The Pitch Pipe January 2022

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Strong, Focused, and Achieving Marcia Pinvidic

2021 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient


021 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Marcia Pinvidic loves to perform, but when asked for a cherished Sweet Adelines memory, she recalls a time when she wasn’t even onstage. At the 2014 International Convention and Competition in Baltimore, MD (USA), Marcia was Sweet Adelines International President, so she did not compete with her chorus, City of Gardens. She had been coaching them in the lead-up to competition, however. “They knew I was cheering for them, and when they won the Harmony Classic Division AA Competiton, it was almost unbelievable,” she recalls. “It brought me back to all the other times we had gone to contest. That win meant so much...not just the win itself, but seeing how all those years we had worked together had paid off.” In her roles as past International President (2014-16), Certified Expression Judge (and former Judge Moderator), and current Chair of the Education Direction Committee (EDC), as well as a director and coach, Marcia has influenced many Sweet Adelines. However, like all Sweet Adelines, she is, first of all, a singer and performer. It may surprise some people to discover that Marcia, so well known as a leader, is a shy person. Despite that, she has always been a performer. “Even as a kid, I used to perform for the reaction of the people,” she recalls. “If I could make my mother laugh, I was so happy because that meant she was happy. When I first started public speaking, I included comedy because I loved that connection with the audience. I believe making that connection with the audience comes back to you as inspiration.” Marcia sang alto in her school choir, and she says creating harmony has always been her favorite part of singing. As an adult, when she read that the prospective Arbutus Chorus was looking for low-voiced singers, she asked everyone she knew to attend the open rehearsal with her. There were no takers. “I finally decided I was going to go alone,” she says. “Looking back on it, my husband said he can’t believe I did it because I was so shy, but I just wanted to sing so much. That first night, they had


| January 2022

a double quartet singing Get Me To The Church On Time from My Fair Lady. I knew all the music, and I was just hooked.” Right away, she began singing baritone with Arbutus and became their corresponding secretary, dealing with all the charter paperwork, among other things. Eventually, she began visiting the City of Gardens Chorus and ended up joining — and eventually directing them for 12 years! On their 50th anniversary, City of Gardens changed their name to Pacific Edge Chorus, and Marcia still sings baritone there. Sweet Adelines mentors like Betty Clipman, Carol Persinger, and Past International President, Marsha Fulton, encouraged Marcia throughout her career, and she says their support was invaluable. It was Carol who suggested she get involved in the international Judging Program, telling her she was meant for the expression category because the way Marcia directs is all about emotional connection with the audience. When Marcia noticed the educational component of judging, she began to focus on education. “I really saw that education was the key to keeping us strong, focused, and achieving,” she says. “I wanted nothing more than for the music community to accept and respect us as a legitimate musical art form.” As chair of the EDC in the early days of the pandemic, Marcia found herself suddenly asked to coordinate even more education than usual. Thanks to the energy of Sweet Adelines, that was no problem. “While we were forming our plans, things started to pop up from our members,” she recalls. “They were leading the way, saying, ‘This is what we need,’ and we were pulling things together to facilitate that. The members wanted to keep going, keep learning. Quickly, we could see areas that we could work on while we weren’t singing together.” Marcia says having to sing alone for so long has given her an even deeper appreciation for what it means to sing together. “Singing alone, seeing ourselves on camera, we have discovered that the important part is hearing that harmony when we sing together,” she says. “That’s what drew me in the first place: I wanted to sing harmony. And singing in harmony creates friendships. That’s the real bonus.”