From Our President
olden Gate, Sydney Harbour, Tarr Steps, Brooklyn, Tower, Forth, Mackinaw, Auckland Harbour, Norra Hamnen, Sunshine Skyway, Oresund, Golden Ears, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Rainbow, Tyne, Portage Lake Lift, Sweet Adelines International…. You may be able to figure out that each of these names belong to a well-known bridge — until you get to the last name! What does Sweet Adelines International have in common with the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge, the longest bridge over water in the U.S.? Or with the Rainbow Bridge, famous for its majestic view of Niagara Falls? How about the Tarr Steps Bridge, thought to be the oldest bridge in the UK? In my research of well-known bridges, I decided to look at what bridges symbolize. Not surprisingly, they can be thought of as symbols for travel and crossing. They can represent the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. In some cultures, crossing a bridge is considered a test of bravery. In fact, in literature, crossing a bridge often represents leaving behind the familiar and entering the unknown, where fictional characters find themselves in a new home with new identities. In movies, the passage over a bridge may signify a new phase of life. A bridge is also thought to symbolize communication and union. By now you probably understand why I added Sweet Adelines International to my list of bridges. For more than 75 years, Sweet Adelines International has provided a bridge for those searching for meaningful singing and performing experiences. By crossing the Sweet Adelines bridge, singers find opportunities for education and paths to leadership. Many people, myself included, discover they develop a new identity or tap into a part of themselves they didn’t know existed. Perhaps most importantly, the Sweet Adelines International Bridge has provided ways for singers to communicate, connect, and unite with others around the world, forging lasting friendships and relationships, all simply beginning with singing. For nearly two years, you and I have been looking and waiting for a way to return to our “normal” singing and performing lives. Perhaps, though, instead of trying to return to normal we can allow Sweet Adelines to be our bridge to a new phase of life.
Our bravery may be tested as we leave behind what has been so reliable, comfortable, and familiar to us. It could be that chorus rehearsals feel a little different at first. The contest experience may not be the same as in years past. It may take time for in-person events to have large numbers of people in attendance. We may experience changes, but with these changes will also come new beginnings. There will be some things which are even better than before! Like the magnificent bridges in my list, our bridge is strong, and so are we. What is most important is taking steps forward with optimism and encouragement from one another. We may find ourselves excited by what’s on the other side! We are Sweet Adelines Strong! In song,
January 2022 |