The Pitch Pipe October 2023

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Cosmic Quad City Sound THE VOICE OF SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL The | October 2023 | Volume 77 — No.2 Pitch Pipe Congratulations to the 2023 winners!
Because of Sweet Adelines... …more people can experience the joy of barbershop singing. …you are part of a beautiful harmony that none of us can create alone. ...generations of singers continue learning and growing together. Because of you, the legacy continues. Visit or scan the QR code* to make your gift. *Make sure you’re logged in with your member number.
OctOber 2023 | 1 On the Cover: 2023 Rising Star Champion Quartet Cosmic and 2023 Diamond Division Champion Quartet Quad City Sound The Pitch Pipe OctOber 2023 | Volume 77 — No.2 22 What’s In Your Toolkit? A Look at Chorus Toolkit Components 34 Not Just For Directors: Dispelling Myths About the DCP 36 The Art of Communication 38 Prepare Your Quartet! 18 “A Life-Changing Experience”: Sweet Adelines International Donor Debra Peters 42 Sweet Adelines Grant Cycle 1 Recipients 44 Sweet Adelines International Donor Annie Hayes 19 Ignite the Sound Vol. 2 Update 24 Act. Belong. Commit: Perth Harmony Chorus 43 Recruiting Generations: Golden Sands Chorus 10 A Cosmic Connection: 2023 Rising Star Champion Quartet, Cosmic 12 Rising Star Quartet Contest Top 5 10 “Don’t Ever Stop Singing”: 2023 Diamond Division Champion Quartet, Quad City Sound 12 Diamond Division Quartet Contest Top 5 30 2024 Wildcard Choruses 32 A Big Time In Texas: Queens’ College 2023 Education Philanthropy Membership
and Competition 3 From Our President and CEO 25 Harmony Roundup 45 In Memory 46 Accolades In Every Issue 6 2024-2027 IBOD Nominees 40 2023-2024 Regional Management Teams International Updates

The Pitch Pipe

OctOber 2023 | Volume 77 — 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, 2023 – April 30, 2024

Thérèse Antonini, International President

Joan Boutilier, Immediate Past President

Mary Rhea, President-elect

Jenny Harris, Secretary

Valerie Taylor, Treasurer

Sharon Cartwright Janice McKenna

JD Crowe Julie Starr

Annika Dellås Mary Teed

Vickie Maybury


Marcia Pinvidic, Chair

Joan Boutilier Jenny Harris

Betty Clipman Valerie Taylor


Alyson Chaney Mary Rhea

Betty Clipman 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 •

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2 | OctOber 2023
Remember to use #SweetAdelines on social media. Headquarters uses the # to find your posts, photos and tweets to share across Sweet Adelines social media channels. @SweetAdelinesIntl 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 Highlights Anytime. Anywhere. Read The Pitch Pipe on ISSUU! Find us at Cosmic Quad City Sound THE VOICE OF SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL The October 2023 Volume77 No.2 Pitch Pipe Congratulations to the 2023 winners!

From Our President

Welcome to our October 2023 issue of The Pitch Pipe! This edition offers celebrations of the past, resources for the present, and promises for the future.

It’s always exciting to celebrate new champions and share the stories of their journeys. This issue, we meet our newest Rising Star and Diamond Division champions, who celebrated their wins at The Coronet Club’s Queens’ College in July. It was a wonderful event!

The educational articles in this edition focus on deepening our understanding of the tools and programs available to us as members. They are all great resources to help us navigate through these challenging times.

With our list of International Board of Directors (IBOD) Nominees, we learn about those volunteers who are willing to take on the important task of positioning Sweet Adelines for the future! Our vote in the IBOD election is one important way we can influence decision-making, and the nominee profiles help us learn about our potential board members before we vote!

We also recognize our hard-working Regional Management Team (RMT) members for the coming year. They provide a critical level of governance for our members and deserve a debt of gratitude for everything they do.

As always (and perhaps my favorite part of every issue), there are the stories of our members to inspire us. I love to learn how choruses are enriching the lives of their members and communities and about the creative ways they have to draw in new members (check out those Ignite the Sound stats!). I am inspired when I read about the reasons behind why people continue to choose to contribute their time and resources to the organization.

I hope you also find encouragement, inspiration, and valuable learning within the pages of this, and every issue of The Pitch Pipe. Each issue is a celebration of, and for, all of us and the value of the membership that we all share.

Thank you (for everything you do),

OctOber 2023 | 3


Wear – or carry – your Sweet Adelines pride with you wherever you go! Find popular and new Sweet Adelines merchandise at International Sales in the Harmony Bazaar in Louisville. All prices in USD.

Louisville Collectibles

1. Tote Bag $15

The Sweet Adelines tote bag is roomy and ready for all you need to carry.

2. Charm $6.50

It's a tradition! Add to or start your collection of charms.

New items in the Sweet Adelines store!

3. Bluetooth Speaker $19.99

Poolside, picnic, hotel room...bust out the barbershop wherever you go!

4. Scarf $19.99

It's soft. It's warm. It's the Sweet Adelines pashmina. Wrap up in one today!

5. Mug $5 Got the tea? Drink it from a Sweet Adelines mug!

6. Ornament $10

Bring a little harmony to your winter decor with the Sweet Adelines hanging ornament.

4 | OctOber 2023
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) 1 3 4 5 6 2

Hello, Sweet Adelines,

The staff members of Sweet Adelines International Headquarters are dedicated to supporting our members. Each department brings unique expertise to their work, and we collaborate to ensure our members have a fulfilling experience and feel supported by their international organization. For the next few issues of The Pitch Pipe, I am dedicating this space to introducing you to the headquarters staff by department.

In this issue, I would like to introduce our Events and Competition Department.

You are about to see our Events and Competition staff in action at Louisville! Our Events staff plans every detail of every Sweet Adelines International happening, from educational events to, of course, our convention. Our Competition staff manages all things, well, competition – from processing competitor applications to acting as liaison with the International Judging Panel to coordinating competition logistics and so much more.

To introduce our staff members, I asked them to share some of their own experiences and memories with Sweet Adelines.

Vanesa Masucci, Director of Events

My favorite aspect of the 2022 Convention was that everyone was so happy to be together again as our event was the first most had been to after COVID. I think it made the Convention that much more magical! I love working for an organization that is so focused on bringing joy to so many.

Natalie Bennett, Senior Coordinator of Events

My favorite memory was in 2019 when I got to travel to the UK for the International Education Symposium event that we put on with Region 31. Getting to arrive a few days early and do some sightseeing and then travel by train up to Manchester for the event was so amazing! I enjoyed working with Region 31 to put the event on. Getting to experience an event in one of our international regions was such a treat!

McLain, Events Coordinator

One of my favorite memories is meeting a member who was so excited to walk the stage for her 60-year pin. She was so heartfelt about the women she had met over the years, as she waited offstage. She said, “These are my sisters!” It hit me how so many of these people have been connected for a lifetime doing something they love. In a world with so many changes, this event was their harbor to come back to again and again. I could have cried.

I think my best memory is standing backstage in Phoenix last year as the whole auditorium sang. Hearing 3,500 voices in unison live and in harmony is an ethereal experience. I got chills.

Emily Mock, Judges and Competition Coordinator

My first convention was 2011 in Houston. I hadn’t yet experienced any live Sweet Adelines performances. During the Chorus Finals, I was able to see Rönninge Show Chorus perform, and their performance of Blackbird gave me the chills, it was so amazing!

Beeghly, Competition Coordinator

I have been in near constant communication with competitors leading up to International Competition/Rising Star/Diamond Division, whether it be from my time as Events Coordinator to my current role as Competition Coordinator, so my favorite memories are when I’ve been able to meet them in person at contest. They are always so happy, kind, gracious, and fun!

We appreciate all our Events and Competition staff members do and the passion with which they do it!

In harmony,

OctOber 2023 | 5 From Our CEO
Bronwyn Jordan Left to right, Emily Mock, Jordan Beeghly, Vanesa Masucci, Natalie Bennett, Bronwyn McLain

Nominees for the 2024-2027

Sweet Adelines International Board of Directors

The election of the International Board of Directors is determined by the votes of our members at the chapter level (and remember as a Chapter-at-Large or Member-atLarge, we need your vote too!). We appreciate your attention to last year's election — we achieved close to 100% participation — and strongly encourage you to make sure that your chapter is represented as part of this important process.

The election will fill three expiring board terms, beginning May 1, 2024, and ending April 30, 2027. Ballots are due at international headquarters by 3 p.m. Central Time (9 p.m. UTC), Wednesday, November 29, 2023.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION? My vision is for an innovative, inclusive organization that is committed to serving members. Forward-thinking and responsive leadership sets the agenda for continuous improvement and fresh ways to deliver music education and membership experiences that differentiate us and have the scope to support other music and community organizations to thrive.

EDUCATION: High School, Associate Diploma in Performing Arts (Theatre), Queensland University of Technology, Film Production Management Certificate, Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Sydney Australia

SPECIALIZED TRAINING: General management, Communication, Public relations, Facilitation, Presentation skills, Business and digital media writing, Change management, Positive leadership, Situational leadership, Solution selling, Marketing

CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: 2013-current: Self-employed Strategic Communication Director, specializing in employee engagement and organizational change communication, 2008-2013 – Strategic Communication Director, Precinct, Sydney Australia, 2002-2008 - General Manager and Director, OgilvyImpact an Ogilvy PR Worldwide company, Sydney Australia, 1999-2002 – Head of Creative Services, Jack Morton Worldwide, Sydney Australia

LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: 2017 – Present: International Board of Directors member, 2021 – Present: Regional Leadership Committee (Chair in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024), 2021 – Present: Board Resource Advisory Committee, 2018 – 2021: Worldwide Moderator, 2012 – 2017: Regional Management Team of Region 34 – two years as Communications Coordinator and three years as Team Coordinator

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? My broad experience as an IBOD, RMT and Chorus member informs insights that can benefit the Board’s decision making. My experience as a communication specialist in organizational change drives me to consider diverse perspectives and impacts when planning and making decisions. I’m passionate about dreaming big and shaping our future.

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? My strengths are strategic thinking, creativity, and resourcefulness. I have skills in visioning, corporate governance, strategic planning. I thrive on connecting people with mutual goals to learn from each other and innovate. I believe Sweet Adelines can offer membership options outside of the traditional chartered chapter structure and competition model.

WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? Flexible participation models and benefits to encourage member retention in vulnerable life stages and for those with diverse interests. Keep member needs at the center of decision making, adapting as we thoughtfully expand as a global organization. Partner with compatible music and social organizations to bring harmony to more people.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: We have a much-loved brand and a powerful industry voice, attracting funding and high-profile performances. Technology and new revenue streams have enabled ways for leaders, singers, and arrangers to connect, collaborate, compete, and access world-class education anywhere. The joy of singing with friends and individual growth remains at our heart.

EDUCATION: Secondary School

SPECIALIZED TRAINING: Training/Coaching, HR, Recruitment, Leadership, Facilitation, Customer Service, Leading Teams and Presentation Skills, DCP Certified Director, Regional Faculty training.

CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: Currently self-employed vocal/quartet/ chorus coach. Previously Musical Director of the Edinburgh Police Choir and Assistant Director of a men’s barbershop chorus. Previous employment was with a worldwide bank, employed in the HR, Recruitment and Training departments.

LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: International Board of Directors (IBOD), Member of the Regional Leadership Committee (RLC), Member of the Editorial Review Board, Member of the Small - Mid-size Value Proposition Task Force, Co-Chair of IES 2019.

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Sharon Cartwright Vocalescence Chorus • Region 34 14-year member Elaine Hamilton Forth Valley Chorus • Region 31 33-year member

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? My communication skills are strong and I actively listen to all viewpoints when in debate. I maintain awareness of the organisational Vision and Mission and Strategic Plan whilst prepared to ask challenging questions if required. I have a global perspective which adds depth to discussions and aids worldwide understanding.

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? I am honest, pragmatic, articulate, fair and care deeply about the membership and the organisation. My IBOD and RLC service has provided me with an even wider sense of member, regional and organisational issues. I’m able to balance these various needs to reach resolution/compromise. There’s always a way through!


Increased membership and retention and continued development of ways to increase income and financial security. Top-class education will make us stand out as leaders in a cappella singing worldwide, with the musical product ever improving. Leadership development will enrich our administrative stability as will greater connections through networking opportunities.

WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? Membership growth and technological advancements will continue to be important. Results from the Member Perception survey will further enrich the organisation’s road map for the future. Continued creativity around all aspects of what we do is necessary to ensure we are relevant and provide value for money for all members.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: We will be the premier provider of vocal education, renowned for musical excellence in a cappella singing, whilst maintaining our barbershop roots. We will be financially stable with a thriving, vibrant and diverse membership through creativity in all aspects of what we do, and members everywhere will feel valued.

anything for our incredible organization. I have a servant heart and would love to serve SA in this capacity!

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? My extensive involvement at the chapter/regional level allows me the insight into what our members are facing. I’m a creative problemsolver and anticipate needs of the organization. As a member of the RLC, RMT, current Team Leader for the Rich-Tones, and in my professional life, I have participated in a lot of visioning, strategic planning and blazing of new trails.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION? To bring joy and harmony into the world, but that means the world needs to know about us! I would love to not be the world’s “best kept secret,” but to step out and make a difference in the world! We are a group that the world can look to as an example of an inclusive group that joyfully embraces music, education, and strong leadership.

WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? Maintain a strong fiscal organization that can be enjoyed for many years to come. In listening to our members, the development of even more creative membership solutions to increase involvement and success, as well as developing more education through technology is a priority. Continue to build on the foundation of success and connectivity we have already established.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: I think Sweet Adelines will be a leader in the world in harmony and leadership development. We will continue to create beneficial relationships with others in the world of music to create more harmony. We will be a diverse, equitable, and sought-after group around the world that provides a safe place to create harmony and build one another up.

Chapter-at-Large • Region #13 42-year member

EDUCATION: Regis College, bachelors in economics and political science

SPECIALIZED TRAINING: Director Certification Program certification

EDUCATION: University of Oklahoma – Sports Management

CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: Director of Operations for Financial Planning Firm, Patient Access Manager for free-standing Emergency Room

LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: Rich-Tone Chorus Team Leader, Rich-Tone Chorus Finance Coordinator, Regional Management Team (RMT) of Region 25 – Finance Coordinator, Panel Secretary, Regional Leadership Committee (RLC) member

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? I feel my financial background and long-range planning skills will allow me to be beneficial for the organization as we work together to maintain a strong fiscal organization. I’m not afraid to use my excitement for Sweet Adelines to ask anyone to do

CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: Chief Operating Officer-Mary’s Place Seattle, Washington, USA, Director of Finance-KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, ControllerEntercom Seattle, Washington, USA, Controller-CBS Sacramento, California, USA

LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: Sweet Adelines International Treasurer, SA Finance Committee Chair, SA Philanthropy Committee Chair, Panel Secretary, Regional Management Team (RMT) of Region 13 – Finance Coordinator

cont. on next page

OctOber 2023 | 7
Kelli Hinton Rich-Tone Chorus • Region 25 18-year member Janice McKenna

HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL AS A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS? My experience with not for profit organizations allows me to understand how important it is to be fiscally responsible within our organization. Looking to diversify our revenue streams from membership dues is an area where I can add value.

WHAT SPECIFIC SKILLS, IDEAS TALENTS, ETC., WOULD YOU BRING TO THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD? Fiscal management understanding. Working for many years in the finance realm allows me to add perspective as we look at how we continue to protect the organization for the future.


Growth of membership is important, but also growth of revenues either by finding new sources or creating events that make money in the future. We have knowingly engaged in deficit spending in this post-COVID year to jump-start the organization again. This is not sustainable, but with the staff’s prudent fiscal approach, I feel we are headed in the right direction.

WHAT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS? Membership-as we see our aging population, we need to determine what ways to entice younger/new members that will help sustain what’s been built over the 75+ years of the organization. Developing marketing strategies to promote our hobby and developing inroads to educational institutions to expand our base.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU THINK SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL WILL BE LIKE 25 YEARS FROM NOW: Technologically, our online education system will allow us to continue the amazing work of the Education Direction Committee worldwide with nominal costs to members. We are just at the beginning of this journey and will be able to provide members opportunities to continue their SA journey at reduced costs. We have incredible materials available that will be able to be housed on our educational platform.

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.


EDUCATION: High School and many, many Educational courses over the years

SPECIALIZED TRAINING: 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, International Education Symposium (IES), Director Training, Certified Director (20 years), RMT training and International Conventions.

CURRENT AND PAST OCCUPATIONS: Office Administrator (Dental Office), Computer software/hardware sales and training (Dental), Car dealership office manager, Various sales and administrative positions.

LIST FIVE SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP ROLES YOU HAVE HELD IN SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL: Appointment to International Board of Directors 2023- 2024, Regional Management Team – three years as Regional Education Coordinator and six years as Regional Director Coordinator, Regional Education Faculty for 20+ years, Chorus Director for 10 years and currently Assistant Director, Chorus Vocal Development Coordinator

Ballots are due at international headquarters by 3 p.m. Central Time (9 p.m. UTC), Wednesday, November 29, 2023.


Call headquarters at 1.800.992.7464 or 1.918.622.1444 or email

8 | OctOber 2023
YOUR VOTE! Mary Teed Alberta Northern Lights Chorus Region 26 26-year member

Learn how you can honor a member, director, leader or any Sweet Adeline who has made an impact on your life.



2023 Rising Star Champion Quartet


Fateful encounters, perfect timing, and a true Cosmic connection…that is the story of our 2023 Rising Star Champion Quartet.

Cosmic’s official baritone, Catrina Tulowiecki had competed three times in the Rising Star contest with her former quartet, Perfect Fourth. When she put out a call for quartet mates on barbershop social media, she soon connected with fellow Rising Star veterans – and fellow baritones – Madison Padgett, formerly of Blaze Quartet, and Holli Houtz, of 2023 Region #2 Champion Quartet Girl Talk. They live in three different U.S. cities: Catrina in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is assistant director of Metro Nashville Chorus; Holli in Detroit, Michigan, where she sings with Motor City Blend; and Madison in San Antonio, Texas. Their original tenor, Abi Tipton, had to step out of the lineup, but then the stars aligned.

Madison decided to visit Region #10 A Cappella Unlimited Chorus in nearby San Marcos, Texas, just for fun. There she met Cheyenne Gonzalez.

“I’d been singing a cappella for a while, but this is my first year in barbershop,” says Cheyenne. “I went to my first regional competition in March, and when I saw the quartet contest, I loved it and immediately wanted to be in a quartet. I’ll be ineligible for Rising Star after this year, so I was like, ‘I’ve got to do this now!’ I didn’t know any other young singers, so I went to the internet but nothing happened…then Madison just popped up at my chorus rehearsal and invited me to audition! I was like, ‘Oh my gosh… The universe sent this to me!’”

Everything happened fast after that.

As young singers themselves and as music educators, Cosmic deeply appreciated this year’s youth track at Queens’ College –especially the youth chorus.

“Almost all of us who are Sweet Adelines and do Rising Star are used to being the youngest person in our chorus, so it’s super cool to be with our peers,” says Catrina. “I’m usually the youngest person at barbershop events, but Rising Star is a time I get to be with people who know the references that I’m talking about and who understand what it means to be a young barbershopper.”

As educators, they also appreciated seeing the effect of Rising Star and the Queens’ College learning track on young singers.

“My students loved hanging out with Debbie [Cleveland, who ran the youth track[,” says Madison. “It was an extra barbershop experience they wouldn’t have gotten from just me. They loved singing in the youth chorus together, and their favorite part of the whole day was going to see the Diamond Division Quartet Contest!”

“When I competed in Rising Star for the first time six years ago, my quartet Perfect Fourth was actually awarded Stars to Watch, so it was so special to see Madison’s students get that award,” says Catrina. “Every year, I love watching the Starlettes. It’s just so special to show everyone the beautiful future of Sweet Adelines, and we are so excited to be part of it!”

They are excited for other young singers to be Rising Stars too.

“My biggest piece of advice is to just stay true to yourself,” says Catrina. “I feel like people worry, ‘What are we supposed to do? What are we supposed to sing? What are we supposed to wear?’ Or they feel like they need to imitate other people. But it’s really important to wear what makes you feel best, sing what is fun for your whole quartet, and just go out there and have a blast because then no matter what happens, you know that you’re going to be the proudest of your performance and will have had the most fun possible for those six minutes on stage.”

“We got together within the first week,” says Madison. “I literally flew across the country to sing with them, and we all kept saying, ‘This is meant to be! It’s written in the stars! It’s a cosmic connection!’”

They had three weeks to prepare, with two in-person rehearsals, but they made the time count, with great coaching from barbershop heavyweights Debbie Cleveland (Madison’s high school director), Michaela Slamka-Johnson (Holli’s cousin), Katy Dane (Cheyenne’s high school director), Ryan Heller, and Kendra LaPointe. It also didn’t hurt that all members of Cosmic Quartet also have degrees in music: Catrina, Holli, and Madison in music education, and Cheyenne in music performance. While Holli makes learning tracks professionally, the rest of Cosmic’s members work as music educators. In fact, Madison competed against her own students at Rising Star – this year’s Stars to Watch award winners, Supernova. “Stars to Watch” is an award given to the highest-scoring Rising Star Quartet whose average age is less than 17.

OctOber 2023 | 11
Fun Fact: Cosmic performed Goody Goodbye in honor of Adrenaline, their fellow long-distance quartet who won Rising Star in 2017.

2023 Rising Star Results



Stars to Watch

Entry opens


January 15, 2024!

12 | OctOber 2023
Radiant • Coastal Harmony, #9 Sound • Heart of America, #25 • Austin, Texas, USA Ciao Bellas • Omaha, Nebraska, USA Counterpoint • Rocky Mountain, #8 Place 3nd Place 4th Place 5th Place Tenor: Abbie Owens Lead: Hannah Paschal Baritone: Emma Paschal Bass: Katie Vincent Tenor: Nicole Wilson Lead: Kristina Henderson Baritone: Kianna Montanez Bass: Diane McGuire Tenor: Mia Benavides Lead: Anabel Bordelon Baritone: Elizabeth Castillo Bass: Alyna Monreal-Cancino Tenor: Emily Miller Lead: Abby Kline Baritone: Anne Kline Bass: Mia Steiger Tenor: Molly Rymes Lead: Jamie Mcintyre Baritone: Rhianna Spong Bass: Holly Vose
Directors and Visual Leaders Seminar Tulsa, Oklahoma • July 25-27, 2024 Hyatt Regency Downtown Registration Opens January 15, 2024 Directors, Visual Leaders, Imagine If… Let your imagination run free at the Directors and Visual Leaders Seminar (DVLS)! Thursday: Ignite your ideas. Friday: Innovate! Saturday: Imagine the possibilities… Directors & Visual Leaders Seminar

Don’t Ever Stop


2023 Diamond Division Champion Quartet, Quad City Sound

Within a week of entries opening, competitor slots for the second annual Diamond Division Quartet Contest were full. Experienced, enthusiastic singers prepared for their time onstage – and someone had to sing first that night in Richardson, Texas (USA).

“We were contestant No. 1, and we were seated near the front, so we heard everybody and everything,” recalls Quad City Sound bass Vickie Dennis.

On a night of great performances, they weren’t sure where they would land as the medals were announced. They held tightly to each other’s hands as they waited.

“When they called our name for first place, we didn’t move for 10 or 12 seconds,” says Vickie.

“The sweet ladies behind us were going, ‘Get up! Get up! They called you!” laughs Melody.

For a quartet of long-time, long-distance friends, it was a special night for many reasons.

Tulsa, Oklahoma (Jan), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Vickie), San Antonio, Texas (Denise), and Dallas, Texas (Melody)..

Because Vocal Audacity is preparing for international competition in Louisville, they held four rehearsals at Melody’s home in Dallas so they could also rehearse as Quad City Sound. For Diamond Division, they chose songs they already each knew, but one was especially important to them: If I Give My Heart To You was sung at both Vickie and Denise’s weddings.

“Don’t ever stop singing”

The singers of Quad City Sound are no strangers to the international stage, as both quartet and chorus competitors, and they found the Diamond Division Contest overall more “laidback” but still adrenaline-inducing.

“It was fun,” says Denise. “You’re with friends you like to sing with, and while it is a contest, it is also a different experience than regional or international. To be able to do it with these three ladies has been a joy.”

Vickie says, “We are so grateful to the International Board of Directors for coming up with this contest and to the Coronet Club for attaching it to Queens’ College this year. We are going to do our very best to support it not just this year, but beyond.”

Melody was overjoyed that her mother, who is also a musician, was there to see her win with Quad City Sound.

“My mother didn’t pursue a music degree until all four of her kids were out of the house, and she was over 40,” says Melody. “She’s always told me, ‘You’re never too old to follow your dream, whatever that dream may be.’ And here we are. I want everyone to know that it’s never too late. If you’re thinking about it, do it. What have you got to lose?”

Why Quad City?

Quad City Sound is made up of three members of Region #25’s Vocal Audacity Quartet: Jan Fisher of Talk of Tulsa Show Chorus (tenor), Denise Fly of Alamo Metro Chorus (baritone), and Vickie Dennis (bass) of OK City Chorus. With Vocal Audacity’s beloved lead (Teresa Totty) too young for Diamond Division’s age requirement, they recruited Melody White of Alamo Metro Chorus to sing with them for the contest. Their quartet name was a natural fit, as all four members live in separate U.S. cities:

“Don’t hesitate,” adds Vickie. “When you find three people who have the same goal in mind, it’s so much fun. We worked on these songs; we didn’t just learn them. The analytical part, the detail work…those are things I enjoy, and you can still do that, no matter how old you are.”

The members of Quad City Sound agree that Vickie spoke for them all in the acceptance speech she gave following their win: “When we got together, this was the goal,” she said. “We’ve had a great time doing this, and what I want to say here is don’t ever stop singing. Ever.”

OctOber 2023 | 15
Statement shoes may be turning into a Diamond Division tradition. 2022 Champion Madison Avenue Quartet wore red high heels. Quad City Sound went with bright rose gold sneakers -- sparkling, of course. Vickie says, "In Diamond Division, we can wear whatever we want, and why not wear sparkly tennis shoes that are comfortable? And truth be told, we wanted to continue the tradition that Madison Avenue started with their red shoes!"

2023 Diamond Division Results

Entry opens

January 15, 2024!

16 | OctOber 2023
Touchstone • North by Northwest, #19 No Curfew • Coastal Harmony, #9 Radiance • Great Gulf Coast, #10 Party Mix • Golden West, #21 2nd Place 3nd Place 4th Place 5th Place Tenor: Robin Osborn Lead: Debra Aungst Baritone: Sydney Thompson Bass: Paula Davis Tenor: Donna Adams Lead: Shamane Fernandez Baritone: Julie Vaughn Bass: Susan Hallenbeck Tenor: Mary Downs Lead: Bonnie Garcia Baritone: Bebe Caldwell Bass: Janet Moe Tenor: Wendi Young Lead: Michele Baldwin Baritone: Kathy Blodgett Bass: Susan Kegley
OctOber 2023 | 17 Saturday, October 21 Sing Together. Unite the World. 202 4 2024 Kansas City Registration Opens November 27, 2023! Watch for additional information on the Sweet Adelines website. Sing the WSD Song of the Year, Lean On Me, or the WSD Theme Song, Till The Whole World Sings. Share on social media, and submit your video via the WSD website!

A Life-Changing Experience

A talk with Sweet Adelines International donor Debra Peters

Achildhood friend introduced Debra Peters to Sweet Adelines in 1972. Right away, she joined Edge o’ Town Chorus in Chicago, eventually directing until the chorus disbanded in 2013. Today, she is a member of the mighty Melodeers Chorus and a generous donor to Sweet Adelines International. Recently, Debra arranged an estate gift to the organization to ensure that other singers can have what she describes as the “life-changing” experience that is Sweet Adelines.

“Once I get going on something, I kind of don't stop,” says Debra. “I never even thought about stopping after I started singing barbershop. I was 19 years old when I started, and everybody was so friendly. Since then, most of my best, lifelong friends are people I’ve met through Sweet Adelines.”

Debra’s chorus career is long and illustrious, but she is best known as the baritone of 1983 International Champion Quartet Melo-Edge.

Debra recalls their formation in 1978.

“I knew Donna [Bates, tenor] from high school,” Debra says. “She was a year older than me, and I recognized her because she and her sister Maureen [Brzinski, lead] had long black hair all the way down to their waists. Donna and Maureen were Melodeers, and they came to an Edge o’ Town educational workshop. A couple of weeks later, they came to an Edge o’ Town rehearsal and sat right by me. At the end of the night, they said, ‘We're trying to start a new quartet, so why don't we give it a shot?’ We tried singing with a few different basses but it just wasn’t right. Then Janell [Lind] joined Melodeers. Maureen heard her and immediately asked if she wanted to sing bass in a quartet. Janell had no idea what she was getting into but said she would give it a try! At our first rehearsal, we knew we had something good when we started singing!”

The quartet contributed to barbershop singing history throughout their amazing and active 21-year career. Along with countless performances on barbershop stages, Melo-Edge appeared on

popular 1980s television shows The Phil Donahue Show and The Toni Tennille PBS Special. They planned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their championship at this year’s Coronet Club show in Louisville, but Donna tragically passed away in May. Melo-Edge does not plan to continue as a quartet without her.

At the heart of everything is Debra’s love for singing – and for the special experience of making barbershop chords.

“When barbershop chords come together, they really do ring if you have it just right,” Debra says. “They don't only ring in your ears. They ring in your mouth, they ring around your head. It's a physical sensation, and when you get it right it’s just unbelievable. When Melo-Edge would get together, we could just feel the vibration of those chords all around and through us, which is really cool. It's really exciting, and of course, it is really fun.”

Being a Sweet Adeline has also helped in her professional life.

“I got the job I had for 26 years and retired from, in part, because on my resumé, I included things that I did through Sweet Adelines,” she says. “The person that hired me said they had 28 applicants for the job with similar work experience and knowledge, but the job required a lot of public-facing activities with the ability to think on your feet in front of audiences and other people, and I have that experience thanks to Sweet Adelines.”

Debra wants to make sure other singers are able to have the same.

“I have gotten such value out of my experiences in Sweet Adelines, and I hope that other young people can have that same opportunity,” she says. “It's everything from education in singing, administration, and so many other things as well as the confidence you gain by being a competitor. So many people don't have that kind of opportunity. I just want to be sure Sweet Adelines remains and that people know it is available. This is something that could be life-changing. I think it is. I think it can be.”

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What’s in Your Toolkit?

A look at Chorus Toolkit components

As regional conventions were revving up, competitions and performances weren’t the only priorities for Regional Management Team (RMT) leaders. With a foundation of excellent diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training sessions facilitated by the Chorus Toolkit Subcommittee, 65 regional leaders showed interest in learning more about starting a DEI team. We dove deeper into discerning healthier practices through small group sessions and open conversations. Having a safe space to share challenges and successes is making a big difference in the growth of DEI initiatives within regions, chapters, and quartets.

Using the Chorus Toolkit as a hands-on resource, leadership teams and individuals are finding practical guidance to address the particularities of each region’s journey — and everyone’s journey is different!

Does the Chorus Toolkit sometimes feel too overwhelming? Let’s break it down by looking at the components in the Chorus Toolkit Outline:

Toolkit Introduction

Start here for the big picture.

Understanding the Need for DEI

Learn the history behind where we are today.

Preparing Your Chapter for Beginning a DEI Development Process

See insights for how to move forward.

Chapter Choices to Address DEI

Choose ways to engage everyone in your group.

Guidelines for Having Conversations Around DEI

Start here for the big picture.


Remember that language matters.

DEI Chorus Survey

Start here for the big picture.

Leadership Self-Assessment Survey

Support leadership buy-in.

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Maybe you are asking, “Where do we begin?” or “Can you just give me the ‘ABC’s’ of starting a DEI Committee?” We wish it were that simple! There is no cookie-cutter approach to establishing or growing a healthy DEI initiative, but perhaps the following gems from the Chorus Toolkit will spark some ideas that will be helpful in your particular context:

Building awareness begins with understanding. Learn who is in your chorus and where they come from.

“In order to gain more chorus-specific information, review the most current chorus survey to gain an understanding of chorus demographics, chorus priorities, and member satisfaction…This process is an opportunity to gather information about the group, its needs, as well as perceptions and understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

–Preparing Your Chapter to Begin a DEI Development Process, page 1

Casual Conversations

“It is very likely that many casual conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion are already taking place among members as they discuss how the chorus functions. DEI engagement is important in every realm of chorus culture.

• Chorus standing rules and/or other governance documents

• Rehearsal accessibility (physical and mental)

• Membership recruitment, retention, and potential barriers

• Song choice

• Contest- and show-related procedures”

–Guidelines for Having Conversations Around DEI, page 7

Song Considerations

It is often difficult to understand why songs that are near and dear to our hearts are not appropriate to perform.

“History in and of itself is not bad to sing about. However, there have been oppressive periods of history that are glorified in various ways, including in song. Many of these songs speak to a nostalgia for times that may be based on fond memories, but the experience of the posi-

tive aspects of those times excluded people based on their race or ethnicity or even worse, were built upon the oppression of those people. The performance of these songs creates a negative experience for many participants.”

–Chapter Choices to Address DEI, page 3

Gendered Language

Being mindful of gendered language displays respect in an authentic way. It might be challenging for those of us for whom gender-neutral language feels relatively new, and the Chorus Toolkit helps to gain more understanding.

“When a song refers to a man or woman, it can feel exclusive to non-binary, questioning, and perhaps transitioning people, among others…Seek out songs written or arranged to be gender neutral.”

–Chapter Choices to Address DEI, page 4-5

We want to join the journey you are on and keep the conversations going. Everyone comes to the table with experience, and we want to hear your ideas. The Chorus Toolkit Subcommittee is available to listen and help guide you through the great resources available to help you and your barbershop community, whether that is a quartet, chorus, or region, grow in this exciting journey of building a better and broader culture of belonging.

Find the full content of the Chorus Toolkit here

*Member Login required

OctOber 2023 | 23
Contact Mary Cox, Allison Lew, and other Subcommittee members at Mary Cox is a member of the Chorus Toolkit Subcommittee of the DEI Task Force. She sings with Song of Atlanta Chorus (Region 14).


Perth Harmony Chorus Partners with ABC for Mental Health and New Members!

Act Belong Commit (ABC) is Australia’s longest-running mental health promotion campaign, having begun in 2002. It is coordinated by the not-for-profit organisation, Mentally Healthy WA (Western Australia). Perth Harmony Chorus has embraced the campaign to great effect by becoming a Community Partner with ABC. (Our friends in A Cappella West Chorus are also ABC Community Partners.) The collaboration between ABC and Perth Harmony Chorus has proven to be a natural amalgamation of shared core values of wellness, engagement, and community.

The ABC initiative focuses on three principles:


Do something. Keep mentally, physically, and spiritually active.


Do something with someone. Keep connected. Join a group or community of like-minded individuals.


Do something meaningful. Take up a cause or challenge and learn something new. Make a commitment to yourself and others to keep you accountable and reap the benefits.

The virtues of singing are vast. An article on describes ten key advantages to raising your voice in song. The article suggests that singing can do the following:

1) Relieve stress

2) Stimulate the immune system

3) Increase the pain threshold

4) May improve snoring

5) Improve lung capacity

6) Develop a sense of belonging and community

7) Enhance memory

8) Help with grief

9) Improve mental health and mood

10) Improve speaking abilities

How does the ABC campaign tie in with Perth Harmony Chorus and our singing?

Through singing and performing we aim to build excellence, promote community, and enhance wellbeing. We are ordinary singers with regular voices, achieving amazing things together. We are part of a group, learning and singing together, and our members often get together outside of rehearsal to work on songs, further cementing cherished friendships. There is so much fun to be had, with weekend retreats, festivals, performances, and so much more.

ABC and Perth Harmony Chorus have become a wonderfully reciprocal partnership. We support ABC by using their message and logo when promoting our chorus, activities, and events. The chorus follows ABC on digital platforms and spreads their message through our own social media presence and marketing material. We provide access to ABC resources through our webinars, Facebook group, and professional development events.

In turn, ABC supports us in a similarly effective way. Our logo is visible on their website with a link to our website. We are also featured in The ABC Activity Finder Tool, where people can find out about our ongoing and upcoming activities – including joining our chorus! The collaboration greatly increases public exposure for both organisations.

Our two organisations are a match made in heaven, and we are wholeheartedly excited to have embraced this collaboration! Our partnership helps PHC encourage singers to join us and relish in the health benefits of our group, on and off the risers.

Australian choruses interested in becoming an ABC Community Partner (it’s free!) can visit for more information. People outside Australia can benefit from the mental health quiz and other resources on the ABC page, so we hope you’ll give them a visit!

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Shirene Paxton is a member of the Perth Harmony Chorus (Region #34) Public Relations and Marketing Team.

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

Where We Sang:

Crosstown Harmony (#3) participated in the West Allis A La Carte community festival. Island Hills Chorus (#15) performed at the Middle Country Library in Selden, New York. Bay Area Showcase Chorus (#12) performed at the Sunnyvale Art and Wine Festival (Sunnyvale, California, USA). Riverport Chorus (#3) enjoyed singing before the start of bicycle races at the Washington Park Velodrome in Kenosha, Wisconsin (USA). Sooner Sensations Show Chorus (#25) had a great time singing for Flag Day at the Midwest City Elks Lodge in Midwest City, Oklahoma (USA)."There's no place like home that is the Oregon County Fair -- and it's hard to find a better audience too," wrote Equilibrium Quartet (#12).

Several Sweet Adelines sang national anthems at sporting events: Singing the U.S. national anthem were Song of Seattle (#13) at Emerald Downs (a horse racetrack); Sound Cascade Chorus (#6) at a Sioux City Explorers vs. Sioux Falls Canaries baseball game; Gem City Chorus (#4) at a Dayton Dragons baseball game; Capital Accord Chorus (#19) at a Bethesda Big Train baseball game; River Rhapsody Chorus (#6) at a Bismark Larks baseball game; The Choral-Aires Chorus (#3) at a Schaumburg Boomers baseball game; Yahara River Chorus (#3) at a Madison Mallards baseball game; Moment in Time Quartet (#19) at a Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game; Greater Harmony Chorus (#17) at a Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania baseball game; Capitaland Chorus (#15) and their quartet Into Wishin' (#15) at a TriCity ValleyCats baseball game; Helena Xpress Singers (#13) at a Helena Senators baseball game; and 2023 International Champion Rich-Tone Chorus (#25) at the Dallas Wings WNBA (Women's National Baskeball Association) game.

Singing the Canadian national anthem was an ensemble from Alberta Northern Lights (#26) at Edmonton Scottish United Soccer Club at the League 1 Alberta Exhibition Series.

How We Sang:

Sounds of Superior Chorus (#6) was voted Favourite Choral Group by readers of The Chronicle Journal, the newspaper of northwest Ontario (CAN). Harmony on the Sound (#1) performed at the Make Music Fairfield summer solstice event in Fairfield, Connecticut (USA). Daybreak Quartet (#17) performed at the Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (USA). Long Island Sound Chorus (#15) performed as part of the Southold Summer Concert Series.

Why We Sang:

An ensemble from Pride of Portland (#13) performed the U.S. national anthem to kick off the Unite Walk, a fundraiser for Pacific Northwest Bleeding Disorders organization. Members of Magic of Manatee Chorus (#9) held a performance and collected donations for HOPE Family Services, an organization that assists local families affected by domestic violence. Surrey Harmony Chorus (#31) sang at the Choir BLAST charitable event in Godalming, West Surrey (UK). Aberdeen Chorus (#31) performed for North East Sensory Services, a local organization for people with vision and hearing loss. A Cappella West Chorus (#34) was honoured to perform at the Path of Hope Foundation Gala 2023, an event benefiting organizations that support women and children rebuilding their lives after family violence. River Blenders Chorus (#5) -- joined by a visitor from Skyline Chorus (#8) for one song -- performed at a Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk in support of breast cancer research. Cedar Harmony Chorus (#5) performed at the Department of Iowa Marine Corps League convention.Heart of Long Island Chorus (#15) opened the Bohemia Civic Association’s June meeting at the Bohemia Fire Department. Members of Spirit of the Gulf Chorus (#9) prepared a meal for the families in residence at the Fort Myers Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). The chorus writes, "While there was no singing involved, they shared stories, recipes, and laughter!"

Let us know what your chorus or quartet has been doing in your community. Email your submissions and photos to
OctOber 2023 | 25


Heartbeat UK Chorus (#31) enjoyed performing at Marple Fest in May.

"Warm ups, mega heat, chorus driven, and we owned it!" wrote Heart of the Pines Chorus (#10) after their performance at Blueberry Festival 2023 on the brick streets of Nacogdoches, Texas (USA).

The "Singing Tracies" of Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus (#19) had a blast at Baltimore, Maryland’s HONFEST.

26 | OctOber 2023
Grand Rapids Chorus (#17) had a picture-perfect day for singing at the Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA). Diamond Jubilee Chorus (#4) received a grant from the Middletown Community Foundation to help them on their way to the international competition stage. Wollongong Harmony Chorus (#34) took home the trophy at the Wollongong Eisteddfod. Mosaic Quartet (#10) had a great time singing in the Stage Door Idol preliminary competition at the World War II Museum in New Orleans.
OctOber 2023 | 27
Brindabella Chorus (#34) member Meganne Wyatt met King Charles III at Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom. Meganne writes, “I spoke to global leaders about the importance of space sustainability at the Royal Society then met His Majesty the King for the unveiling of the Astra Carta at Buckingham Palace! I love this photo even more for the fact that I’m standing next to amazing astronauts Tim Peake and Chris Hadfield.”


Philadelphia Freedom Chorus (#19) posed with a group of mascots when they sang the U.S. national anthem at a Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game. The Harmonix (Sat. #30) enjoyed performing at the Tokyo Chorus Festival. Phoenix Chorus (#31) performed at the South Farm Summer Fiesta in aid of The British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
28 | OctOber 2023

Oregon Coast Chorus (#12) performed at the Fleet of Flowers event in Depoe Bay, Oregon (USA). This year, the annual event fell on the same date as Memorial Day, which increased its significance for the community. The Fleet of Flowers memorial originated to honor two men who died while trying to rescue a fellow fishing boat crew caught in the terrible storm of 1936. In remembrance of those men, the fishing fleet took their boats out of the harbor to throw flowers upon the coastal waters while scattering the ashes of their former mates. The ceremony was discontinued during World War II

but revived after the war ended, honoring those lost in the war and those lost at sea during the hiatus. Since that time, the memorial list has grown to include those requesting their ashes to be placed into the ocean, as well as those that have found pleasure, beauty, solace, or adventure upon it. Following a Memorial Day program, many of our chorus members boarded a local boat for the fleet procession out of the harbor for the laying of the memorial wreath and flowers on the open sea.

In June, Orangeville Show Chorus (#16) was invited to be part of something incredible that allowed us to share our music and chorus vision with a diverse hometown crowd.

According to organizers, “Celebrate Your Awesome” is “a fun friendly event that allows people to celebrate their differences…be it sexual orientation, race, culture or other; and to be comfortable in their own skin.” It has been held annually for a few years during Pride month, but this year participants burst onto the scene in a larger venue with vendors, food trucks, and a large main stage for varied entertainment. Orangeville Show Chorus was proud to wear LGBTQ2S

rainbow-coloured scarves while bringing our message in songs that spoke directly to the theme. Among the songs we sang was “Brave,” written by Jack Antonoff and Sara Bareilles, arranged by Julie Starr. We also sang “Love In Any Language, written by Jon Mohr and John Mays, arranged by Dave Briner.

Celebrate Your Awesome was a powerful experience. We were grateful to be part of it and so pleased that our hometown embraces diversity and allows public expression. We could feel the love and see it in the smiling faces of the audience. – Anne Richardson, Orangeville Show Chorus

OctOber 2023 | 29


2024 Wildcard Choruses

These choruses have been invited to compete at the 76th Sweet Adelines International Convention and Competition, Oct. 28–Nov. 2, 2024, in Kansas City, Missouri (USA).

Region #4

Pride of Kentucky Chorus

Debbie Hite, Director

Score: 654 • 46 on stage

Songs: When I Fall In Love (D. Wright) Someone Like You (L. Wright)

Photo: Read Photography

Region #5

Kansas City Chorus

Michelle Hunget & Susan Ives, Director

Score: 604 • 93 on stage

Songs: Next Time I Love (L. Wright) I Got The Sun In The Morning (K. Bromert)

Photo: Jon Peterson

Region #8

Velvet Hills Chorus

Darin Drown, Director

Score: 662 • 66 on stage

Songs: One Alone (D. Wright) If I Were A Bell (A. Reimnitz)

Photo: Local Motion Productions

Region #14

Vienna-Falls Chorus

Claire Gardiner, Director

Score: 613 • 35 on stage

Songs: It's You (R. Rund) Oh! Look at Me Now (A. Dale)

Photo: Rich Gorberg, Freeze-Frame Photography


Region #15

Liberty Oak Chorus

Katie Blackwood, Director

Score: 625 • 76 on stage

Songs: A Nighingale Sang in Berkeley Square (J. Bescos)

Flirty Eyes/Jeepers Creepers Medley (N. Bergman/ J. Elmuccio)

Photo: Lindsey Fish

30 | OctOber 2023
Velvet Hills Chorus Pride of Kentucky Chorus Chorus City Chorus Liberty Oak Chorus
202 4

Region #16

York Harmony Chorus

Martha DeClerq, Director

Score: 609 • 44 on stage

Songs: All The Things You Are (J. Minshall) I Love Jazz Medley (D. Wright)

Photo: Su Buehler, Photoartist

Region #21

San Diego Chorus

Kathleen Hansen, Director

Score: 674 • 62 on stage

Songs: Smilin' Through (J. Minshall) A Wonderful Day Like Today (J. Minshall)

Photo: Rich Gorberg, Freeze-Frame Photography

Region #25

Top of the Rock Chorus

Kelley Causey, Director

Score: 605 • 45 on stage

Songs: If You Love Me, Really Love Me (J. Bescos) The Moment I Saw Your Eyes (J. Liles)

Photo: Jon Peterson

Region #31

Aberdeen Chorus

Sophie Radcliffe, Director

Score: 623 • 75 on stage

Songs: Come Take Your Place in My Heart (J. Clancy)

I Never Knew I Could Love Anybody (David Wright)

Photo: By Event Photos

OctOber 2023 | 31
Top of the Rock Aberdeen San Diego York Harmony


Queens’ College 2023

It had been five years since the last time we’d held The Coronet Club’s Queens’ College – in 2018 – and oh boy, were we ready for this one! We advertised it as being THE Sweet Adelines event of the summer of 2023, and it did not disappoint! Participants started arriving on Barbershop Music Appreciation Day (Thursday, July 13) and headed directly over to the beautiful Eisemann Center for Performing Arts for an exciting Diamond Division Quartet Contest. (You can read about the winners on page 14 of this issue!)

Queens’ College officially began on Friday and, for the first time ever, offered tracks for general membership, for specific quartet education, and for young singers. There were 213 attendees, including more than 20 Queens participating in the classes as volunteers and coaches. Friday night was the Rising Star Quartet Contest, and what a magical confluence to have these two contests be part of the entire Queens’ College experience! You can read more about the new Rising Star Champion Quartet on page 10 of this issue.

Faculty members Joan Boutilier, Judy Pozsgay, Debbie Cleveland, and LoveNotes (2014 International Champion Quartet) offered classes with such variety that our participants wished they could be at everything! Here are a few comments from attendees about their experience at Queens’ College. The Coronet Club thanks all who attended, and it is the Club’s honor and privilege to give back to the organization in this manner. We won’t be waiting another five years for the next Queens’ College, so stay tuned!

Jordan Sanders, Region 10

I learned some nuances of singing barbershop, new things,things I have never learned before.

Obsidian Quartet, Region 4

It was invaluable to hear from faculty and coaches on everything from stage entrances to pitch taking to strategies for quartet rehearsals, and then to experience all the wonderful talent in this organization. We would highly recommend attending Queens’ College!

Stiletto Quartet, Region 3

An incomparable experience unlike any other Sweet Adelines event! An inspiring weekend of education, sharing, coaching, entertainment, and friendship!

Elaine Hamilton, Region 31

Thank you to the Coronet Club for this fabulous weekend. The three tracks were great, and I learned loads.

Karen Breidert is a two-time international champion quartet singer in Jubilation (1985) and “the BUZZ” (2005). She has served as Sweet Adelines International President (1998–1999). She is Master Director of Spirit of the Gulf Chorus and was the recipient of the 2015 Sweet Adelines International President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

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OctOber 2023 | 33
Highlights from The Coronet Club's Queens' College. Photos courtesy of Laura DeGraw.

Not Just For Directors!

Dispelling Myths About the Director Certification Program (DCP)

Sweet Adelines is not only a musical organization, but an educational one too. We have offered education for our chorus directors since the early 1960s. The current Director Certification Program (DCP) is an educational, self-paced program designed to provide opportunities to acquire and validate the skills and knowledge required to direct a Sweet Adelines chorus. The DCP is intended for Sweet Adelines Directors, Associate Directors, Assistant Directors, Section Leaders, Choreographers, and anyone who wants to improve their musical knowledge and skills. Nonmember directors of an active or prospective Sweet Adelines chorus are also eligible.

The DCP is made up of eleven modules:

Analytical Listening



Sweet Adelines Judging Categories and Competition Management

Music Theory Performance

Rehearsal Planning and Implementation Teaching and Coaching

Vocal Production

Organizational Knowledge and Director Resources

The DCP modules will be the first Sweet Adelines educational programming available on our forthcoming Learning Management System (LMS). This is part of the reason the DCP Committee has worked diligently over the last three years to update and revise the modules.

“For future generations of directors, the DCP will be a much more streamlined process, making it easier to access and progress through the program,” says DCP Committee member Jo Oosterhoff. “As with all new technology, it will take adjustment and some will have to learn new skills, but that's what being a director is all about: learning new skills and embracing the technology that is integral to the future of our chorus and

organization. The LMS will allow us to provide links to visual and auditory learning aids. We hope the LMS will also make it easier for international members to access the program and communicate with administrators.”

We recently spoke with the DCP Committee to clear up some myths surrounding the program.

DCP Review Committee members:

Julie Starr, chair, Master Director of Bay Area Showcase Chorus (Region 12) and a member of the International Board of Directors (IBOD)

Valerie Taylor, Master Director of Vocal Dimension Chorus (Region 31), a member of the IBOD, 2018 Ann Gooch Award recipient (U.K.), and Certified Sound Judge.

Joanne Oosterhoff, Master Director of A Cappella West Chorus (Region 34), 2021 Ann Gooch Award recipient Australia), and Sweet Adelines International Faculty Associate.

Myth 1: The DCP is only for directors.

“The biggest myth about the DCP is that it's only for directors,” says Julie. “Actually, it’s for anybody who wants to improve their musical and leadership skills. I think assistant directors and associate directors know it's for them, but it’s also valuable for section leaders, choreographers, any member who wants to know more and understand better why their director does things a certain way. Any barbershop singer can learn a lot just by reading the modules even if they don’t take the tests.”

No chorus, no problem

For some modules, a person pursuing certification will need to work with a chorus. If you are interested in becoming a Certified Director but you are not currently directing a chorus, the committee members recommend speaking with your own director

34 | OctOber 2023

or the director of a chorus nearby. Sometimes you can become a temporary assistant director in order to obtain your practice hours for certification.

Myth 2: You have to do the modules – and pass each test – in order.

Each module in the DCP contains learning material in the form of several different articles. Each article is accompanied by a threequestion ungraded self-test to gauge the user’s understanding of the material.

At the end of each module, an official test must be passed in order to achieve the level of Certified Director, but the DCP committee members emphasize that these tests are not required otherwise. Anyone can purchase and use the DCP modules without taking the final evaluation – and the modules do not have to be done in order or within a certain time limit.

Myth 3: The DCP is out of date.

The DCP Review Committee is now a standing committee which will continue to review and update the materials on an ongoing basis. Going forward, the DCP Review Committee will regularly update the DCP modules using the latest research, often contacting subject matter experts for input.

“Our job is to review the content of the DCP and make sure it is up-to-date, accurate, and complete,” says Julie. “If there are new things coming up in the world of singing or leadership, we assess them and incorporate them appropriately. We send our updates to the Education Direction Committee for review, and they send it back to us, usually with some edits. We make those edits and turn the updated module in to the Education Department at Sweet Adelines Headquarters.”

Myth 4: The DCP requires so, so much reading!

Older versions of the DCP were text-based and required a lot of reading, but today’s updated DCP incorporates a variety of graphics, diagrams, videos, links, and other user-friendly means of conveying information. Julie says the upcoming LMS will make the DCP even more accessible. “The LMS allows us to provide information in an engaging way,” says Julie.

the DCP is a rich resource for every director at every stage of their directing lifetime. All directors are lifelong learners, but the materials in the DCP cannot possibly be kept in your head all at once. Rather, it's a reference text you can go back to over and over, to remind yourself when you need to. Got a chapter show to plan? Read through Module 11 (Performance). Planning your next contest cycle? Dip into Module 6 (Judging Categories) and Module 10 (Rehearsal Planning). There is something for every occasion.”

To learn more about the DCP, visit

Myth 5: You need to be a music theory

expert for the DCP.

The music theory module is one that worries a lot of people, says Valerie. “I’ve mentored quite a few people through the DCP, and the music theory and analytical listening modules are the two that cause the most anxiety,” she says. “Having just updated the music theory module, I can reassure them that it does start off with basics. It doesn't assume any knowledge. It builds up from the most basic theory of notes and key signatures to building a chord. It gives you a grounding so that you can identify things in the music a bit more easily.”

Myth 6: Once you’ve finished the DCP, there’s no need to go back to it.

Especially with ongoing updates like the most recent ones, even those who have finished the DCP can benefit from revisiting modules. “Many people who have done the DCP in the past –sometimes way in the past! – think that it's done and dusted and they don't have to think about it anymore,” says Jo. “In reality,

Thanks to a generous $250,000 USD gift from Sarah Nainan-Newhard (CAL #19), Sweet Adelines International will soon launch our new online Learning Management System (LMS). Learning management systems are used by schools, universities, corporations, and other organizations to deliver classes – including certification programs like the DCP –to learners.

Our LMS will allow Sweet Adelines to create and deliver interactive e-learning content, track participation, and assess progress in created courses. In other words, the LMS is more than just a storage tool for delivering content. It allows Sweet Adelines educators to develop full, interactive courses that will make our educational programming accessible to many more singers!

The Directors Certification Program will be the first program made available to our members on the LMS. It is currently in beta testing. Keep up with Sweet Adelines International social media and your email to find out when the DCP and other programs become available for members.

OctOber 2023 | 35
is the LMS?

The Art of Conversation

Communication Styles

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

Oh, the mysteries of communication! Making sure intent (what I meant to say) matches impact (what you heard) is certainly a great challenge.

There are four primary communication styles. As with any evaluation of our personal style, we all typically have some component of each that can vary based on the situation, who else is involved, or even just how we are feeling each day. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at each style:

Communication Styles

Passive: characterized by the tendency to speak up less often and can result in disappointment or misunderstandings left unclarified in the interest of avoiding tension and conflict

Aggressive: characterized by the tendency to speak up often (sometimes over others) and can be perceived as minimizing the concerns of others or devaluing their opinions

Passive-aggressive: combines and magnifies the challenges of the passive and aggressive styles and left unaddressed can lead to a manipulative communication style where the goal becomes to get others to speak as an advocate rather than speaking up for oneself

Assertive: characterized by a willingness to speak up for one’s own concerns and opinions while respectfully and openly listening to the concerns and opinions of others

Strong communication guidelines, expectations, and plans that you can apply consistently are tools that can help provide effective support in the management of all communication styles. For example, structured meeting agendas, defined processes to solicit input from group members, and clear guidelines for different communication channels can encourage people to communicate in productive ways that benefit the group.

Conversation Types

While style will have an influence on how we communicate, it is important that our communications take place with intention. Looking at three different types of conversation can be helpful in linking intention to impact and in managing our relationships.

The ‘Hello’ conversation:

“Hello” conversations are “foundational”—they establish and build relationships.

A “Discovery Hello” conversation initiates a relationship. The words you use will center around getting to know the other person or people. Gestures will tend to be more formal. For example, a handshake is probably the most typical “Discovery” gesture.

After “Discovery,” you can move into “Reinforcement Hello” conversations. These move relationships into a caring space and, as you get very close to someone, even into a space of intimacy. Words in a “Reinforcement” conversation show deeper interest and concern for someone—asking about specific situations in their life or offering expressions of support for something you know they are going through. Gestures become more personal. They can be as simple as a wave, a wink, or blowing a kiss. Or you

36 | OctOber 2023

might share a ‘secret’ signal to connect on a more personal level, or an embrace meant to physically convey deep support and connection.

The ‘Thank You’ conversation.

A “Thank You” conversation is also “foundational,” but instead of building relationships it expresses gratitude and appreciation.

You might use one to acknowledge that someone has done something to positively impact your life. The most effective “Thank You” conversations use words that are specific, and address something clearly identifiable that made a difference to you. A wide variety of gestures can be at home here too–and can even carry a big impact without words. You can say “thank you” with a thumbs-up sign, applause, or every singer’s favorite…a standing ovation!

The ‘We Need to Talk’/’I’m Sorry’ conversation.

The last conversation types are “preservational.” They are focused on resolving conflict and preserving the relationship. You might use these conversations when there’s been a misunderstanding or when someone needs to communicate a required behavior change.

A “We Need to Talk” conversation can be initiated to clarify your own understanding or to correct someone else’s detrimental behavior. The timing of this conversation is very important. It should happen as quickly as possible after the misunderstanding or behavior occurs, while recognizing that a cooling-off period may be required to help the conversation be productive. It’s also critical to have clear parameters for the conversation. They will be most effective when you know why you’re having the

conversation, what your desired outcome is, and what exit strategies you might use to wrap up the conversation.

“I’m Sorry” conversations are similar to “We Need to Talk,” but from a slightly different perspective. These are seeking to understand the impact of your own behavior, or to correct a detrimental action that you took yourself. Like “We Need to Talk”, the sooner they can happen after the relevant incidents or actions the better, while allowing for the possibility that the other person may need time before they are ready to talk. Clarity of intention is important in an “I’m Sorry” conversation too, but this time your goal is to communicate that you recognize the importance of the situation and how you intend to correct it or keep it from happening again.

It is interesting to note that while the ‘We Need To Talk/I’m Sorry’ conversations can be the most challenging, they are far more likely to be effective if they are built on relationships forged through ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ conversations. When you know you’re dealing with someone with whom you have an established record of understanding and trust, it can be very reassuring when they have already proven that they know, respect, and appreciate you, and they will likely approach the conversation with your success in mind as much as their own.

Thérèse Antonini is the Sweet Adelines International President. She serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council and is a certified adult educator. She sings with North Metro Chorus (Region 16).

OctOber 2023 | 37

Prepare Your Quartet!

Rio! Quartet shares a helpful Quartet Agreement

Quartetting is fun! Everybody says so, and they are right. But a lot goes into putting together a successful quartet – even a casual one.

During their reigning year, 2016 Region 25 Champion Quartet, Rio! put together a Quartet Agreement class for Region 10 that resulted in an extremely helpful document for anyone considering starting a quartet. The Quartet Agreement can even help an existing quartet refine their focus, goals, and processes.

Members of Rio! Quartet are Patty Friedeman (tenor), Pam Lauffer (lead), Mary Rhea (baritone), and Melynnie Williams (bass). The quartet retired in 2020, but all continue singing, teaching, and serving in leadership

roles with Sweet Adelines International. Patty is Assistant Director of 2023 Region 25 Champion Talk of Tulsa Show Chorus. Pam is a member of 2023 International Champion Rich-Tone Chorus. Mary is Sweet Adelines International President-Elect, and currently directs 2023 Harmony Classic Division AA Champion OK City Chorus. Melynnie is the Musical Director of Wichita Chorus. Both Mary (baritone) and Melynnie (bass) sing in 2010 International Champion Quartet, Zing!

They want to emphasize that the Quartet Agreement was a collaborative work involving conversation as well as resources that have been lost to time. They hope it helps all singers who are thinking about forming a quartet.

38 | OctOber 2023

Quartet Agreement


• What do you see as your quartet image?

• How do others see you?

• How will you manifest that image?

• Name, costume, logo, music choices, branding…


• How do you see yourself dressed on stage?

• Who chooses/shops for costumes?

• Who owns costumes/jewelry/shoes?

• Do you wear costume pieces for quartet functions only?

• How do you decide/or who decides on when to dress alike?

• Who is responsible for replacing if lost or damaged?

• Are you costumes congruent with your image?


• What are the parameters for choosing music?

• Who decides on repertoire choices?

• If there is disagreement, how is it to be resolved?

• Do your music choices reflect your image?


• How often?

• What are valid excuses for missing or cancelling?

• How do you manage vacations?


• What is the criteria for choosing coach(es)?

• How many and how often?

• How do you pay for coaching?


• How often are you willing to accept engagements?

• How much do you charge?

• Under what circumstances would you do a free performance?

• When/how do you expect payment?


Pay attention to “Leader Cues”: What are quartet members good at?

• How do you decide who does what?

• Possible responsibilities:

• Quartet contact/performance booking

• Paperwork (registration, order forms)

• Costumes

• Music

• Technology

• Finances

• Pitch Pipe

• Calendar/Schedule

• Promotion


• What are the goals of this quartet?

• What is the timeframe for these goals?

• What is the commitment of this group in terms of how long you will stay together?

• How often will you reevaluate?

• Timeframe for learning music?

• Deadlines for performance plans.

• Learning styles – Know and accommodate similarities and differences.


• What does the quartet pay for? What does each member pay for?

• Services (personal services, i.e. seamstress, arranging, coaching, travel expenses, costume, music, lessons)


Two indisputable facts about a quartet: it will have 4 people, and it will end. Under what circumstances would the quartet end?

• Under what circumstances would you leave?

• Under what circumstances would you replace a member?

• How would you inform them?

• Would you give warnings? How many?

• If the rest of the quartet stays together, what do you do about costumes, music, available funds?

OctOber 2023 | 39




Beth Paul, Regional Communications Coordinator

Rhonda Williams, 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

Nancy Liedel, Regional Education Coordinator

Nanette Peters, Regional Events Coordinator

Nancy Swift, Regional Finance Coordinator

Melissa Wright, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Corinna Silberg, Regional Membership Coordinator

Lois Kelly, Regional Team Coordinator


Sherry Berkley, Regional Communications Coordinator

Tori Hicks, Regional Directors Coordinator

Carol Thompson, Regional Education Coordinator

Kristin Farwig, Regional Events Coordinator

Shelly Hughes, Regional Finance Coordinator

Antonija Mitt, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Debi Batchelor, 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

Lura Nightlinger, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Marsha Leistner, Regional Membership Coordinator

Sue Pelley, Regional Team Coordinator


Mary Kammeyer, Regional Communications Coordinator

Patti Goin, Regional Directors Coordinator

Twilla Duvall, Regional Education Coordinator

Jennifer Zoellner, Regional Events Coordinator

Elizabeth Hager, Regional Finance Coordinator

Michelle Franzen, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Kelsey Kessler, Regional Membership Coordinator

Mary Kullman, Regional Team Coordinator


Dawn Banerdt-Adams, Regional Communications Coordinator

Judy Weipert, 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


Julie Palagi, Regional Communications Coordinator

Anna-Lisa Glad, Regional Directors Coordinator

Leslie Galbreath, Regional Education Coordinator

Rebecca DeCook, Regional Events Coordinator

Ruth Widerski, Regional Finance Coordinator

Lindsay Pfannenstiel, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Bobbie Kern, Regional Membership Coordinator

Joan Clare Ford, Regional Team Coordinator


Maria Maxwell, 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

Mary Beth McMurray, Regional Directors Coordinator

Kerri Mauney, Regional Education Coordinator

Euna Poole, Regional Events Coordinator

Janet Moe, Regional Finance Coordinator

Laura DeGraw, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Carin Williamson, 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

Shawnna Dechant Regional Marketing Coordinator

Bridget Barrett, Regional Membership Coordinator

Kimberly Alley, Regional Team Coordinator


Kristen Skold, Regional Communications Coordinator

Voula Brown, Regional Directors Coordinator

Alison Miller, Regional Education Coordinator

Mary Heil, 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

Paula Davis, Regional Directors Coordinator

Shelly Pardis, Regional Education Coordinator

Patty Martin, Regional Events Coordinator

Jan Smallwood, Regional Finance Coordinator

Cherie Letts, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Sharon Stockstad, Regional Membership Coordinator

Sally Ryerson, Regional Team Coordinator

40 | OctOber 2023


Susan Inge, Regional Communications Coordinator

Claire Gardiner, Regional Directors Coordinator

Sarah Clay Lindvall, Regional Education Coordinator

Mary-Margaret Prange, Regional Events Coordinator

Dana Reid, Regional Finance Coordinator

Lauren Dalrymple, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Jennifer Cooke, Regional Membership Coordinator

Jacqueline Kaminer, Regional Team Coordinator


Victoria Tisch, Regional Communications Coordinator

Harriette Walters, Regional Directors Coordinator

Jean Schoenlank, Regional Education Coordinator

Gretchen Danby, Regional Events Coordinator

Phyllis Capolongo, Regional Finance Coordinator

Alexis DePersia-Norelli, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Evelyn Langenstein, Regional Membership Coordinator

Lori Britt-Horvath, Regional Team Coordinator


Jacqui Barron, Regional Communications Coordinator

Martha DeClerq, Regional Directors Coordinator

Susann McKinley, Regional Education Coordinator

Kristin Ponte, 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

Madeline Anderson-Balmer, 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

Jaime Weinfeld, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Patricia Weeks, Regional Membership Coordinator

Irene Hershey, Regional Team Coordinator


LeeAnn Reichow, Regional Communications Coordinator

C. Kirby Cass, Regional Directors Coordinator

Leah Rippetoe, Regional Education Coordinator

Cherie Peters-Brinkerhoff, Regional Events Coordinator

Judy Moore, Regional Finance Coordinator

Claudia Cannon, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Beverly Berardinelli, Regional Membership Coordinator

Darren Hurst, Regional Team Coordinator


Tamara Boggs, 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, Regional Membership Coordinator

Karen Phillips, Regional Team Coordinator


Phyllis Davis, Regional Communications Coordinator

Sandy Marron, Regional Directors Coordinator

Lisa Greenough, Regional Education Coordinator

Frances Thorson, Regional Events Coordinator

Julie Erdos, Regional Finance Coordinator

Stacey Rose, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Margaret Walton, Regional Membership Coordinator

Jody Meli, Regional Team Coordinator


Sarah Netherton, Regional Communications Coordinator

Claire Booles, Regional Directors Coordinator

Nancy Kelsall, Regional Education Coordinator

Deborah Pollard, Regional Events Coordinator

Mairi Redhead, Regional Finance Coordinator

Sara Tripconey, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Nicky Salt, Regional Membership Coordinator

Elaine Hamilton, Regional Team Coordinator


Astrid Berglund, Regional Communications Coordinator

Marie Erenstedt, Regional Directors Coordinator

Annika Christensen, Regional Education Coordinator

Toril Myrtveit, Regional Events Coordinator

Catharina Persson, Regional Finance Coordinator

Rosmarie Karlsson, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Lisbeth Fridborn, Regional Membership Coordinator

Catharina Persson, Regional Team Coordinator


Michelle Roy, Regional Communications Coordinator

Jenni Pyefinch, Regional Directors Coordinator

Rebecca Hewitt, Regional Education Coordinator

Cathy Sterling, Regional Events Coordinator

Anne Freeman, Regional Finance Coordinator

Karen Phillips, Regional Marketing Coordinator

Tracey Ezzy, Regional Membership Coordinator

Michelle Neller, Regional Team Coordinator


Jacqui Binnie, Regional Communications Coordinator

Carolyn Currington, Regional Directors Coordinator

Leanne Wheeler, Regional Education Coordinator

Julie Earl, Regional Events Coordinator

Mary Cave-Palmer, Regional Finance Coordinator

Miriam Spragg, Regional Membership Coordinator

Leigh Whitelaw, Regional Team Coordinator

OctOber 2023 | 41

Sweet Adelines International Grant Cycle 1 Recipients

Four new grants and one final distribution from a previous cycle were distributed during Sweet Adelines International’s 2023 Grant Cycle 1, for a total of $9,500 USD. Here are the Grant Cycle 1 programs your generous donations are assisting:

2023 Region 12 Mountain Harmony Camp

This November, Region 12 will host 30+ young women and other marginalized genders aged 13+ in Occidental, California (USA) to teach them two full barbershop songs, including choreography. With the help of International Faculty member Dede Nibler, students will learn about vocal production, a cappella ensemble singing, and showmanship.

Diva Quest 2024

Riverport Chorus of Region 3 continues its annual vocal contest and musical scholarship program for high-school women, Diva Quest 2024. Not only will music education be paramount but so will the areas of self-esteem and mental health. The week concludes with a contest where the top three singers win scholarships.

Youth Working in Song & Harmony

Since 2011, Metro Nashville Chorus (Region 4) has held its Youth Working in Song & Harmony festival. The chorus offers the event to both students and educators with clinicians Kim Wonders and Natalie Allen. Each of 25 expected attendees will not only learn three songs but also get to perform with the Metro Nashville Chorus.

2024 Young Women in Harmony “Diva Day” Festival

For the 18th time, the Harborlites Chorus (Region 21) will put on its full-day event for approximately 150 high-school women across the South California area. With full chorus and section rehearsals, participants will learn the barbershop style and choreography/ showmanship.

Are you inspired to host an educational program or event for young singers? Grant Cycle 2 is open until November 1, 2023, to support activities beginning no sooner than May 2024. For information, visit

42 | OctOber 2023


Golden Sands Chorus

If you grew up in a close family of singers, wouldn’t it be a dream to perform on stage with your daughter and your mother?

When Golden Sands Chorus (Region 11) in Lakewood, California, announced a call for new singers, a special group of singers showed up! Sue Woo was already a chorus member, and her daughter Lisa Capata convinced her own daughter (Sue’s granddaughter), Chelsea, to join the fun.

Mother, daughter, and granddaughter, along with other guest singers, rehearsed with the chorus for six weeks. Their hard work paid off when they performed together on stage for the 70th Anniversary Show of the Golden Sands Chorus in October 2023. Now Sue, Lisa, and Chelsea have a special shared family memory of their joint passion for singing. In the future, they’ll be able to reminisce about how much fun they had together when they sang on the Golden Sands show. In fact Lisa had so much fun that she auditioned for the chorus about a month after the concert. She’s now a proud member of the Golden Sands lead section!

This intergenerational success story was made possible by our “test drive” recruiting program. We started the program as a way for our small chorus to let singers try us out without making a long-term commitment. We ramp up our publicity for the recruiting program about two months ahead of a show or a major sing-out (often either a Memorial Day or Patriots' Day program for our home city of Lakewood, CA). Chorus members hang a four-color flyer on bulletin boards at schools, hospitals, nail salons, chiropractors, etc. We post an invitation on our social media sites and send out press releases. Our material offers six free singing

lessons and a chance to sing two songs on the show.

The singing guests start six weeks prior to the event. We do a voice placement for each singer and give them a copy of the music and learning tracks. They rehearse with us for the first hour of rehearsal, and then they are welcome to stay and listen or to leave. We keep the costuming very simple for them, sometimes just a black top and dark pants if the chorus is wearing our black top with the Golden Sands logo. At the performance, our guests join us to sing the final two songs in the front row!

In today’s revolving-door busy lifestyle, we need to promote the singing, performing, and friendship benefits of Sweet Adelines in both physical and digital spaces to catch the attention of the singers looking for our kind of experience. There are people out there who used to sing, remember how much they loved it, and would like to find the right group to join. We find that Meetup has been a steady, reliable source of new member interest. However, sometimes it is still our non-digital, colorful event flyer that catches their eye and gives our recruiting an additional boost. In the future, we hope to welcome more daughters, sisters, and other relatives, along with co-workers and best friends, to join us on the risers to create memories – and maybe become members of Golden Sands and Sweet Adelines International!

OctOber 2023 | 43
Judy Phillips has sung bass for 34 years, in San Fernando Chorus, then in Region 11’s Verdugo Hills Chorus and Golden Sands Chorus.

A Barbershop Love Story

Sweet Adelines International Donor Annie Hayes

afford to hire musicians,” Annie says. “We performed for little or no charge to help out our community.”

“Helping out” is important to Annie. For years, she served as the Young Women in Harmony Liaison for Region 21, and Ron was the Youth in Harmony vice president for his district. Together, presented a barbershop exhibit they presented at the Arizona Music Educators Association for many years and encouraged young barbershop singers through their advocacy and support. In 2013, Ron and Annie were each honored for their work with young singers, Ron in the Far Western District of the Barbershop Harmony Society and Annie in Region 21 Golden West.

What are Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)? QCDs, also known as IRA Charitable Rollovers, are special donations from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) directly to a qualified nonprofit organization like Sweet Adelines. These donations don't count as taxable income.

Oin Japan. That’s how it all started – falling in love with each other, then falling in love with barbershop music.

Annie married that airman, and when they were stateside again, he was invited to visit Tucson Sunshine Chorus (now called Tucson Barbershop Experience).

“My husband's schoolmate from way back invited us to go to their annual show,” Annie recalls. “I said, ‘No, barbershop is not my style.’ But to be a good wife, I went with him. Then I got hooked right away!”

Ron joined the chorus, and became the photographer for his barbershop organization. Annie says she “tagged along” with him to the many barbershop events he photographed. She was working on her college degree and raising children, so she was not able to join Sweet Adelines right away, but one night a Sweet Adeline invited her to rehearsal – and committed to drive her to rehearsal since she and Ron only had one car and both rehearsals were on the same night.

Her new chorus was Tucson Desert Harmony Chorus, and almost immediately, she joined a quartet there, singing tenor.

“The quartet didn't compete, but we really worked hard and we performed a lot, especially at places where they could not

Sadly, Ron passed away last year. Annie and their daughter sang to him in his final

“While my husband was ill for almost two years, I didn't sing as much or attend rehearsal, so I started to lose my voice,” she says. “When my husband passed away, I stopped going anywhere, even to chorus.”

Once again, Sweet Adelines stepped in.

“A chorus member called and said, ‘I'll come and pick you up,’” recalls Annie. “We went to rehearsal, and that's how I started going back. I really appreciate the friendship and camaraderie of Sweet Adelines and how we help each other.”

Annie helps Sweet Adelines in so many ways, including by contributing financially through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), also called an IRA Charitable Rollover. (See sidebar for further explanation.)

"Once you reach age 73, you are required to take annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from your IRA,” she explains. “I encourage Sweet Adelines to contribute their IRA Rollover. It’s one way we can financially support our organization, especially our young people and our education programs.”

Annie says, “I would like to keep helping out in order for our organization to keep going and growing.”

Who can do this? If you're 70½ years old or older and have a Traditional IRA, you can make a QCD to Sweet Adelines. An IRA is a tax-deferred investment to provide financial security for U.S. citizens when they retire.

What are the advantages?

1. Tax Savings: QCDs can reduce your taxable income, even if you do not itemize.

2. Meet Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): If you have to take out a specific amount each year from your Traditional IRA (RMD), QCDs can cover it. Not taking your RMD may lead to a 25% penalty tax, but QCDs can help you avoid this penalty.

3. Maximize Your Charitable Impact: When you make QCDs, charitable organizations receive the entire amount tax-free. It's a win-win situation that supports both you and the causes you care about.

Please contact Susan Smith, chief administrative and philanthropy officer, at to learn more about making an IRA charitable rollover gift this year.

44 | OctOber 2023

Margene Howard, Metro Mix, #5

Anita Evermann-Gibbs, Metro Mix, #5

Kendra Bruget, Montana Sapphire, #8

Shirley Holland, Member-at-Large

Sandy Ilgenfritz, Greater Harrisburg, #19

Kathy Sullivan, Greater Nassau, #15

Alice Greene, Song O'Sky, #14

Carol Roberts, Baton Rouge, #10

Tracey Torola, Harmony Fusion, #12

Jean Kane

Chapter-at-Large, #21

Marilyn Crosby, Toast of Tampa Show, #9

• July-September 2023 Memorial Gifts Former Sweet Adelines honored with a Memorial Gift
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
Virtual Memorial
Sharon Kolacny Bette Fulton Sheila Worthington, Shoreline Sound
OctOber 2023 | 45
Peg Millard, Member-at-Large

Sheila Donahue, Chisholm Trail, #10

Beverly Gooden, Lone Star, #10

Emily Moriarty, Chapter-at-Large, #34

Donna Martin, Gainesville Harmony Show, #9

Liz Hah, Wollongong Harmony, #34

Elizabeth Frank, Agoura Hills Harmony, #11

Abigail Clarke, Whangarei Harmony, #35

to Certified Director
Advanced to Approved
as of September, 2023 Unique Fashions Laurie Verali Facebook 2728 Spicebush Loop Apopka, FL 32712 Phone: 407-327-6802 Fax: 407-401-9090 email: Look For Our Booth In Harmony Bazaar in Louisville! Harmony Celebration (formerly Ramapo Valley), an award-winning chorus on the regional/international stage, is in search of a director. We are seeking a dynamic and experienced individual to take us to the next level! We meet Wednesday evenings from 7-10 p.m. in Ridgewood, NJ For more information: director-search 46 | OctOber 2023

Oct. 28-Nov. 2, 2024

76th Annual International Convention & Competition Kansas City, Mo., USA

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