The Pitch Pipe
April 2023 | Volume 76 — No.4 | www.pitchpipemagazine.com.
Sweet AdelineS internAtionAl
Elevating women singers worldwide through education, performance, and competition in barbershop harmony and a cappella music.
Chief Executive Officer
Stacy Pratt Staff Writer
Joey Bertsch Staff Photographer
INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023
Thérèse Antonini, International President
Joan Boutilier, Immediate Past President Mary Rhea, President-elect
Jenny Harris, Secretary
Janice McKenna, Treasurer
Sharon Cartwright Vickie Maybury
JD Crowe Julie Starr
Paula Davis Valerie Taylor
EDUCATION DIRECTION COMMITTEE
Marcia Pinvidic, Chair
Joan Boutilier Betty Clipman
EDITORIAL REVIEW BOARD
Joan Boutilier Mary Rhea
Elaine Hamilton Kate Towne
The Pitch Pipe
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THE PITCH PIPE (ISSN 0882-214X)
Copyright 2023 by Sweet Adelines International. All rights reserved.
The Beginning of a New Era
A Journey Together
As we look forward to the beginning of a new Sweet Adelines year, I believe we are poised at the beginning of a new organizational era.
I have had the distinct honor and privilege to work with Sweet Adelines around the world over the last two years. If anyone ever doubted the resilience and resourcefulness of this group, I can lay to rest those doubts with concrete evidence from the last two years. Through personal tragedy and sorrow, through loss of income and community, through forced isolation, you have persevered. In spite of the restrictions placed on the very activity that nourishes and fulfills us, this beautiful four-part barbershop harmony, so many of you have found ways to continue meeting and connecting with each other.
I have been inspired and amazed by you, and you are now the inspiration for the future. The creativity, patience and dedication of every director among you who worked to keep online rehearsals appealing and productive have opened new doors and expanded our capacity for learning. Each chorus leader among you who found ways to let your members know they were not forgotten and remained an important member of your group has provided new ways for us to communicate our appreciation and affection for each other. Those of you who, as chorus members, reached out to individuals when they needed support and encouragement remain the most important foundation and heart of the organization.
The work I have seen from the many volunteers in our organization over the last couple of years has demonstrated to me just how talented and productive you are. You have embraced new challenges and adapted as we have continued to learn and grow, and I admire and respect the depth of your discussions and your desire to make recommendations and decisions with the good of the organization in mind.
Now it is time for us to move into the future together. To recognize the greatness in each other and the greatness of all of us together. To identify and let go of those aspects of our past that no longer serve our principles and purposes and to explore new ideas and approaches that support us more fully in achieving our vision.
Each of us can play a part in defining who we are and who we will be. We will be providing opportunities soon to engage you and gather your input. This is our organization and it will be more important now than ever that we all participate in every opportunity to share in the vision for the organization. Just as every voice impacts the sound of a chorus or quartet, every voice impacts the soundness of the organization. I look forward to our journey together.
In harmony and thanks (for everything you do),Thérèse Antonini
Sweet Adelines International
YWIH Video Chorus Contest
Enter by June 1 to win cash for your class!
And that's not all....
• Get useful feedback from highly skilled Sweet Adelines judges.
• Gain publicity for your school.
• Take advantage of a free educator kit, including a choice of sheet music for your singers!
For more information, visit www.sweetadelines.com/YWIHVideoChorusContest
Reflections on the Member Perception Study
Iam constantly amazed by Sweet Adelines. Whether it is through the work our choruses and quartets do to raise the level of their performances, the education provided by our regions, or the way our members take advantage of opportunities through online resources and in-person events like the International Education Symposium (IES) or International Convention and Competition, we see all you do, and we are committed to investing in you.
In 2022 we completed the first part of our Member Perception Study to get your feedback on where we are as an organization and what we can do to provide you with the best experience in Sweet Adelines. The next phase of the study will involve focus groups that test future plans for our organization. The Member Perception Study is available to read on the Sweet Adelines website.
The feedback you provided in the Member Perception Study let your International Board and Headquarters staff know that you want more educational offerings that relate to why you joined Sweet Adelines: vocal production and performance. The Education Direction Committee (EDC) heard you, and they are working hard to respond to your feedback so you can continue to grow and evolve as a singer.
We have several activities in the works to benefit our singers. First, plans are well underway for a full day of in-person education with an outstanding group of faculty at the International Convention and Competition in Louisville, Kentucky (USA). Please plan to join us on Monday, October 30th for a Monday Funday that culminates with a chance to sing on the International stage. Next, we are planning the 2024 Directors & Visual Leaders Seminar (DVLS) for July 25-28 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel right here in Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA). We also heard your feedback on the need for improved access to education when you need it and want it or when you are unable to travel. Plans for improving your current experience are moving ahead with the development of a new Learning Management System made possible through philanthropic support.
While reading the Member Perception Study, I was moved to see so many Sweet Adelines share that their personal experience as a member of this organization is important to them. You say
that membership in this organization is about shared experiences with one another on and off the risers – that our strength comes from our ability to harmonize, our dedication to education and competition, and our friendships.
As we end this fiscal year, I am proud to see how we have come out of the pandemic stronger than ever and with a greater sense of purpose. Sweet Adelines International will continue to offer you an experience that resonates with you. With your feedback, we will continue to move forward to create an organization that is vibrant, strong, and inclusive – and it all happens because of you.
In harmony,Tammy Talbot, CEO
Sweet Adelines: Member Perception Study
Rebuilding With Passion
Introducing New IBOD Member Mary Teed
When Mary Teed joined Sweet Adelines International in 1979, she was the mother of four children under the age of 6 – including a set of twins. Invited to rehearsal by a chorus member, Mary says she accepted right away because “I had so many kids! I needed to do something for me.”
Mary sang with North Metro Chorus for several years until her family moved to Alberta, where she had no chorus nearby. When the family moved to Edmonton, Mary joined Gateway Chorus. Eventually, she became assistant director. In 2003, she accepted the invitation to direct the newly formed Alberta Heartland Chorus, and began the process of chartering. (They have recently changed their name to Alberta Northern Lights Chorus and are under the direction of Lisa Hunszinger with Mary as assistant director.)
“There was a novice director's school in Tulsa in January of 2004, so we hurried through the steps of chartering, and I actually walked our charter papers into international headquarters when I went for the Novice Director's School that weekend,” she recalls. “It was so special because the new headquarters building had just opened.”
In March, Mary returned to Tulsa to be installed as the newest member of the International Board of Directors (IBOD), appointed for a one-year term beginning May 1, 2023.
Mary lists many mentors and influences throughout her long career – June Dale, Erin Howden, Marcia Pinvidic, Cammi MacKinlay, and Dale Syverson among them. It was Chris Evans, then-director of Prairie Gold Chorus, who first encouraged her to take on leadership roles.
“What inspired me to run for the IBOD? Chris Evans,” says Mary.
Gateway had gone to Nashville to compete, and Mary sat next to Chris on the flight home.
“I knew Chris through regional events, but we weren't close friends or anything,” Mary recalls. “But Chris said, ‘You know, Mary, when I'm done with this regional director coordinator job, I think you should run for it because I think you'd be good at it.’”
Mary says that encouragement gave her the confidence to run for the position three years later. She served her region in that capacity and others for several years. At the international level, she serves on the Membership Retention Committee as Chair and the Song Assessment Tool (SAT) Task Force. When she got the IBOD appointment in December, Mary recalls, “Though I haven't seen her or talked to her in years, I wrote to Chris to thank her for telling me I would be good in a leadership role.”
Mary values the education, encouragement, and support that Sweet Adelines International provides. Inspired by how the organization kept strong through the pandemic lockdown, Mary looks forward to joining the IBOD at this historic time.
“I have a passion for this organization,” she says. “It’s my way of life, and l love to help people. I have lots of energy, lots of experience, and now I have the time. I think we all need to inspire each other and lift each other up, to rebuild after what we’ve been through together. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to serve this organization at the international level.”
Welcome Returning IBOD Members
Encouraging words from leaders
The Sweet Adelines International website defines the International Board of Directors (IBOD) as “the governing and decisionmaking body of the organization [with] the authority to spearhead all actions necessary to fulfill its purpose.” From strategic planning and program development to making decisions that affect all Sweet Adelines and outline our future, the IBOD members bring a wealth of experience to the organization.
The election to fill three expiring terms on the Sweet Adelines International Board of Directors (IBOD) ended on November 30, 2023, with the election of three returning members. Their term runs May 1, 2023 – April 30, 2026. Learn more about these newlyelected IBOD members and hear more about their goals for the organization.
Joan Boutilier, River City Sound, Region 3
Sweet Adelines International Immediate Past President Joan Boutilier led the organization through the pandemic with grace. As tenor of 2008 International Champion Quartet, Four Bettys, Joan currently directs River City Sound Chorus. She is also a popular vocal coach. For her dedicated service to Sweet Adelines, she was named the recipient of the 2022 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Joan writes, “I am honored to be able to continue the work it takes to fulfill our mission of elevating singers worldwide. It’s easier to look ahead now that we are able to meet in person again, but planning for the future is still challenging. The leadership lessons learned since 2020 are so valuable for propelling our organization forward to reach, teach, empower, and uplift our current and future singers.”
To learn more about Joan, read her profile on page 39 of the January 2023 issue of The Pitch Pipe.
Annika Dellås, Rönninge Show Chorus, Region 32
Annika Dellås began her Sweet Adelines career in Gothia Show Chorus. A move took her to Stockholm, where she joined 2020 International Champion Rönninge Show Chorus in 1990. In her long career, she has served in several chorus and regional leadership roles. She currently serves as a member of the Region #32 faculty. Annika says she is glad Sweet Adelines are back together again. Looking forward to her term on the IBOD, she writes, “Two words come to mind: collaboration and network. To build our network around the world seems to be very important in these days of uncertainty. We are strong together!"
To learn more about Annika, read her profile on page 9 of the April 2022 issue of The Pitch Pipe.
Vickie Maybury, Skyline Chorus, Region 8
Vickie Maybury joined Sweet Adelines at the age of 16. In an almost 48-year career (so far!), she has sung in quartets (Papa’s Girls, Brilliante, Radiance), been a charter member of a chorus (River Oaks), and taken on many leadership roles at all levels. She began directing Skyline Chorus in 1984, and in 2011, she became Master Director 700. When she joined Skyline, it was a 35-40 member chorus. Today, they fill the risers with over a hundred members. Known for her positivity and encouraging spirit, Vickie writes, “My goal for serving on the IBOD is to meaningfully contribute to serving Sweet Adelines International and its mission and guiding principles globally and to continue to promote the highest levels of singers' aspirations and artistic integrity through education and performances in our art form.”
To learn more about Vickie, read her profile on page 9 of the April 2020 issue of The Pitch Pipe.
A Legacy of Joy
Remembering Sweet Adelines International Donor Betty Garnett
In April 2021, Betty Garnett shared several reasons why she
and learning how to ‘sell’ a song. Being able to synchronize choreography and expression with music. Improving my posture and ability to breathe deeply. The pleasure of traveling all over the U.S. to attend conventions.
And, perhaps the most memorable reason is…
Establishing lasting friendships with Sweet Adelines wherever I happened to go!”
Betty joined Sweet Adelines in 1960 as a charter member of Monticello Chorus, which later became Skyline Harmony Chorus. In 2010, she celebrated her 50-year-membership with a gift to Sweet Adelines International and set up an estate gift for the organization. Upon Betty’s passing in April 2022, her estate gift began supporting singers of the organization she loved so much, continuing her Sweet Adelines legacy.
Betty’s obituary reads like an adventure story. In 1945, she joined the U.S. Foreign Service and served overseas in India, Argentina, Germany, and Austria. Following her overseas assignments, Betty returned to the United States. She took early retirement from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1972 and returned to her birthplace, Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she did volunteer work and attended James Madison University (JMU). She was later employed at JMU for 21 years. She traveled extensively, learned to play several instruments, did beadwork and art glass, and was an enthusiastic member of the Lewis & Clark Trail organization. With all of that going on, for 62 years Betty was an active member of Sweet Adelines International.
Long-time Skyline Harmony Chorus Director and friend Joan Henderson joined Sweet Adelines in 1997, immediately becoming
riser mates with Betty, a fellow baritone. She remembers Betty as a
“Watching Betty when I was directing taught me what I was looking for,” says Joan. “She had the most amazing smile, and she performed so naturally. Her body did the right thing, her hands were involved but not obtrusive. She was so involved in the music, and to this day, I have never seen anybody who did it so intuitively without thinking about it at all. She was a natural.”
For Betty, singing and sharing barbershop was a lifelong passion.
“Singing barbershop was an overwhelming passion that kept her alive and young for all those years, with all those people that she sang with and all the folks that she taught,” says Joan. “Her overriding passion for Sweet Adelines was so attractive and so engaging that she could sell Sweet Adelines to anybody! After a performance, I'd see her actively recruiting people in the audience. She was charming and bright, and there was everything to love about Betty. She was the ultimate Sweet Adeline.”
Thanks to Betty’s generosity of spirit, knowledge, and resources, her legacy will continue to resonate through Sweet Adelines International for years to come. To find out more about how to leave a legacy gift, please contact Susan Smith, Chief Philanthropy and Administrative Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Demystifying the Song Assessment Tool:
Making the Connection
Part 2 of a two-part series on the Song Assessment Tool
To explore the "benefits" of the Song Assessment Tool, we recommend viewing the second brief video in the 8-part series, Song Assessment: A Closer Look. Find links to the complete series on the SAT web page.
In Part I of this series, Demystifying the Song Assessment Tool: an Origin Story (The Pitch Pipe, January 2023), we reviewed the origin of Sweet Adelines International’s Song Assessment Tool (SAT). In Part II, we will explore its value in enhancing our effectiveness, and our experience, as performers.
Along with the Chorus Toolkit, the SAT is one of the unique tools made available to Sweet Adelines International’s members in service to our Guiding Principles. What most distinguishes the SAT from other tools is that, when used as intended, the SAT provides an opportunity for immediate improvement in our performance by having us examine our performance choices through a different lens. It does this in two ways: first, by leading us to connect with our music through greater understanding; second, by helping us to connect more reliably with our audience.
Today, Sweet Adelines are more focused than ever before on authenticity in our performance. Being authentic – being genuine, and believably so – requires being emotionally connected with what we’re singing. Our connection to a song depends largely on our understanding of what the song means to us. What story is it telling, if any? What mood or experience does it evoke? Is there anything in my own life or experience that the song brings forward? The SAT provides an opportunity for us to understand the answers to these questions more fully.
Just as important as our connection to a song is understanding what the song may mean to others in our ensemble and how they may respond to the questions described above. The first section of the SAT addresses the song’s history and racial considerations, if any. The second section of the SAT assesses non-racial Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) elements. Using the SAT helps us assess a song’s potential reception by providing material for ensemble discussion. This discussion is critical to ensure unity and cohesiveness in the message we convey as we sing.
Similarly, the SAT also provides an opportunity to understand whether a song contains elements that do not match who we are as individuals, as an ensemble, or as an organization. In some instances, the lyrics or historical or cultural context of a song can evoke painful or alienating experiences for us. It is difficult to authentically connect with a song – and with our ensemble – when we are feeling discomfort. To accurately gauge how everyone in an ensemble is feeling, it is important to maintain safe and honest paths of communication so that all feel comfortable sharing who they are and their personal connection (or disconnection) with a song.
If what we learn about a song suggests that it or any of its aspects do not align with ourselves or our ensemble, we can make artistic choices that facilitate connection instead. These choices can be big, such as changing songs entirely or choosing a different costume or emcee work, or subtler choices, like minor adjustments to lyrics, costumes, or makeup.
Calling In the Audience
Our main objective as performers is to communicate. We seek to inspire an emotional reaction from our audience: laughter, tears, awe, and more, depending on the song. Like authenticity, emotional communication depends upon connection. It is our responsibility as communicators to reach out and meet the
audience wherever they are. To that end, the SAT offers a peek into the minds of our prospective audience. How might they experience our performance? Does that match up with how we intend for them to experience it? This consideration is always top-of-mind for SAT assessment work group teams as they evaluate submissions. The teams go to great lengths, supplementing research where necessary and engaging in discussions amongst the teams, in order to ensure that all aspects of a submitted song and its message are carefully considered.
If it is not clear that the audience’s potential experience will match our intention, we can make new choices to strengthen our communication. Again, this can mean choosing different music entirely or making other changes such as adjusting lyrics or vocal effects or clarifying context by adding an introductory script.
In this way, the SAT supports our effort to bring the audience into that magical, shared musical moment we’re all striving for.
We Need You!
Are you inspired to serve our organization in its important DEI mission? You need not be a DEI expert. All that is required is a passion to foster a culture of belonging.
Email email@example.com to learn how you can join one of the Song Assessment Work Group teams!
Adelina Zottola has been a member of Sweet Adelines International since 1999 and is chair of the Song Assessment Tool Subcommittee. She sings baritone with Scottsdale Chorus in Region 21 and tenor in a comedy quartet.
Bridget Barrett is a member of the Sweet Adelines International Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Council, and serves as the Membership Coordinator for Region 11. She sings baritone in Santa Monica Chorus and in Crush Quartet.
The Song Evaluation Database (SED) of the SAT has been upgraded! Log into the Sweet Adelines International website to see the new and improved SED.
Sing. Cry. Repeat.
Tips for Performing Songs With Strong Emotion
This past November, standing on the risers in a new state-ofthe-art but intimate theater, the lights went dark and I heard my section leader begin her solo introduction to One Voice, an arrangement by Joni Bescos. I stood on the back row of risers listening as the rest of her quartet, Sound Advice, joined her in this emotional opener to our show. When the lights came up and it was time for the Vienna-Falls Chorus to join them, I could not sing. Instead, I had to swallow to keep a flood of emotions in check for the rest of the song.
While my experience that day felt like a sneak attack, perhaps it should not have been a surprise after all we’ve experienced these past few years. During the pandemic, didn’t we all miss the joy of singing together and feeling those “goosebumps” moments that barbershop harmonies create? Or was it grief that got “stuck in my throat” that day? My 92-year-old father, who had recently told me that the time spent singing with his community chorus “were some of my best years,” had passed away a few months earlier.
Since his passing, I’ve been leaning into my singing hobby – a sort of self-prescribed “barbershop therapy” – and I find songs like One Voice and others of pure human emotion the most healing. But I needed to know how to deliver emotionally authentic performances of these songs without going into emotional overload again.
Create a Safe Place
The featured guest quartet at our chorus show that day was Presto. At the end of the evening, I asked them if they had any advice for dealing with emotional overload when singing. Jen Cooke, Presto’s lead, locked eyes with me, so I knew her advice was coming straight from the heart when she said that the key was repetition -- singing the song over and over again – and allowing yourself to feel the emotions until you get to a point where you can sing with control. Despite Jen’s heartfelt advice, I heard my brain, (thinking that sounded too emotionally difficult) ask, “Can’t I just imagine that everyone in the audience is naked?”
Later that month, I attended a Singer’s Symposium webinar called A Performer’s Guide to Metamorphosis with Debra Lynn, Nikki Blackmer, and Åsa Bergh Fagerström. During the Q&A portion, I asked what suggestions they might have for me as my emotions continued to bubble up on certain songs and for certain audiences.
Åsa, who works as a psychotherapist, offered the following: “There’s a saying in psychology that ‘what you resist, persists,’ so don’t try to push it away. Sing it many times – maybe on your own -- and dare to feel all the feelings, all the emotions, even if you can stand it for only 30 seconds at a time. The only way [to recover] is to actually feel and allow the feelings over and over again until you can hold them.”
Åsa went on to share her own experience about singing at the funeral of a family member.
“I couldn’t even think about the song without crying, but I allowed myself to sing it and cry, and sing it and cry, and sing it and cry until I could actually sing it and feel sadness, but love as well,” she said. “Then I could share the story from a safe place in my heart.”
Nikki also shared from her own experience.
“Sometimes grief has made me lose my voice for a bit, where
I just felt like I couldn’t sing anything for a while, which I had to honor,” she said.
Find the Wall
Nikki agreed with Åsa’s advice and layered on the concept of dealing with memories. I found this helpful as it seemed to add a filter option that could soften some of my emotions.
“Sing the songs that make you feel the things, but maybe not with other people around,” she said. “Sing them a lot to feel the feelings and to have the memories, then, when you are with people, you’ll know what memories you can have around to keep it genuine, emotional, authentic, and true but not lead you to grief. Find the good memories that are safe to come in when you’re on the stage.”
Debra shared a concept that her teacher used to use with her. Learn where “the wall” is from practicing by yourself, and learn what is “too far.”
“You train the body to know where the wall is,” said Debra. “You can go up to the wall or that level of emotion, and if you practice by yourself and you keep doing it, you’ll feel what is too far. It’s not that you make the feelings go away. You trust yourself to go up to the wall.”
To be honest, even asking this question of the panel members brought on a flood of emotions, so I was especially grateful for this supportive, virtual community.
I continued to lean into all things barbershop, and after watching San Diego Chorus Director Kathleen Hansen’s interview of a cappella composer/producer Deke Sharon on her YouTube channel, I read his book The Heart of Vocal Harmony: Emotional Expression in Group Singing. In the chapter titled “Triggers,” the author’s analogy reassured me that controlling my emotions during a performance was a skill that would return with practice.
“The biggest challenge is to dial up the appropriate amount of the emotion you seek,” Deke writes. “Some memories, especially those that are recent or involve the loss of a loved one, can quickly overwhelm us. Others are delicate and distant, requiring us to focus and delve deeper to bring up the mood. Consider the gas pedal on your car: sometimes you’re driving uphill, sometimes downhill, and the latter requires less effort from your engine. Sometimes you need no effort, only the steering wheel, as gravity will pull you along as quickly as you need to go. Sometimes you even need to apply the brake. So it is with emotions as well. You’re in the driver’s seat with the tools you need to get where you want to go. With experience, you’ll become a good driver.”
Whether my emotions that day on the risers stemmed from joy or from grief or from both, I’m taking in the wisdom of these talented performers, and I see in my future more authentic and heartfelt performances…where I actually sing.
Jean Imai sings lead with Vienna-Falls Chorus (#14).
“Consider the gas pedal…”
Hunter Women of Note Chorus
An Up and Down History Leads to Charter
Aposter appeared in February 2015 on the notice board at Palm Lake Resort, an over-50 community, located in Fern Bay, a small area just north of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. The message invited any interested ladies to come to an informal afternoon tea in the clubhouse to discuss the possible formation of a singing group. Fourteen curious women showed up to chew over the brownies and the possibilities. Amongst them was Sandy O’Neill, recently retired from Sydney and missing the Sweet Adelines life she had shared with Endeavour Harmony Chorus for the previous 14 years. It was she who had placed the notice.
The women eagerly compared music preferences (wide), singing performances (limited), vocal skills (at best, learned in primary school), and knowledge about creating/managing a music group (none). They acknowledged that, though forming such a group was an excellent idea, significant guidance would be required!
close the meeting. Then one lady plaintively asked, “Aren’t we going to sing something?” So began the first music produced by the fledgling group that eventually became Hunter Women of Note Chorus. With no advance notice, and without any harmony except by one or two who were “natural” harmonisers, the group sang You Are My Sunshine, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and Edelweiss – a very modest start, but it got us started!
Then began what is probably the longest period as a prospective chorus in Sweet Adelines history! Though we knew a short prospective period was what many other choruses preferred, we were in no hurry to push the Steps to Chartering along quickly. Both director and members needed time to mature in barbershop. The wonderful support provided both by Region 34 and Sweet Adelines International – including personal attention to our particular needs, guidance on how and what to do next, fabulous ready-made resources, practical workshops and learning experiences, and wise advice from knowledgeable people – was ongoing throughout our journey.
Sandy explained that she was familiar with an organisation that was ready and able to help: Sweet Adelines International. From her experience as chorus team coordinator, six years as the Region 34 team coordinator, and six years on the regional education faculty, she enthusiastically outlined the advantages of becoming part of the barbershop community: the joy of singing beautiful chords together, the thrill of developing a cappella skills, the excitement of singing for appreciative audiences, and the friendships that become lifelong after sharing chorus experiences. Without much more encouragement, these ladies were sold on the idea, and Sandy was appointed – with absolutely no previous experience –to the role of director.
Having settled some of the work-a-day matters such as when and where to have the first practice session, Sandy prepared to
From July 2015, when International confirmed acceptance of the name Prospective Fern Bay Women of Note Chorus, we rode the ups and downs of musical development. The chorus passed our Step One music visit in September 2017 and, after several extensions and two years of COVID restrictions, we were finally recommended for charter at our Step Two music visit in October 2022. On 7 November 2022, we officially gained chartered status.
It has been exciting and rewarding, this up-and-down ride! One challenge included having a director with no formal music training nor directing experience. However, the Region 34 Director Mentor Program provided an experienced, warm-hearted,
an excellent idea...
...we rode the ups and downs of musical development.
and practical guide in Kali Caramia, then director of Indian Blue Chorus, to help Sandy along the way. In addition, many talented coaches in the region were frequent visitors, generously sharing their tremendous talents.
Another challenge was the very limited vocal skills of the early members, and their need for time to grow into the demands of chorus life and a cappella singing. The chorus had a fairly constant turnover of members in those days, resulting in often having to go back to basics to bring the newer people along on the journey.
Fate was on our side...
Though it seemed at first to be a big backward step, the forced move to another venue after three years of rehearsing at Palm Lake Resort was actually an unexpected bonus. Fate was on our side, and we found a new rehearsal location that is considerably more central to the chorus heartbeat, in the major city, Newcastle, NSW. This change meant our recruitment efforts could stretch further afield and be more effective. Before long we could boast members from all corners of the widespread Hunter region, from up to 60 km away. This resulted in a change of name to Hunter Women of Note (HWON).
The “ups” in our history included all the great things Sandy had promised on day one. Long before we could announce we were Sweet Adelines, we provided modest sing-outs for residents at retirement facilities and other small performances. Slowly our musical skills evolved, and we were always enthusiastically received by clubs, women’s groups, community organisations, etc., which bolstered both our confidence and our abilities.
Drawing on the willing assistance of our nearest Sweet Adelines, Coastal A Cappella Chorus (about 120 km away), we were able to hold workshops and performances that showcased barbershop music. We also made good friends with the men’s barbershop chorus in Newcastle, the Novatones Chorus, and over the years have shared many show stages with them.
Chorus life is never boring, never predictable, and never without value! Exciting developments in the last few months include the addition of a co-director, Jan Stitz (formerly our talented assistant director) to share the upfront work with Sandy, and purchasing proper risers. Knowing that the experience will deepen our connection with Sweet Adelines, we are currently working to get all our ducks in a row so we can compete at the Region 34 Convention in May.
HWON has grown to 30 members who have, as promised, become fast friends as well as chorus buddies. Our chorus culture is open and welcoming, and we live by our values of Joyfulness, Contribution, Possibility, Commitment, and Inclusivity. We are confident and well-received performers in the Hunter region, and we plan to extend our reputation further in the coming year.
The future is bright – no doubt still offering both ups and downs, but also opening doors of many varieties to all HWON Chorus members!
Sandy O’Neill directs Hunter Women of Note Chorus (#34).
Interested in starting your own prospective chorus? Whether you have a group of interested singers already or just a whisper of interest, Sweet Adelines International is at the ready with information and resources! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an Introduction to Chartering packet.
BRAND NEW RESOURCES TO IGNITE YOUR SOUND!
If your chorus or region has a recruitment or retention idea to share, send it to email@example.com for potential inclusion in the Ignite the Sound database
Take the Guess Work Out of Guest Night Bridges of Harmony
Four singers joined Bridges of Harmony Chorus at the end of their "Sing into Summer" Program. The multiple rehearsal "event" culminating in a grand performance is increasing in popularity — and this strategy works! Find out how Bridges of Harmony used social media to promote their program and what they did to make their program a success.
Rebranding: Before and After Vocal Harmonix
Does your chorus want to revamp its image? Check out the steps Vocal Harmonix (formerly Red Rose City Chorus) took to Ignite their Sound with a brand new name and look, leading to 12 interested singers at their next membership drive.
Show and Share Winners
More than 80 choruses competed in the Show 'n' Share Micro-Contest to win $1,000 USD. To qualify, choruses submitted event publicity that clearly showed their affiliation with Sweet Adelines International.
Valentines from Adelines
Congratulations to the winners of the Ignite the Sound Valentines for Adelines Micro-Contest! To enter, quartets posted their February 2023 performances on social media with #SweetAdelines. Four quartets were chosen at random to win $250 USD each.EarBuds, Region #5 PHX, Region #21 Vivace, Region #4
On the risers, we show our best to the world.
Beyond the risers, we bring our cares to our friends.
On the risers, we are precise, practiced, nearly perfect.
Beyond the risers, we are learning, trying, sometimes wrong, always loved.
On the risers, we are singers.
Beyond the risers, we are confidants, mentors, teachers, and learners.
On the risers, we are Sweet Adelines International.
Beyond the risers, we are, too…but what does that mean?
We want you to show us! Send a paragraph describing how your chorus creates a culture that inspires a sense of community.
Your chorus could win $1,000! For details, visit www.sweetadelines.com/membership/micro-contest
Where We Sang
Harmony Roundup is a place to share your adventures and achievements!
Several Sweet Adelines sang national anthems at sporting events: The U.S. national anthem was sung by Pride of Portland Chorus (#13) at a Portland State University football game; Cincy Noteables Quartet (#4) at a Xavier University basketball game; Springfield Metro Chorus (#25) at a Missouri State University basketball game; Greater Harmony Chorus (#17) at a Duquesne University basketball game; Upbeat Quartet (#6) at a St. Cloud Norsemen hockey match; OK City Chorus (#25) at a University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics meet; Valley Chords Chorus (#1) at a Dartmouth College hockey match; Merrimack Valley A Cappella Chorus (#1) at a University of Massachusetts-Lowell men’s hockey match; and Sapphire Sound Quartet (#4) at a West Virginia University basketball game. The Swedish national anthem was performed numerous times by Pulse Quartet (#32) at the Beijer Hockey Games. Oregon Coast Chorus (#12) sang in a former lighthouse keeper’s cottage at the Haceta Head Lighthouse Victorian Christmas Celebration. Capitaland Chorus (#15) performed at the Albany Chef’s Food and Wine Festival Grand Gala. A Cappella West Chorus (#34) performed at the Town of Cottesloe Australia Day celebration.
How We Sang
Singing Unlimited Chorus (#31) performed at the Dialoog in Muziek (Dialogue in Music) event, which brings together singing groups of various genres. Rhythm of the Rockies Chorus (#26) performed at the Calgary Carol Festival. Queen Charlotte Chorus (#14) was grateful to receive a grant from the Infusion Fund: A Partnership for Arts and Culture, which allowed them to buy new costumes for regional competition. Raise the Roof Quartet
(#31) competed in the Saltash Music Festival. Upper Chesapeake Chorus (#19) received a grant from the Harford County Cultural Arts Board that helped them fund their rebranding.
Why We Sang
Island Hills Chorus (#15) performed for Women in Transition, an organization that "empowers people to move forward in their lives free of domestic violence and substance abuse."
Mendo-Lake Chorus (#12) participated in a local “Senior Summit,” where they performed, led a singalong, and discussed the health benefits of singing. Phoenix Chorus (#31) performed at the Bedford Christmas Tree Festival, a fundraiser for local charities. Saratoga Soundtrack Chorus (#15) collected many donations of toiletries and canned goods for a local food pantry at their winter holiday show. In December, members of Surrey Harmony Chorus (#31) performed at three venues and held a show to collect monetary donations for St. Catherine’s Hospice in memory of chorus member Sarah Dodwell, who passed away in 2022. River Bend Chorus (#17) joined with another local group to present a Christmas show that raised $2,358.10 USD for a local therapeutic riding organization, Reins of Life. Wollongong Harmony Chorus (#34) sang at the Australia Day citizenship ceremony in the Wollongong Town Hall, and Geelong Harmony Chorus (#34) sang at two local citizenship ceremonies. Brisbane City Sounds Chorus (#34) sang at a citizenship ceremony at Mt Coot-tha. Spirit of the Gulf Chorus (#9) donated needed items to their local Ronald McDonald House, an organization that provides housing to families of hospitalized children. Kawartha Music Co. Chorus (#16) presented a donation to Crossroads Shelter, a shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Let us know what your chorus or quartet has been doing in your community. Email your submissions and photos
three greatbarbershop performances to the Dunsborough SongFest.
Moonglow Quartet (#13) won first place – and $1,000 USD – in the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Contest in Seattle, Washington (USA). Upon winning, they wrote on their social media, "We are sooo over-the-top excited!! This is a tribute to Suzy Buerer who arranged this song!"
Pulse Quartet (#32) (with substitute baritone Camilla Kornbeck from their chorus, Mälmo Limelight Chorus) performed at the Swedish Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the embassy’s Saint Lucia Day celebration. They are shown with their hostess, Swedish Ambassador Petra Menander.
Carousel Quartet (#31) received a medal for their performance at the Plymouth Music Festival.
HarmonyRoundupVocal Harmonix Chorus (#19) had a wonderful time performing at Clipper Stadium as part of the Extra Give charitable event. Rolling Hills Chorus (#13) sang both the Canadian and U.S. national anthems at a Tri-City Americans hockey match.
Sanctuary and Song
Sweet Adelines International Donor Darren Hurst
Scottsdale Chorus member Darren Hurst said, “My chorus has been my sanctuary, my escape, and something I do for myself,” in a 2022 video produced by the Sweet Adelines International Philanthropy Department. For over 35 years, Darren has sung lead as a Sweet Adeline. She wants to make sure the organization she loves stays strong and is there for future singers who need a sanctuary.
Like many singers, Darren first encountered Sweet Adelines at a public performance. She joined the small Beaver Lake Chorus (since disbanded) of northwest Arkansas after seeing them perform at a mall. She spent several happy years with them and says singing with a small chorus was a great introduction to barbershop and chorus life.
When a move took her to Arizona, Darren was excited to join the mighty Scottsdale Chorus. They had just won their second gold medal, the 1989 International Chorus Championship, and Darren joined in 1990. She has been with Scottsdale ever since, dancing on the front row for over 25 years and earning four gold medals with the chorus.
The medals are great, of course, but it’s the day-to-day effort that goes into them that Darren values most of all.
“My husband and I own businesses, and I had all three of my kids while I was in the chorus,” she says. “It was super busy and a pretty stressful life. Going to chorus rehearsal was this great escape. I always felt it was important for my children to know women could do lots of things – that a woman could be a mom and a business owner and do her own thing.”
For Darren, no matter how busy the week is, rehearsal is rejuvenating.
“Performing changes your whole demeanor,” she says. “Even while you're practicing, you're still performing, and it just changes your whole energy and everything about how you feel. At least it does for me.”
And that’s important, she says.
“As women, we don't always realize that we need to take time for ourselves,” she says. “We get busy with work and family and all of that, and it's really important to carve out time for yourself doing something that you love.”
Besides the creative outlet provided by Sweet Adelines, Darren appreciates the opportunity to take on leadership roles within
the organization. She is currently the Team Coordinator for the Region #21 Regional Management Team, the OPL (Official Panel Liaison) for Region #21 and, at the international level, serves on the Philanthropy Committee.
“Now that I’m retired, I can share my experience by stepping
she believes in the mission of Sweet Adelines International.
“I really hope that we will continue to move forward and continue to open doors for women who want to experience something that's special and unique,” she says. “I hope Sweet Adelines will be a place that is as safe and nurturing for other women as it has been for me. I hope we will continue to bring younger women in and that they will realize this is something that they can do throughout their lives, even if they come in and out of the organization while they're having kids or pursuing education or a career. I want them to know that Sweet Adelines International is always there for them.”
To learn how you can support current fundraising initiatives at Sweet Adelines, visit www.sweetadelines.com/give or contact Chief Philanthropy and Administrative Officer Susan Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org or Assistant Director of Philanthropy Becky Duncan, email@example.com.
Encouraging words from a baritone who knows
In the autumn of 2021, I began to notice that I couldn’t hear certain conversations from people. I kept finding myself asking people to repeat what they’d said or to speak a little louder. Eventually, I made an appointment with an audiologist who confirmed that I have mild hearing loss.
As most lifelong singers would be, I was devastated to get this diagnosis. So many questions and worries ran through my head: Am I good enough to continue singing? Am I a good enough baritone? Will I be able to continue to sing properly, with good quality, pitch, and resonance? When my chorus finds out about my hearing loss, will they no longer want me in the chorus? Will I have to stop singing and lose music, the love of my life?
Mild to moderate hearing loss is, for the most part, an “invisible” condition, which means most people can’t tell when someone is dealing with it. That can make you feel alone, but you definitely are not. According to Statistics Canada, “An estimated 54% of Canadians aged 40 to 79 (8.2 million) had at least mild hearing loss in the high-frequency range.” Many Sweet Adelines fall into that age range, so you may know more singers affected by hearing loss than you realize.
I have been a member of the Alberta Northern Lights Chorus
(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) in Region 26 for around a year, and since my diagnosis, I have learned that three other members of our chorus also have hearing loss and/or use hearing aids. At the Sweet Adelines International Convention in September 2022, I learned that Certified Music Arranger and 60-year Sweet Adeline member Suzy Lobaugh recently began using hearing aids.
“I can tell you that as a retired front-line director for over 50 years, I always paid attention to and accommodated my members with challenges, including hearing,” said Suzy. “That included riser placement, pacing, using appropriate sound equipment, and compassion. I now know firsthand the value of ‘good hearing.’ Fortunately, I am able to function well, allowing me to continue with what has been my life's passion, Sweet Adelines and all it brings to our lives. I have seen lives change for the better and feel grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of those journeys.”
Finding out that other singers were dealing with hearing loss while continuing to sing, perform, and even arrange music made me feel hopeful, and I hope my story will do the same for you.
I worked with a great audiologist, and I learned to use hearing aids. An internet search revealed several articles about singing with hearing aids, and I even found an article from the May/June 2022
issue of The Harmonizer that gives tips specific to barbershoppers. Learning about my condition helped with the hearing loss itself, but what helped me with the psychological adjustment was the love and concern of my chorus members and director.
I am lucky to have great support from my director, my section leader, my baritone buddies, and other chorus members. They give me the support and acceptance that I need, showing me that YES, I can still sing & enjoy all the benefits of singing (which is so good for total health and wellness), even with hearing loss/hearing aids! They are my cheerleader, and knowing I have their support, I am able to continue to sing and enjoy what I love to do as I learn more about adjusting to my hearing loss. This love and support is one of the key benefits of being a Sweet Adeline member: You have an instant family of people who care about you as a person, and it means so much, especially when you are facing a challenge in your life.
All the love and support, along with my own efforts to adjust to hearing loss, were put to the test when our Alberta Northern Lights Chorus competed in the 2022 Harmony Classic Division A Chorus Competition in Phoenix, Arizona. Not only did I help my chorus to a third-place finish, but our sound scores were the highest of all
Division A competitors! We were SO excited and thrilled with this achievement and milestone! And I couldn’t have done my part of it without the support of my chorus family.
I hope you will start conversations about hearing loss within your chorus. You may find out you have more singers dealing with it than you realize – and if someone is newly diagnosed, they will know that they have support right from the start. For those of us with hearing loss/hearing aids, we need to continue to share our stories and the lessons we have learned about singing with hearing loss. For any singers out there who may have self-doubts because of hearing loss, please reach out to a good audiologist, your chorus members, your director, and your family. With a good audiologist, determination to learn about your condition, and the support of your fellow singers, you can continue to do what you love – SING, SING, SING!
“Soon I’ll be in Louisville. I’m so happy I could cry. Here I come, Louisville… Louisville, KY.”
— Ella Fitzgerald, “Louisville KY”
Cheep-er Rates for Early Birds!
Stay in the Legendary Galt House Hotel
Meetings, rehearsals, and chorus events will be held at the Sweet Adelines International headquarters hotel. With sweeping views of the Ohio River, The Galt House and Suites is Louisville’s only waterfront hotel. All hotels in the official Sweet Adelines hotel block are located near the Convention Center, surrounded by restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
For all things Louisville, visit www.sweetadelines.com/Louisville
Sing on the International Stage!
Rehearsal in the Afternoon!
Learn It's The Music That Brings Us Together and be a part of the accompaniment chorus on the international stage following Chorus Semifinals.
Louisville is Happening!
Outdoors in October
In the U.S., October is Halloween month, and Sweet Adelines arrive in Louisville just in time for The Jack O’Lantern Spectacular, a display of thousands of professionally carved, lit pumpkins along a walkway through the wooded setting of Iroquois Park.
Speaking of walks, PoKY member Susan Taylor said, “I would love for our Sweet Adeline visitors to walk the Big Four Bridge across the Ohio River at night. So beautiful, and it offers a great night skyline of our city.”
Both the Jack O’Lantern Spectacular and the Big Four Bridge are wheelchairaccessible. See their websites for more information.
Live Music and Other Fun
PoKY members also recommend 4th Street Live!, a covered entertainment area right next to the convention center with a food court, restaurants, clubs, and lots of live music and dancing! For a schedule of music and events, check out the LEO Weekly, www.leoweekly.com.
Art and History on Museum Row
On Louisville’s Museum Row, you’ll find immersive displays at the Frazier Kentucky History Museum. The Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts hosts a robust calendar of exhibitions and events and offers a 15% gift shop discount for Sweet Adelines during Convention week. PoKY members also recommend checking out the art offerings at nearby 21C Hotel.
PoKY members are proud to recommend classic Louisville destinations, beginning with a tour of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum. The Formé Millinery Hat Shop is the official milliner of the Derby, and owner Jenny Pfanenstiel’s handcrafted creations can be admired (and bought) at her shop or at the Derby Museum.
They also recommend a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum to “see how we contribute to the best of baseball and to take your picture with the largest bat/glove in the world!” Louisville Slugger has provided bats for players from World Series champions to youth baseball leagues for more than 135 years.
Of course, Kentucky is known for the Bourbon Trail of distilleries, and Louisville has several. PoKY members especially recommend the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, one of several distilleries near the Convention Center. It was the first distillery on “Whiskey Row,” where Louisville’s bourbon industry began in the mid-1800s. PoKY members also recommend Angels Envy and Rabbit Hole, both within walking distance of the official hotel block.
Muhammad Ali Cultural Center
For an inspiring experience, visit the Muhammad Ali Cultural Center, which presents interactive exhibits on the life of this worldchanging Olympic boxing champion and humanitarian. Ali was born in Louisville (a historical marker notes the location of his childhood home), and he is buried in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery.
Eat Well in Louisville
Kentucky Hot Brown
“Louisville is a total foodie town,” says PoKY. They recommend a visit to the iconic Brown Hotel for a Kentucky “Hot Brown,” Louisville’s most famous dish. The Hot Brown, an openfaced, broiled sandwich covered in a rich cheese sauce, is a relative of the Welsh rarebit.
Vegan in Louisville
Louisville’s vegan options include V-Grits (“our own vegan in the chorus gives this her star of approval”), Heart and Soy/ Roots, and Shahar Café. PoKY members said most Louisville restaurants offer a variety of options for people who need dietary accommodations of all kinds.
Near Hotels and Convention Center
PoKY says there are “great restaurants in all food types and ranges” near the Sweet Adelines hotels and Convention Center. A few PoKY recommendations:
1. Doc Crows (barbecue)
2. Patrick O’Shea’s (Irish and bar food)
3. Impellizeri’s Pizza
4. Bearno’s Pizza
5. Sidebar at Whiskey Row (sandwiches/burgers)
6. Bristol Bar & Grille (“very reasonably priced, and the Green Chili Wontons are the bomb!”)
7. Mussel & Burger Bar (“exactly what the name implies”)
8. Proof on Main Restaurant (“very upscale and unique cuisine”).
1 2 4 3 5 6 7 8
Shop and Dine in NuLu
“NuLu” (short for “New Louisville”) is a short drive from the convention center. PoKY members say it is “a treasure trove of shops and restaurants in all price ranges and food styles, from awesome burgers at Grind, barbecue at Feast, and the most delicious Mayan food on the planet (try the lima beans!) at The Mayan Café.” They say “the best macarons are at the Macaron Bar, and our iconic Modjeskas (chocolate and caramel covered marshmellow confections) are at Muth’s Candies, which has been in business for over 100 years!”
Support Women-Owned Businesses in NuLu
PoKY recommends the “Woman-Owned Walking Tour” in NuLu. There are over 30 businesses on the tour!
PoKY especially recommends Work the Metal in NuLu. They recommend that you call ahead to see if the wine and dessert bar is open!
2023 INTERNATIONAL QUARTET COMPETITION
2023 INTERNATIONAL CHORUS COMPETITION
DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?
Perspectives from the Judging Panel
Have you ever wondered what the judges are listening for in your contest performance? All judging categories share some common elements: vocal skills, unity, energy, and ultimately, musicality. Judges evaluate each of these areas through the lens of their category. In the second article of a five-part series examining each of those areas, judges will discuss musicality. (You can read Part 1 on page 12 of the January 2023 issue of The Pitch Pipe.)
Have you ever seen the word “musicality” on your scoresheets and wondered what that meant? While the word “musicality” is specifically only seen in the Expression and Visual Communication categories, every Sweet Adeline judge comments on this area in ways that apply to their category. In the Sound category, musicality is addressed as “artistic sound.” In the Music Category, it is referred to as “musical artistry.”
The definition of musicality is “musical talent or sensitivity” and/or “a sensitivity to, knowledge of, or talent for music”. While this definition reflects a rather broad understanding of musicality, it contains two important elements we can focus on: talent (skill) and sensitivity.
“Talent”, in terms of musicality, refers to all of the technical elements each judge adjudicates, i.e. vocal skills, notes, intervals, chords, vowels, dynamics, tempo, etc. “Sensitivity” refers to elements that create a performance: embracing musical and emotional intentions (i.e. finesse and artistry), emotional connection, audience communication, characterization, interpretive and visual plans, etc.
Perhaps a more accurate and specific definition of musicality is the ability to use one’s technical knowledge and musical skill to create a performance that reflects the performer’s and composer’s authentic emotional, creative, and musical intent. Musicality is firmly connected to and influenced by technique, but also requires authentic emotion and the expression of it to truly deliver a musical performance that touches the heart. The goal is for both elements to shine as we perform.
Here is how Judge Specialists describe musicality in their respective categories:
Sound expresses and creates emotions; musicality is the performer’s technical knowledge and execution of their sound combined with the ability to reflect the emotional intent of the music. Technique and artistry go hand in hand to produce a musical performance. A mechanical delivery may be technically correct but will not satisfy the singer or audience emotionally.
Part 2: Musicality
Creating and conveying an emotional connection through the voice is valuable for ensemble sound at all skill levels.
The Music category is focused on the song and arrangement and the way it is brought to life by the performer. Musicality allows the performer to create an expressive and emotional performance by transforming the “dots on the page” into a true reflection of the composer’s and performer’s combined imaginative intent. Music judges (and audiences) can observe technical proficiency and yet not feel an emotional response to the musical portrait being painted by the performer. Musicality moves beyond the technical and touches our hearts with authentic feelings evoked by the performance.
Musicality is present in the Expression category when the performer is authentically and emotionally immersed in the musical performance of their message and lyrical plans. It is the golden thread that connects the technical and artistic elements of the category to effectively communicate the story.
Visual Communication Category
Musicality is achieved when authenticity in visual and vocal communication is shared with the audience. Performing with genuine emotion infused into naturally delivered theatricality allows the intent of the music to be brought to life – providing a strong audience connection and a magical experience for all.
As judges, we can hear musicality at all levels. The skill level of the performer colors the overall success of that delivery; however, every performer is encouraged to find the freedom and courage to share their music and message from their heart. When that happens, every listener begins to feel the intended message.
Real audience communication starts and ends with musicality!
This article was compiled by members of the Sweet Adelines International Judge Specialists Committee: Paula Davis (Moderator), Beth Smith (Sound), Jana Gutenson (Music), Vickie Maybury (Expression), and Di Porsche (Visual Communication).
Paying it PayingForward, it Back
Sweet Adelines International donor Peggy Leon
Sweet Adelines International donor Peggy Leon has a heart for young musicians. Maybe that’s because she was one. As a child, she and her late twin sister performed as a folk duo, The Viermann Sisters.
“We started harmonizing and picked up instruments, and then we started performing in public,” she says. “That led to a career in music for me. I taught for 31 years at the middle school and elementary level, and still today Rich Knight [Gas House Gang, 1993 Barbershop Harmony Society Champion Quartet] and I go out into the high schools and do a barbershop a cappella group. When I see the kids experiencing the joy that comes from harmonizing together, working together, and belonging to something it makes me very happy. It is part of my soul. I can't give it up.”
Peggy had known about Sweet Adelines for several years as a singer and music educator, but it wasn’t until she retired from teaching that she decided to join.
“After I retired, I captained a tennis team,” she recalls. “We were playing against a girl, and I wanted her to be on my team. I asked her and she said, ‘Oh, I'd love to, but I sing with a group.”
She didn’t think she had time for both, but when Peggy told her she sang too, “She was after me to come and visit her Sweet Adelines chorus. Eventually, I did, and I became a member. And she also joined my tennis team. So, yay!”
That chorus was City Voices, and three months after joining, Peggy was asked to be an assistant director. She sang with City Voices for several years, eventually becoming a dual member of River Blenders Chorus. Throughout her career she has held several positions, including membership and marketing coordinator for Region 5. Currently, she sings tenor with River Blenders Chorus. Peggy recently gave a generous gift to help continue Sweet Adelines International’s mission.
“I feel like I have the opportunity and the finances at this point to pay it forward and also pay it back,” she says. “People have been generous in helping me with music over the years, and now I can help.”
Always a supporter of young singers, as assistant director of City Voices, Peggy started a program called Sing at the Ballpark with a grant from what is now the Young Singers Fund (YSF). Several singers who later became barbershop champions passed through the program. Peggy says it stands out as an example of how the YSF helps all singers.
“We had champion barbershoppers come and work with youth, and then the young singers performed for City Voices,” she recalls. “I have to say, not only did the kids enjoy singing with the adults, but the adults were just the happiest. It just was awesome working together. As a donor, I want to make sure that more singers have that same opportunity.”
As a barbershopper, she wants to share the joy of a special art form.
“If you do it just right, you get that overtone – this awesomeness that gives you literal goosebumps,” she says. “It's something that you can't hear or do with any other kind of music. If we can get young singers to sing a cappella and then get them to understand the barbershop cone, we've exposed them to an aesthetic high.”
And to a great community.
“Sweet Adelines promotes joy in people's lives and also gives them a place of belonging,” she says. “In a world where so many of us are now working in our own homes, we need to have places where we can be together and feel safe. I think that Sweet Airlines can be that welcoming place that everyone needs.”
Singing Through Change: Women’s Voices in Midlife, Menopause, and Beyond by Nancy Bos, Joanne Bozeman, and Cate FrazierNeely is dedicated to mothers, daughters, and women who sing – all of us!
The authors are experts in vocal health and pedagogy. Nancy Bos is a professional singer and voice coach, and a member of the Pan American Vocology Association. A performing soprano (now retired), Joanne Bozeman taught studio and voice-related courses for 46 years, retiring from Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin in 2019. Cate Frazier-Neely is a mentor/faculty member at the Strathmore Center for the Performing Arts: Institute for Artist Development and Artistin-Residence Program and has extensive instrumental and vocal performance and clinician experience.
Singing Through Change combines the stories of 56 women (ages 40 to 88, many of them professional musicians) with clinical opinions of voice and medical professionals to analyze the female voice during the menopausal transition and beyond. The authors offer solutions or aids they have found to traverse this journey of physical change. They also convey the countless benefits that singing throughout life and its transitions bring to each singer. Several of the personal stories shared in this book are the stories of Sweet Adelines members.
As the authors explain, each woman’s vocal journey through life is unique. While some women may sail through menopause with little difficulty, many others experience various kinds of challenges including physical and vocal differences that affect their singing voice and, ultimately, their attitude toward continuing to sing.
Singing Through Change: Women’s Voices in Midlife, Menopause, and Beyondby Nancy Bos, Joanne Bozeman, Cate Frazier-Neely (StudioBos Media, 2020)
Some blame themselves for these changes in their voice without considering the many effects of the physical alterations they are going through. The effect of hormone changes on the female singing voice during the entire menopausal transition is still rarely studied and poorly understood.
Having been one of those who experienced significant challenges during this time in my life, I know firsthand that it is easy to blame and doubt yourself for vocal changes and just try to struggle through it. Plus, it is difficult to find helpful resources and professionals who are educated in this area. This book addresses issues singers may face as a result of menopause. It helps us all realize that we are not alone in these struggles and provides guidance toward strategies that can help during this life journey.
As lifelong singers, Sweet Adelines are ideal readers for this book. I especially encourage musical leaders and those who work with our singers’ voices to consider the observations, education, insight, and encouragement offered in Singing Through Change when working with ensembles. While our voices may change in various ways, singing throughout our lifetime “helps us, body, mind, and soul, to deal with the challenges we will all face.” This book will help us be both educated and gentle with ourselves and those who sing with us, knowing we all are in this together.
Davis is a past president of Sweet Adelines International and the moderator of the Sweet Adelines International Judge Specialists Committee.Paula
The IBOD Decision-Making Pathway
Reviewed by IBOD and senior staff to determine…
Ideas can come from almost any source – e.g. committee, task force, individual or group of members, staff.
Ideas are referred to appropriate committees, task forces, and/or staff for evaluation.
Approved recommendations are prioritized according to the Strategic Plan and Guiding Principles and assigned to the appropriate group for development or implementation.
Prioritized as part of…
The IBOD members vote on the recommendation. Members receive a report of the result.
When the International Board of Directors (IBOD) presents decisions to Sweet Adelines, they are presenting the result of focused decision-making guided by an intentional pathway based on the best interests of members. All decisions are thoughtfully researched, explored, discussed, and recommended before they are brought forth for a vote. Here is a visual guide to the IBOD Decision-Making Pathway.
Assigned to person or group to…
The appropriate committee or task force researches issues pertaining to the idea. Research is presented to the IBOD.
Sent to the IBOD (and external experts) for …
What impacts the timeline of IBOD decisions?
• Potential impact on the organization and members
• Complexity of the recommendation/initiative
• Magnitude of effort
• Financial requirements
• Staff availability and schedules
Until ready for…
The IBOD reviews all recommendations. Eventually, the IBOD will vote or may request more documentation before making a final decision.
• Availability of and ability to meet commitments by volunteer members
• Strength of the idea to support and further the strategic plan and Guiding Principles
Recent IBOD Decisions
Song Assessment Tool (SAT).
The implementation of the SAT is an example of how decisions can impact originally planned timelines based on interdependencies and organizational prioritization of needs within a flexible strategic plan. The SAT was originally included as part of the rollout of the Chorus Toolkit. The IBOD reached a decision to institute a rule with the intent of helping to ensure songs with racist lyrics, messages, or history are not a part of Sweet Adeline events. The plan to begin implementation of that rule for Regional Competition season 2020 created a more urgent need for which the SAT was ideally suited. The Diversity and Inclusivity Task Force was directed by the IBOD to expedite the rollout of the SAT prior to the rollout of the full Chorus Toolkit. The Task Force completed that delivery as directed.
Changing a judging category.
The pathway for changing a judging category is an example of an established decision-making process within a committee that highlights engagement by stakeholders and effective use of volunteers. Judging categories are reviewed and revised regularly as determined by the Judge Specialist Committee (JSC). When they determine the need for revision, the recommendation is sent to the Education Direction Committee (EDC) for approval. If the recommendation is approved, the JSC assigns a task force and provides a mandate with a projected time of completion. Once the recommendation is approved, the JSC examines and discusses the proposed revisions. If needed, the work returns to the task force for further refinement. Once the JSC approves revisions, they vote to recommend the category changes to the EDC for review. They may return it to the JSC with questions or requests for revisions, but if not, the EDC votes to recommend the new category to the IBOD for final decision-making. The IBOD then reviews and either approves the recommendation OR returns it to the committees for further development. Generally, a revision of this magnitude takes 1-2 years from beginning to end. An example is our recent category change from "Showmanship" to "Visual Communication."
Directors’ Resource Page.
The Directors’ Resource Page is an example of how a specific, highly time-sensitive need can be fulfilled when highly motivated, ideally qualified, available, and committed volunteers work in cooperation with our skilled staff. The demands on our Musical Directors during COVID left many feeling overwhelmed and isolated. Informal networking groups of Directors sharing tools and ideas became critical. To make those tools available on a global scale, a task force was formed to assist leaders in creating a resource for Directors. In very little time, the task force worked with staff to make the resource available to all Sweet Adelines Directors through the SA website. The page continued to evolve and includes resources available on a permanent basis.
IBOD Decision-Making Pathway:
Roles of Staff and Volunteers
When a decision to implement a recommendation is made, the work is then assigned to volunteers or staff based on the following criteria:
• Volunteer members provide expertise related to Sweet Adelines member experience (e.g. Judging Program, educational needs and planning, regional governance, chorus and quartet experiences, etc.) and create materials to be distributed by staff.
• Staff provides operational support for implementation and determines the processes that will support it. (e.g. competition registration, delivery of educational events, stage setup guidelines, etc).
• Staff oversees and produces communications to members and/or groups related to implementations.
• Volunteer members may provide input to staff for communications with members and/or groups.
• Staff maintains all corporate communication vehicles (e.g. social media, website, member information databases).
• Volunteer members may work with staff to prepare materials for corporate communication vehicles (e.g. Travel in Tune).
Volunteers and staff work together to develop feasible timelines and processes to bring the decision to fruition. Their work with the IBOD is invaluable to the success of Sweet Adelines International.
Virtual Memorial Wall
Honor the memory of a Sweet Adeline by having their name added to the new Sweet Adelines International Virtual Memorial Wall. Memorial donations help continue the legacy of our beloved members by providing funds for the events, education, and other programs that keep our organization thriving.
In Memory •
Ruth Goerge, Motor City Blend, #2
Maureen Holcombe, Valley Forge, #19
Ida Bilodeau, Valley Forge, #19
Teel Haas, Kansas City, #5
Carol Schroeder, Prairie Gold, #26
Eileen Gordon, Wellington City, #35
Ann Neess, Cincinnati Sound, #4
Mary Doran, Zumbro Valley, #6
Janette Lloyd, Solent Sounds, #31
Debra Kraner, Toast of Tampa Show, #9
Betsy Kaldrovics, Lehigh Valley, #19
Catherine La Fleur, Lehigh Valley, #19
Judith Traynor, Gateway, #26
Beth Meyer, Buffalo Gateway, #17
Chyrel Wessel, Chapter-at-Large, #5
Jeanne Boin, Bay Area Showcase, #12
Nancy Bergman, Mississippi Misses
Accolades as of November 1, 2022
DIRECTOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM ARRANGER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
Advanced to Certified Director
Glen Windle, Redland Rhapsody, #34
Di Jenkins, Circular Keys, #34
Lindsay Chartier-Holdeman, Note-ably North Texas, #25
Tamara Boggs, Top of the Rock, #25
Richard Lavene, Jersey Sound , #19
Sharyl Lim, Greater Harrisburg, #19
Candice Bassett, Pine Hills Harmony, #10
Deborah Keretz, Lehigh Valley, #19
Sheryl Neal, Harmony Central, #5
Wendy Hofmann, Heart of Missouri, #5
Jan Meyer, Spirit of the Gulf, #9
Jeanne Elmuccio, Liberty Oak, #15
Linda Olding, Dundalk, #19
Joy McGregor, Alberta Northern Lights, #26
Sherry Feller, High Country, #8
Wendy Hall, Canadian Showtime, #16
Kim Heilbrun, South Florida Jubilee, #9
Rowena Harper, Waikato Rivertones, #35
Lyndal Thorburn, Brindabella, #34
Joey Minshall, Westcoast Harmony, #26
We are a growing Sweet Adelines chorus of enthusiastic and friendly women located in Las Vegas, NV. We love to compete and entertain our community and have won both a 1st & 2nd place award in our Region 11 competition. Check us out at ladyluckshowtimechorus.org.
If interested, contact Lorraine Lederer at 914-441-9215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the January 2023 issue of The Pitch Pipe on page 35, the wrong arranger was attributed to the song Take The Next Left. The arranger should be G. Lloyd. In addition, a song was inadvertently left out along with the attributing arranger - Next Time I Love (L. Wright).
RiverOaks Chorus is a small Sweet Adelines Chorus with a 44-year history, looking for a new director that will help us grow in skill level and in membership! Our current director is retiring June 1
We are located in the central San Fernando Valley (Southern Calif) and meet each Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m.
If interested, contact us at 805-454-7464 or email email@example.com.RiverOaks Chorus Seeks New Director Lady Luck Showtime Chorus seeking Director
Four voices. Four parts. One heart!
HAPPY BARBERSHOP QUARTET DAY!
April 11, 2023