The Pitch Pipe January 2022

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Education EXPANDING THE DEFINITION OF WINNING

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ions Gate Chorus offered us a fabulous performance package in the 2017 International Chorus Finals in Las Vegas. In “How The Grinch Stole Contest,” after an intricate and clever storyline with outstanding singing, the Grinch realizes that no matter how she tried to ruin the contest, she couldn’t. Then the Grinch thought of something she hadn’t before. Maybe the joy of contest, she thought, doesn’t come from a score. Maybe the joy of contest means a little bit more. Oh, yes, contest can mean a little bit more! I’m not sure there has ever been a more significant time in Sweet Adeline history for letting this proposition into our hearts and souls. It’s been said that in school, you learn a lesson and then take a test. In life, you are given a test and then you learn a lesson. We have been thrown many curves these past few years, and our patience, tolerance, acceptance, health, and staying power have all been tested. If we have learned from this test, what is the lesson? In news stories, people often say the pandemic has taught them to look at what is really important. This has guided my thinking about Sweet Adelines as well. I have always cherished my chorus, but now I don’t think I will take any moment together for granted. I have always loved workshop weekends and events with other singers, but now I don’t want to miss a single opportunity

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to learn together and harmonize together. I have always thrived on competition, but now I think I will be able to focus on and celebrate what is really important about contests. This is a profound time for us to expand what success truly means. Medals, high scores, ribbons and crowns are all mighty fun. I long to be on a contest stage again soon, but perhaps my reasons differ from yours. There are three reasons that I miss competition and can’t wait to get back to it! 1. I need the judges’ wisdom and perspective. I so trust and respect our judges and the judging program, and their input serves as a yardstick for me. It helps me celebrate and affirm the things we have been working on and have improved upon, and see that they were noticed! It guides me to the areas where we can perform better. This may lead to higher scores, but it also helps us sing better for our local audiences, have a musical product that will attract new members and keep our own members thriving, and ring those chords even more. 2. There is nothing like a contest audience! Singing for your peers is a blast because they appreciate the work that has gone into your performance. They ooh and aah at all the right places and