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Awareness, Understanding, Action

Harmony, Incorporated was founded in 1959, primarily due to the exclusion of women of color in Sweet Adelines International.  Our founding members were committed to providing women of color a place to experience the joy of barbershop singing. They understood the need for, and benefits of, diversity and inclusion. Sixty-one years after our founding, Harmony, Inc.’s Call to Action reaffirms our commitment to this mission. The words in this statement are powerful, but without action they mean nothing. So, where do we begin? Let’s start by increasing our awareness and understanding of the core issues surrounding racism and unconscious bias. Next, I ask each member to ensure that our members of color feel fully valued as singers and leaders in our chapters and our organization. I ask each member to seek out, encourage, and welcome women of color into Harmony, Inc. As an organization, we must do our part to eliminate systemic racism in the United States and Canada. The Equality & Diversity Committee is compiling a list of resources to increase our awareness and understanding of the root causes of systemic racism. I have included a short list of resources, with more to follow soon from the EDC. I ask all members to seek awareness and understanding and, lastly, to take action to induce real, long-lasting change. Together we are Harmony. Stronger. Submitted by Donna McKay International President [email protected]

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Equity and Diversity

Welcome to the Harmony, Inc. web presence of your EQUITY AND DIVERSITY COMMITTEE! We have been reaching out to HI members through monthly articles in the E-Note since February 2019. The articles are designed to stimulate thought, encourage discussion, and raise awareness on the issues of equity and diversity within Harmony, Incorporated. The end result, we hope, will be that all women will feel they belong and all HI members will recognize and celebrate the richness that comes from having an inclusive organization. HARMONY, INC. CALL TO ACTION Spring 2020 and the consciousness of the world was raised to a new level with the violent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Protests were held around the world to shine a blazing light on racism, the effects of white privilege, and multitudes of systems that nurture and sustain this imbalance. One of the “action” items in our Call To Action is “we commit to learning so that we become the drivers of positive change, leading to equal opportunities, respect and valuing of all people”. We believe that you can’t face and change something that you don’t understand, and therefore the Equity and Diversity Committee has reviewed and compiled a large 'Call To Action resource list' for your use. In July 2020 your Equity and Diversity Committee and Area Directors joined Harmony, Inc. members for a conversation about how to put the “action” in our Call To Action. Many in attendance asked us to share our PowerPoint presentation. While this gives you an idea of the format it was the actual conversations shared by members that held the best gems of ideas for making a difference in our Harmony community. We encourage you to continue the dialogue at your chapter and area levels. DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION RESOURCES Want to learn more about diversity and ways your chapter can be more inclusive?  Check out these useful resources. AREA AND CHAPTER HANDBOOK ON PROMOTING AND CELEBRATING DIVERSITY To assist your area and chapter with moving towards inclusion we’ve put together the Area and Chapter Handbook on Promoting and Celebrating Diversity filled with history, suggestions, articles, and resources. Equity and Diversity HI-Note Articles 2021 Articles June 2021 May 2021 April 2021 March 2021 February 2021 January 2021 2020 Articles December 2020 October 2020 September 2020 August 2020 July 2020 June 2020 May 2020 April 2020 March 2020 February 2020 January 2020 2019 Articles December 2019 October 2019 September 2019 August 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 April 2019 March 2019 February 2019 YOUR 2021 EQUITY AND DIVERSITY COMMITTEE AREA 1: Bonita Hester (chair and GOC rep) AREA 2: Jessie Caynon and Kathy Pomer AREA 3: Anita Prather Harvell, Katie Taylor, and Nancy Weisbein AREA 5: Emily Parsons AREA 6: Lindsay Fontana To reach the Equity and Diversity Committee please email [email protected]
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Become a Member Shoppe Donate Covid-19 & Harmony, Inc. COVID Protocol December 1, 2021 Our Call to Action The HIVEThe Latest SEE OUR CHAMPS! HOT PURSUIT 2019 Queens! A CAPPELLA SHOWCASE 2019 Chorus Champs! MINOR CHORDS Our Future
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Brain Beats by Taralee

A little less than one year ago, our world was turned upside down by a silent enemy that entered into our lives and threatened to take away everything we hold dear.  We were advised to self-quarantine, shelter in place, social distance and worst of all…not gather to sing together, informed that this was one of the most dangerous actions that could spread this deadly virus.  The uncertain times brought an unsettling amount of fear and anxiety unlike most of us had ever experienced.   Our bodies and minds have endured months of chronic stress that have left our nervous systems on high alert.  Although we know that it will eventually come to an end, the uncertainty continues to disrupt our neurology leaving us with what we psychologists call “moral distress”; meaning, that we have competing values within ourselves trying to balance our safety, safety of others, self-care, staying calm, coping with sadness, managing loss, feeling comforted, all while being on heightened alert 24/7.  It is mentally and physically exhausting.   Most of us are struggling with loss on an unparalleled degree of mass bereavement.  Instead of being able to come together to process and heal, we’ve had to stay safely isolated on the other side of a computer screen.  Even with loosening restrictions, we are unable to sing together on the risers and feel the comforting healing vibrations of song and energy; a sensation that is difficult to describe, but once you feel it, you know it and you never forget it.  We’ve tried various things to try and replicate these harmonious vibrations through Zoom meetings, FaceTime Calls and other Virtual Chorus projects. And although they quell the longing momentarily, it leaves us yearning for the days where we can physically connect our energies and voices in an explosion of goosebumps, chills, and all the feels that make this hobby our passion. Strategies to regain equilibrium vary from person-to-person, but understanding what works for you could help provide some relief.  Safely talking with friends and family help us to not feel so alone.  Movement or exercise is a common intervention that helps calm the nervous system.  Combining movement with music and singing helps signal the brain to kick in dopamine that helps soothe or increase the sense of wellness.  Truth, music is great medicine.  An often forgotten, but easiest way to rewire the brain is practicing gratitude and kindness.  It seems so simple, but when we are bombarded with negative input and uncertainty from so many different directions…especially long-term, our brains will lean toward doom and gloom rather than positivity and light.  Just by being human, we are designed to be on guard for danger and prepare for problems in order to maintain our survival.  Therefore, positivity does take practice.  Starting each morning with one thing you are thankful for and expressing one kind thought or gesture can rewire your cognitive system to lean toward a better sense of well-being.  No matter how turbulent the storm, the sun will shine again.  This time has been an incredible time of reflection on what is important and what really matters in life.  Kindness, caring, […]

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President’s Report!

Thank you to Convention team and friends   Oh my goodness – wasn’t our first, Virtual International Convention wonderful! Under Convention Manager Allison Thompson’s lead, the convention team with its many assistants and volunteers, created a masterpiece!  Thank you soooo much – nothing is impossible when you bring together purpose driven women and give them a task!  Our deepest gratitude goes to all of you who played a part in creating such a successful event.   While IC&C 2021 is still an unknown at this time, we will not be concerned!  Creative juices are already flowing and we will all look forward to the event, whatever it will look like! (Don’t you like surprises?!)   Updates from Annual 2020   While Zoom meetings are not the ideal way to meet for three days in a row, your International Board of Directors collected their snacks and water bottles, found comfy chairs and settled in to deal with the business of the organization.   Many of the highlights from the meeting were presented live at the Delegates meeting on the Sunday following our Virtual Convention. But please remember that you can always go to the members’ only section of our web site to read the minutes and financial reports.    I will just highlight a few things here:   IC&C 2021 Just a reminder, those who paid the pre-registration (full All Events Pass of $125) for the 2020 convention back in November 2019 have the option of a refund, or rolling it over to 2021 IC&C. (If the 2021 AEP is more than $125, there will not be an additional fee owed; if less than $125, there will be no refund.) Registrants will retain their spot on the list (for preferred seating purposes). Until we have a better idea of what the details of IC&C 2021 might be (i.e. in person or not, etc.) we will defer setting the AEP price.  The Convention Manager, along with the IBOD, will be discussing options in the New Year.   Please be sure to read your HI Note for updates!   Future IC&C venues 2021 (Nov. 3-7) – Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA 2022 (Nov. 2-6) – Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Verona, NY 2023 – Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids, MI 2024 – Galt House, Louisville, KY   Why are we returning to the Galt House in Louisville in 2024 and 2026? As you might imagine, getting out of a contract is a tricky business. By agreeing to return to Louisville, we were able to defer our contract from 2020 with no penalty. Thank you to Allison Thompson for her patience and poise as she worked through all these details and possible solutions. We were also fortunate to have all our Areas negotiate with AC&C venues to prevent financial penalties.   Board/ Assistant Vacancies Elsewhere in this issue of the HI Note, you will find details as to how to apply for Assistant positions that are currently vacant.  I would like to take this opportunity to recognize our members that are retiring and extend our sincere thanks for all they have done: Mary Ann Wert (Director […]

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Let’s Keep Changing Lives!

If you are like me, you have imagined the sound of our voices once again coming together in song – ringing chords, moving to the music, feeling the energy in the room. We came to barbershop for the music and stayed for the friendships – the sharing, the giving, the receiving big and small. In addition to our passion for singing, and experiencing the thrill of ensemble singing, it has been a place where we make a positive difference in people’s lives including our own. That is why it is so important to stay connected. To quote Jim Henry, during his 2007 Harmony University Gold Medal Moments Keynote address, “Barbershop – it isn’t just a hobby, it’s a Ministry!” Indeed, through our music and our actions, we change lives – it is a calling and during this pandemic, we must maintain that ‘calling’ and continue to change lives! With each virtual rehearsal we host, we keep the magical, musical, spiritual, and communal synergy going. We change people’s lives and create new Gold Medal Moments for those who attend. Build it and they will come! Consider this time, as an opportunity to grow your chapter. Seek singers in your community who are looking to connect with others. Introduce these new guests to Barbershop and to your vibrant organization. Share, and inspire others. There is no better time to make plans… There will be a time when your chapter will once again, safely gather for in-person singing and performing – learn new music, reach out to your local municipalities and boroughs, call your local radio or TV station for an interview. Make plans for a Holiday Walk-Around in your community, or, plan a Spring Show, or an open-air community event. There are so many people out there who need to be inspired by our music. Are you running out of ideas to keep everyone engaged? Look through this list of Virtual Rehearsal Ideas – please feel free to reach out to me and join our weekly round table discussions. We are here to help! Submitted by Anne Bureau Chorus Director Development Coordinator [email protected]

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Your International Board of Directors Working For YOU!

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 […]

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Username or Email Password Remember me Lost your password? If you have forgotten your password, or never set one up, please click forgot password, and follow the steps to have instructions sent to your inbox. Please be sure to check your spam/junk folders as the email may go there. If you still don’t see it, email our webmanager, Pam Ringo. If you are currently not a member of Harmony, Inc., but wish to join or inquire, email our director of membership.

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