Posts Tagged ‘Harborlites Chorus’

BHS International Qualifications…

March 17, 2009

moh-nashville1

This coming weekend my wife Elaine and I will be in Las Vegas, Nevada at the site of one of the many qualification competitions for the upcoming International Convention and Competition for the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS).  This particular convention will combine both the Far Western and the Rocky Mountain Districts.

The International Convention will be held in Anaheim, California, held from June 29, thru July 4, 2009.  It will be a thrill for my wife and I to attend this International convention since it is close to home. 

This convention will be the first time that a Sweet Adeline Chorus has been invited to attend and perform on one of the shows outside the main competition.

It will also be a monumental calling card to see the 11 time International champion chorus Vocal Majority and the 7 time International champion chorus Masters of Harmony perform together on the same stage.  Approximately 275 men will perform several songs together, as well as separate selections from each of the choruses by themselves.

I will be sure to post results for all to see, and possibly to hear, following the events.

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack,  California  USA

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Harmony Youth Program Hits Another Home Run…

February 12, 2009

diva-day-2009-1

The Harborlites Chorus of Anaheim California hit another home run as they hosted “DivaDay” in Orange County at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa last weekend.

Comprised of over 130 women, the Harborlites Chorus meets weekly to sing, dance, teach and learn the art of vocal a cappella harmony.  Under the leadership of their gifted director, Pam Pieson, women of all ages and backgrounds hone their craft and share the art of barbershop harmony.

 Based in Anaheim, California the Harborlites Chorus was founded in 1960 as a chapter of Sweet Adelines International to encourage and promote barbershop singing for women.  In the ensuing decades, Harborlites has grown both in numbers and recognition, winning both Regional and International Championships.  Their performances incorporate excellent singing along with innovative choreography, plenty of heart, and their trademark energy!

 

diva-day-2009

Young women from 29 high schools from all over Southern California came for a day of learning the art of barbershop music and then were an integral part of a magnificient show put on that evening. Over 250 young women had the time of their lives and will surely take the education and energy back home with them and could possibly become members of Sweet Adelines International at some point in their lives.  The purpose of this event is to merely expose young ladies to the art form in hopes of continuing the art form for generations to come.

Becki Hine was the clinician for the “Divas” and brought all of her talent and experience for the day.  Becki is the director of the award winning Song of Atlanta Show Chorus, having been a member there for over 22 years.  She has conducted clinics in Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina.  Everyone was thrilled she was here.  The event was a phenomenal success!

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA

The Up & Coming Youth Movement…

February 1, 2009

Yesterday evening my wife and I were privileged to attend the “Young Women in Harmony Festival” show on the campus of California Baptist College in Riverside, California, which highlighted the day of learning more about the Barbershop style for some high school girls in the Inland Empire (Southern California).  There was even a quartet from one of the high schools.

Harmony Stars

The young women called “Harmony Stars” spent the day with members the Inland Empire chapter of Sweet Adlines International, under the direction of Bonnie TerKeurst since 2000.  Bonnie is a certified Sweet Adelines Director, and holds a BA in music, plays piano, organ and bass guitar and has accompanied many local groups.

The Clinician for the “Harmony Stars” was Bobette Gantz, a Sweet Adelines chorus director singce 1970 and is currently the co-director of the Channelaire Chorus in Ventura, Californaia.  Bobette is a Master Director, a Judge Specialist, an International Facility member, and has been a Certified Sound Judge since 1971.

Hypnotic

Hypnotic… a local quartet all of whom hail from the Harborlites Chorus in Anaheim, California came and shared their talents for the day with the high school girls.  Hypnotic is the Sweet Adelines International, Region 32 3rd place medalist quartet. This quartet has youth on their side as well as some pretty strong music backgrounds like majoring in music, teaching music and music theater  as well as joining the society at age 11 (2 of them) and age 19 (1 of them).  They are looking forward to the upcoming Regional Competition at the end of April.

 It is always a pleasure to see members of Barbershop organizations sharing and encouraging youth to be involved in music.  I believe it is as tough as ever growing up in todays society, and music can provide balance and harmony to create stronger young men and women to become the strength of our world in the years to come.

Thanks for reading and commenting

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA

SAI & BHS Overtones, The Fifth Voice Creation…

January 31, 2009

Panache Sweet AdelineHere is one of my favorite quartets from the Sweet Adeline society singing one of the songs they won the International championship with “Sweet Adeline“. They are truly wonderful ladies, lending their talents to directing, coaching, quarteting and not the least of which is their long term dedication to the barbershop style of music! They all hail from right here is Southern California.

What is prized is not so much the “overtone” itself, but a unique sound whose achievement is most easily recognized by the presence of the “overtone”. The precise synchrony of the waveforms of the four voices simultaneously creates the perception of a “fifth voice” while at the same time melding the four voices into a unified sound. The ringing chord is qualitatively different in sound from an ordinary musical chord e.g. as sounded on a tempered-scale keyboard instrument.

Most elements of the “revivalist” style are related to the desire to produce these ringing chords. Performance is a cappella to prevent the distracting introduction of equal-tempered intonation, and because listening to anything but the other three voices interferes with a performer’s ability to tune with the precision required. Barbershop arrangements stress chords and chord progressions that favor “ringing”, at the expense of suspended and diminished chords and other harmonic vocabulary of the ragtime and jazz forms.

The dominant seventh-type chord… is so important to barbershop harmony that it is called the “barbershop seventh…” [SPEBSQSA (now BHS)], and Sweet Adeline arrangers believe that a song should contain dominant seventh chords anywhere from 35 to 60 percent of the time (measured as a percentage of the duration of the song rather than a percentage of the chords present) to sound “barbershop.”

Thanks for reading

Jerry Braack

California  USA

From the heart…

January 13, 2009

Jerry & Elaine Christmas 2009Hello to all,

As the new year opens with an infusion of new hope and energy for all, I too am looking forward to a “Devine 09”.  Over the active years of my Barbershop life, through all the chorus and quartet singing, performances in several countries, committee meetings and board meetings, I always did so with great enthusiasm.  Making costumes, learning music, attending conventions to compete or just as a spectator, or teaching a “tag” to 3 people I had never met before were just some of the wonderful times in my life. 

I truly believe that the active years I spent in Barbershop helped to define who I have become as a person.  My personality has grown, I have matured, I have become more intelligent, tolerant, appreciative, aware and all in all in my humble opinion a better overall person.  Music does wonderful and magical transformations to people who perform it… and hopefully to those who hear it.  I truly believe that it is the responsibility of the performer to take the audience down a “musical pathway” during the performance bringing them into an emotional experience that takes them for the moment to a mystical place in their mind.

Most of my initial 25 years were spent with the Riverside Citrus Belters (Riverside, California), then to Redlands Harmony Heritage (Redlands, California) and then to the International Champions… The Masters of Harmony (Santa Fe Springs, California… Los Angeles County).  In 1996 I was diagnosed as an “adult onset diabetic” which caused me to take a leave of absence from the Masters of Harmony after the 1999 International Convention in Anaheim, California (which we hosted and won!).  Being 6’6” tall I think helped to compound the problems I was experiencing with my feet gradually loosing feeling and hurting much more intently the day or two following rehearsal night.

After several years of not enduring the intensity of the rehearsals of the Masters, I began to realize that the feelings in my feet were as bad if not worse than when I was active with the Masters, and that I needed to make the unfortunate decision to not return to active singing with the chorus. I still support them by attending performances and purchasing CD’s so I can listen to them even thought I am not present there.

I now enjoy my barbershop through this blog… bringing back memories and learning new facts that I can relate to the world, and through the experiences of my wife Elaine who is active in Sweet Adelines both in the Harborlites Chorus and now having joined a quartet called Orange Crush.

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California, USA

 

Barbershop New Years’ Party… WoW!

January 3, 2009

My wife and I were invited to a “Barbershop” New Years party at the home of Gerry & Nick Papageorge in southern california.  It was great seeing lots of old friends and meeting some new ones as well. There were barbershop singers from the Masters of Harmony, Harborlites Chorus, Sounds of Harmony (Chino, CA, Gerry Papageorge director), and as luck would have it the only “organized” quartet was Orange Crush… (I’m prejudiced since that is my wifes’ quartet).

Good food and good friends were in abundance. Party favors were plentiful (see attached pic), and I can imagine the neighbors were holding their ears when the stroke of midnight hit.

Nick and Gerry’s son is in a rock band and they were there as well, so when the band played, the vocal singing of barbershop could not be heard. (The band had the mics, amps and speakers).

After the band stopped playing, the sounds of barbershop started and continued until at least 2 AM, when Elaine and I left.  A great way to bring in the New Year with lots of good friends and lots of good barbershop harmony.

“Stay tuned”

Jerry Braack

California USA

Sweet Adelines Christmas Cheer…

December 22, 2008

For many years, the Harborlites Chorus, of Anaheim, California (2007 SAI Chorus Champions, under the direction of Pam Pieson), has offered Singing Christmas Cards as a holiday fundraiser.  This unique gift has been very well received over the years as it is very reasonably priced. The people who deliver the “Card” gather together, place a call to your friend or loved one, and sing a selected holiday song.  This is a very popular event—the chorus typically delivers well over a hundred “Cards” each year.  Having just recently returned from the 2008 Sweet Adelines International Convention in Hawaii, the chorus decided to give the chorus as a whole a break from having to fulfill this event, and instead, four chapter quartets were given the opportunity. 

 

Sixteen women gathered together on Saturday Dec. 20, 2008, making call after call to brighten the holidays for many appreciative recipients, even bringing some to tears.  The participants of this year’s event included:  Applause Quartet (Dawn Castiglione, Chris Robertson, Susan Phinney, Cindy Robertson), High Life Quartet (Becky LaBella, Amber Carroll, Carol Austin, Diana Jones), Hypnotic Quartet (Erin Cardin, Erin Sears, Emily O’Brien Remle, Ashley Estrada), and Orange Crush Quartet (Elaine Braack, Tracey Sandberg, Anna Bernhard, Sally Malinowski).  Divided into two double quartets, they delivered over 150 Christmas greetings “Cards”.

 

The group raised over $1,000 for the chorus and, although it was a long day, it was fun and rewarding.  If you missed the opportunity this year, be sure to mark your calendar next year around Thanksgiving so you’ll remember to visit the Harborlites Chorus website to order your singing Christmas cards.

 

As submitted by my wife Elaine, Tenor – Orange Crush Quartet

 

Stay “tuned”

 

Jerry Braack

 

California  USA