In the last issue of the HI Note, I shared a little about myself and, this time, I thought, maybe, I’d share a little about my vision for Harmony.
Our collective goal is to reach out to all those people who do not know we are eagerly waiting for them to join us in song! Now, more than ever, women need the joy of song and sense of belonging that our sisterhood brings. I know that even though most of us are not rehearsing in person, we are still attracting new faces. If you are one of our newest members, we celebrate you! Welcome to Harmony, Inc.!
And, speaking of sisterhood, I have something else that I’d like us to think about during this “COVID-time.” While serving as the Area 1 Director, I focused on creating an atmosphere that encouraged us to see ourselves as one very large ensemble, instead of isolated chapters and quartets. When we started to think of ourselves as a VLC (very large chorus), our attendance at Area events improved. Individuals soon felt connected with that sense that we were “related by music”. To make it easier to share our music at our “family” get-togethers, we worked on creating a library of common songs.
I’m pleased to report that early in the new year we will share with you two new songs that we can start to learn right away with a third one not far behind. We are creating this library so when we have our next “family” get-together (also known as a convention or education day!) we can sing together. That feeling of having 200-400–1000 women all in one room singing the same song is incredibly powerful.
When doors close, windows open
Our recent annual board meeting highlighted some of the ways we creatively used our time this past year. Our mission statement is, “Empowering all women through Education, Friendship and Singing.” With our singing opportunities challenged, we stepped up our focus on education. The HIVE brought us all expert instruction in many different aspects of creating and performing barbershop harmony. As chapters and quartets, we did all we could to stay connected with friends: We used themed Zoom nights, shared Zoom nights with other chapters, joined in drive-by celebrations and sent special cards and letters or made phone calls to members from whom we haven’t head in a while. We learned more about each other and our lives off the risers than we could have learned after six months of in-person rehearsals.
Friends, our singing will still be with us when this pandemic is gone. Our job is to use this time to strengthen our friendships and work on vocal and performance skills through the amazing educational opportunities that keep coming our way. Our virtual chorus projects will one day be a testament to the lengths to which we will go to sing “together!”
I am looking forward to seeing how creative we can be. Our Virtual International Convention was just one example of how we stepped up quickly to think outside the box and celebrate in style! What will next year bring? What do you want it to bring? What ideas will we share that will reinforce our mission to empower women through education, music and singing? How can we support our ensemble? If you have some ideas or answers to these questions, please share with me. I’m all ears! This next year will be different – let’s make it a positive difference!
While this time of year is a wonderful celebration of faith for some, for others it is a celebration of family, friends (and food). But, I know that for some of you this can be a very difficult time of year. While everyone around you is celebrating, you are struggling to get through the day. Many of you have a piece of your heart missing. While there are no words to make this grief and sadness go away, please know that we are here with you; no one should feel alone. Feel the love of your Harmony family as we bring an end to 2020 and step into the New Year with anticipation of whatever it will bring!
I wish every one of you happiness, health and harmony!
Submitted by Linda Brehaut