Today we introduce to you Jess Jones, our new Quartet Development Coordinator. This enthusiastic, hard-working lady joined Harmony, Inc. only about 600 days ago and has been falling further and further in love with the organization ever since.
With a background in competitive singing, Jess found Harmony, Inc. after 15 years of encouragement from our own queen of hearts, Katie Taylor. Jess began singing baritone with Northern Blend Chorus in January 2019 and officially became a HI member in April 2019, right before her first Area 3 convention. Since then she’s joined NBC’s mighty lead section, become a member-at-large on the Chapter board, assumed the role of lead in a quartet, and helped the chorus earn their second-place silver medal at
IC&C-Sandusky in November 2019. Not too shabby for her first year!
When asked what first attracted her to HI, Jess says: “EVERYTHING! While Katie encouraged me (for nearly 15 years) to join NBC, I knew very little about Harmony, Inc. until my deep dive into all things barbershop last year. I knew I had found a very special organization, but I didn’t fully grasp how empowering the sisterhood is until my first Area contest. Since then, I have read every bit I can about our history, talked with as many members as possible, and continue learning about our culture through
every woman I meet. I was blown away by the support and pure joy expressed throughout every moment of my first International contest last November.”
With the same eagerness, Jess explains how she became interested in the Quartet Development Coordinator position. “Both Donna McKay and Katie knew of my newfound passion of barbershop and Harmony, Inc. and approached me about the QDC position. Despite my minimal quartet experience, immersing me into this position will connect me with more amazing women and allow me to use my organizational and people skills in an enjoyable way. In addition to our current and prospective quartets,
I am eager to work with our IBOD, Assistants, and Area Directors. I may never be as funny as Debi Stoll, but I hope to reach the high standard she has set as QDC!”
As her passion for barbershop grew, it guided Jess to sing in her first (and current) quartet, Roulette in May 2019. While excited, she says, “Needless to say, I was quite nervous about singing lead, but am embracing it and learning so much from my experienced quartet mates. I long for the day we can perform for you!” With a few familiar faces in her trio: Morgan La Croix, tenor; Lynn Blakeney, bass; and Katie Taylor, baritone, our bets are easily placed on the wonderful things they will do together.
When not immersed in all things Harmony, Jess has been a department secretary at her local community college for nearly 14 years. “I love serving eager students and passionate educators, much like in Harmony, Inc.!”
In her spare time, she enjoys listening and singing to all genres of music and spending time with her husband, Ryan, and two children, Brandon, 16, and Samantha, 3. They camp as much as possible during the short Northern New York summer months and take advantage of the recreation opportunities in the Thousand Islands and greater Adirondacks region year-round. She loves to play tennis and allegedly has a silly tongue trick she can do. She encourages you all to “…find me at our next contest or convention for a good laugh!”
Of all the things that make singing with Harmony, Inc. special, Jess thinks the most important is our supportive culture.
“Although I have not been a part of a barbershop or singing organization,” says Jess, “I have competed as a vocalist on a local level and been involved in cover bands and choirs. Competition kept me from joining Northern Blend earlier and I was sure it would take the fun and joy out of singing. Fortunately, Harmony, Inc’s approach to competition is truly about empowerment and experience, not about winning for the sake of bragging rights. Regardless of where you place, this organization cheers each
other on and loves you for being courageous! We all belong here.”
We all knew, when arriving at Harmony, Inc., that we’d found a place we belonged and now you do too, Jess. You’re a spectacular example of what new energy can do for any organization!
Welcome home, Jess Jones. Welcome home.
Submitted by Robyn Lynn Matula