The Pitch Pipe January 2022

Page 22

A Legacy to Remember

Celebrating our 50- & 60-Year Members

O

ne of the unique things about Sweet Adelines is the rich legacy of its members. Each year, we celebrate members who have been a part of our organization for 50 and 60 years — and this year, we even have three members who have belonged for 70 years! Joan Boutilier says, “I can’t imagine what it’s like to belong to one organization for that many years. I would guess though, that there must be an appreciation for — and an attitude of — lifelong learning in each of these members. I’m inspired when I hear their stories of singing, serving, leading and participating in their choruses, quartets, and regions throughout their lives. They have set an example for future 50- and 60-year members like myself!” As we celebrate twenty-two 60-year members and sixty 50-year members, we asked them what Sweet Adelines has meant to them. Themes of friendship, education, personal growth, and travel emerged. We are Sweet Adelines! The most obvious reason that Sweet Adelines brings members together is the music, but the phrase “Come for the music, stay for the friendships” still rings true today! Trish Holland, 50-year member, Chapter-at-Large, Region #5, said, “Even though relocating a couple of times, I knew I would have an instant group of friends as soon as I found a chorus.” The Sweet Adelines background is an instant connection that has enriched our members’ lives. Many of our 50- and 60-year members were introduced to Sweet Adelines by their mothers, and in turn, introduced their daughters to the barbershop lifestyle. This connection also allowed travel and adventure for our members. They told us stories of traveling the Amalfi Coast,

20

| January 2022

visiting China and South Africa on singing tours, singing at Carnegie Hall in New York City…all because of Sweet Adelines. Patsy Meiser, 50-year, Member-at-Large notes, “Music IS the international language. Being a Sweet Adeline has given me so many opportunities all over the world to meet, sing with, hug and learn about singers in other countries and how much we are alike.” Ringing chords is a universal sound! Sweet Adelines also provided these members with opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. Our 50- and 60-year members listed numerous roles they’ve had as Sweet Adelines: historian, president, communications coordinator, recording secretary, section leader, finance manager, master director…even a Past International President (Karen Koch, 60-year member, Chapter-at-Large, Region #5)! Multiple members mentioned being shy until discovering Sweet Adelines and finding their voice. Judy McAlpine (50year member, Lions Gate Chapter, Region #26) notes, “Sweet Adelines has provided me with untold opportunities that I wouldn’t have even thought existed.” The sky's the limit with Sweet Adelines! Musical and personal growth, friendships, travel, fun….our 50- and 60-year members have experienced the best of Sweet Adelines and hope others can experience this as well. Gayla Scott, 50-year member with Heart of Illinois Chapter, Region #3, expresses a common sentiment: “I hope to never hear the regrets of singers who wished they would have found this organization when they were younger!” Congratulations to our 50- and 60-year Sweet Adelines members; we are so glad you’re Sweet Adelines Strong!