Posts Tagged ‘Sweet Adelines International’

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

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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

Ringing Chords the Barbershop Way Part 3…

January 22, 2009

UnderAge QuartetHere is something for you ladies in the audience… A young group of ladies that can bring down the house… UnderAge Quartet.

Here is the final of 3 parts of ringing the chords…

Historically barbershoppers may have used the word “minor chord” in a way that is confusing to those with musical training. Averill suggests that it was “a shorthand for chord types other than major triads”, and says that the use of the word for “dominant seventh-type chords and diminished chords” was common in the late nineteenth century. A 1910 song called “Play That Barber Shop Chord” (often cited as an early example of “barbershop” in reference to music) contains the lines:

‘Cause Mister when you start that minor part
I feel your fingers slipping and a grasping at my heart,
Oh Lord play that Barber shop chord!

Averill notes the hints of rapture, “quasi-religion” and erotic passion in the language used by barbershoppers to describe the emotional effect. He quotes Jim Ewin as reporting “a tingling of the spine, the raising of the hairs on the back of the neck, the spontaneous arrival of ‘goose flesh’ on the forearm…. [the ‘fifth note’ has] almost ‘mysterious propensities…’ It’s the ‘consummation’ devoutly wished by those of us who love Barbershop harmony. If you ask us to explain … why we love it so, we are hard put to answer; ‘that’s where our faith takes over.'” Averill notes too the use of the language of addiction, “there’s this great big chord that gets people hooked.” An early manual was entitled “A Handbook for Adeline Addicts”.

He notes too that “barbershoppers almost never speak of ‘singing’ a chord, but almost always draw on a discourse of physical work and exertion; thus, they ‘hit’, ‘chop’, ‘ring’, ‘crack’, and ‘swipe….’ …vocal harmony… is interpreted as an embodied musicking. Barbershoppers never lose sight (or sound) of its physicality.”

WoW what a sound… Barbershop Harmony!

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA

Barbershop Champion Choruses…

January 11, 2009

The Masters of HarmonyBarbershop music can be sung by a 4 part 4 person quartet, or a 4 part 140 person chorus. Both quartets and choruses are present in all 3 of the associations… the Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines International and Harmony, Inc.

For competitions, the chorus is limited to a minimum number 12-15 or some are as large a 160 performers on stage.

Choruses are usually composed of various numbers singing the different parts.  For instance in a chorus there would ideally be 40 basses, 30 leads, 20 baritones and 10 tenors.

There are several choruses in the Barbershop Harmony Society that have excelled in mastering the barbershop art form and catapulted themselves to International Championship status time and time again.  When winning the International Gold as a chorus, you are not eligible to compete again at the International Competition until the 3rd year.

Currently, the Vocal Majority (Dallas, TX) has won 11 times, the Masters of Harmony (Santa Fe Springs, [Los Angeles] CA) 7 times, the Louisville Thoroughbreds (Louisville, KY) 7 times, the Alexandria Harmonizers (Alexandria, VA) 4 times, the Chorus of the Chesapeake (Baltimore, MD) 2 times, and the young men spin-off from the Masters of Harmony, the Westminster Chorus (Westminster, CA) 1 time with probably the smallest number of men on stage to ever win (2007)

You definitely will do yourself a favor to visit the websites of these top notch choruses. I will fill more in on the women’s choruses in another post.

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California USA

Barbershop for Women as well…

December 6, 2008

There was later (1945) formed an organization to promote this art form for women called Sweet Adelines International (SAI). A second organization separated from Sweet Adelines International called Harmony, Inc. in 1959 over issues of race. Both the Barbershop Harmony Society and Sweet Adelines International have now adopted policies that include respectively all men and all women of all ages. Currently there are many programs to get young folks involved in this style of a cappella music to help insure the art form will endure and bring the joy of singing Barbershop music to many future generations.
Lots of people have heard a Barbershop Quartet at some point in their lives, but normally that would be the extent of exposure to the art form that most people experience. Most Americans have heard or seen The Music Man which in part features a barbershop quartet. There have been many famous Americans whose foundation in music was actually in the barbershop style of music… The Osmound Brothers are one example of that… and Dick Van Dyke is a strong supporter of this style of music.