The Pitch Pipe October 2022

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Madison Avenue 2022QuartetContest

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OctOber 2022 | 1 20 Feel Good, Be Good: Noa Kageyma 34 Why Do We Sing?: The Health Benefits of Singing 36 Vocal Production 40 How to Choose a Coach 25 From Classical Singer to Choreographer 29 Accessible Education for More Sweet Adelines 38 "The Music Says It All" 18 Let's Ignite the Sound 32 Buffalo Gateway Chorus Ignites the Sound On the Cover: 2022 Rising Star Champion Quartet The Valkyries and 2022 Diamond Division Champion Quartet Madison Avenue. 22 IES 2022 10 Rise of the Valkyries 12 Red Shoes, Blue Ribbon: Madison Avenue 16 Queens' College 2023 Education Philanthropy Membership Events and Competition 3 From Our President and CEO 26 Harmony Roundup 44 Accolades 45 In Memory In Every Issue The Pitch Pipe OctOber 2022 | Volume 76 — No.2 8 2023-2026 IBOD Nominees 42 2022-2023 Regional Management Teams International Updates

The Pitch Pipe on ISSUU!

The Pitch Pipe

OctOber 2022 | Volume 76 — No.2 |

Sweet AdelineS internAtionAl

Elevating women singers worldwide through education, performance, and competition in barbershop harmony and a cappella music.


Tammy Talbot

Chief Executive Officer

Kim Berrey


Stacy Pratt Staff Writer

Ben Larscheid

Graphic Designer

Joey Bertsch

Staff Photographer


May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023

Thérèse Antonini, International President

Joan Boutilier, Immediate Past President

Mary Rhea, President-elect

Jenny Harris, Secretary

Janice McKenna, Treasurer

Sharon Cartwright Vickie Maybury

JD Crowe Julie Starr

Paula Davis Valerie Taylor

Annika Dellås


Marcia Pinvidic, Chair

Joan Boutilier Sandy Marron

Betty Clipman Mary Rhea


Joan Boutilier Mary Rhea

Elaine Hamilton Kate Towne

Michelle Neller

The Pitch Pipe

9110 S. Toledo Ave., Tulsa, OK 74137 U.S.A. Telephone 1.918.622.1444 • Toll-free 1.800.992.7464 Fax 1.918.665.0894 •

Office hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CT)


1.918.622.1444 •

Direct all correspondence, editorial copy and photographs to

Deadlines are 60 days prior to publication. Not all submissions will be published.

THE PITCH PIPE (ISSN 0882-214X) (USPS 603-060) is published quarterly: January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 by Sweet Adelines International Periodicals paid at Tulsa, OK U.S.A. and additional mailing offices.


Send address changes to THE PITCH PIPE 9110 S. Toledo Ave., Tulsa, OK 74137 U.S.A. Canadian Post Agreement Number: 1453408 Send Canadian change of address information and blocks of undeliverable copies to: P.O. Box 1051, Fort Erie, ON L2A 6C7 Canada Copyright 2021 by Sweet Adelines International. All rights reserved.



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@SweetAdelinesIntl Remember to use #SweetAdelines and #LifeOnAHighNote on social media. Headquarters uses the # to find your posts, photos and tweets to share across Sweet Adelines social media channels. Access each issue on the Sweet Adelines website or at Enjoy an enhanced reading experience! • Interactive flip pages • Active URLs • Embedded videos within content • Article Story Highlights Anytime. Anywhere. Read
Find us at @SweetAdelinesIntl TheValkyries Madison Avenue 2022QuartetContest

From Our President and CEO

As you know, we usually write separate letters in this space. For this issue of The Pitch Pipe, we are joining together to share a recap of the four strategic initiatives Thérèse presented in her State of the Organization address at our wonderful 74th Annual International Convention & Competition in Phoenix, Arizona (USA): Musical Excellence, Embracing Others, Organization and Individual Growth, and Facing Forward.

As we all know, much has transpired over the past two-plus years. As Thérèse said in her address, “We are currently coming out of a time of extreme and unexpected challenge, where the very heart of our organization – the act of meeting together to create beautiful harmony – became an impossibility. In the realm of uncertainty, we were faced with reinventing ourselves, and like a newly rising Phoenix, we had to gather the seeds of everything we once knew and find different ways in order to survive and continue to move forward.”

The Strategic Action Plan, shared at the 2019 New Orleans Convention, was developed into a Strategic Action Business Plan that includes 43 new initiatives designed to support Sweet Adelines members. On the following page, you will see just a few of the organization’s accomplishments between fiscal years 2020 and 2022. This overview reflects where we are in our current strategic plan as we begin to look toward developing new strategic goals and initiatives to continue our forward momentum.

As you read about the many triumphs and adventures of Sweet Adelines in this issue of the magazine, we hope you will feel proud and encouraged. (And excited for the January issue, which will feature news from the convention and profiles of our first new international champions since 2019!)

We are proud of you, and we are proud to be part of Sweet Adelines International!

In harmony and thanks (for everything you do!),

OctOber 2022 | 3

From Our President and CEO

Musical Excellence

Strategic Action Plan

• Regional Competition returned

Travel in Tune and other creative educational offerings developed

Director Resource Toolkit developed

Diamond Division Quartet Contest held for the first time

Rising Star Quartet Contest returned

Revision of the Showmanship Category and renaming to Visual Communication Category

Embracing Others

• Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council created

The Chorus Toolkit developed and released (along with the release of the Song Assessment Tool)

Director Affiliate membership created

DEI-related education offered at all Sweet Adelines International events

Member Code of Conduct developed

Closed captioning added to all International videos

Organization and Individual Growth

• Director Scholarship Program for small and midsized choruses funded

Acquisition and development of a Learning Management System under way

Master Faculty expanded

International Board of Directors (IBOD) election bylaws and term limits revised

International Education Symposium held in San Antonio, Texas (USA)

74th Annual Convention & Competition held in Phoenix, Arizona (USA)

Facing Forward

Member Perception Study undertaken

Marketing and communications share stories in multiple formats

International staff continue individual and team training

Ignite the Sound membership recruitment and retention initiative launched

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OctOber 2022 | 5 Get It While You Can! New products sold at the international convention in Phoenix are still available for purchase from Sweet Adelines International Sales. 1. Competing Chorus Bag $15 The Sweet Adelines tote bag is roomy and ready for all you need to carry. 2. Stainless Steel Water Bottle $12 Keep hydrated and cool with this 24 oz. stainless steel water bottle. 3. Hand-Held Fan $5 It may not be your biggest fan, but it’s your handiest! The Twist and Chill fan will keep you cool. 4. Squeezable Stress Ball $4 Don’t be a ball of stress. Get a stress ball! 1 2 3 4 Shop online, anytime at Contact International Sales at or call 1.918.622.1444 ext. 112 or toll free 1.877.545.5441 • Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. CDT (2–10:30 p.m. GMT)




This election will fill three expiring board terms, beginning May 1, 2023, and ending April 30, 2026. Ballots are due at international headquarters by 3 p.m. Central Time (9 p.m. UTC), Wednesday, November 30, 2022.


In listening to our members express what they feel is important, membership growth is a priority, especially reaching those people who are currently under-represented in Sweet Adelines. Our members also share that they love to learn and grow, so education will continue to be a top priority.


College Degree: Bachelor of Music Education, University of New Mexico


1997 - present: Chorus and Quartet Coach; 1996 - present: Frontline Sweet Adeline Chorus Director; 2006 - 2008: Extra-curricular Children’s Chorus Director; 1982 - 1989: General Elementary School Music Teacher


International President, May 2020-2022 and Board member since 2012; Frontline Chorus Director, 1996 – present; Sound Judge, 2008 – present; International Faculty, 2014 – present; Education Direction Committee, May 2013 - 2018


My extensive participation in leadership provides me a multi-faceted perspective of the organization. After serving as president during the pandemic I have an acute awareness of challenges facing us in the next few years. I am strong at working collaboratively with others in making thoughtful and difficult decisions.


My background as a music educator complements and supports our organization’s mission. I have learned a lot about how our organization runs, especially in the past few years. This experience, combined with being open-minded and honest, are critical as we emerge from the pandemic.


My vision is that we continue to excel as a premier, global singing organization while staying true to our Guiding Principles, Mission and Vision Statements. We can continue to learn from our past to ensure that our membership and music thrive, “inspiring and empowering voices to joyfully harmonize the world.”

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: I believe that the barbershop style will thrive while allowing our singers the choice and means to be musically expressive on all performing stages. I look forward to seeing the impact our newly implemented Arrangers Certification Program will have on our musical choices too!

Annika Dellås

Show Chorus Region #32 36-year member


Bachelor of Science in Public Administration, specializing in Human Resources, 1980-1983


Facilitation program & Action Learning methods at Move Management, to facilitate meetings and workshops; Swedish Academy of Board Directors certifying future board members; Labour Law, advanced, Business Economy at Uppsala University; Developing Leaders Program organized by AstraZeneca focusing on three different leadership roles: leading the organization, leading myself and leading the team

CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: HR Management Consultant/Owner Dellås People Management Inc. since January 2015; HR Director/Employee Relations Manager at AstraZeneca 2004-2014; Business Unit Manager for HRM at Thomson Fakta AB, 2000-2002; HR Director at Volvo Aero Engine Services Inc., 1996-2000

LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: Team Coordinator for the Regional Management Team (2017 to 2022), Member of the SA Editorial Board, Pitch Pipe (2020-2021), Project Leader and Chair for chorus Christmas concert Stjärnjul (2012-2017), Leadership for Section Leaders workshop co-leader (2000), Regent in the regional board (1995-1997)

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THE 2023-2026
Joan Boutilier River City Sound Chorus Region #3 33-year member



I will contribute with my experience and result in leading change, my ability in strategic thinking and by adding an international perspective to our work. I will also contribute by challenging the present, by seeing the overall picture and building a sustainable vision for the organization.


I will bring leadership and facilitation skills to the table, including how to build good teams, engage and hold people accountable. I will also contribute to problem solving.

I will bring board of directors, employee relations and governance skills that will add valuable knowledge and insights to the board.


My vision is to set a direction for the future and be a leading force to develop the art form of barbershop, without jeopardizing the quality or the foundation of Sweet Adelines International. For the worldwide perspective in a changing world, it is important to recognize our uniqueness and the skills we bring.


Membership retention to attract new generations and singers, and to manage the after COVID time and restart our activities and actions in the regions. Challenge our thinking to simplify administration and cost models. In a changing environment build diversity and success with other organizations without losing ourselves and our uniqueness. Develop the barbershop/acapella style to stay relevant and set the scene for the future.


Sweet Adelines International will be the natural choice for women singing acapella music and will have a natural position in the worldwide network of barbershop singing. Sweet Adelines International will promote diversity and work with music development for all singers worldwide. Sweet Adelines International will develop women skills, selfmanagement and confidence.



Judge Specialist, Expression Category; Certified Expression Judge & Panel Chair; Co-chair, IES 2020/2022; Certified International Faculty; Master 700 Director, Skyline Chorus


I have very strong leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills. I have experience as a judge and coach in every Sweet Adeline region. I lead and serve with a whole heart and am passionate about helping singers find their voices.


I bring myriad skills—48 years of experience in the organization; directing, building, collaborating, and leading a highly successful chorus where the culture is education through rehearsals, competition, and performance; coaching, teaching, and judging throughout the organization. I am also a service-oriented small business owner.


To lead the field in a cappella singing. To develop leaders that are transformative, inclusive, and courageous. SA needs to cultivate a culture of belonging, inclusivity, and diverse perspectives. Harmony creates harmony and brings hope to the universe.


Developing leaders with vision and educational purpose. Continue to collaborate and interface with all musical entities. Increase our global presence and reach deeply into our communities to give in a way that lifts everyone.


We will thrive as the world’s premiere a cappella organization and will be respected and called upon frequently for our expertise in performance excellence, leadership development, and adult and youth education. Our organization will reflect various social identity groups and will create optimal outcomes for all members.


B.A., Human Services with a minor in Vocal Pedagogy


Certified Crisis Intervention Counselor; Leadership development seminars & workshops outside of SA


Vocal Performance Coach; Assistant Director of Youth Services, American Red Cross; Community Health Educator, Good Samaritan Hospital; Federal Probation Officer


High School and many, many Educational courses over the years.


Numerous Managerial Courses: Dealing With Difficult People/Conflict Management, Communication and Negotiation, Time Management, Basic Bookkeeping, Accounts Receivable and Payable, Appointment Book Control, Computer Training; Countless Sweet Adeline workshops, IES, Director Training, Certified Director (20 years), RMT training and International Conventions

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cont. on next page

CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: Office Administrator (Dental Office); Computer software/hardware sales and training (Dental); Car dealership office manager; various sales positions

LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: Regional Education Coordinator (three-year term ending April 30/22); Regional Director Coordinator (six years); Regional Education Faculty (20+ years); Chorus Director (10 years); Assistant Director (Currently); Chorus Vocal Development Coordinator

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? As a new member to the IBOD, I will bring many administrative skills, experiences and new ideas to the table. I am knowledgeable and have a global perspective with great passion and enthusiasm for this organization! I look forward to collaborating and strategizing with a team to effectively move forward in our ever changing world.

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? My strong organizational, leadership and forward thinking traits will be an asset to the IBOD. I am a team player, optimistic, highly motivated, enthusiastic, analytical, inquisitive, open minded and a meticulous person. I continually seek new and better ways to get things done and evolve with the times. I believe anything and everything is possible!

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION? Over the past years, we have certainly been navigating through some rough and changing waters. As we continue to move forward, I believe we will continue to evolve by using our guiding principles and remain, Sweet Adelines Strong!

WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? Using the guiding principles of Musical Excellence, Culture of Belonging, Diversity & Inclusion, and Outreach, I believe the sky's the limit. As we continue to grow our membership and live by these principles, the future of Sweet Adelines is very bright! The music will go forth unimpeded and our diversity will, in fact, unify and empower us as an organization.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: In 25 years, Sweet Adelines will be stronger than ever! We are a financially sound and educationally strong organization. Our membership will continue to flourish and empower an even greater diversity of singers and repertoire. With our excellent educators and high achieving performances, Sweet Adelines International will be in the forefront of all world class a cappella organizations.


Ballots are due at international headquarters by 3 p.m. Central Time (9 p.m. UTC), Wednesday, November 30, 2022. QUESTIONS? Call headquarters at 1.800.992.7464 or 1.918.622.1444 or email THANK YOU FOR YOUR VOTE! 2023 2023 Louisville Registration Opens January 9, 2023! Watch for information and how to register in December on the Sweet Adelines International website.
OctOber 2022 | 9

Rise of The Valkyries!

When The Valkyries stepped onto the Rising Star Quartet Contest stage in San Antonio, Texas (USA), a contingent of fans, both online and in person, held their collective breath, excited to see them finally reach this part of their musical journey. The fans were not disappointed. From the first note to the last, The Valkyries delivered a powerful performance worthy of their new title, 2022 Rising Star Champion Quartet.

Anyone who has watched The Valkyries’ (often hilarious) YouTube channel or followed them on social media knows that this quartet’s charm, personality, and musical chemistry is genuine. The energy they bring to the stage is authentic – and they maintained it through some truly trying years.

Based in Los Angeles, California (USA), The Valkyries formed in 2016 when tenor Grace Lueck, baritone Sarah Morehead, and bass Kayla Quilantang attended a barbershop workshop hosted by Verdugo Hills Chorus Assistant Director Janice Kueppers, who ultimately became their coach. With original lead Kelly Gravo, the quartet placed tenth in the 2018 Rising Star Quartet Contest. In 2019, they again competed in Rising Star, placing third with new (and current) lead Therese Masangcay. With their star literally rising, The Valkyries were poised to compete in 2020, but of course, the pandemic prevented the contest from being held for two years.

“We kept singing.”

“We worked so hard before COVID-19 to prepare for the Rising Star Contest when it was originally planned in 2020,” wrote Kayla in an email interview. “After hearing that they were rescheduling the contest, we constantly had meetings addressing what our goals were for the next rehearsal. As long as we had a rehearsal scheduled at least twice a month, we didn’t mind waiting until we found out the new date for Rising Star. There were even times when we would rehearse on our coach’s driveway! After every rehearsal, we could hear the difference in how we sounded from the last time; that was all we needed to motivate us. Although we waited two years for Rising Star, we always believed that there was more to improve, so we kept singing!”

The Valkyries based their name on their school’s mascot, the Vikings.

“I was taking a mythology class at the time, and that’s where I first learned about who the Valkyries were,” wrote Sarah. “In Viking mythology, the Valkyries were known to carry fallen soldiers to Valhalla while singing their praises. The name fit pretty perfectly, and we thought being named after singing warrior angels would be awesome.”

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2022 Rising Star Champion Quartet

The Valkyries have their own singing warrior angels in Janice Kueppers and Verdugo Hills Chorus.

“We can’t even put into words how grateful we are to this amazing chorus,” wrote Therese. “They welcomed us with open arms, and they’ve seen how much we’ve grown through the years. We would not be where we are without their love and support.”

Grace agrees and says winning Rising Star this year was especially important to them.

“We have been dreaming about this and working so hard with our coach, who has been our inspiration,” Grace writes. “She is a pancreatic cancer survivor and was diagnosed just about a year ago, and we are so blessed we could win this for her and make her proud.”

And Janice is, indeed, proud.

“Seeing them in the Rising Star contest, I couldn’t have been any prouder,” she says. “A dream of my lifetime came true that night. Hearing them cheer for the other contestants at mic testing and during the contest just warmed my heart. They are the whole package. As they start their journey to competing at the next level, we could not have better ambassadors for our organization. They say they are just giving back all the love and support they have felt from every Sweet Adeline they have ever met. How amazing is that?”

“We sang our hearts out.”

The Valkyries say that attending classes at the International Education Symposium (IES) prior to their performance was a game-changer.

Kayla writes, “After attending IES, being onstage for Rising Star felt completely different in the best way. Being surrounded by Sweet Adelines days before the contest was the best! Not only did it soothe our nerves, but it reminded us why we were really there – not to compete, but to perform! We sang our hearts out and felt amazing after our performance. This performance was the most fun performance we’ve ever had. Our outlook on performing definitely changed after that weekend.”

“Our goal is to spread this amazing genre of music in any way we can!” she continued. “We want people to see how amazing and loving this community is. We started the YouTube channel to share the behind-the-scenes of our barbershop quartet and to show that we feel nothing but love and support from Sweet Adelines. This organization is truly like no other!”

Still excited from their win and all they learned at IES, the quartet looks forward to the next steps on their journey.

“We’re so excited to perform for all the different events happening during our reigning year!” Sarah writes. “We feel so honored to already have been invited to perform for several choruses and competitions, and we can’t wait to meet/hear more amazing barbershoppers. As for later years, you can count on finding us in more shows and competitions. Thankfully, we’ll all be relatively close in California so we’re in this for the long haul. Once a Valkyrie, always a Valkyrie!”

Follow The Valkyries on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. Their media can be found at this link or by searching @valkyriesquartet.


Stage Secrets

Bass Kayla Quilantang shared that The Valkyries coach Janice Kueppers gives each singer a sticker to put on the bottom of their shoe for good luck. That’s not the only hidden thing they took onto the Rising Star stage. Before performing, The Valkyries drink raw honey to soothe their throats. Kayla writes, “As we were in the warmup room, five minutes from performing, I spilled honey on my silk dress! Of course, it was on the side where you can see it when I walk on stage, but I just had to bend my arm at a certain angle to hide the stain. My arm was bent like that for the rest of the night!”

OctOber 2022 | 11
2022 Quartet Contest


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2022 Diamond Division Champion Quartet Madison Avenue Makes History

Asked how it felt to win the first Diamond Division Quartet Contest, Madison Avenue bass Caroline Rocco wrote in an email interview, “It is an amazing feeling. For me personally, it became ‘real’ when we were all in the room afterward and I made the comment that we were now the answer to the latest Sweet Adelines trivia question!”


Who won the first Diamond Division Quartet Contest?

Answer: Madison Avenue

Madison Avenue began when Caroline and lead Barbara Underwood decided they wanted to sing together. They added tenor Anne Fenton, then Jacque Glasgow (who had sung bass in Barbara's former quartet, Couture) agreed to sing baritone.

Next, they needed a name. They wanted one that would sound good when announced, “especially if we were being announced for a medal,” said Barbara. Jacque grabbed paint chip cards from a home improvement store, and they “fell in love with Madison Avenue,” described on the store’s website as the color of “a sumptuous blue sky with an extra shot of green.” Did it foretell the color of their medals? Maybe!

But red is the real color Madison Avenue is known for. When they stepped onto the Diamond Division stage, the Facebook Live comments began. “They wore their red shoes!” one viewer wrote. Everyone remembered the pop of red color with their black and white outfits from their fifth-place (green medal) performance in the formidable 2022 Region #25 competition.

“Oh, the red shoes,” exclaimed Barbara. “A lot of people had asked about them from our regional performance. How could we disappoint? The red shoes have taken on a life of their own!”

But while their style stands out, Madison Avenue is really known for their smooth, confident sound. It comes from years of experience with internationally competitive Region #25 choruses. Jacque and Barbara sing with OK City Chorus while Anne and Caroline are members of Rich-Tone Chorus. As long-distance quartetters, the singers have worked to develop their sound and strengthen their musical bonds – no small feat under any circumstances, but Madison Avenue formed in 2019, just one year before COVID-19 put a pause on in-person singing.

Anne said that before the pandemic, the quartet took turns traveling for rehearsals, sometimes meeting in the middle for a weekend rehearsal. Barbara added that being a long-distance quartet meant strong commitment even before the restrictions, and that helped.

“A long-distance quartet requires lots of communication and calendar discussion,” she wrote. “If you really want it to work out, you have to be committed, and we were committed to making a

go of our quartet. Even if we couldn’t sing together, we were online Zooming so we could stay in contact with each other and see each other.”

That commitment has paid off with a beautiful sound, a growing fan base, and invitations to perform during their reigning year as Diamond Division champions.

Of their historic win, Barbara says, “I won’t lie. It feels monumental and humbling at the same time.”

Anne hopes other singers will be inspired to compete.

“Winning the first Diamond Division Quartet Contest is very special to me,” she writes. “I have tried to encourage women of all ages to compete with their quartets, and now that there is a Diamond Division, hopefully, there will be more quartets competing next year.”

Madison Avenue will graciously welcome next year’s competitors, but the Diamond Division Quartet Contest didn’t let them go easily. The quartet was driven to the competition site by a friend, who then parked the car. After their win, still wearing their medals, the quartet ended up searching all levels of the dark parking garage in a golf cart with Sweet Adelines staff.

“The adventure didn’t stop when we found the car,” wrote Caroline. “After the staff members had left and we loaded up to return to the dorms, I pulled out only to hear a horrible sound coming from the car. Yikes!! Turns out the parking brake had been set, and this being a relatively new car to me, I had no idea where the brake was. We had to stop and use the flashlight app from a cell phone in order to find and release the brake!”

Appropriate, since there’s no stopping Madison Avenue. Asked what’s next for them, Barbara answered, “We are excited for new opportunities at International in Phoenix, and then it’s back to hard work before Regional again next year. We want to beat our scores again and put our best foot forward — in red shoes!”

Follow Madison Avenue on Facebook.

OctOber 2022 | 13

Barbershoppers will come from far and wide to learn, sing, and have fun with champion singers and educators when The Coronet Club’s Queens’ College takes place July 14-16 at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson, Texas (USA).

The Coronet Club is a nonprofit organization made up of current and former Sweet Adelines International Quartet Champions, aka “Queens of Harmony.” While Queens’ College is often considered an event for quartet singers, all singers are welcome.

The popular event promises to deliver the excellence you’ve come to expect from Queens’ College as well as some new additions — including two Sweet Adelines International quartet contests!

Queens’ College is brought to you by the Coronet Club as the “royal” way of giving back to the organization. All script writing, teaching, and coaching is done by quartet champions for no fee. The Coronet Club wishes to honor, educate and inspire our quartets, future quartets, and individual singers.


Queens’ College partners with Sweet Adelines International

Queens’ College Registration

Registration for The Coronet Club’s Queens’ College opens February 6, 2023. Watch for registration information available soon on the Coronet Club website.

Registration will include all classes, materials, music, and learning tracks. Registration will open February 6, so save the date and stay tuned for further details. Packages will include a price for quartets which includes an hour of coaching, an individual package that includes a thirty-minute PVI, and also an individual price without the coaching or PVIs. In addition, extra coaching slots or PVIs will be available for purchase on site

Queens’ College Young Singers Track

For the first time, Queens’ College includes a Young Singers Track (YST) which runs parallel to Queens’ College education classes – and registration is free to YST participants!

The YST is led by SA International Faculty member and two-time International Quartet Champion Debbie Cleveland. Debbie has been a public school choral music educator for over 30 years and is Moderator for the Young Women in Harmony Program Coordinators. Singers registered for the YST receive free registration.

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Education Classes

Learning from and singing alongside Queens of Harmony is a hallmark of Queens’ College. This year’s event keeps up that tradition with educational classes offered by 2022 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Joan Boutilier (Four Bettys, 2008), Judy Pozsgay (Frenzy, 2017), Debbie Cleveland (“the BUZZ,” 2005 and Showtime, 1994), and Karen Breidert (“the BUZZ,” 2005 and Jubilation, 1985). The ever-popular 2014 International Champion Quartet, LoveNotes, will offer demonstrations, coaching, and performances. In addition, coaching and Personal Voice Instruction (PVI) opportunities will be offered by Sweet Adelines royalty!

The classes are designed not only for the growth and enjoyment of quartets, but for every singer who wants to find beauty and joy in their own voice and performance. Whether you attend as an entire quartet, a member of a quartet, or as an individual who wants the education and the friendship that Queens’ College is known for, you will find something inspiring.

Diamond Diamond

Sweet Adelines International’s Rising Star Quartet Contest

In 2023, Queens’ College hosts Sweet Adelines International’s annual Rising Star Quartet Contest for singers age 25 and younger. Several former Rising Star quartets (including 2023 Queens’ College faculty performers LoveNotes!) have gone on to become international competitors and champions. The Rising Star Quartet Contest is scheduled for Friday, July 14, at the Eisemann Center.

Sweet Adelines International’s Diamond Division Quartet Contest

Last year’s inaugural Diamond Division Quartet Contest for singers age 55 and older was an evening of unique style, confidence, and rich overtones. The 2023 Diamond Division Contest is scheduled for Thursday, July 13, in the Eisemann Center, the day before Queens’ College begins. This contest showcases the power of seasoned voices and the success of Sweet Adelines education.

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(From Left to Right) Debbie Cleveland, Judy Pozsgay, Joan Boutilier, and Karen Breidert

Gain Members, Win Prizes!

Region With Greatest Net % Growth

• $5,000


Sweet Adelines

Chapter with Greatest Net % Growth

• $3,000 cash USD per small, mid, and large chapter size category

Virtual coaching session with International Faculty member of their choice from among a select list

Region with Greatest Net % Quartet Growth

• $1,000 cash USD

Group coaching session with an international champion quartet for all active quartets in the region


Log in to the members-only section of the Sweet Adelines website to find proven recruitment and retention materials shared by choruses whose great ideas worked! Find out how they did it so you can adapt to your own chorus. The database of videos, materials, and other information is always growing, so check back often!


From open houses to singing workshops to online activities, Sweet Adelines around the world are finding ways to welcome new singers to the barbershop world. If your chorus or region has a recruitment or retention idea to share, send it to (ADDRESS) for potential inclusion in the Ignite the Sound database on the Sweet Adelines International website.


In addition to the main Ignite the Sound contest, micro-contests along the way offer choruses and regions the opportunity to win prizes and have fun. Keep an eye on Sweet Adelines International communications for information about upcoming micro-contests.

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$5000 USD $1000 USD $3000 USD
• Recognition at the 2023
International Convention


OctOber 2022 | 17 Since the announcement of the Ignite the Sound initiative in June 2022, Sweet Adelines International has gained 327 new members…and counting! THE GOAL: 1,078 new members by April 30, 2023. We’re well on our way! 1078 Goal! (by April 30, 2023) (As of Sept. 1, 2022) We're gaining new Sweet Adelines every day, from all around the world! Make sure to share your new members on social media with #SweetAdelines so we can all welcome them.
the Numbers 327

Feel Good,Be Good

Performance psychologist Noa Kageyama knows something about being a musician. A successful symphony violinist from a young age, he graduated from The Julliard School in New York City. While there, an Olympic sports psychologist inspired him to study the psychology of musical performance, with a particular focus on effective practice and dealing with stage anxiety. Noa went on to earn a doctorate in psychology from Indiana University and now helps musicians of all kinds through courses, free resources, and his popular blog, Bulletproof Musician.

Instead of getting comfortable singing in a particular way, cultivate more flexibility. That may seem like making more mistakes during practice, but it cultivates a more robust and reliable set of motor skills. If we approach different options in advance, when we get into a different setting, we have flexibility, so taking risks is no longer as risky.

What practices or philosophies can singers use to manage stage anxiety?

There is a motor learning approach called “variable practice” or “varied practice.” Our tendency is to engage a lot more in what's called “constant practice.” Once we figure out exactly how we think a particular piece should sound, we practice trying to be as consistent as possible, in a very narrow range. That practice makes us very comfortable in a limited range, but as soon as we get on stage, into a different acoustical setting with different people, and when our body feels a little bit different, suddenly we might have to do something different than what we practiced.

There are two components involved with nerves and performance: Physiological or somatic anxiety involves heart rate and breathing changes. We get sweaty and our muscles get tight and all that. Cognitive anxiety involves worry – about making mistakes, what other people are thinking, the difficult high note coming up, etc.

The optimal place for each component differs from person to person, but generally speaking, we want to be at a moderate level of physiological activation. We don't want to actually be completely calm because then we don't have the energy we need to really be able to project and use our physical capacity most effectively. But we also don't want to be cognitively anxious.

It helps to imagine an upside-down “U,” like an arch. We want

18 | OctOber 2022
What are some of the most important practice techniques or philosophies you have found in your research and your own experience?
To learn more about Noa Kageyama and his work, visit
Q&A with Performance Psychologist Noa Kageyama

to be at the middle of the “U” when it comes to physiological activation, but we want to be as low on the curve as possible for cognitive anxiety. There are some things that can help us get into that more optimal mental and physical state. One of them is breathing.

Often, singers know so much about the mechanics of breathing that it's easy to overthink it and, paradoxically, have difficulty breathing. A singer shared an image that can help keep us from overthinking our breathing. Imagine you're wearing a belt made of noses. When you breathe in, instead of thinking about breathing through the nose on your face, imagine breathing in through all the noses around your midsection — the noses on your tummy, around your sides, on your back. As goofy as it sounds, there’s something about that image that helps us breathe more easily, effortlessly, and deeply. It puts our focus on the meditative aspects of breathing instead of worrying about what's going on around us.

You can combine those physical elements with mental elements, like hearing the opening or first note of a particular song before you sing it or trying to imagine or remember how it feels when you're excited and ready to go, as opposed to anticipating the feeling of panicky nerves, which is physiologically similar but a different context. Combining mental imagery with physiological breathing tension release skills can create what athletes call a preperformance routine. If you can practice engaging in those mental and physical activities well in advance, they will feel natural when you use them backstage. A pre-performance routine does make it a little easier to get into that more optimal space on stage.

What advice do you have for Sweet Adelines who are rebuilding their confidence?

I think we all have a tendency to compare ourselves to our memory of what things were like at their best. If it's been awhile since we have been with our ensembles or singing publicly, it does not help our confidence to compare how we feel or how we sound with what we remember things feeling and sounding like a couple of years ago. The better place is to accept where we're at and then compare every subsequent day relative to that newly-established baseline. That makes it easier to keep track of and focus on little, tiny wins as we start recovering and getting back into the place we want to be, performance-wise. If we compare how we are now to the best of what we remember, it's going to be really hard to focus on, appreciate, or be grateful for those little, tiny wins.

How can we play as fearlessly onstage as we do in rehearsals?

There’s a saying, “practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” I totally get where that's coming from, and it makes sense, but sometimes we take that too literally and avoid taking risks in practice. If we get too accustomed to practicing carefully, we're going to play carefully on stage and perform carefully as well.

I think the key is to understand that it’s important to plan out in advance what we think about when performing. There's a tendency to just practice and not worry about what our mind is doing, then on stage, suddenly, our mind goes to the worst possible places.

I was listening to a podcast a few years ago, with Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. She said in addition to choreographing the physical movements of every routine, she also choreographed her thoughts. She had a very specific mental script of what exactly to think about from one moment to the next so that she could not be distracted.

It might be that in a certain section of a song, it's really important to listen to one other part of the chorus, for example. Or in one particular moment, it might be most important to listen to your immediate surrounding singers and try to blend in a particular way. You might have “emotion words” that are helpful to remember – images, a narrative, a storyline, or how a particular word is enunciated. Kinesthetic imagery could play a role. There are a variety of things that can be helpful.

The main thing that I think we generally want to avoid is being distracted by things that are not relevant in that immediate moment. Worrying about the future's no good. Worrying about the past is no good. Worrying about the audience is no good. Thinking too much about technique and mechanics is no good. Focusing on sound and images and colors and what's happening around us in the immediate present is a pretty good basis for the start of a mental choreography.

The great violinist Pamela Frank encourages students to practice playing with a thousand-percent expression in the practice room. You're not going to do that on stage. It's too much. It's over the top. But in order to be able to take risks at a 9 out of a 10, if you go to an 11 in the practice room, you cultivate the motor skills required to comfortably go up to a 9 on stage. If you're always at a 7 in the practice room, in terms of risk-taking, there's no way that you're going to be able to do a 9 on stage without messing up. You're going to shrink even further, maybe down to a 5 on stage. It can be fun to sing over the top in the practice room, but it's actually a serious thing that enables you to take more risks and sing more courageously when it really counts.

As Sweet Adelines return to in-person singing, how can they teach themselves to have self-compassion as they regain their strengths?

I'm assuming that most Sweet Adelines are familiar with Carol Dweck's research on “fixed” versus “growth” mindset. If we're able to focus relentlessly on how we're improving from day to day, from one competition to the next, then we can judge each competition or performance not so much on the results but on how our experiment worked out. For example, if we're trying variable practice in the weeks leading up to competition, we can reflect back on it. Did that seem like it was a useful thing to add to our rehearsal process or our individual practice? If so, awesome. Let's keep that going. In our next competition, what are we going to experiment with? If each competition is a new experiment on a particular practice strategy, regardless of the outcome, we can learn something specific or crystallize a certain element of performance. Whether you win or lose becomes secondary.

That mindset can make it easier to approach each competition or performance with more curiosity and excitement as opposed to dread and fear and other negative emotions.

OctOber 2022 | 19
What do you see as the most important element of “getting into the zone” onstage or, for that matter, during rehearsal?

the action

The Sweet Adelines International Education Symposium (IES) 2022 at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas (USA) from July 20-25, was history-making. Our first live international event in three years was a resounding success!

Overlooking record-setting temperatures and dusty construction on campus, eager learners were treated to an expansive buffet of classes and tracks presented by International Faculty and Guest Faculty Lisa Popeil. We enjoyed Music in the Morning, the inaugural Diamond Division Quartet Contest, the Rising Star Quartet Contest, and a closing show on Saturday afternoon. An opening reception, closing dinner, tag singing in the pool, singing the symposium songs around the campus, and closetogether housing meant plentiful opportunities for networking, making new friends and greeting old ones. Attendees said they loved everything about the week and were so thrilled to be Happy Together again!

IES International Faculty

20 | OctOber 2022 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM 2022 SAN ANTONIO, TX • JULY 20-24IES 2022 co-chairs recap
Thérèse Antonini Joan Boutilier Karen Breidert Kay Bromert Patty Cobb-Baker Kathleen Hansen Deanna Kastler Lori Lyford Cammi MacKinlay

Opening Session

The Opening Session on Wednesday evening kicked off with an inspirational keynote speech by International President Thérèse Antonini, followed by a presentation of “My Life in Singing” from our guest faculty, Lisa Popeil. Lisa is one of America’s foremost singing and speaking voice experts. She started singing at an early age and has toured with Weird Al Yankovich and Frank Zappa. Lisa also presented “Different Vocal Techniques for Different Vocal Styles” at a General Session on Thursday, and three other electives. She loved being with our organization and was well-received by those who attended her classes.

Directors Scholarships

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Directors Scholarship recipients who attended IES 2022. 17 24 5 263 International Quartet Champions in Attendance Directors Scholarships awardees who attended IES Countries Represented Total registered attendees Stats

Music in the Morning

Happy Together

We started each day with Music in the Morning. Physical warm-ups were led by Jen Williams of Dundalk Chorus (#19) and by Jo-Ann Killips of Rhythm of the Rockies (#26), followed by vocal warm-ups and skillbuilding with Vickie Maybury and Kim Vaughn. What better way than to start the day with making happy music together!

Alamo Metro

We were delighted that 2022 Region 10 Champion Alamo Metro Chorus, under the direction of Ryan Heller, accepted our invitation to be a demo chorus for Kim Vaughn and Vickie Maybury in two classes on Saturday morning and performed during the Saturday Show.

At a general session on Friday, Charity Jordan presented "Happy Together: Bravely Bringing Sweet Adelines Together Through Inclusion.” Her presentation was thoughtful and thought-provoking!

NEED PHOTO or video

An unexpected and delightful bonus Saturday Show performance was “The Champion Strut” sung by the seventeen Queens of Harmony who were in attendance to promote the next Queens College to be held in Richardson, Texas on July 14-16, 2023. And, of course they sounded amazing!

Video Embed

Throughout the week, Deanna Kastler led the Young Women in Harmony (YWIH) track. The YWIH group, ably aided by Kim Newcombe and joined by a couple of young singers who had participated in the Rising Star Quartet Contest, treated an enthusiastic Saturday Show audience to the song “Love in Any Language.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as they sang, trading solos between them.

After four years of planning (yes, we started in the summer of 2018!), it was so very, very special to finally be Happy Together in San Antonio, participating in an international event that truly felt like we were kicking off the future of Sweet Adelines – and that future looks bright and happy!

— Cammie & Vickie, IES 2022 Co-Chairs

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A talk with Sweet Adelines donor Laura Schultz

When Laura Schultz was a child, she and her sister organized performances for their grandparents, complete with emcee work and costumes. Throughout her education and for several years after college, she pursued classical singing and musical theater. After a few years of focusing on her career and children, a move across the U.S. led her to look for a new singing community, one focused around women. That’s when she found Bay Area Showcase Chorus via a Google search.

“I listened to some of their recordings and I saw some pictures and watched some videos, and I thought, ‘Oh, this is like a combination between musical theater and singing, but it's so singing focused!’” I had done musical theater from junior high through college, then a little bit of community theater post-college, but I was always on the singer-driven side of that.”

Laura was enthusiastic when she attended her first Bay Area Showcase rehearsal, where they were working on choreography.

“As a classically trained singer, you don't move at all,” she says. “I came into this choreography session going, ‘What are these people doing? This is not what I expected!’ which is funny because I knew that's what Sweet Adelines did from watching the videos. I felt totally out of my element, but I still gave it my all. When I came home, my spouse asked how it went, and I honestly said, ‘I don't know!’ It wasn't an immediate slam dunk, but I came back because there was just something about it. Once I got over the fact that they expected me to move while I sing, I understood that it fit who I wanted to be, where I wanted to go, and where I wanted to develop. And it felt more aligned with who I am as a person and who I am as a performer than anything I'd ever done before.”

And the best part of this story?

“In March of 2020, our director, Julie Starr, named me choreographer for our chorus,” says Laura. “During the pandemic lockdowns, I had a lot of space to be able to adjust and to learn things that don't require as much singing. I read about the judging program and learned more about choreography, of course. I taught my first choreography session on Zoom, and then when I taught choreography in person, it felt so much easier!”

Besides her amazing transformation from stock-still classical singer to Sweet Adelines choreographer, Laura has worked for her chorus as a grant writer (which is also her profession) and is the marketing coordinator on the Management Team. She is also a member of the Return to Rehearsals and Strategic Planning task forces, and was on their Gala Auction team. It’s no wonder that her chorus also chose her as their 2022 Sweet Adeline of the Year!

Laura recently made the decision to set up a recurring gift to Sweet Adelines International because she wants to be part of the organization’s future.

“I chose to make my donation to Sweet Adelines a recurring gift because it is a hassle-free way for me to donate at the frequency and amount I choose,” she says. “I appreciate that I can set it up once and then my giving takes care of itself! I know if I ever need to change my recurring gift, it is easy to do that, too. With two kids, a full time job, and all my chorus responsibilities, I’m glad I have one less thing to think about!”

One thing Laura does think about is what Sweet Adelines means to her.

“I’m still such a newbie, but Bay Area Showcase and Sweet Adelines really have had an impact on my life,” she says. “I joined in the fall of 2016, so I'm still being shaped and changed. This organization has so much more for me, and I have so much more for it. When I think about my life in ten years or in 20 years, I see Sweet Adelines there. I see myself integrated into this community, and that's one of the reasons I feel so affiliated with it. Sweet Adelines is a space that supports women throughout their lives. I am committed to doing my part to keep this organization strong and growing!”

To find out more about donating to Sweet Adelines International, contact Chief Philanthropy and Administrative Officer, Susan Smith at or visit

OctOber 2022 | 23


Where We Sang

Harmony Roundup is a place to share your adventures and achievements!

Let us know what your chorus or quartet has been doing in your community. Email your submissions and photos to

The following sang the U.S. national anthem at sporting events: Motor City Blend Chorus (#2) at Detroit Tigers baseball, Enchanted Mesa Chorus (#21) at Albuquerque Isotopes baseball, Gem City Chorus (#4) at Dayton Dragons baseball, and Mission Valley Chorus (#12) at San Jose Giants baseball. Västerås Show Chorus (#32) braved the rain to cheer on runners in the Vårruset, Sweden's largest running tour for girls and women. In June, Grand Rapids Chorus (#17) performed at the Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA). High Desert Harmony Chorus (#12) performed at the Sierra Arts Festival, the Lavender Day Festival, and "Harmony in the Park: A Celebration of Barbershop Music" at Wingfield Park in downtown Reno, Nevada (USA), which was supported in part by a grant from Reno's Arts and Culture Commission. Bay Area Showcase Chorus (#12) performed at the Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival. Rönninge Show Chorus (#32) performed at the Stockholm Pride Festival. Columbus Chorus (#4) sang for SIX DAYS STRAIGHT at the Ohio State Fair! Heart of Maryland Chorus (#19) performed at a historic house and event center, Silo Falls. Olympia Chorus (#13) performed at Capital Lakefair summer festival in Olympia, Washington (USA). Remedy Quartet (#5) had “a beautiful night and a fantastic audience” when they performed at the Waukee Farmers Market in Waukee, Iowa (USA).

How We Sang

Hobart Harmony Chorus (#34) won the Show Choir and Open Choir categories at the City of Hobart Eisteddfod in May. Vocal Dimension Chorus (#31) contributed to the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Beacon Lighting Ceremony, in which thousands of beacons were lit around the world to commemorate the 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II. They write, "We joined hundreds of choirs across 54 Commonwealth countries, it was a real honour and quite a moment." Harmony Northwest Chorus (#13), Lions Gate Chorus (#26), and Peace Arch Chorus (#26) were among the

performers at Night of Acappella in Fairhaven, Washington (USA). Endeavour Harmony Chorus (#34) took third place in the Show and Community Choir sections of the Sydney Eisteddfod. The Harmonix Chorus (Satellite #30) performed at the Tokyo Chorus Festival, their first live performance in more than two years. They write that it was “so nice to share the joy of singing with all kinds of different people, feeling refreshed and headed for a brighter future!”

Why We Sang

Members of High Desert Harmony Chorus (#12) and their families volunteered with Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, an organization dedicated to making their region sustainable and beautiful. Alamo Metro Chorus (#10), Heart of Long Island Chorus (#15), Motor City Blend Chorus (#2), Prairie Rose Chorus (#6), Berkshire Hills Chorus (#1), Rolling Hills Chorus (#13), Coastline Show Chorus (#1), Boston Skyline Chorus (#1), Golden Sands Chorus (#11), and Shades of Harmony Chorus (#19) were among those who performed at Memorial Day festivals the last week of May. Aberdeen Chorus (#31) sang at a local shopping center in support of Dementia Awareness Week. Twin County Chorus (#15) sang at a fundraiser for Hewlett House, a community learning resource center for cancer patients and their families. 'Eight to the Bar,' a small group from Singsational Chorus (#31) performed at the concert 'Singing for Ukraine' in aid of the DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Lone Star Chorus (#10) performed a show of Christmas songs in July, and members raised over $500 and filled a truck with food donations for the Tarrant Area Food Bank. Talk of Tulsa Show Chorus (#25) wrote that they entertained a "wonderful audience" at a show supporting LIFE Senior Services, a local senior citizens' organization. Coastal a Cappella (#34) has held Australia's biggest morning tea — at rehearsal of course! — for many years to raise funds for the Cancer Council to help support those impacted by cancer. This year, they raised $903 AUS!

Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus (#19) had hair and hearts as big as their sound when they performed as the "Singing Tracys" at HonFest in Baltimore, Maryland (USA)! "Hon," the Baltimore term of endearment short for "Honey," "embodies the warmth and affection bestowed upon our neighbors and visitors alike by the historic working women of Baltimore," according to the HonFest website.

24 | OctOber 2022

“Small but Thriving”

Golden Sands Chorus Celebrates 70th

When COVID-19 shut down singing for two years, Golden Sands Chorus (#11), Director Lou Schroff and 13 members kept us going. We were a Very Small Chorus, but we still had all four parts!

In the summer of 2021 one of our members offered her backyard steps for rehearsal. They looked a lot like risers!

One of our members, Nancy Schwartz, decided to tackle the Director’s Certification Program. She completed the program and now serves as our Assistant Director.

Even Southern California is too cold to sing outdoors in November, so we made plans to return to our rehearsal hall. With guidance from our pediatrician and cardiac clinical nurse specialist members, we measured the rehearsal hall and

purchased three HEPA filter units. We began to focus on 2022 regional competition, joined by friends from non-competing choruses in our region.

With more coaching and a smaller chorus than we’ve ever had, we took the stage in masks -- sequined, of course – and brought home a first-place small chorus win at regional competition. After all we’d overcome, we were thrilled!

On Memorial Day 2022, we sang our fifth annual performance for the City of Lakewood. In July we hosted the Region #11 Summer Sizzler. In November we will celebrate our longevity with a 70th Birthday Party Show. The pandemic has been and continues to be an extraordinary challenge, but we have come through it stronger than ever. We are small but thriving in our 70th year!

Members of Sheffield Harmony Chorus (#31) raised £812.50 in donations for the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. As a further gesture of support, they took to the risers wearing the colours of the Ukrainian flag at rehearsal.

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Dog-Gone Good Work in Region #13

When Melt My Heart Rescue & Sanctuary put an urgent call for help transporting a little dog, Region #13 Sweet Adelines from three areas of Washington state (USA) made it happen!

Thank you so much to the amazing singers from Northwest Harmony Chorus for sounding the alarm and transporting the dog from Vancouver, to Olympia Chorus for being our transfer point, and to Acapella Soundsations Chorus for transportation on the last leg of the trip to Kitsap County. Now, Deanna Niesen from Acapella Soundsations Chorus is fostering little Lily.

It’s amazing what a group of acapella-singing animal lovers can accomplish in just a few short hours. Both organizations worked together to make lives better, hands or paws!

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Baltic Harmony Chorus (#32) brought color and harmony to their performance during the Women's Choir Festival in Linköping, Sweden. Harmonics Quartet (#15) had a great time performing at a summer block party. When they performed the U.S. national anthem at the St. Louis Cardinals versus Chicago Cubs game in June, River Blenders Chorus (#5) posed in the tunnel with all-star Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright! Bathurst Panorama Chorus (#34) had a beautiful set for performing at the Bathurst Winter Festival in July.



A talk with Sweet Adelines

donor Sarah Nainan-Newhard


ou could say Sarah Nainan-Newhard is a go-getter. She joined her first Sweet Adelines chorus, Heart of Maryland, when they had a show coming up the following month. Sarah had been put in the lead section, but she moved herself to bass. Then she called up her director, Carolyn Sexton, and asked to be put in the front row, which is where she performed in that show just a few weeks later!

“I didn’t know you couldn’t just do that!” Sarah recalls. “But Carolyn said, ‘Yeah sure, if you think you can do it.’ And I did!”

Like many Sweet Adelines, Sarah had experienced discouragement in other singing groups because of her low voice, but in Sweet Adelines she found a community that “appreciates the low-voiced woman, the energy, the whole deal. It was love at first sight!”

Over the years, Sarah has brought her enthusiasm and beautiful bass voice to several other choruses, including Pride of Baltimore, Harbor City, and her current chorus, Greater Harrisburg. She sang bass in Region #19 quartet champions The Fource and currently is the bass of Sound Design, with whom she competed on the international stage in Phoenix.

A long-time donor of time, expertise, and resources, Sarah recently pledged $250,000 USD to the Sweet Adelines International Education Department’s Learning Management System (LMS) Initiative. She has made her first $50,000 USD pledge and is committed to funding the gift over the next five years. In addition to funding the acquisition and set up of the LMS, $100,000 USD of the donation establishes the Sarah Nainan-Newhard Education Programs Endowment Fund to support the ongoing costs of the LMS and other education program needs.

The LMS initiative supports a current need identified by the Sweet Adelines International Board of Directors and is part of the organization’s Strategic Action Plan. Feedback from members inspired the organization to develop this program so members can access high-quality educational offerings without having to travel.

Work on the LMS initiative began in October 2022.

Education is important to Sarah, who serves on the Region #19 Faculty and previously served as Regional Communications, Education, and Team Coordinator.

“I come from a long line of educators,” she says. “My father

was a professor, my mother was a school administrator, and most of my career has been in education. The importance of education is ingrained in me, and the level of education I've received at Sweet Adelines, from chorus to region to international events, is phenomenal. I am the singer I have become through the efforts of the people in this organization.”

Sarah retired as an educator in the software field and says now is the time for Sweet Adelines to transition to an LMS.

“As a software educator, I wanted to make technology less scary for people,” she says. “Through the pandemic, people grew more comfortable with technology, so this is a fabulous time to release the LMS for Sweet Adelines. We hope the LMS will make it easier for people to virtually attend educational events.”

She wants to make sure as many singers as possible experience the learning she has received as a Sweet Adeline.

“Sweet Adelines is an educational organization,” she says. “That's what we're all about. To me it is just so important that we make sure we can get education out to as many people as possible. I would encourage anyone who is able to donate to the education fund to further our mission.”

Sarah says it is a privilege to honor those who have taught and inspired her in this way.

“As Sweet Adelines, we've been so very fortunate to be coached by so many fabulous people, and it's just amazing how much they give of themselves,” she says. “This really is my way of giving back for all that I've received from this experience and will be getting, hopefully. I've made so many fabulous friendships, and I’ve made amazing memories with so many people who I never would've met if I hadn’t been a Sweet Adeline. This is just my way of saying thank you to the organization for all that it has done in terms of enriching my life.”

To find out more about donating to Sweet Adelines International, contact Chief Philanthropy and Administrative Officer, Susan Smith at or visit

OctOber 2022 | 27

2023 Wildcard Choruses

These choruses have been invited to compete at the 75th Sweet Adelines International Convention and Competition, Oct. 30–Nov. 4, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky (USA).

Region #1

Millennium Magic Chorus

Laurel Strielkauskas, Director Score: 629 • 18 on stage Songs: If I Had My Way (D. Harrington); Smile Medley (C. Hine)

Photo: Laura Carey Region #2

London Chorus

Julia Beadle, Director Score: 593 • 38 on stage Songs: Once Upon A Time (J. Dale); I Love A Piano (J. Bescos)

Region #5

Topeka Acappella Unlimited Chorus

Michelle Hunget and Susan Ives, Directors Score: 620 • 88 on stage Songs: Beer Barrel Polka (K. Bromert); Auld Lang Syne (C. Hine)

Photo: Jon Petersen Photography

Region #8

Bella Voce Chorus

Anna-Lisa Glad and Jeana Womble, Directors Score: 591• 23 on stage Songs: Love Me Tender (D. Wright); The Joint Is Jumpin' (N.Bergman)

Photos: Jon Petersen Photography

Region #13

Voices Northwest Chorus

Charlene O'Connor, Director Score: 583 • 23 on stage Songs: At Last (N. Bergman); I Feel A Song Comin' On (N. Bergman)

28 | OctOber 2022 2023
Topeka Acapella Unlimited Chorus Millenium Magic Chorus Bella Voce Chorus London Chorus Voices Northwest Chorus

Region #15

Sirens of Gotham Chorus

Score: 623 • 30 on stage Songs: I'm Through With Love (L. Diamond) It's Today (M. Hine)

Photo: Joan Hoeffer

Region #19

Dundalk Chorus

Jennifer Williams, Director Score: 597 • 32 on stage Songs: Happy Days Are Here Again (M. Gellert); Smile Medley (C. Hine)

Photo: JB Photographers

Region #25

Talk of Tulsa Chorus

Frank Friedemann, Director Score: 601 • 45 on stage Songs: What I Did For Love (D. Wright); This Can't Be Love (D. Wright)

Photo: Jon Petersen Photography

Region #26

Pacific Edge Chorus

Julie Smith, Director Score: 597 • 36 on stage Songs: Tooralooraloora Lai (J. Dale); It's A Great Day For The Irish/Shillelah (J. Dale)

Photos: Jon Petersen Photography

Region #31

Heartbeat UK Chorus

Nancy Kelsall, Director Score: 637 • 55 on stage Songs: Yes, Sir That’s's My Baby/ Get Me To The Church (D. Wright/S. Marron); Next Time I Love (D. Wright)

Photos: Ian Dearman

OctOber 2022 | 29
Talk of Tulsa Chorus Pacific Edge Chorus Heartbeat UK Chorus Dundalk Chorus Sirens of Gotham Chorus


A tale of resilience and perseverance


an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change, the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened


continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition or even when it takes a long time

Buffalonians (people from Buffalo, New York, USA) are no strangers to resilience and perseverance…whether it is dealing with snow, four successive Superbowl heartbreaks, or a Sweet Adeline chorus dealing with a pandemic, there just is no giving up!

Instead of letting the uncertainty and difficulties imposed by the pandemic have a negative impact on our chorus life, we have managed to thrive. Led by our amazing director, Diane Porsch, and an incredible Management Team, we were on Zoom the very next week after lockdown and have become masters of pivoting! We maintained our regular Wednesday night rehearsals and added additional “Zoomtini” sessions in the week to check in with each other and keep connected.

And boy did our members respond! We deepened our existing bonds, as we now had more time to talk online after rehearsal and during “Zoomtinis,” than we typically do in person. We figured out new ways to use technology to keep us moving forward. Di and the music team kept educating us, and we took the opportunity to strengthen individual singing skills across our entire membership. The Management Team addressed any financial concerns members had, we kept all our Canadian members despite a closed border, and we got everyone the technical help they needed to be able to participate virtually. We did everything we could to ensure that each chorus member knew they were important and would be supported however they needed it…and it worked!

For two years we consistently had an average 70-80% attendance

for online rehearsals. We kept preparing and planning to compete in Phoenix, but unfortunately, the deadline fell in early January during an Omicron outbreak. With several of our members ill, or unable to commit due to pandemic uncertainty, we made the difficult decision to withdraw from the 2022 International Competition.

For us, after working so hard to keep our membership intact and motivated for so long, leaving a good portion of the family behind to compete this year wasn’t even an option. So once again, we regrouped and set our sights on getting ready for the spring regional contest to be eligible for Louisville in 2023, which ironically, is where we were slated to compete in 2020.

At a retreat on March 11, 2022, Buffalo Gateway Chorus got together in person, without masks, and on risers, for the first time since the start of the pandemic — exactly two years to the day from the last pre-COVID rehearsal. In the 730 days in between, this Top 10 International chorus has taken life’s lemons and not only made lemonade but we also lemon pie, lemon tarts, lemon chiffon cake, lemon martinis…You name it, we’ve made it!

Andrea Thorne-Percy serves in public relations on the Buffalo Gateway Chorus Management Team.

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Despite all they have been through the last few years, Buffalo Gateway has had very few resignations and incredibly, have added 15 brand new members to their ranks, some of whom, until recently, had only known the chorus on Zoom and had never even heard them sing live! How have they been able to add so many new members to Buffalo Gateway Chorus (BGC) during this unprecedented time? Their Membership Team, led by Bonnie King, has a very successful process that converts guests to members even on Zoom.

According to the chorus, BGC’s most important recruitment strategy is being friendly and creating a sense of camaraderie within the chorus that includes new members. Many new members mention the personal attention they received from the director and membership chair when they first attended rehearsals.

New member Julia Lavarnway says, “The words that kept coming to mind as I proceeded through my first few visits were ‘friendly’ and ‘welcoming.’”

BGC also has a smooth system of welcoming guests, from giving them a name tag so members can greet guests by name and providing sheet music and voice testing right away.

After a few rehearsals, Linda Eick, says, “I began to feel like I was part of the BGC family.”

Rehearsals are dynamic and entertaining and include social time to promote chorus bonding.

Paula Shuff says, “BGC's rehearsals were well planned, engaging, and varied in activities that kept me coming back. There was always a social time where you could hang on after rehearsals and get to know members as well.”

As they say, “Come for the music and stay for the friendships!” With a little bit of planning and a huge helping of friendliness, BGC is unstoppable.

To find out more about how Sweet Adelines choruses are Igniting the Sound, log in to the Sweet Adelines website and visit or visit pages #-# in this issue of The Pitch Pipe!

OctOber 2022 | 31

The Health Benefits of Singing

Why DO We Sing?

How many times have you had this conversation with yourself on rehearsal night: “The last thing I want to do tonight is go to rehearsal… ugh.”

Nonetheless, you drag yourself to rehearsal, contemplate going back home once you’ve parked, begrudgingly get your chorus bag out of the car and drag it and your knuckles into the hall, tired, cranky, practically doing cardio with your eyerolls.

“Okay, I’m here – hmphf.”

Fast forward to three hours after rehearsal and the conversation with yourself on the way home sounds like this: “I am SO glad I went to rehearsal! That was awesome! We were awesome! I am AWESOME! Yay me!”

(And then, of course, you lie in bed that night, awake for hours trying to get to sleep, hoping the adrenaline and energy wear off anytime now!)

What is it about those hours on rehearsal night that make such a dramatic change in each of us? Is it the music? The people? The energy? The exercise? Actually, it’s all of that and more!


By now, most singers are familiar with the physical health benefits of singing. Study after study shows data on the physiological benefits singing regularly provides. Singing enhances lung and cardio function, can assist in pain relief (when we’re not wearing our chorus shoes!), stimulates immune responses, relieves stress, and some say it may even help with snoring, though my experience with my contest roommates is a solid argument

against that one. But are those the reasons we leave the rehearsal hall feeling so great? Is it the stress relief and/ or physiological improvements that have us coming back week after week, even when we don’t wanna? Or is there something more? Personal experience suggests that benefits go so much farther and deeper than just how our bodies are impacted.

Starting back in 2018, I was privileged to be part of the team that was putting together the Sweet Adelines 75th Anniversary book. Wow, how cool was that?! My role was to collect data from Sweet Adelines about their reason for singing. You may remember the “Why I Sing” survey that went out. Well, I’ll tell you what: 480 responses came in, and I had the benefit of getting to read each and every one of them. The stories shared were amazing (I may have cried) – from stories of multi-generational barbershop families to gratitude for that person who “begged” someone for months to come to this “fun” singing thing that was “only one night a week” (as if!) to the education and personal development singers gained from involvement in the organization and its programs to people who had joined the organization and found a family.

Sarah Katz from Region #11 wrote, “I am a fourth-generation barbershopper. My dad, aunts, grandmother, grandfathers, and even my great-grandfather have all sung barbershop. Barbershop is a family hobby, and singing always brings us closer together. My parents also met at an afterglow, so if it wasn’t for barbershop - I may not even be alive!”

Sarah’s story speaks to the foundation and strengthening of culture and tradition within the family, the connection that barbershop can build, with each generation anchoring to

32 | OctOber 2022

something the other truly understands, even as the art form evolves.

Lori Thompson of Region #3 wrote, “I sing because it is in my blood. I am a third-generation barbershopper. My birth announcement was a barbershop pole stating, “Meet our new Barbershopper.” Both of my parents sang, directed, and were in quartets. I remember going to rehearsals for both of my parents and even having parts in their shows! I currently sing with my mother and stepdaughter in our chorus.”

The bonding, confidence-building, and teamwork evident in these multi-generational singers are unmistakable.


Let’s talk connection for a minute. Julia Mikulic of Region #13 shared, “I was living in Juneau, Alaska (USA) when my hairdresser popped the question,"Do you like to sing?" Of course, my response was yes. For two years I went every week, even having a baby and then taking him with me for a few months. When I moved from Juneau to Portland, I didn't know a soul. I looked up Sweet Adelines in the phone book and called right away. I attended the rehearsal for Blue Lake Chorus three weeks after moving to Oregon and have been singing ever since. That was 32 years ago!”

Have you ever noticed that wherever you go, there WE are? When we sing with others, we’re likely to feel the same kind of camaraderie and bonding that players on sports teams experience. Researchers have also found that people who sing together in a group reported a higher sense of well-being and meaningful connection than people who sing solo.

Brenna Brumbach of Region #14 courageously shared, “After my son was born, I developed severe postpartum depression and anxiety. As a new stay-at-home mom, I felt isolated, I struggled to get myself out of the house and to feel “normal” again. It was suggested I find a hobby or social event to help with my mental health. I’ve always loved singing and decided to try a meet-up with our local chorus. Little did I know, that first meet-up would change my life! I absolutely love this organization and how it works to empower singers through the love and sharing of music and harmony.”

Let’s consider the positive impact singing has on several aspects of our mental health – stress reduction (except for maybe on the contest stage!), mood improvement, and an increased sense of

well-being to name a few. Studies on the impact of singing on individuals coping with emotional pain have shown that for those who sing in groups, depression and grief symptoms didn’t worsen. In fact, many reported a gradual improvement in self-esteem and overall mental health and wellness.


“I love barbershop and the fact that you are always learning,” wrote Heidi van der Ham of Region #31.

In our art form, learning and education never stop. Let’s take a second to consider how we are all active, life-long learners as a result of our involvement in our choruses and quartets. Continued learning keeps our brains sharp and active. I’m sure many of us know members of our choruses in their 80s or 90s who are sharp as tacks. For example, Lynne Serratore of Region #9 writes, “I joined SA following my graduation and was looking for a place to sing. I have stayed for almost 60 years because of the friendship, the learning experience, and joy of performing. Sweet Adelines has given me opportunities that I never would have had.” Continuous learning is what barbershop singing is all about, and it promotes healthy aging.

Finally, humans aren’t meant to be alone all the time. Belonging to a group or community we can contribute to and identify with assists in the development of a stronger sense of personal identity and boosts our self-esteem. I think Dara Van of Region #15 summed it up best for us all when she wrote, “I sing to live. Singing rejuvenates my soul. The summer I joined Sweet Adelines, I was on a short-term leave of absence from my job due to crippling anxiety and depression. I had recently moved to a new town, and I found out there was a women’s chorus that rehearsed weekly just five minutes from my apartment. I visited one rehearsal and knew I was home. Liberty Oak Chorus brought me back to life. Whatever kind of day or week I am having, when Thursday evening comes, singing with my sisters restores my spirit.”

I agree, Dara. We DO sing to live!

Lisa Greenough is Master Director of Gateway Chorus, Region #26, an approved Showmanship Judge, and a member of the Sweet Adelines International Faculty.

OctOber 2022 | 33

Vocal Production

The Importance of Language for Musical Leaders

34 | OctOber 2022


Who hasn’t heard that instruction and reacted by springing to attention like a soldier? Somehow, perhaps in the course of our childhood, those words took on a meaning that elicits a particular response. We react instinctively, without stopping to think about what the instruction means or why we are being asked to do it.

Words can be loaded with both internal and external meaning — the meaning inherent in the words and the associations we make based on our life experiences.

As musical leaders, the language we use can have a huge impact on our singers. In this article, we will explore a few ways that language can work for us or against us.


The word “posture” may cause a similar reaction to the instruction “stand up straight.” When we tell our singers to check their posture, they are likely to build tension into their bodies. This will not give them the flexibility needed to sing with freedom. Instead, try referring to “alignment” or “flexible alignment.” This encourages singers to position their bodies in the optimal way for singing, without any of the rigidity associated with the word “posture.”

A similar instinctive reaction may occur with the instruction: “Smile!” Being told to smile while singing could cause singers to tense their jaw and throat in a way that impedes free vocal production. Instead of “Smile,” try “Engage.” This change encourages singers to focus on the meaning of the song and to use natural facial expressions (particularly the eyes) to convey that message in an authentic way.

A third example is: “Add more air!” This instruction may be given for a variety of reasons (e.g., vocal tension, loss of vocal energy). However, even more tension will result if singers strive to fill every inch of their lungs with air and then force it out of their bodies. When singers create too much air pressure, this may affect their intonation, causing tuning problems for the ensemble. Instead, encourage singers to relax their bodies (in particular, their jaw and throat) and lift their soft palate. Exercises which help singers develop their breath management will give them the tools to use their voices flexibly.


Musical leaders occupy the role of teacher when taking singers through a musical exercise. For many of us, our last experience of how teachers behave may have been at school. Depending on

how fortunate you were, your school teachers may have adopted a dictatorial approach, issuing commands which must be followed. It would be natural, therefore, to unconsciously fall into a pattern of emulating what we recall from school.

It is well established that people tend to ignore the word “don’t” when used in an instruction and instead focus on the other words spoken: “Don’t drop in pitch,” “Don’t sing until you run out of breath.” Even “Don’t forget to…” may result in singers forgetting the very thing they are meant to remember! Phrasing comments and instructions in a positive way rather than as a list of things to avoid is hugely effective.

It is also important to explain why you are making a specific request or giving a particular instruction. Adults learn best when they can see the possible outcome and understand why it may be useful or valuable. “Because I said so,” will not be a motivator!

Choose language that affirms the behaviour you want to see or hear, rather than issuing a series of criticisms. In general, adult learners respond more positively to affirmation and encouragement, and tend to take criticism to heart. This may cause resistance, particularly if the reason for instruction is not understood.

You need more energy here vs. This would come to life if…


Stop singing flat vs. You’ll love how it rings when…

Don’t lose pitch vs. Sing on top of the notes…

While there is a time and place for everything, a critical approach may deter your singers from feeling able (or inclined) to participate fully and to take the emotional risks needed to explore their own musicality.


The Director Certification Program (DCP) is in the process of being updated. New Module 7- Vocal Skills is already available and is packed full of wonderful educational material on all aspects of vocal production. Coming soon will be new Module 4 - Teaching, which includes an article on teaching and motivating adult learners. The DCP is available to all musical leaders and anyone else who is interested in increasing their musical knowledge and management skills. It is not just for front-line directors!

Ultimately, the goal for musical leaders is to encourage our singers to build good habits without causing them to build tension into their bodies — or minds — at the same time.

Valerie Taylor is Director of Vocal Dimension Chorus (#31) and a Certified Judge in the Sound Category. She is a member of the International Board of Directors, the DCP Review Committee and the Judge Category Description Book (JCDB) review task force.

OctOber 2022 | 35

On the One Voice Facebook page back in August 2020, Molly Huffman, Director of One Voice Chorus wrote, "While COVID-19 spread across the world has made singing together difficult, it took a work of ingenuity to maintain our togetherness."

To sing safely, chorus members created what they called "Garage Band Barbershop," using microphones and cars to sing together while distanced. "What a magnificent need was filled in sharing our voices, live, in person!" wrote Molly. "Proper disinfecting of all equipment, of course, ended our rehearsal, then love drove us home."

That creativity and drive to make sure education happens no matter what is characteristic of Molly, a popular coach, singer, leader, and, of course, director. She served for many years on Regional and International Faculty, among many other roles at all levels of Sweet Adelines. To ensure that quality education continues, Molly has included Sweet Adelines International in her estate planning, making her a member of the Nancy Bergman Legacy Society.

A teacher of the Spanish language, Molly says she “adores” teaching and points out that it is an important component of directing a chorus. She has also experienced and witnessed the impact of music education. She cites former Sweet Adelines International President Bev Miller as one of her influences and says she was excited to be there during the creation of the Young Women in Harmony (YWIH) program.

“As a teacher, I’ve had many former students who were headed down a path that was not so good,” she says. “Then they took up music or became part of a musical organization, and it saved their lives. Having seen the impact that music made, I did some volunteer work with what is now the Young Singers Fund, and there’s no place I would rather see my money go. I don’t have a lot to give, but I hope it helps continue to educate and bring new singers into this organization.”

Molly cherishes the support and teaching she received from her mentors, Bev Miller, Chris Noteware, and Darlene Rogers. Sweet Adelines around the world feel the same about what they’ve received from Molly. When One Voice member Danisha Bryant

visited Sweet Adelines International Headquarters pre-pandemic, she recalled her first One Voice rehearsal: “I was just going to listen, but then I met Molly Huffman, and it changed everything!”

Molly is still singing, still directing, and has many plans for the future, including helping support and mentor her successors.

“I’m so inspired by the young singers,” she says. “Their energy attracts me. One Voice has a connection with Purdue University, and we’ve brought in four new members from there. What I’m seeing is incredible musicianship and energy, and that is what I want to see extend into the future. As an older member, I’m delighted to have the new people not just pushing me but inspiring me.”

She is also inspired by Sweet Adelines leadership.

“I’ve been privileged to sing and serve at the chorus, regional, and international levels and get to know some of the leaders,” she says. “They have inspired and educated me. They give of their time endlessly, joyfully, to make sure this organization moves forward. I was an educator for years, and I've never received training like I have from Sweet Adelines.”

Molly notes that there are many ways to give back.

“In this organization, there is not just monetary giving but hours and hours of work that we give because we love Sweet Adelines. I wish all members could really see what leadership does because it opened up the world for me to be able to serve at all the different levels. I have a shelf life, though, and I’m looking for a successor.”

Funding like that provided by Molly and other donors helps ensure she will be able to find one. And she has some advice for them.

“We saw a lot happen during the pandemic,” she says. “But if you keep your eye on your heart and your soul, the music says it all.”

To find out more about donating to Sweet Adelines International, contact Chief Philanthropy and Administrative Officer, Susan Smith at or visit

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“THE MUSIC SAYS IT ALL” A talk with Sweet Adelines International donor Molly Huffman

Amanda Ferrari, JD

Amanda Ferrari is a visionary estate and gift planner widely known for her extensive knowledge of gift planning techniques and her ability to provide creative gift solutions based on sound estate planning and financial principles, coupled with innovation, and developing strong enduring donor and leader relationships.

2022 Virtual Member Education Event

Leaving a Lasting Legacy: Charitable Estate and Gift Planning Wednesday, October 19, 2022 4 p.m. CT

Join us for a special Member Education Event with guest presenter Amanda J. Ferrari of Ferrari Philanthropic Consultants. Amanda will provide information to help members understand the importance and benefits of estate and legacy planning for themselves and their families.

For questions or to RSVP, contact Mary Demo, philanthropy coordinator

Sing Together. Unite the World.

media or singing the WSD Theme Song Till The Whole World Sings and submitting your video via the WSD website.

Don’t forget to include #WorldSingingDay and #SweetAdelines in all your submissions!

OctOber 2022 | 37

How to Choosea Coach

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Find a good fit for your ensemble

The right coach can work wonders for singers and ensembles. Whether you are looking for help with the basics, refinement for a specific performance, or just a new perspective, a coach can reinvigorate singers and take them to the next level. With so many great coaches to choose from, how do you find the right one for you?


Before hiring a coach, you need to know what you’re hiring them for. What kind of coach do you need? The traditional chorus coach focuses on the performing ensemble, usually with an ear and eye toward helping them improve singing and performing skills, sometimes in preparation for competition or another event. These experts are excellent for helping you progress in performance. But what about the rest of your chorus life?

For example, consider your director. Are they struggling in any area of directing, such as “arm-waving,” interpreting the music, or developing a leadership team? And what about the leadership teams, whether musical or administrative? Are they equally competent and confident in their skills? Could they benefit from a trained leadership coach?

Are there sub-groups within the chorus that would thrive with a little focused attention? Maybe your section leaders, assistant directors, the front row, or the visual team? How about your fundraising team?


We are entering a time in Sweet Adelines life when the horizon is wide open in every direction. The pandemic did not treat us well, but it did help us think about what’s important and what we want out of our singing “hobby.”

One of the best things we can learn now is how to have a growth mindset: a state of mind that says we have nothing to prove and everything to learn. With a growth mindset, you believe that dedication and hard work can develop your basic abilities and talents. Contrast this with a fixed mindset that says you have a certain amount of talent or skill and can’t do anything to improve it. Consider every part of your singing life and whether a coach could help you make progress faster and easier than trying to hammer it all out on your own.


Sweet Adelines International Faculty can serve as traditional ensemble coaches and can also provide more focused coaching experiences tailored to directors or musical and administrative leaders. Check the international website for the International Faculty directory.

Most regions also have Regional Faculty, another wonderful resource for general vocal coaching and for focused coaching of sub-groups like section leaders or administrative teams. Check with your region’s Education Coordinator to find out who is available.

During the pandemic lockdown, one positive change is that we now have “virtual” everything! You can work with coaches that you would not have thought of using in the “before times,” even coaches many time zones away. If you have adequate internet access, a video conference can enable the coach to work very effectively with you, either with a group meeting in person or with a virtual group.

How about researching a non-barbershop coach who may bring a totally fresh perspective? Do your research. If someone is coming in as a vocal coach, make sure they have a healthy respect for barbershop singing. Executive coaches can be a big help to leaders, even if they’re not singers. Check out references and referrals in advance.


When is the best time to bring in the coach you want? If you’re doing vocal coaching before a contest, you’ll probably want them to come in with sufficient time to absorb and process their coaching before your performance. If you’re having a coach come in to help you with administrative team-building or visual team brainstorming, almost any time that allows you to follow up on coached skills will work.

Be sure you and the coach are clear about the focus you want to take. If you’re looking for help with interpreting a ballad, there will probably be changes to the music. If you’re prepping for a big performance and want to minimize changes, let the coach know.

Understand your budget limitations. Get the coach’s travel and coaching fees upfront. Find out their preferences for housing, food, and drink. Always get commitments in writing so there is no misunderstanding later. Some choruses develop a contract form; others just use email.

In addition, make sure the coach fits the personality of your group and vice versa. Every chorus has its own unique personality and culture. Find other groups who have used the coach and can talk to you candidly about their strengths and weaknesses. Social media can be a great place to find other groups with whom the coach has worked.


Once you’ve found a coach, listen to them! Why bring in a coach just to disagree with them? Try things their way. Listen with a growth mindset. See what works. You might be pleasantly surprised!

After the coaching session, take time to reflect on the experience. Maybe you found someone who just didn’t “click” with your group, but perhaps you’ve discovered a new coach with whom you can build a long and lasting relationship. Either way, you will have learned something new about yourselves, and that’s always a win!

Julie Starr is Master Director of Bay Area Showcase Chorus, former Region #12 Education Coordinator, chair of the Director Certification Program (DCP) Review Committee, and a member of the International Board of Directors (IBOD).

OctOber 2022 | 39



Beth Paul, Regional Communications Coordinator Gail Jencik, Regional Directors Coordinator Karen Sweeters, Regional Education Coordinator Christine Bulgini, Regional Events Coordinator Lauren O'Sullivan, Regional Finance Coordinator Laura Carey, Regional Marketing Coordinator Sally Jeffery, Regional Membership Coordinator Rebecca King, Regional Team Coordinator


Nancy Kirkpatrick, Regional Communications Coordinator Jill Watson, Regional Directors Coordinator Brook Tucker, Regional Education Coordinator Nanette Peters, Regional Events Coordinator Nancy Swift, Regional Finance Coordinator Cathy Maxwell, Regional Marketing Coordinator Susan St John, Regional Membership Coordinator Lois Kelly, Regional Team Coordinator


Sherry Berkley, Regional Communications Coordinator Lora Wright, Regional Directors Coordinator Carol Thompson, Regional Education Coordinator Cindy Slowik, Regional Events Coordinator Shelly Hughes, Regional Finance Coordinator Antonija Mitt, Regional Marketing Coordinator Sarah McGinnis, Regional Membership Coordinator Becky McDuffee, Regional Team Coordinator


Liz Sabo Johnson, Regional Communications Coordinator

Debra Bringman, Regional Directors Coordinator Kim Wonders, Regional Education Coordinator Natalie Allen, Regional Events Coordinator

Beverly Miller, Regional Finance Coordinator Kristie Clark, Regional Marketing Coordinator Marsha Leistner, Regional Membership Coordinator Sue Pelley, Regional Team Coordinator


Mary Kammeyer, Regional Communications Coordinator

Bev Hamilton, Regional Directors Coordinator

Twilla Duvall, Regional Education Coordinator Kim Webster, Regional Events Coordinator Elizabeth Hager, Regional Finance Coordinator Michelle Franzen, Regional Marketing Coordinator Kelsey Kessler, Regional Membership Coordinator Mary Kullman, Regional Team Coordinator


Carol Morgan, Regional Communications Coordinator Megan Argall, Regional Directors Coordinator

Terri Calvert, Regional Education Coordinator

Lyla Larson, Regional Events Coordinator Audra Freeman, Regional Finance Coordinator Molly Robertson, Regional Marketing Coordinator Linda Rubis, Regional Membership Coordinator Susan Krisnik, Regional Team Coordinator


Laura Gurney, Regional Communications Coordinator Julie Palagi, Regional Directors Coordinator Leslie Galbreath, Regional Education Coordinator Mary Kriener, Regional Events Coordinator

Ruth Widerski, Regional Finance Coordinator Kathy Dow, Regional Marketing Coordinator Bobbie Kern, Regional Membership Coordinator Joan Clare Ford, Regional Team Coordinator


Catherine Boyer Porter, Regional Communications Coordinator Faye McLanahan, Regional Directors Coordinator Kim Elger-Griffin, Regional Education Coordinator Amanda Wreford, Regional Events Coordinator Deborah Thornton, Regional Finance Coordinator Melissa Maris, Regional Marketing Coordinator Donna Martin, Regional Membership Coordinator Gayle Burton, Regional Team Coordinator


Karla Fenton, Regional Communications Coordinator Holly Ritter, Regional Directors Coordinator Kerri Mauney, Regional Education Coordinator Kellie Welsh, Regional Events Coordinator Janet Burnett, Regional Finance Coordinator Laura DeGraw, Regional Marketing Coordinator Sharon Hudgens, Regional Membership Coordinator Bebe Caldwell, Regional Team Coordinator


Anita Treichel, Regional Communications Coordinator Bobbette Gantz, Regional Directors Coordinator Tammy Ragsdale, Regional Education Coordinator Colleen McCormick, Regional Events Coordinator

Laura La Borde, Regional Finance Coordinator Jennifer Zucker, Regional Marketing Coordinator Bridget Barrett, Regional Membership Coordinator Kimberly Alley, Regional Team Coordinator


Kristen Skold, Regional Communications Coordinator Angela Suraci, Regional Directors Coordinator Alison Miller, Regional Education Coordinator Mary Mamer, Regional Events Coordinator Geri Miller-Riedel, Regional Finance Coordinator Kevran Day, Regional Marketing Coordinator Lynda Casillas, Regional Membership Coordinator Sandra Jones, Regional Team Coordinator


Sandra Smith, Regional Communications Coordinator Patty Martin, Regional Directors Coordinator Shelly Pardis, Regional Education Coordinator

Jody Allen, Regional Events Coordinator Cherie Letts, Regional Marketing Coordinator Sharon Stockstad, Regional Membership Coordinator Sally Ryerson, Regional Team Coordinator

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Susan Inge, Regional Communications Coordinator Claire Gardiner, Regional Directors Coordinator Sarah Clay Lindvall, Regional Education Coordinator Mary-Margaret Prange, Regional Events Coordinator

Martha Gilliam, Regional Finance Coordinator Lauren Dalrymple, Regional Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Cooke, Regional Membership Coordinator Jacqueline Kaminer, Regional Team Coordinator


Victoria Tisch, Regional Communications Coordinator Jeanne Elmuccio, Regional Directors Coordinator Jean Schoenlank, Regional Education Coordinator Kay Weiss, Regional Events Coordinator Phyllis Capolongo, Regional Finance Coordinator Colleen Christi Willett, Regional Marketing Coordinator Evelyn Langenstein, Regional Membership Coordinator Lori Britt-Horvath, Regional Team Coordinator


Jacqui Barron, Regional Communications Coordinator Joan Borden, Regional Directors Coordinator Kristin Ponte, Regional Education Coordinator Cathy Stovold, Regional Events Coordinator Colleen O 'Dwyer, Regional Finance Coordinator Vanessa Echlin, Regional Marketing Coordinator Christine Yorke, Regional Membership Coordinator Sue Melvin, Regional Team Coordinator


Sherry Berkley, Regional Communications Coordinator

Diane Porsch, Regional Directors Coordinator

Lynne Peirce, Regional Education Coordinator

Vicki Van Gorder, Regional Events Coordinator

Marilyn VanFossan, Regional Finance Coordinator

Stephanie Doerner, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Allison Hengelsberg, Regional Membership Coordinator Sandra Blamowski, Regional Team Coordinator


V. Nicole Burkhardt, Regional Communications Coordinator Sherry Stanton, Regional Directors Coordinator

Lori Jo Whitehaus, Regional Education Coordinator Sally Kelly, Regional Events Coordinator

Cathy Schuman, Regional Finance Coordinator Donna Vincent Roa, Regional Marketing Coordinator Patricia Weeks, Regional Membership Coordinator Irene Hershey, Regional Team Coordinator


Caroline, Jones, Regional Communications Coordinator

C. Kirby Cass, Regional Directors Coordinator Leah Rippetoe, Regional Education Coordinator Kathy Whelan, Regional Events Coordinator Robin Haddock, Regional Finance Coordinator Claudia Cannon, Regional Marketing Coordinator Beverly Berardinelli, Regional Membership Coordinator Darren Hurst, Regional Team Coordinator


Barbara Patton, Regional Communications Coordinator Connie Light, Regional Directors Coordinator Melynnie Williams, Regional Education Coordinator Jennifer Foster, Regional Events Coordinator

Kelli Hinton, Regional Finance Coordinator Sara Firm, Regional Marketing Coordinator Lindsay Chartier-Holdeman, Regional Membership Coordinator Karen Phillips, Regional Team Coordinator


Phyllis Davis, Regional Communications Coordinator Lisa Greenough, Regional Education Coordinator Sandy Marron, Regional Directors Coordinator Frances Thorson, Regional Events Coordinator Susan Dumas, Regional Finance Coordinator Stacey Rose, Regional Marketing Coordinator Louise Percy, Regional Membership Coordinator Jody Meli, Regional Team Coordinator


Margaret Vonk-Archer, Regional Communications Coordinator Sarah Gill, Regional Directors Coordinator Nancy Kelsall, Regional Education Coordinator Kirstie Spencer, Regional Events Coordinator Mairi Redhead, Regional Finance Coordinator Sara Tripconey, Regional Marketing Coordinator Nicky Salt, Regional Membership Coordinator Jeanette Yuile, Regional Team Coordinator


Annika Christensen, Regional Communications Coordinator Marie Erenstedt, Regional Directors Coordinator Charlotte Pettersson, Regional Education Coordinator Lisa Rolf, Regional Events Coordinator

Catharina Persson, Regional Finance Coordinator Rosmarie Karlsson, Regional Marketing Coordinator Lisbeth Fridborn, Regional Membership Coordinator


Michelle Roy, Regional Communications Coordinator Jenni Pyefinch, Regional Directors Coordinator Rebecca Hewitt, Regional Education Coordinator Linda Vinall, Regional Events Coordinator Anne Freeman, Regional Finance Coordinator Karen Phillips, Regional Marketing Coordinator Tracey Ezzy, Regional Membership Coordinator Michelle Neller, Regional Team Coordinator


Jenny Meadows, Regional Communications Coordinator Carolyn Currington, Regional Directors Coordinator Leanne Wheeler, Regional Education Coordinator Ann-Marie Francis, Regional Events Coordinator Mary Cave-Palmer, Regional Finance Coordinator Jo Maxwell, Regional Marketing Coordinator Miriam Spragg, Regional Membership Coordinator Leigh Whitelaw, Regional Team Coordinator

OctOber 2022 | 41


Accolades as of August 1, 2022


Advanced to Certified Director

Tyler Horton, Upper Chesapeake, #19

Advanced to Harmony 500

Beverly Miller, River Magic, #4

Susan Koppenhaver, Capitaland, #15

Betty Meinholz, Goldcoast Chapter, #9

Melanie McGuire, Northwest Harmony, #13

Louise Brannon, Redland Rhapsody, #34

Jill McLeod, Southern Accord, #26

Julie Palagi, Greeley Harmonix, #8

Rhonda Williams, Royal River, #1

Jack Johnson, Cincinnati Sound, #4

Jennifer Squires, Perth Harmony, #34

Kim Higdon, Bridges of Harmony, #9

Charlotte Pettersson, Stockholm Starlight, #32 Jo-Anne Killips, Rhythm of the Rockies, #26

Advanced to Master Director

Laurel Strielkauskas, Millennium Magic, #1

Michelle Hunget, Kansas City, #5

Susan Ives, Topeka Acappella Unlimited, #5

Rebecca Richards, High Country, #8

Nathan Ogg, Greater Cleveland, #17

Sofia Feuer, MalmÖ Limelight, #32

Advanced to Master Director 700

Anna Rosenberg, Pearls of the Sound, #32

Harmony with Heart

We love to perform!

Alberta Gold Chorus is seeking a Musical Director.

Minimum of 3-years experience either as a Frontline or Assistant Director preferred.

Must be prepared to grow and have fun!

Apply at:

The Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus is an enthusiastic, motivated mid-size chorus in Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose wonderful director just retired. They’re looking for a dynamic director with the skills (interpersonal and musical) to help guide them on their continuing journey for musical and artistic excellence.

Please contact Robin Hanish at (505) 504-2891 or

Musical Director Wanted!

The Spirit of Syracuse Chorus is a cutting-edge chorus of dynamic people with a passion for musical excellence. We are looking for an enthusiastic individual who is ready to help take our chorus to the next level.

Email your interest to:

42 | OctOber 2022

Virtual Memorial Wall

Honor the memory of a Sweet Adeline by having their name added to the new Sweet Adelines International Virtual Memorial Wall. Memorial donations help continue the legacy of our beloved members by providing funds for the events, education, and other programs that keep our organization thriving.

To find out how to give a memorial gift in the name of a Sweet Adeline, visit or email Becky Duncan, Assistant Director of Philanthropy at

In Memory • July - September, 2022

Fran Pearson, Scottsdale, #21

Bernice Englert, Jersey Sounds, #19

Keane Michelin, Shoreline Sound, #2

Lee McGuire, Sounds of Pittsburgh, #17 Patty Warren,Chapter-at-Large, #13

Loretta Bell, Carolina Style, #14

Ruth Gwin, Metro Mix, #5

Pamela Childress, Velvet Hills, #8

Jackie Kelso, Enchanted Mesa Show, #21

Bette Templeton, Toast of Tampa Show, #9

Elinor Perry, OC Sound, #21

Darlene Friend, Jacksonville Harmony, #9

Phyllis Christiansen, River City Harmony, #6

Susan Williams, Potomac Harmony, #14

Carolyn Kraichely, River Blenders, #5

Suzanne Auther, Buffalo Gateway, #17

Donna Falcone, Philadelphia Freedom, #19

Michelle Hartman, Virginia Coast, #14

Dawn Wright, Oregon Spirit, #12

Memorial Gifts

Former Sweet Adelines honored with a Memorial Gift

2023 AND WE'RE OFF OCT. 30–NOV. 4, 2023 Save the Date
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