The Pitch Pipe January 2022

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Waikato Rivertones, Chorus National Award

Nelson Bay Harmony Chorus, Audience Choice Award

Fun at the Afterglow

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ew Zealand offered a unique opportunity to our members earlier this year. With its low COVID-19 transmission rates, choruses were allowed to continue to rehearse and perform while much of the world was in quarantine or lockdown. Recognising an exceptional global situation, Region #35 Education Coordinator Kerry Stewart asked me, Region #35’s International Board liaison, whether Region #35 might be able to capture the educational benefits of the evaluative feedback contestants receive through competition, even though 2021 regional contests were officially cancelled. As the Expression Category Specialist and an experienced panel chair, I seized this remarkable opportunity! “How about I invite the rest of the Judge Specialists to adjudicate a festival to provide participants level scores?” I then eagerly accepted Kerry’s invitation to serve as panel chair! From there, the creative and collaborative spirits of the Judge Specialists Committee, Region #35’s Regional Management Team and Convention Steering Committee, and our International Competition Services Department took flight! Harmony Aotearoa, Region #35’s 2021 convention, was held April 29–May 3, 2021, in Auckland, New Zealand. Performance videos were made available to the Judge Specialists via cloud services, allowing us to overcome the approximately 18-hour time difference between New Zealand and judges in four North American time zones. In many ways, it was a very familiar scenario as much of our

Symptomatic, Quartet Audience Choice Award

Gill Holmes, 2021 Spirit Award judge preparation is delivered and experienced via video. Using readily available, reliable, and familiar technology for the festival adjudication was very effective and provided the participants with the level score evaluative feedback they desired! Joy radiated from Region #35 members and leaders! Kerry Stewart commented, “We had a fabulous convention and got lots of positive feedback from our members. The weekend certainly exceeded our expectations.” “We were extremely lucky to have the Judge Specialists on board to provide feedback over the two days of performances”, said Jacqui Binnie, Region #35’s Convention Chair. My deepest gratitude goes to the intrepid and willing leaders of Region #35 and members of the Judge Specialists Committee — Beth Smith (Sound), Jana Gutenson (Music), Becki Hine (Showmanship), and Paula Davis (Judge Moderator) who recognised the unique opportunities to invent from necessity with a tremendous spirit of adventure! I heartily echo Region #35 Team Coordinator Leigh Whitelaw’s sentiments: “We don’t know how lucky we are, Mate!” Vickie J. Maybury is a member of the Sweet Adelines IBOD, Expression Category Judge Specialist, Certified Expression Judge, International Faculty, and Master 700 Director of Skyline Chorus, #8.

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