positivity and humility are quite unique in a director and inspire me in my work.
Beryl Allen, PR & Marketing Coordinator
Hervey Bay Seabelle Singers
Shamara experiencing the “hug factor” from Director Carole and others at PHC
Thank you Rose and Debbie! On the last weekend of August, Childers was the venue for a fantastic weekend for two lucky choruses. The Hervey Bay Seabelle Singers and Bundaberg’s Rhythms of the Reef met for a weekend of music, fun, learning and laughter. The weekend was organised as a result of numerous emails between Rose McGee and Directors of HBSS and Rhythms, Helena Muratori and Becky Martin. On Saturday morning the Directors met with Rose and Debbie Wenzel (former Director of Brisbane City Sounds) to get ideas and tips on their directing style, discuss their frustrations and share ideas on how to get the chorus to follow them and do what they are supposed to do. In the afternoon they were given the opportunity to put these skills into practice when they were joined by their chorus members. For a number of weeks prior to the meeting, both choruses had been learning We Go Together from “Grease” – in this instance, a very appropriate song! Both choruses have fewer than 20 members and although not all members could attend the weekend, for those who did, it was a fantastic opportunity to sing with a larger group in the style we all love.
We Go Together – happy faces of two choruses at the Childers Workshop with Helena, Becky, Rose and Debbie (L-R front row)
After an afternoon of vocal exercises, tag singing, sectional practices and chorus singing, how did the group decide to spend the evening? With more singing! The evening sped by as the members entertained each other with karaoke, kindly provided by Kathy from Rhythms of the Reef. While the Bundy girls drove home, some of the Seabelles stayed the night at the Motel Childers. After a restful night, the girls were ready to sing again. On Sunday after some vocal warm ups and exercises, the choruses sang two songs for each other. Debbie Wenzel gave tips to the choruses while Rose Magee gave more tips to the Directors. The choruses again sang We Go Together, only this time with choreography! It is amazing how quickly words and notes are forgotten when choreography is introduced. Both choruses enjoyed the weekend and really appreciated the tips and guidance of Debbie and Rose. We are looking forward to working together again in the future to further improve our skills to get us Competition-ready. Hervey Bay Seabelle Singers are competing in Sydney next year and Rhythms of the Reef are looking forward to Hobart in 2015. Thank you very much Rose, Debbie, Helena and Becky, for all of your time, dedication and passion! Deirdre Robertson, Joint Communication, Publicity and Events Coordinator
Indian Blue (no longer prospective) Chorus In Week 32 with 32 members Indian Blue Chorus submitted our application to Sweet Adelines International for chartering. I can feel a party coming on AND opportunities to apply for grants for those much needed risers! We have another eight women in the audition process, with others indicating their plans to come along and have a go! What a wonderful journey we have been on, starting on 19 February 2013 with our 6-week Real Women, Real Harmony, Real Fun singing course and culminating 32 weeks later on 17 September with a Global Open House event attracting over 60 visitors! We performed our package of songs for our audience and representatives of the Regional Education Coordinator and were “passed” for public performance! We were also thrilled to have Hi-Jinx entertain us in the final stages of their preparations for Hawaii! Kali Caramia, our Director, is committed to providing us with great skills and education. We have already had three coaches – Joey Minshall, Peggy Gram and Kate Sadler (an Estill voice teacher)… with more on the way to prepare us for Convention in Sydney in May 2014. We can’t wait to meet you all there!
New Indian Blue members, Noreen, Susan and Alex, all “glammed” up for the performance
Helen Bolton, Team Coordinator POSTSCRIPT: WE ARE CHARTERED! On 7 October 2013, week 33 + 6 days (but who is counting), Indian Blue officially became a Sweet Adelines chorus of Region 34! Now to plan that charter party! PPS. And one more member passed her audition in week 33!
Rhythms of the Reef Chorus
After over a year of being “Back to Basics” as part of the Music Improvement Program, Rhythms of the Reef is, officially, “Back in Business in Bundaberg” for public performances! Thank you to Rose McGee who visited the chorus, assessed our progress against the performance criteria and “put her head on the chopping block for us”. She left us with a clear understanding of the skills we needed to continue working on and recommended our return to accepting and seeking opportunities for public engagements. We are proud of our Director, Becky Strachan, who has shown strong personal commitment in disappointing circumstances and thank our members who are making a concerted personal effort toward self improvement. Because we all “love to sing” we’re determined to achieve and maintain a higher standard by building our self belief and self confidence. In turn we aim to encourage others to join us with our quality product and our obvious enthusiasm. Let the fun begin! One of our first projects towards growing the chorus and providing more opportunities for educational support was to reach out again to our nearest Sweet Adelines neighbours, Hervey Bay Seabelle Singers. To help overcome the tyranny of distance for both choruses, a joint mentor/ coaching venture took place in Childers, on 24-25 August. The majority of Hervey Bay ladies chose to stay overnight due to the four hour round trip involved, while the Bundaberg group drove each day. The workshops were Rhythms of the Reef following a performance for the Bundaberg Mature delivered by our stalwart, Rose McGee, and Debbie Wenzel, who accepted Women’s Group, 20th Anniversary Dinner at The Waves Sports Club the role of “chauffeur” and assistant coach. Due to our remote geography, we are always grateful to receive the support and down to earth approach that Rose brings, always delivered with a regular dose of good humour! Director mentoring sessions were held in the morning with Becky Strachan of Rhythms and Seabelles novice Director, Helen Muratori. In the afternoon, the Directors worked with both choruses, taking vocal exercises and directing the workshop song, We Go Together. It was a valuable experience for each chorus to work under different directing styles and for the Directors to put their skills into practice and observe each other’s technique. As small choruses, everyone enjoyed singing with additional voices on the risers. After a full-on day, we shared a meal and spent time relaxing and socialising. New talents emerged as ladies strutted their stuff on stage, sometimes in dress-ups, performing karaoke while others took to the dance floor for dances like the Nutbush, Chicken Dance and even rock ’n’ roll. It was a hoot! Rhythms obviously made a positive impression in our cameo at Becky’s Citizenship Ceremony in July, as we were invited to appear at the ceremony in September with requests for more bookings in the future. The chorus also made its annual appearance to open the local Seniors Week concert at the Moncrieff Theatre as well as holding an Open House rehearsal event for the Global Campaign. In October, during the sugar harvest, Bundaberg hosts the annual CRUSH Festival, two weeks of activities dedicated to arts and cultural events. This year Rhythms of the Reef appeared in a collaboration entitled, “A Century of Song: Music Across The Generations”, with ukulele group, Makin Whoopee, and singing trio, Pilotlight Dream Choir, held at Central Queensland University. Our year will conclude with our Christmas package in the shopping centres and for community groups. Warmest best wishes for the Christmas season to all Aussie Sweet Adelines from Rhythms of the Reef! Dianne Bright
A Cappella West Your Ozchords editor suggested A Cappella West might like to talk about our year from Canberra Convention (6th place... sigh) to Perth Convention (2nd place... YAY!). As she said, almost every chorus has had disappointing competition results at some point or other but not all have been able to turn the results around in one year. It would be lovely to indulge our egos in a “local kid makes good” feel good story. (I can see the film version now: that nice gal Cameron Diaz playing moi on the front row!) And we don’t like to blow our own trumpet (not much!). But was there REALLY that much difference in the performances? SAI have found ways to make judging statistical, with first to fifth best scores getting those little blingy medal thingies! So I looked at the numbers in a few ways.
What the statistics say In absolute position (graph 1) we’d dropped from 2010 to 2012. Maybe, to use “sports-speak”, it was lack of match practice, and it WAS an away game. But that ranking of sixth out of 20 in Canberra 2012 is proportionally better than fourth out of 12 in Mandura 2010 (see graph 2) and the judges in Canberra awarded us one more precious point (see graph 3)! Disappointed? Nope. What about Perth in 2013? We just loved coming second, but to be realistic, we only scraped ahead of that excellent chorus, Bathurst Panorama, by two precious points. We know there’s still a LOT of work needed to become a 600-point chorus.
How did we improve?
Graph 1: Absolute Ranking 2010 and 2012
Graph 2: Comparative Ranking 2010, 2012 and 2013
We ARE so very proud of our “Most Improved” award. There’s no doubting the “upness” of the last year in any way of measuring it. So how did that improvement happen? It helps to have TWO great directors, of course. They’re using the same mantras you all know and love (posture, breathing, unified vowels, good dynamics, synchronised movements… remember the drill?) Or, are we are such a new chorus, maybe we are just starting to “get it”? Or, back to the sports theme, can you class our two International 2012-13 coaches, Gail Jencik and Joey Minshall, as illegal substances? We suspect (though there’s absolutely no proof) the step up was linked to our additional members and the way they were integrated into the chorus. It’s NOT just slapping a bunch of new people into a group. You need a big enough echelon of new women joining – at the same time – to give a significant boost. The excitement they feel in discovering their joy in singing four part harmony re-ignites the whole chorus. BUT the original chorus needs to be large enough, experienced enough and welcoming enough to successfully absorb the numbers and stay on track. Lindsey and Jo took a new approach to our August 2012 Vocal Course. The forty prospective members were integrated directly into the chorus, given riser buddies and we ALL did the Vocal Course together. It was a good refresher for the original members and it exposed our potential members to the disciplines (and dare I say, lack of same) of A Cappella West. We all learned our next uptune together and my goodness, it worked well. Our retention rate was very high (one half stayed on) and they brought friends who brought friends. So we gained another half a chorus – 25 new members – from August to February.
Adding an “X” Factor There’s a bit of magic in the timing of it all – when these things happen in the life of a chorus. I don’t think there’s any formula, though training disciplines are the base of everything we do. Tiny things can change the character of a sporting event or a live performance. One negative person can suck the life out of a chorus and one positive person can inspire in a moment. There’s a lot of Director ju-ju in riser placement and choice of repertoire and group dynamics – all a mystery to me. Why did we do better in 2013? Maybe more “finals” experience; maybe the trick with the traffic pattern earplugs (ask Lindsey!); maybe the judges just happened to suit our style; luck; maybe an extra wave of luuuurve from the audience; maybe... ah, that’s the joy of it... we’ll never really know. Graph 3: Points awarded 2010, 2012 and 2013
Janet Hoskings, Membership Chair (and other contributors!)
Endeavour Harmony Chorus “Aloha” from Endeavour Harmony! We have learned that this simple word can mean so many things in Hawaii: hello, goodbye and love. The “Spirit of Aloha” is about treating one another with love and respect, sending and receiving positive thoughts and feelings and creating positive energy – a great word for us to use in the lead up to International Convention in Hawaii! We have practised the art of the hula and have stored away some important cultural facts about lei etiquette. (Did you know that when you wear the lei, you should have an equal length of the lei behind the neck as in front? Importantly, we have learned not to take off the lei in public, especially if the person who gave it is still in sight as that would be considered bad manners.) Since July, we have been helped along the way by more of our favourite coaches: Darlene Rogers, followed by the dynamic duo of Carole Persinger (Kirkpatrick) and Lynne Smith. One of the highlights of the last few months was our inaugural “Battle of the Choirs”. The chorus was split into three groups to prepare, rehearse and perform a competition song in front of three judges and an audience of family and friends. This was a great way to learn about taking ownership of the song and becoming a singer-driven chorus as none of the groups had a Director. But it hasn’t been all about preparing for International Convention. We had a hugely successful show in August with the Idea of North and we loved singing Isn’t She Lovely and He’s Sweet I Know with them on stage. This was closely followed by a CD recording and a submission to the new Vocal Australia A Cappella Video Contest. Endeavour was thrilled to be awarded first place in three of the categories in that contest: Best Community Group, Best Barbershop Song and People’s Choice Award! We are so excited to be receiving as part of our prize some arrangements from the vocal producer and arranger for Pitch Perfect and the Sing Off (Deke Sharon) and from Christopher Diaz, the vocal arranger and coach for the Sing Off! We will leave you with a poem (see sidebar), courtesy of one of our creative chorus members, about our journey to Hawaii. Aloha! We hope to see many of you there! Pam Snellgrove, Baritone
Trek to Hawaii by Jenny Smith-Mayes The EHC that we adore Is soon to head away off shore, In Hawaii we aim to beguile Our audience on Oahu isle.
To ensure we all kept right on beam, We had the fab Mission Possible Team, With skits and games and thinking SWOT, Their great ideas helped a lot!
It’s months ago our start began, Guided by a “Mission Possible” plan, A part of this was being coached, To build our skill as comp approached.
They gave us hints, taught CPR… So many ways to raise the bar, Actors, poets and great hostesses, The MP girls are just the mostesses!
An early coach, Joan Boutilier, Revved us and gave us the gear. “Don’t be so careful, girls” said she, “Feel all the joy, sing with Esprit!”
Something new: in choirs we battled, Sang for judges, not badly rattled, Putting it “out there”, risk takers we! An attitude to please our Lea.
Petite Lynne Smith, next to arrive, Taught moves and dance, even the jive, To feel the meaning, show the flair – Now other choruses, beware!
And then such money as we raised! May all who helped raise funds be praised For grants and prizes, raffles with flair, Shiny performances, wet fashion fayres.
‘Twas Betty Clipman who came next: To teach how Big Girl’s voice is flexed. Her gift to us was “add that ring”, The key ingredient when we sing.
Our August show: we shared the dream, And became the energetic team Of dancers, singers and MC’s, Sang with The Idea of North with ease!
Darlene, our next coach, came to Oz, And that, one great experience was! With her we took such resonant breaths, We stayed in pitch and sang with depth.
Our journey soon will reach its end, And all technique we will transcend; In Hon’lulu we singing sisters Will all strive to be “A-listers”!
And (never least) Carole K came last – Learning and laughing, it was a blast! We knew with her we couldn’t fudge it ‘Cause in Hawaii she’ll also judge it!
As Endeavour sails across the sea, Three cheers – the Mighty EHC!
Endeavour members competing in the Battle of the Choirs
(top) Wearing our leis at the EHC “Share the Dream Show” The Judges for the Battle of the Choirs: (L-R) Darlene Rogers, Vicki Dwyer (CKC) and Kerani Francis (Aurora Australis)
(left) Endeavour’s new CD, “As Long As We’re Singing!” – cover designed by member, Jasmine Killey. Order the CD from http://www.endeavourharmony.com/
Riverland Harmony Chorus Exciting times for Riverland Harmony Chorus right now! We’ve been learning lots of great new songs this year and at this writing we’re getting ready for our show in November, “Perfect Pitch – The Reunion”. We are having so much fun with it ourselves, and really looking forward to finally sharing it with our audiences! The year has flown past! Apart from all our usual performances during the year we have had a couple of extra special ones. One was a singing workshop for women as part of the International Women’s Day Celebrations in the Hawkesbury. Twenty-one women joined us to learn about the basics of barbershop and to learn part of a song. They then performed with us during our performance that same afternoon! It was a great experience for our chorus and for everyone involved!
Riverland Chorus – alive and thriving!
Another very special recent highlight was singing at a wedding at the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens. Whilst we were actually booked, we had to make it look like a flashmob! So off we went on the train to the city and, of course, we had to sing on the train as well! There was lots of filming going on by an enthusiastic audience – we were hoping someone would put us on U-Tube! Then, we pretended we were just visitors to the Botanical Gardens before and during the wedding. Oh, the excitement of stealthy actions! And finally came our big moment, after the signing of the wedding certificate: “Ain’t no mountain high enough – to keep me away from you!” How appropriate! There was lots of positive feedback and funny comments afterwards, the funniest one being: “I was wondering why all these spectators kept slowly coming closer – I thought they might be there to protest against weddings or something!” Well, it didn’t take long for them to find out what we were doing and they loved it! And so did we! Our fundraising committee has been very busy organising all kinds of fundraisers that double up as great social events as well – or is it the other way round? A Trivia Night, garage sales and BBQs coming up – some of our members even took part in the Western Sydney Marathon to raise money for chorus! Birgit Walter, President & Publicity
Southern Sounds’ Christmas in July membership drive performance
Southern Sounds Chorus
With the twentieth birthday celebration of the chorus in October, plans were made for a Celebration High Tea. It’s been twenty years of charter (and a few more as a prospective chorus). The chorus and the formerly-named Mornington Bay Chorus members and friends whooped it up with plates of scones and cupcakes on 13 October. Special warm-ups, tags and performances for old and current members, a history presentation and a costume (L-R) Maggie Millerd (new member), with Sonja parade added to the fun. Williams (riser-buddy) and Director Catherine Another very special birthday event took place in June. Dulcie Richards turned 90 and her ex-mayor daughter, Bechaz, after presentation of her certificate of Christine, arranged a surprise – us singing! Our warm-up room was the storeroom of McClelland Art Gallery, where participation in the membership drive we fitted around unhung paintings and eerie sculptures. Dulcie was delighted and surprised and we felt honoured. In June the chorus undertook a membership drive beginning with a Saturday workshop of vocal lessons, followed by five evening classes. This culminated in a “Christmas in July” Concert. Members and participants learnt two fun Christmas songs and some simple choreography! (Is choreo ever simple?) As a result we have scored six new members, which is a very pleasing result. We participated in the Eisteddfod by the Bay at Moorabbin Town Hall in August. It is always a great joy listening to other singing groups. You learn a lot, including what costumes look effective on stage. Frankston City Mayor’s Picnic was another chance to show off our singing style and engage in some useful publicity. A gorgeous sunny day was a blessing and we impressed with our performance of mostly Australian songs on the community stage. We hosted a Charity Auction recently for CLA which is raising money to provide accommodation for disabled children. We were the entertainment and were able to provide the venue and support for Carole Lowther who is a member and fundraiser for this organisation. Congratulations to the chorus on its twenty year achievement, and to past Directors, Lauris Clota (founding Director), Marian Reinsch, Lorraine Stackpoole and current Director Catherin Bechaz without whom we would not be here. Judy Judge, Chorus Historian
Geelong Harmony Chorus Geelong Harmony Chorus has been catching its collective breath after a very busy post-convention schedule. We had the privilege of performing at local citizenship ceremonies and at the Memory Lane Café carers’ luncheon. And, like all those other choruses who have been out a’hunting for bling in the recent Eisteddfod season, we too were thrilled to earn first place in both the Choral and Group Performance sections of our local Geelong Eisteddfod. An undoubted highlight for many of us was the wonderful MAXX Factor tour. Not only were we awestruck by the talent and pizzazz of their performances and the empowerment of their workshops, Geelong Harmony, together with The Melbourne Chorus, had the excitement of “supporting” the Queens of Harmony in their Melbourne show!
Quartet Something Else!at Melbourne’s ABC774 studio
It was a delightfully collegiate environment as we combined our PR and Marketing efforts to promote this very special event to the community. In a bit of a coup, we were able to have ABC774’s Sunday Show host, Libbi Gorr, interview Alex Morris. Music Director, and Debbie Elea, Assistant Director, from Geelong Harmony together with Claire Dickinson, then-acting Music Director for The Melbourne Chorus. Australia’s fourth-placed quartet, Something Else!, featuring Geelong Harmony’s Debbie Elea and Merrie Wong, together with Michelle Stow and Dale Steele, performed live in that teeny weeny studio and were fabulous! Our intrepid Director, Alex, has been singing up a storm in the US and Canada, whetting his men’s barbershop chorus and quartet appetite. He also attended the Barbershop Harmony Society’s annual Directors’ College Geelong Harmony in full chorus at MAXX Factor show after winning the very prestigious Jim Miller Scholarship. He has returned from the US to a busy coaching schedule as Australia’s only Certified BHS Music Judge. At the time of writing, he is heading over to Perth to compete with his quartet, iQ, in the Barbershop Harmony Australia contest. Not only is he an immensely talented musician and teacher, he leads by example and our rehearsals are serious business interspersed with much hilarity, friendship, mutual respect and a true love of this wonderful music we are sharing. In the next few weeks, we will be cranking up the work rate once again with a variety of performances – including our annual Christmas concert – and our Annual Chorus Coaching Retreat weekend. We’ll be in Point Lonsdale welcoming the inimitable Virginia Humphrey-Taylor and with her guidance, we’ll be setting our sights firmly on Sydney 2014! Anna-Marie Shew, PR and Marketing Manager
Wollongong Harmony Chorus Ahhhh... Spring! Season of Renewal In Spring many of us are inspired to renew our commitment to a bit of physical activity. Whether it be to tone up the body for a beach holiday or just to shrug off the lethargy of the winter months spent predominantly indoors, we make a promise to ourselves to move a bit more. For Wollongong Harmony Chorus this year’s Spring began at annual retreat where we got into some zumba routines with our special guest, Hiromi, the Pocket Rocket from Christchurch City Chorus. We had a few newbies at Stanwell Tops with us this year and their reflections on retreat have given our established members a Spring awakening. We all tend to get a little jaded over time and so I thought you, too, might enjoy looking at chorus life through fresh eyes. We hope you will be inspired and renewed by these reflections from some of WHC’s newest members (see next page).
Hiromi from Christchurch City Chorus – our ‘Zumba Queen’, ‘Pocket Rocket’, ‘AstroGirl’, Physical warm-ups coach at Retreat 2013
To close, some words from Denise Foye, who has been a member of WHC for 14 years and has a professional stage and dance background: “My role is to assist our choreographer, Jill Vickery – we both love being physical and our wonderful chorus members love the freedom of movement and dance. Just as vocal warm-ups to loosen and make ready our vocal chords and singing muscles are important, so too are the physical warm ups, releasing those endorphins and putting us in the right space for having fun. “For our regular weekly physical warm-ups we choose great music tracks to help with stretches, rhythms, dance steps and dance routines to create variety and improve our understanding of storyline, breathing, artistry etc. We begin with a great stretch to wake up our bodies, mind and soul, followed by one or two up-tempo routines to challenge our chorus stamina and mind set. After our lovely bushland retreat in August with our mentor coach Virginia Humphrey-Taylor and her guest, ‘Zumba Queen’ Hiromi, we came back to rehearsal all inspired and freshly motivated – OK now girls, “Let me hear your body talk!” Now the last word comes from Robin Williams (actor/comedian) who says, “Spring is Nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s party!’” Terri Pinkis, Team Leader
(left to right) Ali Montgomery, Wendi Leigh, (top right) Denise Foye, (bottom right) Steph Sheehan
From Wendi Leigh
(Wollongong Harmony Chorus continued)
My experience with having Hiromi as our zumba instructor at our recent chorus retreat made it one of the highlights of the weekend! Not knowing what to expect, being my first time at retreat and all, and first time exercising with Hiromi, I soon warmed to this little Japanese dynamo who has the knack of lifting ones spirits! She performed the smoothest selection of moves in quick time on the top row of the risers without once losing balance. Her party trick is what really endeared me to her exercise regime. In an up-tempo love song she had us mimicking her heart pumping moves in double time expecting us to keep up with a set of arm/hand taps over the body in parrot fashion, only to show her mock dismay in our wretched repetitions as we tried ever so hard to do it! Really wanting to please her the next day, my room-mates and I seconded her in our bedroom, as she was sharing with us, to take us through the heart beat moves so we could shine in her eyes – however the timing beat us, ‘cause even though we nearly perfected it, her mock dismay showed once again! Oh you’re a hard taskmaster Hiromi, but what a heart you have! Thanks Hiromi for the pleasure of sharing a fantabulous weekend with you!
From Ali Montgomery When I first joined Wollongong Harmony Chorus, I was really only looking for somewhere to sing occasionally to an audience larger than my potted plants and long-suffering little sister. Just a few months later, unpacking my suitcase after our retreat, I came to realise just how much more I’ve gained. The whole weekend was an amplification of my experience so far. Of course there’s the technique: I’ve brushed up on breathing methods and volume dynamics that I thought I’d forgotten for good and the Bari part is certainly the right place for memorising odd harmonies. Then, the music: there’s really nothing quite like standing in the centre of a chorus as it sings a flawless chord. I’d forgotten how satisfying it is to build a performance, from the first notes on a page to the final sounds, and all the harmonies and showmanship in between. And if I could survive those zumba workouts, then surely I can manage to learn the choreography without injuring any of my new neighbours on the risers. But most importantly, there’s the kindness. Each week I find myself looking forward to Wednesday night, and I come home grinning. It was no different at retreat. It was great to be able to spend time with some of the ladies I hadn’t yet met properly and to learn more about those I had. Now that retreat’s been and gone and I finally have an official place to stand, I feel I’m enveloped by the chorus members in more ways than one – and I’m so glad I joined.
From Steph Sheehan As a new member of Wollongong Harmony Chorus I have already enjoyed a host of great experiences since joining. I have remembered how much I love to sing, been welcomed by and made friends with an amazing community of talented women and even memorised some Baritone harmonies! I have also been set some challenges and Hiromi’s physical warm-ups at my first-ever retreat was certainly one of them. I had been improving my movement skills gradually at chorus rehearsals under the expert guidance of Jill, who has stretched facial muscles I didn’t know I had, and Denise, who instilled “the groove” in me. However even this could not have prepared me for the sheer intensity of Hiromi’s zumba workouts. While she started us off slowly with some stretches, she was just lulling us into a false sense of security for when the real workout began. Set to passionate Latin rhythms, our arms waved, feet stamped, shoulders shimmied and coordination clamoured to keep up as Hiromi guided us through a workout that was tailor-made to work all the right muscles while feeling as fun as dancing. I was particularly proud when I finally mastered a series of complicated Macarena-style hand movements – it took me until the second morning but I’m sure I’ll never forget it. Through all this the chorus was not only left energised and ready to sing with warmth and power but also keyed in to the underlying rhythms in our music and with a stronger sense of the backbeat so crucial to our up tempo songs. Thanks to Hiromi’s warm-ups we had a way of talking about the kinesthetics of how we feel the beat rather than just thinking about it intellectually. Even after retreat, this shared experience is a tool that we can use in chorus rehearsals to discuss rhythm and chorus cohesion in any song we sing. Like many challenges, Hiromi’s zumba workout was certainly worth taking up. I would recommend it to any chorus that wants to get its groove on.
Northern Beaches Chorus Rapid Rhea reaps remarkable results! Mary Rhea was the guest coach at our chorus retreat in August. Aside from being a wonderful friend of NBC, Mary is a Master Director of OK City Chorus, Baritone of Queens of Harmony Zing! Quartet and her new foursome Rio! as well as being on the International Director Education Committee. We first met Mary at our February 2012 retreat and have looked forward to her return. She always brings innovative teaching and coaching approaches that leave us motivated and inspired. A few days before the retreat we were sent the sheet music to a new contest uptune, without a learning track, along with a challenge to be singing it competently by the end of the weekend. We turned up, got to work and rose to the challenge. Every combination of duetting was played out during the weekend with the non-singing sections paying close attention to every note and move. We worked in groups to agree on the vowel plan and experimented with the ones that made our voices ring the best. The skeptics were won over by the end of the first day and we nailed it by the end of the second. Some members who had to miss the retreat and the Monday night rehearsal returned wondering if they’d turned up at the right hall. “How on earth did you do that?” they expressed in genuine amazement. To work like this wouldn’t be possible for every song, but we’re glad we’ve had the opportunity and pat ourselves on the back for what we achieved on that weekend in August.
Mary Rhea with NBC’s team of certified coaches: (back) Linda Wareham (Chorus Director), Trish; (front) Kylie, Mary and Geesje
We’re all proud of our three members dualling with Endeavour Harmony Chorus on the International stage in Hawaii. This is the second time for Margie Rykmans and Glen Hancock, and the third International Contest for Stella Baihn, who dualled with Perth Harmony in Hawaii in 2008. And big news for NBC is that all three Assistant Directors achieved their Director Certifications this year. In addition to Kylie Shanley who achieved certification earlier in the year, Trish Tuffin and Geesje van de Linde also received the coveted red Certified Director badges. Sharon Cartwright, Team Coordinator
Members of Vocal Vibes meet MAXX Factor
Vocal Vibes Chorus Vocal Vibes has passed yet another exciting milestone, presenting our very first full-theatre production show, “A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon” on Sunday 5 May. Compered with great finesse by the ever-poised and elegant, not to mention highly entertaining Sweet Adelines icon, Rose McGee, the show featured our local friends in harmony, the Melbournaires Barbershop Harmony Chorus, and their men’s quartet, NQR, as well as a debut performance from our own newly formed quartet, Platinum. The program was quite demanding in content, and we finished on a high with the seven-minute long Beach Boys Medley complete with a beach scene, sharks and even a life saver or two! The shark was played with great aplomb by seven year old Amberrose (daughter of VV Lead, Maree Davey) who said afterwards, “I was only nervous a little bit. I enjoyed performing with Vocal Vibes. The best part of the whole day was when I went on stage. I had no problems with my (sequined shark!) costume, and I would like to perform again.” A definite future Sweet Adeline in the making! Not only was this the first show for the chorus, it was also the first performance “under lights” for many of our newer members. We were ably prepared for this by visits from our fantastic coaches, Cathy Rainey, Donna Markovic and Rose McGee, who instilled the chorus with the self-belief and confidence to pull off a stellar performance on the day. The sell-out audience feedback was unanimous in its praise and enjoyment of the day. A very pleasant afternoon was had by all. It’s always great to see the effect belonging to Sweet Adelines has on members both young and “old”, helping to develop life skills and extending abilities way beyond vocal training. One of our “gorgeous young things”, Sam Gibbs, who had the additional challenge of being a speaking cast member, said, “The speaking role was quite nerve-racking, I haven’t had much experience in public speaking, and it’s scary when you can see the whole audience in front of you. I ad-libbed a few lines throughout the dialogue, but I kept my cool, as I had great people around supporting me. It was great fun!” In early August, over 20 members took the opportunity to attend the MAXX Factor workshop where we not only got blown away with their enormous talent and extraordinary generosity, but also got to try on a real live Queen of Harmony crown. Talk about goal setting and visualisation! The excitement continued with a coaching visit from neighbouring Director/ Coach and awesome talent, Alex Morris, in late August. Alex whipped some interp magic into our just-off-the-paper contest uptune, and we were still reeling with excitement when the very next week we had a visit from the legendary US Showmanship judge and choreographer-extraordinaire, Lynne Smith. In a threehour non-stop marathon under the “Dome of Discovery” she managed to create – and then teach us – the showmanship/choreo plan for the entire uptune in the one night! We were exhilarated (and exhausted) and also amazed at the opportunities this wonderful organisation can afford us. As we write this we are looking forward to spending a whole weekend together at our pre-contest retreat, with the truly unique and special Lea Baker. We credit Lea with instilling the foundations for good clean singing in the chorus, as she visited us very early on before our chartering, and helped to hunt down and kill “swooping” in all its many varied and unplanned forms! Now we want to see how she parties, as Cathy and Donna set a high benchmark last time! Stay tuned! “Harmony Rocks! (L-R) Hannah Lobb and Sam Gibbs dolling up for VV’s big show
Deb Neilsen & Kerry Haddow
CHORUS CHORALE The Melbourne Chorus
Members of Melbourne Chorus singing at MAXX Factor Concert
Marvellous MAXX Factor The past few months have been extremely busy! Not only were we recovering from saying goodbye to our wonderful Master Director, Jeanette Whitmore, but were also welcoming the amazing quartet, MAXX Factor, from the east coast of America, Down Under to Melbourne. A lot of work went on behind the scenes to prepare for this event, but to be entertained by a group of this calibre, and for The Melbourne Chorus and Geelong Harmony Chorus to share in their performance on stage at the Moonee Valley Racecourse function centre, was very special! The performance and weekend workshop were well attended and enjoyed by family and friends, other choruses and members of the public. Unfortunately, the weather chose to be very moody, but this went unnoticed as MAXX Factor mesmerised us with their amazing and glorious harmonies. As part of their visit and “down-time”, MAXX Factor enjoyed being special guests on the “Morning Show with Mike and Liz” at Melbourne Radio Station 88.6FM. This was special as Liz Martin, a CAL Member and former member of The Melbourne Chorus, discovered that she and tenor Molly went to the same school in Baltimore.
The Melbourne Chorus welcoming new director, Traci Voss (Traci is centre and middle, in white blouse)
Whilst out and about shopping and eating in restaurants, MAXX Factor spontaneously sang a few “tunes” to the delight of very appreciative shop owners and fellow diners – a sight to behold! We’re not sure if Lesley, Val, Molly and Dawn managed to fit all their shopping into their suitcases, but we know they will have lots of special memories to share with their friends and families back home. Thank you to Sweet Adelines Australia for this initiative!
Workshop Treat We again welcomed Lynne Smith to The Melbourne Chorus at the start of her tour of Australia and NZ for specialist showmanship coaching as we get ready for competition in Sydney in 2014. We always learn some great things from Lynne, and apart from “ripping the shower curtain open”, we have now learnt the “dome of discovery”. Lynne certainly has a way with words that we and other choruses cannot forget!
New Director Our two interim directors, Claire Dickinson and Tracey Jacob, have done a fantastic job of keeping The Melbourne Chorus on an even keel whilst the search for a new Director was conducted.
MAXX Factor in the recording studio, being interviewed by ChaChing’s Bass, Liz Owen-Martin. She has her own radio show on Melbourne’s 88.6 Plenty Valley FM called The Breakfast Club with Mike and Liz. Concert photography by Alan Singer
Great news! Melbourne Chorus has appointed a new Director. We are proud to announce that Traci Voss who was previously director of Dunedin Harmony Chorus, NZ, is taking over the reins! We are very excited to welcome Traci to The Melbourne Chorus, and look forward to working together towards Convention in Sydney and entertaining audiences over the coming years! If you have not met Traci yet, we can’t wait to introduce her to you soon!
30th Anniversary Celebrations How times flies! Who can believe The Melbourne Chorus is 30 years old? Originally known as the Yarra Valley Chapter and the first chorus chartered in Australia, it was begun by the wonderful Marion Reinsch. Therefore, a celebration in the form of a community concert was held in late October to honour past and present members. This was well attended by family, friends and supporters. Thirty years is a wonderful milestone! In Sweet Adelines we often find that besides learning a new hobby, or taking up an old one, we sometimes assist the chorus in roles we may never have envisaged and discover what we are able to achieve when we go outside our comfort zones. And together, The Melbourne Chorus has achieved so much. We hope that the next thirty years will be full of great memories and achievements, great harmonies, and great friends too! Ann Moorhouse, Public Relations
Events Calendar 2013 4-9 Nov
International Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii
2014 17 Jan
REF Training Day, St Josephs Centre, Sydney
Region 34 Directors’ School, St Josephs Centre, Sydney
Region 34 Convention, Olympic Park, Sydney
A Cappella Harmony Academy, Tulsa, Oklahoma
August 21 Sept
Dede Nibler Regional Schools: Sydney: 2-3 Aug, Melbourne: 23-24 Aug, Adelaide: 30-31 Aug Quartet Workshops – locations TBA
For details see www.sweetadelines.org.au/events.
FUTURE REGION 34 CONVENTIONS 2015 2016 2017
14-17 May 19-22 May 18-21 May
Wrest Point Casino, Hobart Olympic Park, Sydney TBC
FUTURE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS 2014 2015 2016 2017
3-8 Nov 5-10 Oct 17-22 Oct 9-14 Oct
Baltimore, Maryland Las Vegas, Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada
Quartet Coordinator Deb Graham email@example.com
CAL Coordinator Jennie Harrison firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Librarian Alison Hamersley email@example.com
Directors Certification Program Coordinator Carole Macintyre firstname.lastname@example.org
YWIH Coordinator Lea Baker (interim) email@example.com OzE-notes Editor Sharon Cartwright firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Coordinator Sharon Cartwright Email: email@example.com
Directors’ Coordinator Engelina de Jong Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Education Coordinator Lea Baker Email: email@example.com
Events Coordinator Debra Griffiths
Other Regional Contacts
SCRAP (Arrangers’ Program) Coordinator Lyndal Thorburn firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern Cross Region 34 Regional Management Team 2013-2014
Regional Historian Deb Graham Deborah_Graham@rta.nsw.gov.au
Finance Coordinator Jan Mahoney Email: email@example.com
Merchandise Manager Val Norris firstname.lastname@example.org OzChords Editor Sandy O’Neill email@example.com
For all the activities and events of Sweet Adelines Australia, Region 34, our website: www.sweetadelines.org.au also see... Sweet Adelines International website: www.sweetadelineintl.org Sweet Adelines Australian Chat Group: AusAdelines@yahoogroups.com Sweet Adelines Australian Quartet Chat Group: AusQuartets@yahoogroups.com Chapter-At-Large Chat Group: AusAdelinesCAL@yahoogroups.com Visual and Choreo Chat Group: AusVisuals@yahoogroups.co http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/YWIH_34/
OzChords and OzE-notes The next OzChords will be published in March 2014. Deadline for copy is 7 February 2014. Please send photos in jpg format. Email items to Sandy O’Neill, editor, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marketing Coordinator Susan Grigson Email: email@example.com
Membership Coordinator Val Norris Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Team Coordinator Kali Caramia Email: email@example.com
Meantime, keep up to date with Regional news with our online news sheet, OzE-notes! Email items for OzE-notes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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