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COVID-19 and In-Person Rehearsals

The Barbershop Harmony Society and the American Choral Directors Association each published guidance recently for ensembles interested in singing together while COVID-19 remains a significant public health concern. The Harmony, Inc. International Board of Directors has not changed its position on this issue. We advise that you refrain from in-person chorus rehearsals and/or performances at this time due to the risk of contracting and spreading the virus during these activities.

IBOD Mid-Year Meeting Update

Your International Board of Directors conducted a very productive Mid-Year Meeting in June through Zoom video conferencing! The full meeting minutes are, or soon will be, posted in the members-only section of the Harmony, Inc. website (webmaster note: they are posted!). I also encourage you to take time to read the full meeting minutes.

Harmony. Stronger. Strategic Plan
We made good progress in several areas of our strategic plan in the first quarter of 2020. In March, we took a dramatic detour due to COVID-19. As AC&Cs and IC&C were canceled, we shifted our focus to virtual education, assisting chapter musical leaders with Zoom rehearsals, and connecting with our members through more robust communication in the bi-weekly E-Note. At our Mid-Year meeting, Quantum Governance shared their Governance Assessment Report which was compiled over the past few months based on the results of surveys and discussions with Board members. As the IBOD reviewed the report, we identified action steps we should take to move our governance and leadership to the next level of excellence.

Harmony Grace & Two Nations
After much discussion and careful consideration of the feedback received from many of our members, the IBOD has voted unanimously to remove Harmony Grace & Two Nations from the Harmony, Inc. repertoire. Please read the article in this issue called, “Getting to the Heart of Inclusion”, which shares details and FAQs about this decision.

For the Love of Harmony Program Recognition
The Fundraising Task Force recently reviewed the recognition program established several years ago for the “For the Love of Harmony” program. We fully intend to continue the FLOH program; however, we will be revamping the process for recognizing donations.

Review of Venue Contracts
As we worked through the agonizing process of canceling our 2020 conventions, we realized the importance of ensuring that all future venue contracts be either negotiated through a meeting procurement agency, such as HelmsBriscoe, or reviewed by an attorney. This will be our policy for future venue contracts in order to better protect our organization.

Virtual International Convention
The Board approved a plan and funds to be used to create a virtual International Convention in early November. Stay tuned for more information as we roll out plans for the virtual convention which will take place in early November!

Membership Coordinator
As you know, membership growth and retention are key areas of focus in the Harmony.Stronger. strategic plan. It was decided at Mid-Year that the IBOD would reinstate an unfilled Assistant role previously called the Chapter Membership Coordinator. The position will be renamed “Membership Coordinator”. She will work with the Director of Membership to assist chapters with various membership growth initiatives and will also handle Associate members’ needs. If you are interested in finding out more about this position, please contact the International President or the Director of Membership.

Harmony Awareness Week Date Change
At the recommendation of our Social Media Coordinator, the Board voted to change the date of Harmony Awareness Week to coincide with Harmony, Inc.’s anniversary. Going forward, Harmony Awareness Week will occur the week of February 26.

Name Change from E-Note to HI Note
At the recommendation of Roxanne Powell, the name of the E-Note will be changed to the HI Note. The focus of the HI Note will be to expand the appeal of this bi-weekly newsletter to a broader, more public audience, while also including important member information and deadlines.

Song Donation for 2021, “From Now On”
Marie Ross generously donated an Adam Scott arrangement of “From Now On” from The Greatest Showman. This song may be used as the 2021 International Chorus song, and/or possibly a common song for Harmony, Inc. in the future. Thank you, Marie!

Change to Area Demarcation
Earlier this year we were excited to add The Greater Montreal Chorus as a new prospective Harmony, Inc. chapter in the Montreal area. Based on the current Area demarcation lines, this new chapter falls within Area 1; however, they requested to be part of Area 2. Our current chapter, Montreal City Voices, is already part of Area 2, an exception that was granted to them a few years ago. Given that we will now have two chapters in the Montreal area, both requesting the accommodation to be part of Area 2, the Board approved an agenda item submitted by Patricia Cassidy to move the Area demarcation lines so that Montreal falls within
Area 2. See the Mid-Year meeting minutes for full details.

Potential Canadian Incorporation
A task force was created to investigate the benefits of Harmony, Inc. incorporating in Canada. This is a complicated issue. The task force will connect with an attorney in Canada to conduct research and present the findings to the IBOD.

Area Affiliation for Associate Members
In the past, Harmony, Inc.’s policy has required Associates to be members of the Area in which they reside. However, we have had requests from Associates in the past to affiliate with a different Area for various reasons. Having found no valid reason why Associates must be members of the Area in which they reside, the IBOD has voted to allow Associate members to select the Area with which they want to belong.

For full details about all items and decisions made during the Mid-Year Meeting, please refer to the Mid-Year minutes in the members-only section of the Harmony, Inc. website.