The Pitch Pipe July 2020

Page 1

The | July 2o2o | Volume 74 — No.1

Pitch Pipe THE





Pitch Pipe July 2020 • Volume 74 — No.1



4 12 16 26 27 28 29 30


SA Statement on Racism Countdown to 75 Years: 2000-2009 What is the ACP? Identifying Chorus Culture Introducing the SA Philanthropy Department Paying It Forward: Lisbet Duponte Harmonizing the World: The Ann Gooch Award Get to Know Your International Faculty Members Contestability? Suitability? What's the Difference?


8 10 11 17 31

Sweet Adelines Strong: Sharing Harmony With a Hurting World Regional Weekends…Virtually! Ten Things To Give Yourself Permission for Today Maintaining Connections The Voice Of Harmony The Pipe Organ and the Chorus




Under Their Own Direction: Millennium Magic Chorus

Sharing Our Joy: Diablo Vista Chorus

In Every Issue

3 20 36

From Our President Harmony Roundup Accolades/In Memory

On The Cover During the COVID-19 pandemic, many SA regions virtually hosted their regional conventions. To find out more, read Sweet Adelines Strong: Sharing Harmony With a Hurting World on page 5.

July 2020 |



Pitch Pipe

July 2020 | Volume 74 — No.1 |

Sweet Adelines International Elevating women singers worldwide through education, performance, and competition in barbershop harmony and a cappella music.

_____________________________________ INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS

Read The Pitch Pipe online and save some green – in every sense of the word! Reading The Pitch Pipe online is an environmentally helpful change you can make – and it helps save a little money for the organization too! To stop receiving a paper copy of the October issue, opt out by Sept. 1, 2020. Log in to the members-only portal at to access your account.

Follow these step by step instructions: 1. Log in to the members-only portal at You will find the login button in the upper right corner on the homepage of the website. 2. Go to Manage Membership on the SA home page in the horizontal navigation. This navigation option is not visible unless you are logged in to the website as a member. 3. From the Members Only Menu, Select “My Profile.” 4. Select “Account” from tabs at the top. 5. Select “Personal Info” on left side of page. 6. Scroll down to select “Do NOT Send Printed Pitch Pipe.” 7. Click “Save.” You’re all set! Remember, you can still read The Pitch Pipe online at, whether or not you receive a paper copy.

Tammy Talbot Chief Executive Officer Tamatha Goad Editor-in-Chief Kim Berrey Managing Editor Stacy Pratt Associate Editor/Staff Writer Ben Larscheid Graphic Designer Joey Bertsch Staff Photographer Kim Berrey Advertising 1.918.622.1444 •

INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS May 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021 Joan Boutilier, International President Patty Cobb Baker, Immediate Past President Thérèse Antonini, President-elect Mary Rhea, Secretary JD Crowe, Treasurer Sharon Cartwright Jenny Harris Paula Davis Vickie Maybury Leslie Galbreath Janice McKenna Elaine Hamilton EDUCATION DIRECTION COMMITTEE Marcia Pinvidic, Chair Patty Cobb Baker Corinna Garriock Karen Breidert Mary Rhea EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD Thérèse Antonini Cammi MacKinlay Annika Dellås Mary Rhea Kate Hawkins ______________________________________ Sweet Adelines International members receive The Pitch Pipe as a benefit of their membership. Additional annual subscriptions are available for $12 USD/year U.S.A. or $24 USD/year outside U.S.A. SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS & ADDRESS CHANGES: The Pitch Pipe 9110 S. Toledo Ave., Tulsa, OK 74137 U.S.A. Telephone 1.918.622.1444 • Toll-free 1.800.992.7464 Fax 1.918.665.0894 • Office hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CT) Direct all correspondence, editorial copy and photographs to Deadlines are 60 days prior to publication. Not all submissions will be published. ______________________________________ THE PITCH PIPE (ISSN 0882-214X) (USPS 603-060) is published quarterly: January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 by Sweet Adelines International Periodicals paid at Tulsa, OK U.S.A. and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE PITCH PIPE 9110 S. Toledo Ave., Tulsa, OK 74137 U.S.A. Canadian Post Agreement Number: 1453408 Send Canadian change of address information and blocks of undeliverable copies to: P.O. Box 1051, Fort Erie, ON L2A 6C7 Canada Copyright 2020 by Sweet Adelines International. All rights reserved.






Remember to use #LifeonaHighNote on social media. Headquarters uses this # to find your posts, photos and tweets to share across Sweet Adelines social media channels.

From Our President



t’s an honor to be writing to you as president of Sweet Adelines International. Like most of you, I could never have predicted the changes that would take place in our world between my installation in early March in Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA) and the writing of this letter. Shortly after our return from the installation and IBOD meeting, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in precautionary health measures that, for the first time in our organization’s history, caused us to cancel not only rehearsals and performances but the regional competition season. Then in May, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) while in police custody inspired worldwide grieving and demonstrations that have opened up a long-overdue conversation on racism. To be in such a position of leadership at this time is daunting, but the support of so many Sweet Adelines and other supporters has fortified me to take on the many challenges we face as an organization. Like all of you, I always pictured certain things happening in a certain way, and every day I am learning to do things differently. And learning, especially now, is of the utmost importance. Last month the twelve members of the International Board of Directors made Sweet Adelines history by holding the annual June meeting virtually. We worked together with our headquarters staff and CEO, Tammy Talbot, over several days to review committee work, examine the action items from our Strategic Plan, and make decisions to guide us through the next year and beyond. It was inspiring to see their dedication, tenacity, and flexibility as we all continued to build our future. Of course, the work at the board table is only as effective as the members who are willing to jump into action to serve and sing. There are a lot of resources to assist us, as well as any member who is interested in volunteering. Our website is filled with educational tools, historical information, and administrative forms needed to keep things running smoothly. There are guides for international board members, regional management teams, and boards of directors. Singers can find books, articles, and videos on vocal production and performance skills. Our website also includes materials specifically collected and developed by members of our Diversity & Inclusion Task Force to help Sweet Adelines understand our history and put action behind our commitment to live our guiding principles. Use the resources on our website, and check back often as we continue to add materials.

We have all encountered numerous changes in the past several months, and we are still learning to cope with serious challenges. During these times, we must discover our personal internal compass to move forward because our lives have been altered in ways we never imagined – and I truly believe that we can come out stronger than we began. My personal North Star for leadership is to focus on “abundance thinking.” When the circumstances in our world and our singing lives changed so very drastically earlier this year, I questioned whether this concept was still relevant and appropriate. Even though things have changed over the last six months, abundance thinking has its place in our world and continues to influence the way I look at things. We are still surrounded by abundance thinking even if it looks different than we once imagined. We will continue exploring new ways to connect, to educate, to meet, and to plan ahead. Let’s stay focused on the strengths and resources we have — US! I look forward to moving into our 75th year as an organization. May we be a generation of Sweet Adelines willing to take on the difficult conversations, heartfelt actions, and true changes needed to transform our organization into the genuinely diverse, inclusive, welcoming, and joyful musical haven it is meant to be.

Joan Boutilier

Life on a High Note. July 2020 |


On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA). His death was the catalyst for worldwide demonstrations against racism and in support of the Black community. During the demonstrations, Sweet Adelines International released a version of the following statement on social media. We want to thank our members for their candid comments and for bringing up this important issue. Racism is something we wholeheartedly condemn, and Sweet Adelines International is committed to addressing racial and other forms of inequity not only with our words but with our actions. We acknowledge that we have made mistakes in communicating our intention and commitment but please know that the organization feels strongly about being in alignment with our guiding principle surrounding diversity and inclusion:

Guiding Principle We celebrate our differences as essential to the rich harmony that unites us. As we recognize barbershop’s African American origins and learn from our exclusionary past toward women of color, we reject discrimination and unwaveringly strive toward greater awareness, openness, and understanding of each other.

Sweet Adelines International openly recognizes our racist history, a past that saw the organization ban membership for women of color. It is an ugly truth we acknowledged at our 2016 convention, and since then we have worked — in videos and in The Pitch Pipe — to educate our members about this truth and how we are working to use the history as a catalyst for our inclusion and equity work of today. We believe it’s important to be clear about what happened in the past, because racism and discrimination were unacceptable then and they are something we will not tolerate now. We are taking steps NOW to make this an organization that celebrates our differences and makes ALL its members feel welcomed. We’re doing that in many ways, from the creation of our Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to the development of a comprehensive toolkit that soon will be available as a resource for chapters to give members the tools they need to help welcome members who come from different ethnic and racial backgrounds, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and people from varied religions. We’ve also heard your feedback regarding the need to ban racist lyrics, and we promise we are working on that too. The Judge Specialists have written new language surrounding contestable songs for the Judging Category Description Book. These revisions are under final review by the Judge Specialists, the Education Direction Committee and the International Board of Directors. We expect to have the final reviews completed by July 2020. Until the revised information is available, please refer to the article below about inclusive music selection from The Pitch Pipe, October 2016. We agree with our members that it’s important to continue addressing racism within our organization. It’s not always easy work, but we are determined to make Sweet Adelines International an organization that all of you are proud of and feel welcome in.

Additional resources can be found on our website at:


# Sweet Adelines STRONG

"Our risers may sit empty while our chorus is apart. But the echoes of our music still ring within our hearts." - from a poem by Festival Sounds Chorus member Brenda Atchison, published in the Region #2 newsletter, Border Lights


weet Adelines are no strangers to challenging historical events. Our organization was founded at the end of World War II by women who were affected by the war and all that occurred in its wake. Reading through The Pitch Pipe’s “Countdown to 75 Years” stories, you’ll see that Sweet Adelines have responded to many world events with the strength, humor, and resilience that continue to characterize our organization. Through wars, natural disasters, and other challenges, Sweet Adelines kept singing — for themselves, for their communities, for the hurting people of the world. Still, the COVID-19 pandemic that arrived in the first months of 2020 has been particularly difficult for all choral singers, including barbershoppers. World and local leaders handled the pandemic in various ways, but for the most part, new regulations and recommendations kept us from physically gathering to sing and share the friendship that is such a big part of how we usually deal with hardship. Sweet Adelines leaders at all levels began discussing how best to keep our singers safe — and keep their voices and spirits strong.

July 2020 |


A Heartbreaking Decision

By the time the International Board of Directors (IBOD) met for their March meeting and installation in Tulsa, Okla. (USA), conversations about Sweet Adelines’ response to the pandemic had begun. Already, we had news of Sweet Adelines who had become ill, and later came the tragic news that a member had died from the virus. With the safety of our singers, directors, and audiences at the forefront of their minds, then-International President Patty Cobb Baker and the IBOD made the heart-wrenching decision to cancel the in-person regional competition season. Sweet Adelines were understandably shocked and saddened, but they responded with overwhelming support, as shown by these excerpts from the many inspiring social media posts made by choruses and quartets immediately following the cancellation announcement:

...How much does this clarify for us that it isn’t that 6 minutes on stage? It’s the singing for our peers in the same room. It is the hugs and camaraderie of being with all of our region. It is the joy of anticipation waiting to see, then being able to woohoo all of the competitors.The sound of applause. Post-competition pizza. Shenanigans...that’s all we’ll say about that.And so many, many more…Nothing beats barbershop in person. - VITA (#26)

…Yes, we have all spent months preparing for the upcoming competitions and were excited to see our regional sisters (who we in Alaska only have this one opportunity to see), but we also know that the health of our organization is what is most important and that you made the best decision that could be made. We will continue sharing our harmonies around the world! Vocalocity (#13)


| July 2020

If there is anything that ClassRing has learned in our time together it’s that we are a family first and singers second. This is a tough time for everyone, and we know how you feel. We understand how hard all of you have worked to get ready for this contest season. Know that your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, and it wasn’t all for nothing. Remember how far you came in your musical goals, but also remember the time you got to spend together while doing it. ClassRing (#5)

Well, Last Call is feeling pretty bummed about not being able to attend our very first competition season as a quartet. It’s probably no secret that we are a group that is very driven by competition, so we’re feeling a tad disappointed. But there’s also so much more behind that. Like many others, we joined Sweet Adelines for the singing, but we have all stayed because of the connections we've made here… Tomorrow’s another day… I hope and pray we’ll be together. Last Call (#8)

We applaud our SA Leadership for making a tough and heartbreaking decision. We are sad that we are retiring without getting to say "Good-Bye" properly, on stage together one more time and sad that we can't put the gold medals around the necks of the new champs in person! Ultimately though, we hope all of you and yours stay healthy and happy…Love to all the choruses and quartets who have been working so hard. It will all work out for the best!!! Rendition (#26)

Last night we got together for a great rehearsal. This morning we woke up to the news that the location where we rehearse is closed until further notice. We didn’t know last night would be our last rehearsal for a while, but we had an inkling. Although we are sad about chorus rehearsals being cancelled and our regional competitions all over the world being cancelled, we know that there will be a lifetime of rehearsals and contests in the future. Right now our job is to lay low because that is the best way we can show compassion and help for our global community. Royal River Chorus (#1)

Sweet Adelines Find A Way

Almost immediately, Sweet Adelines mobilized to keep their voices and bonds strong. Right away, chorus directors organized virtual rehearsals complete with sectionals, coaching, and personal vocal instruction — even afterglows. Some choruses even managed to recruit, audition, and sing in new members! Several regions converted their conventions to virtual events open to all Sweet Adelines. (For more on virtual regional conventions, see p. 8 in this issue.) Sweet Adelines International Board members recorded encouraging messages to share with members on social media, and International Faculty members created educational videos on all aspects of barbershopping, from vocal warmups to choreography. The hashtag #SweetAdelinesStrong was created to recognize our singers’ resilience. Sweet Adelines around the world missed being next to each other on the risers, but they did their best to stay positive and make the best of virtual rehearsals, as shown in these excerpts from social media posts: While using Zoom to virtually be with each other was very different than our normal Tuesday nights — there were still two sides to the Zoom pages to get everyone in (just like the risers) — we shared a lot of #laughs. We truly miss the #singing and like every rehearsal, there was a whole lotta #love. #Lifeonahighnote Gateway Chorus (#26)

We had our first virtual rehearsal via Zoom last week and it was so much fun! We're looking forward to another virtual rehearsal tonight — we're loving being able to stay connected this way. Waikato Rivertones Chrous (#35)

Although we haven’t met in person in more than a month, in Malmö Limelight Chorus, we’re cheering each other up through virtual tag singing! In uncertain and isolated times, choir sisterhood can be more important than ever. Stay safe, stay connected, stay singing! Malmö Limelight Chorus (#32)

“Even though this year looks nothing like we had planned, we are so lucky to still have each other and to be able to look forward to the gifts that our friendship and music will bring us in the future. These women are my family. They are my heart. They bring me laughter, solace, clarity, and the focus, passion, and drive that makes our shared musical endeavours so enjoyable and rewarding.” Baritone Karri Quan of No Strings (#26)

A Way to Help As they always do, Sweet Adelines also found ways to help people in need. Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus (HCMC) (#19) gave their 1998 competition costumes an “encore” by using the fabric to make masks for healthcare workers. Many other choruses and individual members also sewed masks for their communities. HCMC, Pride of Kentucky Chorus (#4), and other choruses donated snacks to healthcare workers, and individual Sweet Adelines around the world helped fellow members and community neighbors in countless ways. And of course, many Sweet Adelines heroically continued to work in healthcare and other essential jobs.

Sweet Adelines also contributed to a worldwide outpouring of music to comfort people during this difficult time, singing with virtual choruses like World Singing Day’s Earth Day rendition of Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World. Members of Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus (#15) were part of a local virtual choir’s singing of the 1980s hit, We Are The World, and Sue Kodama, a retired anesthetist, of North Metro Chorus (#16) joined other Toronto, Ont. (CAN) physicians in a very moving collaboration of Rise Again.

#SweetAdelinesStrong Magazines are sent to the printer weeks before they

are published. As always, we have no way of predicting what life will look like by the time you read these words, but this time, there are even more factors to consider: Will singers be together on the risers for rehearsal again? Will competitions and performances be rescheduled? We have no doubt that no matter whether we stand on the risers or in our own homes, Sweet Adelines will continue to find ways to harmonize hearts and voices and to share the joy of barbershop music with a world that can certainly use the healing power of our unique style of music.

July 2020 |



From classes to contests to afterglows...regions made it happen


n March, Sweet Adelines International announced the cancellation of regional competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite their sadness, Sweet Adelines around the world responded to the news with support for their leadership and for each other. And in Sequoia-Pacifica Region #11, a little something more...Plans for the first-ever Sweet Adelines virtual regional weekend! Their example inspired others, and that is how Sweet Adelines and barbershop fans got to virtually sample a bit of the unique style of regional conventions around the world. Here are some of the creative ways regions organized virtual events for their members!

and choruses in order of appearance, celebrated longevity and other awards, and shared a video tribute to their directors. “This was a way for us to get back into the spirit of what we’re all about and to have a good time,” said Communication Coordinator Heather Reimnitz in a video message at the end of the weekend. “Hopefully it took everybody’s minds off of things that are going on in the world. There will be another time when we can get together and sing and hug each other and have a great time with one another.”

Region #1 • Virtual Festival

Region #11 Communication Coordinator Debbie Curtis and Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Zucker along with the RMT and convention committee created the first “non-contest weekend.” Through their hard (and fast!) work, Region #11 brought 60+ years of traditions to members and guests via Zoom and Facebook Live. Using their convention program as a framework, Region #11 created virtual versions of every event and tradition their region had planned. Using past performance videos, photos, and new recordings made using a cappella apps, they featured quartets and choruses in their order of appearance on what would have been contest day. They also offered an education class presented by their four judges and the panel secretary discussing each judging category with a live Q&A at the end and an afterglow for around 50 visitors via Zoom. They moved their traditional Sunday morning brunch from the ballroom to the living room, hosting it virtually. Regional awards and recognitions were presented, and they held a rose ceremony, a Region #11 tradition of remembrance for members who have died over the last year.

Activities were offered every day from April 24-26 for Region #1’s Virtual Festival via Facebook Live and YouTube. Friday and Saturday, quartets and choruses were featured, along with special messages from then-President Patty Cobb Baker and thenPresident-Elect Joan Boutilier. A Zoom afterglow was held on Saturday night, with a “meet the judges” panel hosted by Karen Sweeters on Sunday. Their festival was enthusiastically attended (virtually) by visiting members of Region #16.

Region #5 • 2020 Vision Made Virtual For several weeks in April, Region #5 posted each chorus and quartet in their order of appearance on their Facebook page, with a short history of each one, photos, and sometimes video. They included a slideshow of their convention’s vendors so members could order online! Their 2020 Vision culminated in a live webinar with their judges Jean Barford, Mary Ashford, Dale Syverson, Ruth Ann Parker, Panel Secretary Marilyn Cox, 2020 Education Coordinator Annette Wallace, and Official Panel Liaison Ellen Hartz.

Region #8 • Virtual “Contest” The first weekend in April, Region #8 transferred all convention activities to their Facebook page, where they introduced quartets


| July 2020

Region #11 • The Non-Contest Weekend

Region #12 • Heroes of Harmony Region #12 celebrated Heroes of Harmony with virtual quartet and chorus introductions, among other activities, via their YouTube channel. Members of the region’s judging panel sent video messages about their categories which were posted throughout the weekend. Events Coordinator Mary Mamer said

in her introductory video, “These are pretty interesting times we’re living in. I will miss seeing all of you in person, but modern technology is allowing us to bring this celebration to you.”

Region #13 • Celebrating 65 Years Celebrating their 65th anniversary, Region #13 introduced all choruses and quartets via their Facebook page’s “contest.” For the afterglow, they posted interactive questions for members to answer, some with photos. Then, they committed to posting videos each Saturday for a month as part of their “North by Northwest Presents…” program.

Region #15 • Together Again in Harmony Region #15 hosted a watch party on May 8-9, revisiting their 2019 competitions and afterglow, complete with live chat so members could share commentary and memories. They had watch party hosts and guest appearances from regional and international leaders.

Region #17 • Roll Call Region #17 held a "roll call" of competitors on Facebook using a recorded video of competitors. The weekend also included video clips of messages from judges and regional leaders.

Region #19 • Online Extravaganza “Online Extravaganza” was not an exaggeration for this threeweek event, marketed with extremely memorable video advertising. In addition to guest appearances and quartet and chorus “parades,” Region #19 hosted a series of fun contests: The Mask Parade (to show off homemade masks); The Crowning Glory (to show off crowns made of household objects); Hair We Go! (to show off “Stay-At-Home hair”); and Shame That Tune (a parody-writing contest).

Region #26 • Un-Contest 2020 The weeks-long “Un-Contest” involved the introduction of quartets and choruses as well as guest appearances by Sweet Adelines leaders, State of the Region address, team leader and director forums, award presentations, and the release of a new song.

Region #31 • Virtual Convention Mass sing of How We Sang Today. Live chat with the judges’ panel. Watch party. Pub quiz. Educational workshops by regional leaders...Region #31’s convention had “virtually” everything! It was held the same weekend as they would have held their convention in Cardiff, Wales (UK), May 15-16.

Region #34 • 2020 UnConvention “What do you have when you don’t have a Convention? You have an UnConvention!” That’s how Region #34 began their introduction to a virtual event that included an opening ceremony, parade of chorus and quartet performance videos, educational classes, and an afterglow!

One-Day Events:

Regions #2, #3, #4, #14, #21, #25 and #32 These regions packed a lot of fun and togetherness into one-day events. Regions #3 and #25 held a Regional Area Management Meeting (RAMM) for members via Zoom, with a slideshow of choruses and quartets as well as presentation of regional awards. Region #14 held a virtual afterglow on Zoom for its members. The Club 21 Association of Region #21 Quartet Champions held its regional kick-off party via Zoom, with guests “encouraged (but certainly not required) to dress in what you would normally dress in for this event. Might be fun to have a reason to put on proper undergarments...or not!” Region #4 members and visitors could tune in to see live webcasters Kim Wonders and Natalie Allen guide them through photos of choruses and quartets in order of appearance, as well as awards presentations and other traditions, followed by an invite to a virtual afterglow. Region #2 held a “No Contest Reception” via Zoom and posted the slide presentation of competitors on their webpage. Region #32 held a category seminar on the date when the chorus competition would have been held, May 9. The Sweet Adelines International judges who would have been at their competition spoke about their respective categories.

Then-International President Patty Cobb Baker told Region #11 in her livestream address, “[Watching the virtual contest] is helping me feel like I’m there, and these are the kinds of things we need to do right now…[Region #11] is such a close-knit region, such a family. And we’re going to have that again. I think that when we do, we’re all going to self-combust from the joy of being back together again and all the hugs and the singing that we’re going to get to do. The overtones are just going to ring to the heavens. But we need to hold onto those memories right now, hold them in our hearts, because they do give us some solace and help us feel together.” That was the goal of all the 2020 virtual regional activities. When future Sweet Adelines ask how we managed during the pandemic, we can tell them we faced our challenges with spirit, creativity, and fearless use of technology. It's part of the story of how we became #SweetAdelinesStrong.

July 2020 |



1. Permission to be “imperfect”

Move from the crippling limitations of unproductive selfcriticism to the calm, peaceful space of self-acceptance. Renowned author and speaker Brené Brown describes this as a journey to “enough.” You are enough — just as you are. Take away the shoulds, the musts, and the focus on personal lack or scarcity. If you believe that wherever you are and whoever you are is enough, you will be freed from the anxious pressure of having to be something else.

2. Permission to “care” without “carrying”

This is a tough one for all of you caring, compassionate souls. You want your family, your friends etc. to be happy, to feel good — you care deeply — but ultimately you cannot control how they think, feel and walk through the world. When we release responsibility and allow others to experience what they may experience (both good and bad), we are in effect holding them capable. Letting go of responsibility for that which we can't control in others will help us live in a more peaceful state of mind. We can still “care” deeply without “carrying” the weight of others' emotions and experiences.

3. Permission to stop hauling around old baggage

Give yourself permission to let go of the things weighing you down. Put the old baggage away and out of sight in your basement or storage area. There is no positive reason to carry it around with you in the present or future.

4. Permission to forgive yourself

Whatever it is you are holding in your mind as a screw-up, a transgression, a bad relationship…forgive yourself. Without forgiveness, it is difficult to move on. “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it can enlarge the future.” — Paul Boese, businessman/writer

7. Permission to make a mistake

A failure is simply an opportunity for learning. When we adopt a growth mindset, we objectively identify where we are now, then focus our brains on what we can learn and how we can improve. Release your self-imposed pressure and give yourself permission to mess-up. Our biggest learnings often come from our biggest mistakes.

8. Permission to dream without limits

Who can tell what is really possible for our lives? All through time people have done what was once considered “impossible.” Ask yourself the question, “If anything were possible for my life, without limits, what would be there, what would I want?” You don't have to know HOW you will achieve your vision; simply declaring it will set energy in motion.

9. Permission to take some time for YOU

It's okay to take some time for you. There's a reason the flight attendant tells us to put on our oxygen mask before helping others. By taking care of ourselves, we are better able to contribute to others. Self-care contributes to resiliency and the ability to weather the tough times and bounce back more easily and fully.

10. Permission to be okay with not “knowing” As uncomfortable and out of control as it can feel to exist in “unknowns,” the unknown is where the magic lies. Trust yourself. Trust in the power of the Universe and let go of the need to know everything. Live in the moment. Staying present and trusting that everything will unfold as it is meant to is a liberating and freeing perspective.

5. Permission to consider what YOU need Many of us were brought up to put our needs last. Consider this: What might happen if you gave yourself the same care, compassion and consideration you give to others?

6. Permission to play bigger

Life begins at the end of our comfort zone. As author Marianne Williamson said, “Your playing small doesn't serve the world.” Acknowledging and stepping fully into your signature brilliance — the positive qualities that make you, you — is the key to success. By being more “you,” you can contribute more to the world.


| July 2020

Jan Carley, the Inner Coach of Barbershop, is the author of Harmony from the Inside Out and The Overtone Effect. She sings lead in Lions Gate Chorus and Fandango Quartet (Region 26). Both her books are available for purchase through Sweet Adelines International Sales,


MAINTAINING CONNECTIONS Reflections on communication from a member of the Chorus Growth Task Force

We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”


— William James

uring the recent pandemic, all of us have felt the deep connections of music and friendship more ardently than ever before. I am not someone who usually spends much time on social media, but in this time of physical isolation, online connections have been my lifeline to my loved ones, far and wide. I'm awed by how Sweet Adelines have innovated ways to create and share music among our community and with the world at large. Some of my favorites are the following: • Choruses hold virtual rehearsals all over the world. Directors are using rehearsal recordings (so members can sing at home), instructional videos, breakout rooms for sectionals, watch parties, and online slide shows to keep choruses active and connected. These innovations may change the face of rehearsals forever. • Many members who haven’t been comfortable with technology in the past are facing their fears and learning how to chat online, utilize Zoom, participate in online surveys, and enter the land of social media. • Directors, coaches, and mentors are reaching out to members through online PVIs, homemade instructional videos, and singalong tags and songs. • Choruses are initiating much-needed social time, using online platforms to have virtual lunches, game time, and coffee hours, just so members can check in on each other and chat. • Members are challenging each other with long-distance contests and ice breakers, including baby photo contests, pajama parties, phone trees, and small group activities. • Regional leaders are conducting RMT meetings on Zoom, holding virtual afterglows, and educating membership on the use of online tools. All of these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of little things our members do for each other every day, all of which contribute to the entity, the heart, of Sweet Adelines. In the midst of all that is occurring, I find myself, once again, considering where I would be if I hadn’t become a member

of Sweet Adelines 20 years ago. Would I have this network of friends, literally all over the world? Would I be able to get myself motivated on a Monday without knowing that 60+ human beings are depending on me to lead an educational and engaging rehearsal? Would I know the joy of creating harmony with people I love and sharing unforgettable musical experiences simultaneously with 10,000 of my closest friends? Whenever I teach membership classes or work with choruses to construct a membership plan, a few of the first questions I ask are, “What is your story? How did you find barbershop? Why do you stay?” Of course, most of you know the answer: “We come for the music and stay for the friendships.” Invariably, participants express intense gratitude for the connections that exist solely because they found Sweet Adelines. Right now, we are focused on how to keep ourselves and our loved ones going. We are making sure to stay safe and healthy. We are calling, emailing, connecting on Facebook and Zoom, and singing however we can. We are surviving. In our organization, Sweet Adelines leadership and headquarters staff are concurrently working to keep us going in the “now” and creating visions to build our future. There are already plans in place for exciting membership initiatives and education for the entire organization. There will be a day in the future when we can be in the same room with others again. When we can strike up a conversation with a stranger and ask that magic question, “Do you sing?” When that happens, call up memories of this time. Think about how your musical family kept you going and engaged and connected. One small connection can change someone’s life for the better, forever. Just like ours.

Jennifer Cooke is a past member of the Sweet Adelines International Board of Directors, and Master Director of Scenic City Chorus. She sings lead with Presto! quartet and is a member of Metro Nashville Chorus and Song of Atlanta Show Chorus. She is a member of the Sweet Adelines International Chorus Growth Incentive Program Task Force.

July 2020 |


Countdown to 75 years

A NEW MILLENNIUM: 2000-2009 The new millennium invites us to look within and develop the personality and character traits that give harmony a place to live – inside and out International President Kathy Carmody, The Pitch Pipe, January 2000 The stories in this article are gleaned from past issues of The Pitch Pipe magazine. All issues can be found in the archives at Sweet Adelines International Headquarters in Tulsa, Okla.

Barbershop Music Appreciation Day: July 13, 1945 is the day our founder, Edna Mae Anderson, brought together a group of women to sing barbershop music. We consider it the “birthday” of Sweet Adelines International, and in 2005, to commemorate our 60th anniversary, July 13 officially became Barbershop Music Appreciation Day. On the first-ever Barbershop Music Appreciation Day, more than 100 Sweet Adelines choruses and countless quartets participated in public performances marking the new holiday. Harmony Classic: The first Harmony Classic competition was held in 2000 at the International Education Symposium in San Antonio, Texas (USA). Royal River Chorus were the winners of Division AA, and Prairie Echoes Chorus won Division A. In 2009, the Harmony Classic competition was moved to the international convention and competition, where it remains today.

The first Harmony Classic Champion Choruses: Left, Royal River Chorus of Yarmouth, Maine (USA) under the direction of Christine Ferguson (Division AA) and right, Prairie Echoes Chorus of DeKalb, Ill. (USA) under the direction of Susan Pippel (Division A).


| July 2020

A New HQ: In March 2002, International Board members and headquarters staff held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of what would become our new headquarters building at 9110 South Toledo Ave. in Tulsa, Okla. (USA) where we still are today. The grand opening was held on March 13, 2004 during the International Board meeting. In June 2005, International President Diane Huber performed an action familiar to Sweet Adelines: She ceremonially burned the mortgage on the headquarters building. Honors and Dignitaries: In 2002, Valley Shore Chorus performed for the designer of the first electronic pitch pipe, Henry W. Jones III. In 2003, Tokyo Chapter performed Take Me Out to the Ballgame, among other American classics, at a festival celebrating the 400th anniversary of Japan’s Edo historical period. They wrote, “Someday, just as the Japanese baseball players were able to realize their ultimate baseball dream in the Major Leagues, all of us in the Tokyo Chapter also aspire to perform as a competent and ambitious chorus of Sweet Adelines on the International stage.” U.S. President George W. Bush enjoyed singing from several Sweet Adelines groups: Members of River Raisin Chorus in 2003 and Unplugged Quartet and Seattle Shores Chorus in 2004. In 2003, Circular Keys Chorus sang for Australian Prime Minister John Howard at a cocktail party in Sydney. In 2005, Surrey Harmony Chorus was invited to sing for HRH Princess Anne at a party in London for the veterans’ charity The Not Forgotten Association. Carrying the Torch: The Yarra Ranges Harmony Chorus (now East City Sound Chorus) sang as the Olympic Torch Relay arrived at Healesville near Melbourne to open the first Olympic Games of the millennium in Sydney, Australia. “It has been marvelous to be a small part of the Olympics, which is about being part of something bigger than you are. Just like the Sweet Adelines!” they wrote in the October 2000 issue of The Pitch Pipe. Three Sweet Adelines – Mary Barrett of Shoreline Sound Chorus, Amy Kinder of Chesapeake Harmony Chorus, and Jayne Fischer of Thumb Area Chorus – were among those chosen to carry the Olympic torch through their cities on its way to the 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) Winter Olympics. During the winter games, Mountain Jubilee Chorus, under the direction of Tori Postma and Beth Bruce, sang for athletes and visitors to the Olympic Plaza.

Mary Barrett of Shoreline Sound Chorus was among those chosen to carry the Olympic torch on its way to the 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) Winter Olympics.

Sweet Adelines Onscreen: Voices Only Quartet appeared on The Rosie O’Donnell Show on Oct. 6, 2000. Six members of Lions Gate Chorus appeared in the 2002 made-for-TV movie A Very Muppet Christmas. Heart O’Wisconsin Chorus appeared on the Food Network Channel’s All American Festivals singing Harmonize The World at the Warren Cranberry Festival. Theresa Schonbach, then a member of Harborlites Chorus, appeared on an episode of the television reality series Survivor: Panama in 2006. Her son, Aras Baskauskas, won the competition upon which the show is based. In 2007, Surrey Harmony Chorus appeared on the reality show Car Booty (BBC), where they raised money for new costumes. When Bay Area Showcase Chorus won the 2009 Forever Plaid singing contest, they were featured at the Forever Plaid movie premiere and included in the DVD extras. In 2009, 2011 International Champion Quartet MAXX Factor appeared on NBC’s reality music show The Sing-Off. “We were there to let people know Sweet Adelines is out there,” said lead Leslie Shoenhard. “Sweet Adelines is where we live. This is home.”

Sweet AD-elines: The 2001 International Champion Quartet, A Cappella Gold wrote and recorded a radio commercial for Oreo cookies when they won the 2006 Oreo & Milk jingle contest. In 2007, four section leaders of Alamo Metro Chorus formed the Plumber Hummers and recorded what became the winning television commercial jingle in the Will Fix It plumbing company’s contest. Wellington City Chorus joined men’s chorus Vocal FX to make a web-based commercial for a computer product called “Harmony.” A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Barbershop: In 2004, Thumb Area Chorus opened for country music star Loretta Lynn at the Clio Amphitheater in Michigan (USA). In 2008, two Sweet Adelines choruses sang backup for country music star Kenny Rogers at his Christmas and Hits show: Barrie Huronia Soundwaves Chorus in Orillia, Ontario (CAN), and Gateway Chorus in Edmonton, Alb. (CAN).

Barrie Huronia Soundwaves Chorus in Orillia, Ontario (CAN), and Gateway Chorus in Edmonton, Alberta (CAN) performing with Kenny Rogers.

On June 9, 2007, San Diego Chorus performed, along with the San Diego Men’s Chorus, the debut of the song cycle, Sing for the Cure, dedicated to people affected by breast cancer. The narration was performed by actor Nichelle Nichols who played Lt. Uhura on the popular television series Star Trek.

MAXX Factor with musician Ben Folds, judge of The Sing-Off television show.

Harmonizing the World Wide Web: The first-ever online webcast of the Sweet Adelines International Convention & Competition occurred with the 2000 convention in Orlando, Fla. (USA). In 2001, Sweet Adelines International Sales launched online shopping. In October 2008, Sweet Adelines announced our new MySpace and Facebook pages. Sept. 11, 2001: Soon after the devastating terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, Sweet Adelines International held our International Convention & Competition in Portland, Ore. (USA) on Oct. 9-13, 2001. International President Rita Hull wrote in the Jan. 2002 issue of The Pitch Pipe, “Sweet Adelines around the world recognize and personify the healing, unifying power of music. This universal language uplifts and allows us to join hearts across boundaries, both physical and cultural. Nowhere has this been more apparent to me than at our recent international convention…A powerful, positive spirit surrounded and lifted us, intensified by its contrast to the fear and uncertainties that had gripped so many of us earlier in the week.” Of the 2001 convention, a member of Region #34’s Perth Harmony Chorus told The Pitch Pipe, “We don’t know how well we’ll do, but we just

July 2020 |


want to come and hug Americans.” On Sept. 11, 2002, over 300 Sweet Adelines choruses participated in Sing Out For Peace, an event during which choruses performed in honor of 9/11 victims, survivors, and emergency workers. Military Support: What has come to be known as the Global War on Terror began in 2001, affecting many Sweet Adelines and their families. Several performed at events in support of the military, including Alamo Metro Chorus, Magic Valley Chorus, Sound of New England Chorus, and Friendship VII Chorus. In 2005, Assiniboine Show Chorus performed on the steps of the Manitoba Legislative Building at a ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. In 2004, Palo Duro Metro Chorus performed at the dedication of a memorial statue for astronaut Rick Husband, mission commander of the STS-107 Space Shuttle Columbia, which broke apart over Texas (USA) on Feb. 3, 2003. Moving Our Convention: In 2003, the site of the 2005 International Convention & Competition was changed from Salt Lake City, Utah (USA) to New Orleans, La. (USA). Sweet Adelines looked forward to celebrating our 60th anniversary in the Big Easy, but on Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall, devastating the U.S. Gulf Coast and the city of New Orleans. With just four weeks to make the transition, Sweet Adelines International moved the convention to Detroit, Mich. (USA)! That year’s International Champion Scottsdale Chorus wrote, “It is a privilege for Scottsdale Chorus to represent Sweet Adelines International in this year of healing and rebuilding! We are proud and eager to harmonize the world and share the therapeutic powers of music with our Sweet Adeline sisters.” The 2005 International Champion Quartet, “the BUZZ” rallied other champion quartets to press 2,500 copies of an all-star CD whose proceeds went to hurricane relief. Jon Petersen Photography donated a portion of sales to the Red Cross, as did many Harmony Bazaar vendors. By the end of the Detroit convention, Sweet Adelines had raised over $75,000 USD in donations for hurricane relief. New Orleans’ Crescent City Sound Chorus reported that Sweet Adelines from

around the world had sent costumes, music, learning tracks, and donations to help them recover. Most Entertaining: The Audience Choice Award for Most Entertaining Chorus was established in July 2006. In that year’s convention in Las Vegas, Nev. (USA), Spirit of the Gulf Chorus, directed by Karen Breidert, won the first-ever award for Most Entertaining Chorus, and SALT won the award for Most Entertaining Quartet. We Are Family: The first-ever Family Chorus sang at the 2002 International Convention in Nashville, Tenn. (USA). It was so popular that the International Board agreed to hold the Family Chorus “annually at international convention as long as there is interest.” Setting Records: On April 21, 2001, Riverport Chorus helped set a world record, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, for the longest concert of continuous unamplified live music when they performed at the Music for Life Festival in Kenosha, Wis. (USA). On Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, Peggy Gram led World’s Largest Singing Lesson, as certified by The Guinness Book of World Records at our international convention in Nashville, Tenn. (USA).

Peggy Gram led World’s Largest Singing Lesson, as certified by The Guinness Book of World Records at our international convention in Nashville, Tenn. (USA). Shown with 2009 International Champion Quartet, Moxie Ladies and Guiness officials.

The first-ever winners of the Audience Choice Award for Most Entertaining were Spirt of the Gulf Chorus (directed by Karen Breidert) and SALT quartet.


| July 2020

2000 Orlando, Florida (USA) 2001 Portland, Oregon (USA) 2002 Nashville, Tennessee (USA) 2003 Phoenix, Arizona (USA) 2004 Indianapolis, Indiana (USA) 2005 Detroit, Michigan (USA) 2006 Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) 2007 Calgary, Alberta (CAN) 2008 Honolulu, Hawaii (USA) 2009 Nashville, Tennessee (USA)


Prairie Echoes Chorus (Div. A) Royal River Chorus (Div. AA)


Pearls of the Sound Chorus (Div. A) Jacksonville Harmony Chorus (Div. AA)


1999-2000 • Kathy Carmody 2000-2002 • Rita Hull 2002-2004 • Carole (Kirkpatrick) Persinger 2004-2006 • Diane Huber 2006-2008 • Pat LeVezu 2008-2010 • Peggy Gram

Prairie Echoes Chorus (Div. A) Royal River Chorus (Div. AA)


Millennium Magic Chorus (Div. A) Valley Forge Chorus (Div. AA)


2000 • A Cappella Gold 2001 • Fanatix 2002 • Swinglish Mix 2003 • Brava! 2004 • “the BUZZ” 2005 • Spotlight 2006 • SALT 2007 • Four Bettys 2008 • Moxie Ladies 2009 • Zing!

Queen City Chorus (Div. A) Columbus Chorus (Div. AA)


Women of Note Chorus (Div. A) Scioto Valley Chorus (Div. AA)


Metro Nashville Chorus (Div. A) Harbor City Music Company Chorus (Div. AA)


Alba Show Chorus (Div. A) Waikato Rivertones Chorus (Div. AA) 2000 • Melodeers Chorus 2001 • San Diego Chorus 2002 • North Metro Chorus 2003 • Melodeers Chorus 2004 • Harborlites Chorus 2005 • Scottsdale Chorus 2006 • Rich-Tone Chorus 2007 • Harborlites Chorus 2008 • Melodeers Chorus 2009 • Rich-Tone Chorus


Stockholm City Voices Chorus (Div. A) Metro Nashville Chorus (Div. AA)


Millennium Magic Chorus (Div. A) Scioto Valley Chorus (Div. AA)

July 2020 |


What is the ACP?

A description of the Arranger Certification Program


rrangers are a critical part of our Sweet Adelines lives. Without arrangers, there would be no music for us to sing. But how do you learn to become one of those special people who can arrange barbershop music? Some of our regions have had active arranger education programs developed by experienced arrangers in those regions, but other regions have had no arranger education available, for various reasons. Four years ago, at the direction of the International Board of Directors (IBOD), a task force was formed to study the feasibility of developing an arranger education program that would be available to members in all regions around the world. This task force envisioned a program similar in structure to the Director Certification Program (DCP), which has been successfully training our directors for several decades. A second task force was appointed to develop the curriculum for this program, and as of May 1, 2019, the Arranger Certification Program (ACP) went live. The focus of the new ACP is to develop strong contestable arrangements because once those skills have been mastered, the arranger can use them to arrange other types of music, too. As of this writing, we have over 55 members worldwide who are enrolled in this exciting new program. How wonderful! The Beginning Level ACP consists of nine modules for independent study of arranging. Each module is followed by a test which is proctored by the Regional ACP Coordinator (RACPC) in your region, or the RACPC’s designate. Once you have passed all nine modules with a score of 80% or higher, you have successfully completed the Beginning Level ACP. For those with some background and experience in arranging, there is a method in place to challenge the Beginning Level by passing Modules 2, 8, and 9, with a score of 80% or higher. We have a remote testing program in place for those who are interested. Once you have completed the Beginning Level, you have the option to register for the Intermediate Level ACP for more indepth study and practice in arranging. This level is a cohort group consisting of 5-6 applicants and two Certified Music Arrangers (CMA) or Master Music Arrangers (MMA) as the facilitators. There are five activities in this level, each with two parts — studying and analyzing, and arranging practice. This group meets via video conference at a date and time mutually agreed upon by those in the group to study, discuss, and work together. Between meetings, participants work independently on the assigned materials.

As of this writing, we have our first Intermediate Level group working its way through the five activities. All five participants have successfully completed the Beginning Level ACP: Jeanne Elmuccio, Region #1; Sheryl Neal, Region #5; Wendy Hofmann, Region #5; Jan Meyer, Region #9, and Linda Olding, Region #16. The facilitators are Jean Flinn, CMA, and Judy Vidal, CMA. Together, these seven women are blazing a trail into a newly-created cohort approach to arranger education! We anticipate that this Intermediate Level will take about a year to complete, although since this is the first group to go through the curriculum, the time may vary. This group has appropriately named itself ACT ONE, and its members have already learned the value of working with a group, where they can hear and see what other people are doing with the lesson material. They have been dividing each activity into two separate meetings, one for the studying and analyzing section, and one for the arranging section. From the facilitators, the members are learning WHY things in a barbershop arrangement have to be a certain way. Among other things, they are learning skills that help them create not only strong arrangements, but neat, legible computer manuscript. This program enables aspiring arrangers to improve through interactive activity, which helps them blossom into creating better arrangements. Jean and Judy say that the participants are encouraged to move forward by setting their own deadlines, which is motivation for everyone to keep up with the group! Following successful completion of the Intermediate Level ACP, participants will have earned the title of Approved Arranger and may then apply for the Advanced Level, which consists of an ACP scholarship for up to two years of individual mentoring from a CMA/MMA. Following that, you may apply for CMA status if you wish. The Intermediate Level ACP fills the gap between Beginning Level arranging and the Advanced Level. The ACP has something for anyone who has interest in arranging at almost any level. Your favorite singers are waiting for the exciting new arrangements you will create! Kay Bromert (Kansas City Chorus) is a Certified Music Arranger and moderator of the Arranger Certification Program Committee.

For more information, visit or contact the Education Department at


| July 2020

The Voice Of Harmony This year, the International Board of Directors, on the recommendation of the Education Direction Committee, re-instated The Voice Of Harmony as an official Sweet Adelines International song! Written and arranged by Renee Craig, the arrangment has been updated by Joey Minshall. For sheet music and learning tracks, visit the Sweet Adelines International website at education/music/thevoice-of-harmony

The Voice of Harmony Words by Renee Craig & Dick Floersheimer

Music & Arrangement by Renee Craig

Revised by Joey Minshall, April 2019

to be performed 'ad lib', in barbershop style

b Ï & b 44 Ï


æ b b 44 ÏÏ













b5 & b ww

n úú

æ bb w w


b9 & b ÏÏ ÏÏ n ÏÏ ÏÏ æ b Ï b Ï Ï ÏÏ Ï Ï Ï by


gol - den

b & b b n úú úú




æ b b # úú





press - ion 3


ú ú ú ú



ú ú




ú ú ú ú










Ï úú Ï











n úú

úú ..







ú. ú.

Ï nÏ bÏ Ï Ï Ï





n úú ..





. ÏÏ ÏÏ úú . ú ú


ú ú



j Ï bÏ Ï Ï J to - geth j ÏÏ Ï J Ï


ÏÏ ..


#ú ú








- er


n úú ..


N úú ..




ex -

# ÏÏ ÏÏ Ï nÏ


nú ú

ú. ú Ï

# ÏÏ . .

# ww



ú ú


har - mo - ny,




ÏÏ ÏÏ úú ..


Ï Ï Ï bÏ




úú ..



n úú

Copyright 2019 Sweet Adelines International



Ï nÏ Ï Ï

ar - tist - ry


APPLYING ACTORS TRAINING TO SINGING A report from Sweet Adelines International Faculty Lea Baker


n August 2019 I completed a three-week intensive acting voice course run by the Lessac Institute, at Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). I was one of six students under the instruction of Lessac Master Teacher Nancy Krebs, from the United States. There, I learned that most of what is taught to actors can be applied to singers too. Why am I not surprised? Actors are going for the same things singers are — forward motion, expression, dynamics, characterization, connected tone flow, physical energy, expressiveness and understandable text. Arthur Lessac’s book The Use and Training Of The Human Voice discusses learning through ‘kinesensics’ – “speak, image, move and act holistically, by physically feeling your way through the training process.” In order for us to teach others, we must first feel it within ourselves, and much time was spent on this challenge during the course. Lessac talks about our bodies as a Stradivarius and how “You do not need to improve upon your Stradivarius. Rather you want to teach yourself how to keep it in tune, feel its harmony, consonance, melodies and chords.” I valued Nancy’s gentle but persistent correction and encouragement until we ‘got it.’ While much of the information and concepts I had heard from a variety of coaches, faculty and directors within Sweet Adelines, some things in the Lessac approach the voice from a slightly different angle and could benefit singers just as much as actors. Here are some of the many things I’ve found useful as a voice teacher, singer and chorus director:

The Body Energies

Our training each morning started with two hours of body work on mats, discovering the various body energies and how they connect with the voice. I was a bit dubious about this to start with but by the end of week one, I couldn’t wait to hit the floor and work through a series of body relaxer/energizers including muscle yawning (with your whole body), muscle floating and muscle shaking. These are natural, instinctive body functions that don’t need to be taught; however, adults generally don’t indulge often enough in these to relieve tension. The body energies of buoyancy, radiancy, and potency were then explored in depth with all their


| July 2020

various dialects. We discovered how they felt within our bodies and eventually, how they could be used to great effect in text or songs.

“This work (Lessac Kinesensics) feels good, looks good, sounds good, moves forward and communicates!” — Arthur Lessac

Work on the feeling more than hearing.

Students will try to get it right to please the musical director, coach or acting trainer. Instead of imitating others, we learned it is better to teach students to know when it’s optimal and beautiful, by how it feels inside their own body. Lessac call this ‘inner harmonic sensing’. The training taught us that our human senses function not just through the five outer senses (hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell) but also through a series of ‘organic instructions’ and ‘familiar events.’ Using these we were able to register the outside signals internally, allowing us to program our inner harmonic feeling process. During the course we would often block off one of our outer senses to notice the inside feelings more easily, such as using blindfolds when reading lines of text.

The Consonant Orchestra

Lessac uses creative ways to discover consonants — how they provide rhythmic patterns, melodies and sustainable tonal colours, how they add percussion and sound effects, and how they add energy to our speech (or singing!). The consonants are grouped into the various sections of an ‘orchestra’ — a full complement of strings, drums, woodwinds, brass and drums. Consonants such as: B, P, D, T, G, K, DG, CH, TS, DZ are percussive since their action is to be tapped, some are drumbeats, others are cymbals and woodblocks such as DL / TL. The voiced sustainable consonants and their unvoiced cognates — N, M, V, F, Z, S, TH, ZH (SH), L, NG, are strings, woodwinds and sound effects. We were encouraged to ‘play’ all the instruments in the consonant orchestra to discover their qualities, how they feel in our mouth and body when being played, and how they work before, after, or within words and lines of text. So much fun too!


Lessac uses the terms ‘Explore’ or ‘Experience’ and ‘Experiment’ rather than ‘Exercise.’ Exercise sounds like hard work! The first two are playful journeys of discovery. Which one do you prefer?: “We’re now going to do an exercise in vowel sounds” or “Let’s explore the various vowels sounds”? Rather than talk about placement of tone, which is fixed, we were encouraged to ‘focus the sound forward’ or ‘think the sound forward.’ Just like in singing, nothing is ever held or static — it is always moving. Vocal warm-ups could be called ‘tune ups’ since our bodies and vocal cords (folds) are already warm, and we are playing a Stradivarius! Many actors and some singers use the word ‘hit’ to describe singing a note or consonant. We were asked to ‘taste,’ ‘play,’ and ‘enjoy’ instead.

cavities of the mouth, nose and sinuses. What the listener hears are the vibrations resonated through the bones of the face and spaces in the throat, which adds resonance to our tone. How well we utilize those resonators and in what proportions determines the quality and beauty of the tone.

“The breath is not responsible for the Tone! Instead of using excess air--search for the bone-conducted tone that you feel in the bones of your face and head.” — Nancy Krebs

Using ‘natural body wisdom’

The body knows how to move. Find the natural instinctive ways the body moves and it will work much more efficiently and effectively in producing tone. The body knows how to breathe. We breathe optimally and 1. Space between the molars. Yawning gives us the ‘familiar instinctively when we are doing natural and organic things that event’ of that inside space. But rather than a full yawn, go don’t require much thought, such as crouching, squatting, etc. for that ‘pre-yawn’ feeling, (inhale as if you are about to An expansion 360 degrees around the body is felt with a natural yawn) then keep about a thumb-sized space between the full inhalation, along with a widening and release between the side molars for all the vowel sounds. We used the middle shoulder blades. A relaxed, long, released spine is vital, and those finger placed within the space between the upper and lower ever important unlocked knees. side teeth — outside the cheek. Lessac training showed us how our bodies love to be in a 2. Forward facial orientation. Having our lips naturally ‘C’(parenthesis) shape that begins in the most compact spherical forward and off the teeth for all word sounds (especially shape and gradually opens up with a naturally rounded spine. ‘ee’) allows for fuller, richer, more energetic sound. We breathe effortlessly, silently and instinctively when we are leaning over to smell a beautiful flower in the garden or sitting Lessac teaches that the inside space within the mouth and throat leaning forward in a chair. Our goal is to recreate that feeling and let your body move into those natural positions regularly to feel is always larger than the outside space (lip opening), so we have a that natural inhalation, then stand upright and maintain that reverse megaphone taking place and being shaped. This enabled a easy natural breath. Awareness and noticing of what is happening richer, warmer, and fuller tone. A sense of ease rather than effort is within your body is important. vital. I was initially concerned about ‘slouching’ or poor posture when learning about ‘natural body wisdom’. Nancy explained that as long as I make sure the crown of my head is always the highest “If it feels good, looks good and sounds good, and communicates, then it’s most likely right!” point in the body, I would be perfectly aligned. Standing ‘straight’ (like a soldier) with shoulders pulled back will — Nancy Krebs inhibit the natural intake of air. Instead stand ‘tall’ with a feeling of release between the shoulder blades and knees, and make sure the crown of the head is the highest point in the body. The Air Issue I’ve realized that saying ‘use more air!’ can mean different things Since attending the Lessac course, I’ve regularly used many of to different people. Some may think this means to push more air the Lessac concepts in my teaching and coaching. I find it useful out with their voices, which would be detrimental. It should mean to help singers discover the feeling in their bodies of sound and the to use more core engagement and support under the tone. freedom and energy in their voices that comes from within. A steady flow of air is needed to keep the vocal folds vibrating optimally but forcing too much air through them is The Lessac Intensives are run by the Lessac Institute. counterproductive. Many singers mistakenly force too much For more information, visit through the folds in an effort to ‘project.’ Sound is vibration that we can hear. Imagine that once that Lea Baker is Master Director of Endeavour Harmony steady flow of air comes up and through vocal cords (and sets them Chorus based in Sydney, Australia. She is a Sweet Adelines vibrating) the result is then sound vibrations (tone). International Faculty member and Education Lessac teaches that breath doesn’t control tone, tone controls Coordinator for Region #34. Lea is currently undertaking a breath! Once the breath sets the vocal folds in motion, that breath Master of Fine Arts (Voice) at the National institute of stream becomes a sound stream that creates direct and indirect Dramatic Art, Sydney (AUS). resonance and wave reflection in the bones of the face and the

Two things which must always be present for optimal vocal production.

July 2020 |


Harmony up Round

Harmony Roundup is a place to share your adventures and achievements! Let us know what your chorus or quartet has been doing in your community. Email your submissions and photos to

Where We Sang Carillon Belles Chorus (#2) performed at the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show in Simcoe, Ont. (CAN). In February, Greater Auckland Chorus (#35) performed at the opening of From Here to Africa, an exhibition by award-winning photographer Ilan Wittenberg at the Malcolm Smith Gallery of Uxbridge Arts & Culture. Na Leo Lani Chorus (#12) and Honolulu Blend Chorus (#21) performed at the No Nā Wahine Choral Festival, supporting the musical heritage of Hawaiian music and empowering women. Region #34’s Debacle Quartet and Brindabella Chorus performed at the National Multicultural Festival in Canberra, ACT (AUS). On March 1, members of Perth Harmony Chorus (#34) and A Cappella West Chorus (#34) performed at the Highway to Hell Festival, an event in celebration of iconic Australian hard rock band, AC/DC. How We Sang In January, Vocal Matrix Chorus (#14) received the Volunteer Group of the Year Award from the City of Greenville, South Carolina (USA). GQ (#19) won two Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARA) from The Contemporary A Cappella Society. They won Best Barbershop Album for GQ Vol. III and Best Barbershop Song for Pity Party from their winning album. Why We Sang Peace Arch Chorus (#26) performed at the Coldest Night of the Year in Surrey, B.C. (CAN), an event that raises money for the Surrey Homelessness & Housing Society. Endeavour Harmony Chorus (#34) performed in Sydney when the

Australian Diamonds took on the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) All-Stars in a bushfire relief charity match. The match raised funds for communities affected by the 2019-2020 bushfires as well as efforts to rebuild netball facilities destroyed or damaged by the fires. Heart of Maryland Chorus (#19) performed at a benefit for the Rockville Emergency Assistance Program, which provides services to prevent eviction and heating termination and referrals to other help for people in Montgomery County, Maryland (USA). Canadian Showtime Chorus (#16) presented the honorarium they received for singing in the Harmony Concert series to Tewegan Housing for Indigenous Young Women of the City of Ottawa. The organization helps First Nations youth who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. In March, an ensemble from Vocal Vibes Chorus (#34) entertained diners at an International Women’s Day fundraising event with the Nunawading Lions Club. Proceeds were donated to the Pinchapoo charity, which provides personal hygiene products to people in need. In April, Greater Harmony Chorus (#17) donated Easter candy to The Lighthouse Foundation’s food bank. At their virtual pub quiz, members of Forth Valley Chorus (#31) raised £830 for Edinburgh Women’s Aid, an organization that provides help for women affected by domestic violence. Brisbane City Sounds Chorus (#34) Musical Director Hayley Marsh partnered with The 24-Hour Musical Project, an online fundraising event, to raise money for the Actors & Entertainers Benevolent Fund of Queensland. She set herself a 24-hour barbershop challenge in which donors could “sponsor” each of the four parts on barbershop songs she recorded using an a cappella singing app.

Region #34’s Debacle Quartet and Brindabella Chorus performed at the National Multicultural Festival in Canberra, ACT (AUS).


| July 2020

A Cappella West Chorus Celebrates Lindsey Dyer Day

A Cappella West Chorus (#34) members wore purple on Feb. 12, which they chose as the date for an annual celebration of “Lindsey Dyer Day” to remember their founder and director, who died in October 2019 after a courageous battle against breast cancer. The date is significant because on February 12, 2008 Lindsey took the first step towards the cherished dream of establishing her own award-winning chorus.

Na Leo Lani Chorus (#12) performed at the No Nā Wahine Choral Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA), supporting the musical heritage of Hawaiian music and empowering women. (Honolulu Blend (#12) also performed at the festival.)

July 2020 |


UNDER THEIR OWN DIRECTION… MILLENNIUM MAGIC CHORUS 2020 Harmony Classic Division A Champion Chorus

MILLENIUM MAGIC COMPETING MEMBERS Sue Barsamian Karen Braden Bonnie Cardwell Laura Carey Kathy Carmel Lisa Fedele


Tricia Harris Angie Kunasek Vanessa Larochelle Candice Neilson Beth Paul Kirsten Russell

uring the 2019 Harmony Classic competition in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA), International Board member and emcee Leslie Galbreath introduced the eventual Division A winner this way: “Representing North Atlantic Region #1, from Manchester Connecticut, under their own direction…the Millennium Magic Chorus!” It’s just what it sounds like: In their 20-year history, the 2020 Harmony Classic Division A Champion Millennium Magic Chorus has never had a front-line director. But, they note on


| July 2020

Laura Russell Diane Rutkiewicz Deanna Sargent Judy Sherriff Abby Strielkauskas Laurel Strielkauskas

Stacy Strielkauskas Anne Wilson Andrea Wilson Pierce Heather Wilson

their website, “that is not to say we are directionless. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Each and every member of Millennium Magic demonstrates and contributes to the process and ownership of the musical plan/goals…We promote and execute an ‘all teach, all learn’ environment through mutual respect and personal responsibility.” That approach has led them to three Harmony Classic championships — 2003, 2009, and the 2020 championship they earned for their The Book of Sweet Adeline package in New Orleans.

Co-Team Coordinator Anne Wilson said Millennium Magic’s collaborative journey to their most recent championship all started by a pool. “After we won our region and qualified for Harmony Classic, we had a poolside brainstorming session where everybody shared ideas about what we should do for a story for the international competition,” she said. “We started with a story and then collected the music based on that. The Book of Sweet Adeline [based on the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon is what came out of that, and then we just continued to develop it from there.” The chorus’ current “paper director” (that is, the director of record for chartering purposes) and leader of the musical team, Laurel Strielkauskas, stepped in for the next part. “We have some key leaders who ensure that we function and operate,” said Anne. “Laurel was the master of invention with our Harmony Classic package. She did the initial draft of the theme and the idea, and then we had a creative team that worked with her. Laurel also arranged the featured song from the package, Hello. She just has mad skills musically, and if it wasn't for her, we probably wouldn't be where we are, quite honestly. She's got a heck of an ear. She keeps us really focused on the musical product.” Anne said personal vocal instruction and coaching helped them get their “big, resonant sound,” and a unity of purpose and theatrical exercises helped them bring their show to life. “Every single person was really excited about the package,” she said. “The more we got into it, the more fun it was. We were telling our story, and it was definitely something everybody could connect with.”

Anne said they felt that connection right away in New Orleans. “When we got up there, we could feel the response immediately from the audience,” she recalled. “We were just so excited to do it, and the results that we had hoped for were there immediately. We were able to feed off of the audience. They were very receptive. It was really exhilarating.” Part of that connection was the result of exercises brought to the chorus by member Andrea Pierce, who studied theatre in college (and who happens to be Anne’s daughter). “We're all Type A personality women for the most part, and we really get stuck in the technical brain,” said Anne. “Every single week, Andrea would engage us in an exercise that ultimately required us to say yes to each not oppose an idea unless you can propose another one. She encouraged us to try it. Go outside our comfort zone. Do something different.” In a chorus under its own direction, Anne said, members must share their individual strengths to succeed. When it works like it did in New Orleans, it’s, well...magic: Millennium Magic. “I think there are lessons, ironically enough, we learn over and over again,” she said. “The power of teamwork and dedication and commitment and really having a shared vision. You learn a lot about respect and tolerance and open-mindedness. You have to have those things if you're going to succeed. To succeed is one thing but to have fun doing it is altogether another. That’s the advice we would give to other small choruses: Keep it simple, and make it about the music. Give people something they can wrap their arms around, and make it fun.”

Save the date! Diamond •DIVISION•

The first-ever Diamond Division Quartet Contest! For singers age 55 and older.

July 15, 2021

during Coronet Club’s Queens’ College Eisemann Center in Richardson, Texas (USA)

For more information, visit

July 2020 |



2020 Harmony Classic AA Champion Diablo Vista Chorus DIABLO VISTA COMPETING MEMBERS Birgit Andersen Carol Ansley Cindy Barisof Julie Baxter Lynn Berg Ana Bispo Kristi Bispo Nancy Blom Gina Bowerman Zoe Brown Stephanie Canessa Caitlin Castelino Jan Clare


| July 2020

Haley Cohen Mia Dessenberger Robyn Dondero Emma Durant Danielle Estes Karen Fish Cathy Gaughan Pam Gault Lisa Gaunt Dana Gervais Andrea Giles Brittany Gilmore Rachelle Goldenberg

Julie Harrelson Cindy Harvey Mary Dean Heil Judy Helder Sarah Hodosh Michelle Hugo Kaylyn Hyman Carolyn Johnson Elisabeth Johnson Marigail Jones Patti Kimball Margaret Kintner Pat Lautrup

Michelle Lewandowski Kelsey Lindquist Judy Logsdon Christina Lopez Connie Ludwig Kim Machek Jodi Maspaitella Heidi Massie Cristina Matei Diane Meyer Heather Morgan Kim Muratore Ellie Nokes

Suzanne Olsen Michelle Oltman Patricia Painton Carolyn Salazar Janis Salvi Karrie Shively Jeannette Smith Debi Thomas Carol Walsh Jan Wesdorf Kitty West Jacquie Whitehurst Cher Widman


hen choosing songs for our Harmony Classic package, Diablo Vista Chorus (DVC) wanted to tell our personal story of growth and dedication. As one of our songs said, “I’m gonna work real hard, I know what to do/I’ll finally make my dreams come true/I’m workin’ hard each and every day/I’m on my way.” Little did members know just how prophetic those words would turn out to be! Attendees in New Orleans witnessed DVC’s very first appearance on the international stage. Since 1956, the chorus had been a home for women who viewed barbershop more as a hobby than a competitive endeavor. But when Caitlin Castelino took the helm, a new fire was lit. Prior to directing, Caitlin discovered a love for coaching, with clients including DVC. So when the chorus needed an interim director, she jumped at the opportunity. “I discovered that I really loved directing because it was like [coaching] every week, but I also got to see the progress over time, be part of that progress, and develop relationships with the members,” she said. When considering the permanent directing role, a long commute to rehearsals initially gave her pause — but, she said, “After two months of interim directing, I realized that I couldn’t imagine giving it up.” Caitlin became DVC’s permanent director on October 13, 2015. Since then, the chorus has soaked up every lesson from the 2014 Queen of Harmony (LoveNotes), and the results of our study and practice have been dramatic. Six months into Caitlin’s tenure, DVC improved our regional contest score by 88 points.

The improvement continued, and in 2018 — with a score that had climbed 167 points in three years — the chorus won Region #12’s midsize division and booked its ticket to Harmony Classic. “The excitement, joy, and astonishment in the room were palpable,” Caitlin said, recalling the moment she broke the news to the chorus. “It really drove our whole journey over the next year and a half.” Prior to Harmony Classic, more than half of Diablo Vista’s members had never attended an international competition, much less competed in one, and a third were new to DVC. The invitation itself was a victory, and that accomplishment, plus the confidence of our director, drove the chorus to challenge itself. One member said, “Caitlin makes you believe you can do more than you imagine is possible. You want to make her vision come true, and if that means moving mountains, then we band together to move them rock by rock with joy.” Caitlin said the chorus brings her joy as well. “I feel so much pride and joy when I think about how far the chorus has come as a whole, and how far each singer has come,” she said. “The members have consistently set very high goals for themselves, and they commit to those goals and end up surpassing them every time. It’s pretty remarkable. I am just honored to be part of the journey.” Kelsey Lindquist is a proud member of Diablo Vista Chorus. She has been a Sweet Adeline for nine years.

Save the date! Rising Star Quartet Contest! For singers age 25 and younger.

July 16, 2021


C 2021 Quartet

Stay tuned to the Sweet Adelines International website and social media for details!

For more information, visit July 2020 |



IDENTIFYING CHORUS CULTURE What makes your chorus unique?


ach chorus has a unique culture made up of values, beliefs, interests, and habits. This culture is learned and re-learned, passed on to new members, and continues on as part of a chapter’s core identity. It’s important to check in on your chorus culture now and then to make sure it reflects the values you’ve established as part of your chorus vision and mission statements (see “Aligning Your Chorus Identity” in the January 2020 issue of The Pitch Pipe for ideas on crafting vision and mission statements for your chorus!). Choruses who understand their culture have a cohesive vision of who they are and where they’re going. If your chorus is interested in membership growth, marketing, or even just creating a more welcoming and cohesive group, you need to first understand your culture — in other words, the way things are now — before you can potentially grow and change into your best version. In many ways, culture is like personality. In a person, behavior is guided by the personality, which is made up of values, beliefs, interests, and habits. The chorus culture is made up of these attributes and behavior but is shared by a group of people.

How do you define your chorus culture?

You can define your chorus culture by answering four core questions: Where are we now (our framework)? What do we believe in (our values)? Where are we going (our vision)? Who are we (our personality)?

Our Framework

Examine the framework of your chapter — who you are now — by answering the following questions: 1. At what level is the musical product we offer? Your chorus may be competitive, wanting to shine on the international stage, or you may focus on community engagement. The beauty of Sweet Adelines is that we offer choruses for singers of all musical levels and goals, and we provide education for those who want to improve or enhance their abilities! 2. How does our chapter function administratively? Be it a board of directors or a management team, how you administer your chapter affects how your members experience and participate in your chorus. 3. How does the director contribute to the chorus? Directors are often the focal point of the chorus; how they interact with and direct the group influences how your group works.


| July 2020

4. How is the health of the chapter? A chapter and its culture is always growing and changing. It’s important to check in and make sure you’re moving in the right direction — toward positive growth and change!

Our Values

Shared values define how members want to interact with each other in the chorus, with potential members, and with the community. Common values translate into the guidelines or expectations that prescribe behavior by members and influence the behavior of members toward one another.

Our Vision

Review “Aligning Your Chorus Identity” from the January 2020 issue of The Pitch Pipe. Create vision and mission statements that are grounded in your identified shared values. Commit to these statements. Communicate them to the chorus on a consistent basis. The more you talk about the statements, the easier they are to implement. Model personal behaviors, decision-making, contribution, and interpersonal interaction that reflect these statements.

Our Personality

The personality of the chorus is an extension of the chorus culture, core values, and vision. Defining the personality is important because it unifies members and helps them connect with their intended audience. You can define your chorus personality by listing positive adjectives that describe your chorus: classy, sassy, confident, elegant, high-achieving, funny, vibrant, caring, cutting-edge, conservative, trendy, etc. Ask each member to rate each adjective on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest), and then identify the personality traits that were rated the highest. Once clearly defined, the chorus personality should be consistently expressed and portrayed in everything: costumes, repertoire, performance styles, etc. Sweet Adelines International is made up of hundreds of choruses, quartets, and individual singers, each of whom contributes a unique sound and presence. Your chorus culture is an ever-evolving reflection of your collective beliefs, values, goals, and habits. It’s important to evaluate your culture so that you feel confident in who you are and recognize the importance of the particular gifts only you can bring to your audiences and to the Sweet Adelines community.

Introducing the Sweet Adelines International Philanthropy Department The Sweet Adelines International Philanthropy Department oversees the many programs and projects that allow our organization to thrive while supporting our mission. To get to know a bit more about the members of our philanthropy department, we asked them to tell about their role and share a song that is meaningful to them.


Susan Smith is the Sweet Adelines International Director of Philanthropy. As director, she is responsible

for designing, planning, organizing and directing the philanthropic program. Susan has been a member of SA for over 39 years, singing tenor in a variety of choruses. Currently, she sings baritone with Harborlites Chorus. Susan said the arrangement of You Are My Sunshine that she sang with Sounds of Harmony Chorus years ago, under the direction of Gerry Papageorge, “has always resonated with me because it has a wonderful message to convey about how much our lives are enhanced by relationships with others. It reminds me of the relationships we have as Sweet Adelines because we experience so much joy and happiness by being able to share our music.”

Becky Duncan joined Sweet Adelines International staff as philanthropy coordinator in March 2020. As coordinator, she provides assistance in fundraising logistics and general administration of the philanthropy program. She said Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World is meaningful to her because “it is way too easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and often it helps to step back, breathe, and realize what is truly important in life and what a wonderful and amazing world we are a part of.”

To find out more about philanthropy at Sweet Adelines International, visit

Learn Something New! Sweet Adelines Online Education Portal

New content is added frequently, from vocal exercises to virtual rehearsal resources. There’s something for every singer! Here’s just a sample of what you’ll find:

• “Breathing for Singing" with International Faculty Bec Hewitt

• "The Importance of Interval Singing" with International Faculty Kim Wonders

• “Developing Consistency Through Mixed Voice Training” with International Faculty Maggie McAlexander

• “The Power of Voice” with Jennie Morton BSc (Hons) Osteopathy, MS Psychology

• “Find Your Focus, Find Your Energy” with International Faculty Janie Tamarkin

• “The Voice Of Harmony” and “It’s The Music That Brings Us Together” Song Resources

• “OVERTONES!” with International Faculty Kathleen Hansen

• "Your Magic Head: A Paradigm Shift in Singing Efficiency" with International Faculty Debra Lynn

• “Physical + Vocal Warm up = Stamina!” with International Faculty Anna-Lisa Glad

For education resources available for public access, visit:

• "Recruiting for Your Chorus During COVID-19" with Raye Mahlberg, Region #25 Marketing Coordinator

To access the “members-only” content on this page, you must be logged in as a member. Not sure how to log in to the Sweet Adelines website? View the step-by-step login instructions published at the top of the webpage (includes screenshots and how to navigate our members-only education portal).

July 2020 |



PAYING IT FORWARD A talk with Lisbet Duponte about her recent estate gift to Sweet Adelines International


hen Stockholm City Voices Chorus is onstage, audiences expect something special. The Nordic Light Region #32 chorus is known for beautiful harmony, innovative show packages, and stunning costumes. It took many singers and supporters to create such a legacy, and Lisbet Duponte has been one of them from the beginning. The founder of Stockholm City Voices, Lisbet wants to make sure young Sweet Adelines have the chance to pursue the music that has brought her so much joy. That is why she recently made an estate gift to Sweet Adelines International, earmarked for the Young Singers Fund.

How did you first find out about Sweet Adelines?

When I moved to Sweden in 1975 my partner, Håkan Åkerstedt had started the first men’s chapter in Stockholm. He introduced me to Director Inger Lindstrand, who had started the first Sweet Adelines prospective chapter in Södertälje, just south of Stockholm, the Telge Chapter. I started singing in a quartet, the Beautiful Screamers, right away with Britt-Heléne Bonnedahl, who at the time was assistant director in Telge Chapter. She went on to become the director of Rönninge Chapter in 1983. [Bonnedahl retired from directing after Rönninge’s win at the 2019 international competition in New Orleans, La. (USA).] Ann Gooch (see p. 29 in this issue) came to Sweden to help us learn more about the art form, and in 1977 the Telge Chapter and Beautiful Screamers went to London for the international convention, where Telge was recognized as the first non-English speaking chapter in Sweet Adelines. Our quartet got to sing with the Bron's Tones, our idols, coached by Ann, and it was a highlight you can't even begin to imagine! At the end of the convention Ann suggested I go home and start a chapter in Stockholm, and having no idea what I didn't know, I did it! Do you have a favorite Sweet Adelines memory? Getting the charter for Stockholm handed to me on stage at the Directors' Seminar in 1979 is one of many. Inger and Ann had secretly planned it with then-President Ruth Uglow, and I remember Inger telling me to put on a dress instead of shorts.

Thank goodness I did! Being asked to direct everyone in singing Harmonize The World was an unbelievable feeling, and I remember seeing the hundreds of directors passing tissues around to each other. How did you decide to make your estate gift to Sweet Adelines, and what did the process involve? Becoming a Sweet Adeline has literally changed my life! I was asked to do things I never would have dared on my own, and I achieved a self-confidence that had a profound influence on my personal life and eventually that of my kids. Being on the board of trustees of what was then the Young Singers Foundation got me in contact with all the kids and young people who benefitted from our grants and scholarship, and working to start the YSF Silent Auction made it a no-brainer for me. When I made a will with my financial planner, I included a gift to the Young Singers Fund, and I informed Sweet Adelines International Director of Philanthropy Susan Smith, who provided the documents to sign. What do you hope your gift will do for Sweet Adelines? I have felt and witnessed personally what music and someone believing in you can do for your soul and your self-confidence, I want my money to give a young person that chance as early as possible in their life. It is my way of paying forward to someone else what I have been so humbled and honored to receive. The leaders of The Young Singers Foundation in the 90s, especially Julie Kendrick and Bev Miller, were and are my role models as is Ann, and it is my hope that the money may get someone involved in music at an early age, thus steering them on a path to a productive and self-fulfilling life. Estate gifts, like all donations to Sweet Adelines International, can be “unrestricted,” which means funds can be used as needed, or designated to a specific area such as education, scholarship, or Young Singers Fund.

To make Sweet Adelines International part of your estate planning, consult with your financial planner and contact Sweet Adelines International Director of Philanthropy Susan Smith at or 1.918.388.8040.


| July 2020


HARMONIZING THE WORLD: THE ANN GOOCH AWARD Additional funds for an international award


ince 2001, Sweet Adelines International has presented the Ann Gooch Award to a member who “significantly contributed to and is or has been a driving force in the development and growth of Sweet Adelines beyond the borders of North America.” The award’s legendary namesake recently contributed additional funds to award, helping to ensure continuing appreciation of members whose efforts help us truly harmonize the world. To say Ann Gooch has been instrumental in helping Sweet Adelines spread barbershop music around the world would be a huge understatement. Sweet Adelines International recognized her many contributions in 2012 when Ann received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from then-President Renée Porzel. Ann, who has a master’s degree in education from Florida State University, joined Sweet Adelines in 1960, immediately becoming a director. Though she never sang in a chorus, she has sung in many quartets and served Sweet Adelines International in many capacities, including as a coach, Certified Music Judge, and member of the International Board. She served as International President from 1975 to 1977. During her time as president, Ann focused much of her time on helping singers around the world form chapters, traveling to England, Holland, Sweden, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Singapore and Australia to meet with interested singers. In this issue of The Pitch Pipe, Lisbet Duponte calls Ann a “role model” as she describes how Ann inspired and assisted the first

Swedish chapters. In the January 2020 issue of The Pitch Pipe (“Bringing Barbershop to New Zealand,” p. 32), Bella a Cappella Chorus director Patti Cooke, recipient of that year’s Ann Gooch Award, describes how Ann helped establish Sweet Adelines chapters in New Zealand. “As a young bride, I really had no idea what New Zealand had in store for me but I am filled with gratitude that Ann Gooch made a whole world open up not only for me, but for about 700 sisters in song here in New Zealand,” said Patti. “I couldn't be more delighted to receive the award named after her.” In a January 2013 article for The Pitch Pipe (“Passion, Singing, and Harmonizing the World,” p. 29) International Past President Renée Porzel described Ann’s influence. “She searched out leadership everywhere she went in order to keep the program going and got in contact with any woman who expressed interest in learning more about us,” Renée wrote. “We are truly an international organization because of her absolute belief that this music must be sung by women all over the world. We are all reaping the benefits of her work today.” Ann’s recent contribution will increase the amount of the monetary award recipients receive for their chorus or region, helping them continue Ann’s legacy of giving singers around the world the opportunity to perform, enjoy, and ensure the future of barbershop music.

To find out how to contribute to the Ann Gooch Award contact Susan Smith, Director of Philanthropy, at or by calling 1.918.388.8040.

July 2020 |


GET TO KNOW YOUR SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL FACULTY MEMBERS Karen Breidert introduces the who and how of International Faculty

MASTER FACULTY Sharon Babb Britt-Heléne Bonnedahl

Karen Breidert Betty Clipman

Peggy Gram Dale Syverson

Kim Vaughn

FACULTY Lea Baker Patty Cobb Baker Jean Barford Nikki Blackmer Joan Boutilier Caitlin Castelino Alyson Chaney Debbie Cleveland Paula Davis Anne Downton Leslie Galbreath


Corinna Garriock Anna-Lisa Glad Lisa Greenough Kathleen Hansen Bec Hewitt Erin Howden Gail Jencik Deanna Kastler Lynda Keever Glenda Lloyd Lori Lyford

ou will be delighted to know that Sweet Adelines International currently has 48 members of the International Faculty. Ten of them are brand new additions this year, and seven have reached the top rank of Master Faculty. We also have nine Faculty Emeritae who have served us, taught us, and guided us so well in years past. You can find the online international faculty directory by logging into the Sweet Adelines website and going to Our International Faculty are proficient in a variety of musical and leadership areas and have demonstrated the ability to teach and train in musical and/or administrative aspects of Sweet Adelines International. They are ready and eager to share their skills, their experience, their expertise, and their passion with you, your chorus, your region, and the world! Choruses, quartets, and regions can contact them for coaching, for clinics with your chorus, or for regional schools. Generally, the faculty member will guide you in the planning of your event. You may have something specific in mind for them to teach, or you may want to inquire about their special areas of


| July 2020

Debra Lynn Maggie McAlexander Cammi MacKinlay Vickie Maybury Kim Newcomb Dede Nibler Mari Pettersson Marcia Pinvidic Diane Porsch Renée Porzel Judy Pozsgay

Mary Rhea Darlene Rogers Lynne Smith Janie Tamarkin Harriette Walters Kim Wonders Sandi Wright Heidi Zacchera

expertise. No matter what kind of event you plan, you can expect high level teaching or coaching, enthusiasm for their subject areas, passion for our musical style, and compassion for your attendees. They may also assist you in publicizing your event by listing it on their own websites and social media sites or perhaps producing a marketing video about the event for you to share on your regional website! Each faculty member sets their own fees, which will be individually negotiated. Remember that the International Faculty Program exists for YOU, Sweet Adelines! You are encouraged to hire these enthusiastic educators for your upcoming event. You’ll be glad you did! Karen Breidert is Master Director of Spirit of the Gulf Chorus (#10), member of the Education Direction Committee and International Master Faculty. She is a Past President of Sweet Adelines International (1998-1999) and a two-time International Quartet Champion (Jubilation, 1985 and "the BUZZ," 2005).

THE PIPE ORGAN AND THE CHORUS A director reflects on social distancing


efore I was a barbershop choral director, I supported my college lifestyle by playing the pipe organ at churches and directing choirs. Pipe organs, like choruses, are made up of many different types of pipes, and each pipe makes its own sound. Some are like strings, some are like trumpets, some are just a typical pipe organ sound. Some are bright, some are more “lush.” Some play loudly while others play softly. Each pipe contributes to the overall sound of the organ. Some organs are HUGE and made to fill theaters or cathedrals with a glorious sound. In Sweet Adelines, our cathedral organs are like our large choruses whose singers almost overflow the risers. There aren’t many of the larger organs in the world, so their grand sounds are well-known. Small organs are created for beautiful music appropriate for a chapel or even a home. They are plentiful, just like our smaller choruses. Each has a unique sound that is enjoyed by many, many people, though in smaller venues. The science of all of the organs is similar: Where you place the pipes in the chamber changes how it speaks out into the room (church, theater, home, concert hall, etc.) similar to how placement of singers on the risers affects a chorus’ sound. When an organ stop isn't playing well, or when it’s out for repair or cleaning, the entire organ sounds different. When the organist is preparing music, they get used to working on the sound with the stops that are available. If the organ repair shop reinstalls the organ stop at the last minute, the change in sound can be jarring. It's the same for a chorus. When a member is away for an extended leave or even for a week, the director gets used to the sound that is in

front of him/her. Then, the next rehearsal or performance, when that singer comes back, the sound changes completely. Last night on Zoom, I got to enter my “cathedral” after a long hiatus when Greater Harmony Chorus met for virtual rehearsal. I saw the organ in the choir loft, but I wasn't able to get to the console and turn on the blower. I admired each and every one of the pipes of the organ, and I remember keenly what they sound like. But I could only admire the organ from the nave of the church. I CANNOT WAIT until the day that I can climb the stairs to the loft, sit at the console, turn on the switch that says “wind” and hear the bellows fill with air. I CANNOT WAIT to hit the button that says “tutti” (all pipe ranks at once). I CANNOT WAIT until I hear the beautiful sounds of the Greater Harmony Chorus “organ” ringing the rafters of our cathedral in absolute splendor. I don't care if that one string pipe is a little out of tune. I don't care if that tuba pipe is a little louder than it was before. I don't care. I just want to hear the glorious tones of my pipe organ again. May each of our instruments ring out again very soon, no matter the size of the chapel or the size of the pipe organ. I can't wait to hear it again, and I miss it so. Michael Hengelsberg is Master Director of Greater Harmony Chorus (Region #17).

July 2020 |


CONTESTABILITY? SUITABILITY? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? (WHY DO I CARE?) An explanation by Certified Music Judge Lynda Keever


he Music Category seems to be one of the mystery categories. Just when you think you have it figured out, another element pops up that seems to be different than you thought. One purpose of the Music Category is to conform our contest music to a certain set of principles and characteristics that make our songs ring best in our voices. Another purpose of the category is to delineate elements of the barbershop song and arrangement that we singers can focus on and perfect to help bring our storytelling to life. Appropriately viewed, the Music Category is a tool for us to use to be successful in contest and to connect with our audiences. Two of the most effective tools in the Music Category toolkit, and perhaps two of the more confusing, are contestability and suitability. Though they may seem to be interchangeable, they are not, and each serves a distinct function in helping us to perform at our best. A brief explanation of contestability and suitability may bring some clarity. In an article from the July 2019 issue of The Pitch Pipe, Corinna Garriock gave us a clear explanation of what is required for a song and arrangement to be contestable. (Warning: Baritone moment ahead!) For purposes of this discussion, some basics: a contestable song has a 32- or 40-bar chorus with a recognizable and consistent form (ABAB, ABCA, AABA, etc.), a singable, memorable melody, and implied harmonies that lend themselves to a predominance of barbershop 7th and dominant 9th chords. Your ear will likely tell you if the song will “barbershop” well; familiar chord progressions and a comforting pattern in the rhythms of the phrases SOUND like barbershop to us.

What makes an arrangement contestable? Once the song has been determined to be appropriate to put into the barbershop style, the arranger must keep these things in mind: any measures added for intros, tags, or bridges must


| July 2020

be some multiple of four; there must be a predominance of Big Three chords (major triad, dominant 7th, dominant 9th); and the arranger must add well-chosen embellishments. There should not be too many embellishments or too much “vocal gymnastics,” or the arrangement begins to be more about the skill of the singer than about the message of the song. There must also be a musical high point, a meaningful message, and congruence between the lyrical and musical high point. (Okay. Non-baritones can rejoin us now.) It is possible to have a weak song and a strong arrangement, or a strong song with a weak arrangement. The two are separate entities. You will find the judge’s commentary on the song and arrangement at the top left of your music category scoresheet. You may see comments such as “strong contest choice” or “an okay song, though not strong as so many secondary harmonies are required. The arranger has done her best to get as much barbershop in as possible.” So far so good. Now, let’s look at the space at the bottom left of your music category scoresheet where it says “suitability.” You may have comments like, “good choices for you” or “Outside your skill set today.”

What makes an arrangement “suitable” This analysis depends more upon the quartet or chorus than upon the chart itself. To determine whether a piece is suitable for your group, you’ll want to examine a variety of factors. When considering a chart, these factors should be applied more stringently to a quartet than to a chorus, as there is room inside a chorus to “give and take” to make the best use of all singers’ voices. Even so, don’t neglect the analysis for a chorus; in most cases, a section will not rely upon just one voice, but in our smaller choruses, we may have one- or two-voice sections. In that instance, treat the analysis as you would for a quartet.

• Check the ranges in each part. The chart is not

suitable if it puts any singer outside her most comfortable, best quality singing range. You likely know whether your chorus or quartet sings “high and tight” best or “rich and mellow.” Your examination should also include whether the dynamics required by the chart can be sung with ease by each singer through the entire arrangement. If one quartet singer cannot manage that high loud measure because of its position in her range, don’t choose that chart. You want to showcase your ensemble’s best skills, not just show off one particular voice. (Leads, this is a hint: Just because you love the song, if it’s wrong for your cohorts, don’t compete with it!)

• Check to determine whether the song is backbeat or downbeat. If you are a downbeat ensemble,

you will do yourself no favors by choosing a song that requires a firm backbeat until that skill is in your “bag of tricks.” (You know which type you are.)

• Look at the lyrics of the song. Does it contain racially

or culturally insensitive lyics? Is it appropriate for your group? If you are no longer of high school or college age, it is likely incongruous for your ensemble to sing Last Night On The Back Porch. Conversely, if you are a young group, your performance of That Summer When We Were Young will likely not be believable, as you still ARE young.

• Similarly, if your quartet name is high-energy, you will likely want to choose mostly high- energy material, rather than loading your repertoire with swing tunes and ballads. Or, for example, if your quartet name is Nice 'n' Easy, a driving uptune like Toot, Toot Tootsie would be jarring to the audience Congruence is an element of suitability.

• Be mindful of the types of chords that appear in the arrangement. If you are a new ensemble starting

out, or an ensemble that hasn’t yet achieved B- score, you likely should not perform a song with loads of minor chords or chromatics in it, as these are tuning traps and may not be easily and competently managed by your group yet.

• Look at the vowels of the song. Most of us ring chords best on tall, open vowels (think Fire, My Heart’s On Fire). If your skill set does not yet allow you to ring chords on an “O” vowel or an “E” vowel, be sure that your intro and tag ends on a vowel you have mastered, rather than one that shows your unfinished work. This is another factor in your suitability determination. These are not the only elements that affect suitability, but they are some of the larger ones. If you still aren’t certain, check with your director or a music judge to help with the determination. As you can see, both contestability and suitability are important in choosing the best song for your ensemble, both for public performance and for contest. With a little additional investigative work before learning a new song, you’ll be using the tools provided by the music category to give yourself a better chance at success — which is the whole point. Happy singing!

Lynda Keever is a Certified Music Judge. She is a member of the Sweet Adelines International Faculty and 2008 International Champion Quartet Four Bettys.

July 2020 |



$1 gister b 00 y Au US g. 1, 2 D 020 a di nd sc rece ou ive a nt .

Sing the World with Harmony Travel! London “Sing In Harmony” Festival • July 17-23, 2021

$2399 USD per person/Double Occupancy • Perform with fellow Sweet Adelines at historic venues in London and Oxford, UK! • See the sights with dedicated tour managers. • Enjoy organized social events. • Meals, cultural events, ground services, and transportation included.

Featured Guest…2018 International Champion Quartet, Lustre! Harmony Travel will donate $100 USD per participant to Sweet Adelines International via The Overtone Society. Add on Tour!

Quartet photos courtesy of Sweet Adelines International.


| July 2020

Post-festival motorcoach tour from Caen to Paris with 2015 International Champion Quartet, Bling!

For more information, visit

Sing A New Song! Revive your repertoire with these song titles recently added to the Sweet Adelines International online store. (Jan. 11 – April 30, 2020) • Baby Sister Blues* Tom Campbell, I04919 • 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) Julie Gaulke, I04929 • Good Advice Don Gray, I04924 • Good Night Sweetheart Carolyn Johnson, I03834 • (Here I Am) Broken Hearted Carolyn Johnson, I03107 • I Want To Be Somebody’s Baby Girl* Tom Campbell, I04920 • In My Room Karen McCarville, I04935 • In The Bleak Midwinter* Carolyn Johnson, I04921 • I’m Through With Love Lynnell Diamond, I04643 • Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off Carolyn Schmidt, I01413 • M-O-T-H-E-R, (A Word That Means The World To Me)* Lauree Cogley, I04934

• Money, Money, Money Carolyn Johnson, I03866 • Mood Indigo Bev Sellers, I01560 • Phfft! You Were Gone! Parody Cris Conerty, I04936 • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Jim Arns, I04933 • Santa Medley* includes Up On The Housetop* and Jolly Old Saint Nicholas* Carolyn Johnson, I04925 • Super Trouper Carolyn Johnson, I03713 • Stand In The Light June Dale, I04917 • The Only Guy Can Make Me Cry Carolyn Johnson, I04931 • The Only Thing I Want For Christmas Joan Adler, I04928 • The Way Old Friends Do Karen McCarville, I04923 • When I Grow Too Old To Dream** Nancy Bergman, I04927

Songs arranged specifically for young voices: YW - Good Night Sweetheart, Carolyn Johnson, 103835 YW - (Here I Am) Broken Hearted, Carolyn Johnson, I04529 YW - In The Bleak Midwinter*, Carolyn Johnson, I04922 YW - Money, Money, Money, Carolyn Johnson, I03758 YW - Nowadays, Carolyn Johnson, I03753 YW - Santa Medley* includes Up On The Housetop* and Jolly Old Saint Nicholas*, Carolyn Johnson, I04926 YW - The Only Guy Can Make Me Cry, Carolyn Johnson, I04932 YW - They Go Wild, Simply Wild Over Me*, June Berg, I04930 YW - Super Trouper, Carolyn Johnson, I04548 * US public domain **This version contains an extra verse making it a better contest song. The MS6571, When I Grow Too Old To Dream, Nancy Bergman, version is the original version without the extra verse.

To order, contact Sweet Adelines International Sales Department at, visit, or call 1.918.622.1444 ext. 112 or toll free at 1.877.545.5441. Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CDT (2 p.m.-10:30 p.m. UTC)

July 2020 |



As of November 16 , 2019– January 21, 2020

DIRECTOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM Certified Director Janelle Peck, Coeur d'Alene, #13 Cindy Sheffler, Indi-Anna, #17 Melanie McGuire, Northwest Harmony, #13 Advanced to Harmony 500 Director Glenna Berdahl, River Rhapsody, #6 Jason Scriver, Sounds of Superior, #6

ARRANGER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM Beginner Arranger Level Rowena Harper, Waikato Rivertones, #35 Lyndal Thorburn, Brindabella, #34



— February 1, 2020 through April 30, 2020

Veronica Black, Heart of Long Island, #15 Norma Stratton, Palo Duro Metro, #25 Maria M.C. Godfrey, Northumberland, #16 Ann Barnes, Spirit of Syracuse, #15 Chris Peurifoy, San Diego, #21 Jean Bates, Buffalo Gateway, #17 Mary Lou Bales, Bay Area Showcase, #12 Diane Jones, Toast of Tampa Show, #9 Sally Ancell, Backbeat A Cappella, #31 Elaine Graham, Little River, #17 Jane Bergquist, Harmony on the Sound, #1 Judith Wabeke, Grand Rapids, #17 Shirley Walker Stinson, City of Lakes, #6 Janet Allard, Christchurch City, #35 Doris Huffman, Scottsdale, #21 Carlyn Barr, Liberty Oak, #15

DIRECTOR SEARCH White River Sound, an award-winning Indianapolis, Indiana chorus, is seeking a front line director. We are a mid-sized chorus of 35 enthusiastic and musically dedicated women looking forward to continued learning and growth with a skilled director. Please send resumes to

Barbara Ebner, Farmington Valley, #1 Anita Gohl, Chapter-At-Large, #31 Harriet Martin, Vienna-Falls, #14 Maria Lakman, Canadian Showtime, #16 Eleanor Black, Channelaire, #11 Bernice Riley, Harmony Roses, #4 Doris Sloan, Chinook Winds Show, #26 Beverly Moore, Casade Harmony, #13


DIRECTOR SEARCH Island Grove Chorus of Abington, MA, (twice winner of Audience Choice Award) seeks our next director. Rehearsals are Tuesdays, 7pm. Please email: with resume and references.


| July 2020

CORRECTIONS In the January 2020 issue of The Pitch Pipe, there was a mistake in the Chapter Longevity listing for Lady Shave Porvoo Chorus. Their 30th anniversary listing should read as follows: Lady Shave Porvoo Chorus, Finland, #32. We regret the error.

July 2020 |



The Date

Oct. 11-16, 2021

75th Annual International Convention and Competition St. Louis, Mo., USA

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.