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Harmony Inc

Empty Bottles Fuel Charity

The Over Tones, Inc. have had a busy fall 2020. We celebrated charter member Win Andrews’ 55 years of membership in both Harmony, Inc. and our chapter. Win continues to be a big supporter of the chorus as a FANS member (Friendly Active Non-Singer). Congratulations on 55 years of membership, Win!

In other news, The Over Tones, Inc. has also been busy with fundraising through a very successful Bottle Drive. Since June 2020, we have been accepting donations of wine, beer and liquor bottles to redeem at the Beer Store. To date we have collected over $1,400 in bottles to assist us in setting up a new website and give donations to charity.

In November 2020, we were able to donate $200 of the proceeds of the bottle drive to the Guelph Food Bank.

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted by Karen Atkinson
[email protected]

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President’s Message – February 2021

As we approach what is almost a full year of social restrictions due to Covid-19, we are growing weary of waiting and Zooming!  We are being respectful of the rules and recommendations, but more importantly we are being respectful of each other. Bit by bit, things are changing – the light is still flickering!

Thank you for participating in the recent survey regarding International Convention & Contests 2021.  More than 1,000 members took part.  We continue to negotiate with the venue and are pleased to advise that they have extended our deadline until April 1.  This leaves us with a little more time to fully assess the situation.  More updates will follow as soon as they are available.  

I encourage you to stay the course, setting your sights on what lies ahead. I ask you, “Can you glimpse the future?” How will you help to get your chorus or quartet back on its feet?  What can we do now to ensure that, when that time comes, we will be ready to sing again?  

When I was thinking about this, I was reminded of a J.K. Rowling quote, “We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” 

My friends, dig deep and imagine. See yourself in your chorus/quartet outfit, smiling from the inside out, as you bring a song to life for your next audience, whenever and wherever that might be!

Our Condolences

Our sincere condolences are extended to the Tramack family as they said their final good by to Renee’s mom, Pat Longchamp. Pat was a 60-year member of Harmony, Inc.

All of Harmony sends a virtual hug to both the Tramack and Longchamp families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great news!

Remember how I said that a new common song was in the making? Well, my friends, it is ready for you.  The song We Are Thankful, was arranged by our music judges as a learning opportunity for them and a gift to Harmony. This song will be easy to learn and has a great message. Our judging program has stepped up in so many ways this past year. Many of them have offered their time as educators with the HIVE classes and as invited guests to chapter rehearsals and now, giving us a song. Yes, we are thankful!  Please go to the members only section of our website to download the tracks and sheet music.

BHS Mid-Winter Convention

Huge thank you to the Communications Team (particularly Anita and Kelly) for helping to put the finishing touches to our Harmony, Inc. suite! If there is one thing I have learned it’s that I wish I had of played more video games so I could, at the very least, walk around without walking into doors and walls (let alone furniture) in our virtual world!

I am grateful for those moments when I had the opportunity to chat with some of you while we were “on-site”. This event also afforded us the opportunity to give a shout-out to how creative and committed Harmony, Inc has been in staying connected to each other, honoring our commitment to education and celebrating our music.  We will look back on this year and be proud!

Big thank you to Hot Pursuit, 2019 Harmony Queens, for hosting the hospitality room on Friday night. They bring so much energy and fun to the organization! And we all need a little fun these days. Thanks for sharing with us!

The Tramack family performed for the afterglow on Friday evening – so much talent! If anyone is looking for a “tutorial” on bringing a song to life, just watch their performances!  Thank you to Taken for Granite, 2016 Harmony Queens, for representing Harmony, Inc. at the Show Case on Sunday Night.

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Membership Adventures

When the GOC (Geographically Outlying Chapters) get together they become “Women in Harmony On Q Catch Fire” and there is no stopping them!  GOC chapters include Women In Harmony from Brandon, Manitoba, On Q Chorus from Albuquerque, New Mexico and Catch Fire from Phoenix, Arizona. Recently the presidents from these three chapters, Sharon Hyndman, Chelsea Swisher and Amy Johnston, got together with Harmony, Inc. Director of Membership Kim Meechan and Membership Coordinator Bonita Hester. 

Most chapters of Harmony, Inc. belong to an Area and connect often with sister chapters as well as with their Area Directors. GOC are chapters within our Expansion Area — which covers a huge part of Canada and the USA — and are represented on the IBOD by the Director of Membership. 

Our amazing GOC have decided that being thousands of miles apart from one another can’t stop the sisterhood and came up with the name The Expansion Pack for themselves. As with all members of Harmony, Inc., GOC members are being creative with ways to stay connected, using Zoom, emails and phone calls. The Expansion Pack would love to travel virtually across North America to visit sister chapters so if you are having open rehearsals please drop them a line with an invitation.  It’s a great way to learn about our GOC members and their communities. They can be reached via email:

Women In Harmony: [email protected]

On Q Chorus: [email protected]

Catch Fire: [email protected] 

Submitted by Kim Meechan
Director of Membership
[email protected]

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Did you know of Harmony Shoppe?

Did you know that Harmony, Inc. has a Harmony Shoppe? Harmony Incorporated Official Merchandise (harmonyshoppe.org)  

Did you know you can get one of these really cool looking water bottles from our Harmony Shoppe? 

Did you know that your chorus can host a fundraiser by contacting [email protected]? They are willing to work with you and have an endless list of possibilities.

Did you know that you can order apparel for yourself? harmonyshoppe.org

Did you know that you can order apparel for your chorus? [email protected] 

Did you know that the Harmony Shoppe is another source of income for Harmony, Inc.?  Every time you order an item from the Harmony Shoppe, a small portion goes to Harmony, Inc. 

Did you know that coming soon there will be some very exciting limited time only Harmony items that you will be able to order? More details coming your way soon.

Did you know that you can contact [email protected] to make suggestions that you think would be a great item to sell in the Harmony Shoppe?

Take a few minutes from the comfort of your couch to browse and shop at the Harmony Shoppe!

Submitted by Nancy Arkin
Business Services Coordinator
[email protected]

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Category Training School 2021 +s and -s!

As is true at the start of every year, members of the judging community gathered for a busy, long weekend of education.  But this year, we did it virtually.  Well, as you know or can imagine, virtual school has its good points and its bad points!

 

Bad points first:

  • The contest-free year and the virtual school meant that we were unable to offer opportunities that would allow candidates to advance to certified status – but our candidates are hanging in there.
  • There were no performances from “live” quartets as a component of furthering our scoring and evaluation skills.
  • Hugs were replaced by lots and lots of screen time – not a good trade-off.
  • We all had to cook our own meals…

 

Good points:

  • We slept comfortably in our own beds.
  • Every single judge, candidate and applicant was able to attend the school!
  • Many participants improved not only their judging skills, but also their Zoom skills….
  • We took advantage of virtual attendance possibilities in myriad ways:
    • Kelly Thomas, VP Convention and Contest, joined us to offer welcoming remarks at the opening session on Friday night.
    • All four BHS Category Specialists, as well as the Society Contest and Judging Chairman, attended that opening session.  The three scoring Category Specialists presented a class on the overlap among categories.
    • The COJs did self-paced exercises throughout the weekend with an open Zoom link.
    • The Performance Category welcomed some guest candidates and judges from other organizations, providing additional perspectives to classroom discussions.
    • The Singing Category attended virtual classes in vocal pedagogy, taught by far-away experts.
    • The Music Category, through screen-sharing, introduced to attendees a short song, We Are Thankful, written and arranged by the Category under the mentorship of Tom Gentry.  (This song has been accepted as a Harmony, Inc. common song.  The written music is now available on our website, along with learning tracks prepared by Anne Bureau.  Check it out!)
    • Linda Brehaut, International President, attended to give closing remarks, offering thanks and inspiration to the members of the judging community as we all work to support our organization in these challenging times.
  • And – very important – everyone arrived on time, and there was NO SNOW to shovel on departure day!

 

These wonderful education perks would not have happened in a “normal” year.  It was a most rewarding weekend.  But it is clear that every single member of the judging community is looking forward to the time when we can serve Harmony, Inc. in person again.  In the meantime, look for us on the HIVE, or drop us a note if you want us to stop by at your virtual rehearsal…or both!

Submitted by Kathy Greason
ICJC
[email protected]

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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, empathy, connection, love, hope, joy are just some of the elements that fill our souls and make us uniquely human.  So, until we are able to safely gather together, always remember…We are connected.  We are resilient.  We are Harmony, Stronger…now more than ever before.

Submitted by Taralee Lashway
President of Northern Blend
[email protected]

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President’s Message

Here we are in the quiet days of January. The holiday season is behind us and weather is typically the thing we talk about the most. Unless, of course, you are a performer. Then our conversations circle around the timeline for getting back to the risers.

Thank you so much for filling in the recently-distributed survey regarding preferences for our next International Convention and Contests. I apologize for not including the option for a chorus contest, an oversight on our part. By the time I had heard from many of you asking why that option was not included, over 500 (in the first 48 hours!) had already responded. Please know that no decision has been made at this time. We are reviewing all your comments and working with the venue to see where we stand and what, if any accommodations, can be made.

One member reminded me of the dilemma we find ourselves in when we are simply trying to decide whether we should cancel a rehearsal because of road conditions. While IC&C is on a much bigger scale, the outcome will probably be the same – some will agree, and others will say, “But why? Roads are fine here.”  Just as it is on rehearsal night, your safety is our concern.

Please be patient with us – our intention is to make the best decision we can with the information we have. You are important to us and I know, when it is possible and safe, we will stand together in song again. You will hear more as soon as we know more.  Thank you for your understanding.

 

Board Activity

BY-LAWS – The International Board of Directors is using this time to review documents and take care of some updating. Be on the watch for some updates to the Harmony, Inc. by-laws that will need your vote.

CANADIAN CHARITY – We have some news for you – a little complicated to understand, but I’ll give you the short story. About a year ago the board formed a committee to investigate the possibility of having Harmony, Inc. declared a charity in Canada. The committee determined that Harmony, Inc. would first have to be incorporated in Canada and then apply for charitable status. This would require the services of a lawyer and it was estimated that the cost would be in excess of $10,000 with no guarantee of a successful outcome or obvious benefit to the organization. It was the decision of the IBOD not to pursue this option at that time.

While in discussion with the lawyer, we were advised that Harmony, Inc. income “earned” in Areas 1 and 5 (Area dues, AC&C Registrations) and other dues and registrations paid by Canadian members to Harmony, Inc. (Corporate dues, IC&C Registration) could be subject to Canadian Income Tax.  The lawyer cautioned that we could be penalized by the Canada Revenue Agency for not already having this in place and recommended that we apply for an exemption under the US/Canada Tax Treaty. On January 12, we were notified that the exemption had been approved and we had not been penalized.

While our American members can donate to Harmony or to the Harmony Foundation International (HFI) to receive a tax receipt, Canadians cannot. Sing Canada Harmony (SCH) is a registered charity and if Canadians are looking to receive a tax receipt, please consider making a donation through Sing Canada Harmony. If having a receipt is not necessary, you can always donate directly to Harmony, Inc.!

NEW COMMITTEES – We have recently seated our Philanthropy Committee and our Strategic Planning Committee. Over the next few months, you will hear more about their activities.

TEACHABLE MOMENT – Think of these days as a bit of a performance skill-building exercise. How well can people tell what you’re thinking/feeling by the look in your eyes (since that is all they can see of your face). This will be a real asset when we “smile with our eyes” from the risers again!

 

BHS 2021 MID-WINTER VIRTUAL CONVENTION, JANUARY 28-31 – The Barbershop Harmony Society is providing a discount code to any chapter that brings them in to their weekly Zoom rehearsal to give a 10-minute presentation about Virtual Midwinter, and that code is active for 7 days after that meeting. If you are interested, please send me an email and I will point you in the right direction.

In the meantime, if you are attending the BHS mid-winter convention, please check in with me to see what we can do to make our “Harmony Village” inviting. We are pleased to have Hot Pursuit hosting Harmony’s hospitality room on Friday evening from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. EST. Taken 4 Granite is also on the schedule for Friday evening at the afterglow from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m EST.


Stay well my friends, look out for each other and sing when you can. Stay the course and we’ll all get to the finish line together.

Submitted by Linda Brehaut
President

presi[email protected]

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A Note From Your Webmanager

Did you know that our website promotes and lists several companies and individuals who make learning tracks?
And did you know that some of these are even Harmony, Inc members?!
And, if you have a company/individual you think should be listed, send me an email!
Submitted by Tanya Reid
Web Manager
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Zoom tips

Keyboard Shortcuts (For Windows PCs and Macs)

Many of us have heard by now that we can press the keyboard’s space bar to Mute/Unmute on Zoom: Here are Zoom’s Push To Talk instructions.

Frustrated because the Zoom meeting controls toolbar obstructs part of your screen/view when the Zoom Host is screen sharing? You can temporarily Hide and Unhide the toolbar with another easy shortcut:

  • Windows:
    • Press these 3 keys at the same time to hide the bar: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H
    • Press the Esc key to unhide the toolbar.
  • Mac: Ctrl+Option+Command+H

Can’t get to the Raise Hand command within the Reactions button fast enough? 

Try the keyboard shortcut:

  • Windows: Alt + y
    Mac: Option + y

Here are other helpful Zoom keyboard shortcuts for Windows PCs and Macs.

Submitted by Sue Melvin
Writer
[email protected]

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Harmony, Inc. Needs Your Help!

Looking for a way to give back?  We have two Assistant positions available – maybe you are the perfect fit for one of them!!

 

Copyright & Licensing Coordinator  

Reports to the Director of Programs (Music and Education). The primary duties are:

  • responsible for maintaining and recording information
  • has knowledge of copyright laws and assists members with questions
  • assists the Social Media Coordinator with obtaining applicable licensing for songs placed on social media
  • gathers information for quarterly SESAC, SOCAN, BMI, and ASCAP reports

Recording Secretary   

Supervised by the International President.  The Recording Secretary will:

  • assist with preparing agendas
  • record and finalize meeting minutes for all scheduled Executive and Finance Committee meetings and IBOD meetings and additional meetings as required
  • record and finalize minutes for the Opening Ceremony and International Delegates/Associates meeting held at IC&C. 
  • currently, all meetings are via Zoom.  Traditionally, there are three days of in-person meetings in May and four days of in-person meetings in November.

 

Want more details?  Up-to-date job descriptions can be found in Section 4 of the Corporate Manual. 

Corporate Manual – Harmony, Inc. 

Want to apply?  If you are interested in applying for a position, submit Form HAR-001 no later than February 3, 2021.  https://www.harmonyinc.org/har-001-application-for-assistant-to-the-ibod/

Have questions?  Contact me at [email protected].  

 

Submitted by Jan DelVecchio
Executive VP

[email protected]

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Change The World

In our brave, new pandemic world, performing artists around the world have turned to virtual productions to share their talents – and Harmony, Inc. ensembles are participating in this activity as well.

In November 2020, the Harmony, Inc. International Chorus – a performing unit formed of representatives from all Harmony choruses who customarily perform at the International Convention after a single onsite rehearsal/coaching session – turned, instead to the virtual world and entertained us all with this beautiful rendition of Change the World as arranged by Deke Sharon and David Wright.

This editor cried when it debuted at the Virtual International Convention.

Submitted by Roxanne Powell
Editor

[email protected]

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Support AcousChix!

Your vote could send them to BHS Midwinter contest finals!

Area 3 AcousChix, all Harmony, Inc. Associate Members and students at Alexandria Central school, where Katie Taylor has taught for 24 years, have a dream. They would like to qualify for the finals of the youth contest at this month’s Barbershop Harmony Society Virtual Midwinter Convention. To do this they need to be in the top five for votes received. This is where they need Harmony, Inc’s help!

Says, Katie, “There are 17 youth quartets and the 5 with the MOST votes will get to the finals and be part of the Midwinter convention! If you’d like to support our youth quartet, I know they would GREATLY appreciate it!

She continues, “These gals have all had me since kindergarten! This January would have been their second trip to a BHS midwinter in New York City if had it not been canceled. They attended in January 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida, where they sang Cruella Deville (arr. David Wright). Their song this year is another David Wright chart, Happy Together, which I also sang with For Heaven’s Sake!

“Please share this link with your chorus and quartet mates and vote, vote, vote!  Many thanks!”

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And… We’re Off

Happy New Year everyone!

Your leadership has been working diligently for the past 9 months, to keep you well connected, educated and ready for the coming months.  We all know that we will be getting together some time soon, this year.

In the meantime, please keep supporting your chapters – attend their virtual rehearsals when you can, make sure you pitch in and help with any tasks, and reach out to call a fellow singer.  Your leadership and fellow singers are eager to hear from you! It is an investment in your future!

As Chorus Director Development Coordinator, my passion is to keep your leadership motivated and connected by hosting discussion round tables. Our next sessions are scheduled January 6 at 6 p.m. and January 28 at 6 p.m. Interested in attending? Just let me know at [email protected]

And speaking of Education, if you are planning on attending any paid tuition education events in 2021, you could be eligible to receive up to $100 back in tuition fees.  Just go to the Harmony Inc website and read about our BOOTCAMP assistance program!  Four of our Harmony, Inc. members, took advantage of this program this past year and each received money back! LEARN ON, PEOPLE, and be ready to sing!

Submitted by Anne Bureau
Chorus Development Coordinator
[email protected]

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Quartet Musings In 2021

Does your New Year’s wish list include starting or joining a quartet? Awesome! We have some great resources for you to check out while you ponder and plan, all within our website. 

Our Quartet Directory is up-to-date with all active quartets, sorted by Area. Want to have a quartet visit your next virtual rehearsal? Perhaps a New in 2020 quartet? Or a Harmony Queens Quartet? Use the red envelope icon to email the quartet contact person! Peruse their Facebook page, Instagram, or website while you’re at it. Have an update for the directory? Email [email protected] and I will help get it done.

 

Do you know who your Area Quartet Promotion Chair is? These lovely volunteers are your go-to for Area education events and would love to hear your ideas. 

Area 1: Joanne Ings (Retake Quartet) [email protected]

Area 2: Janet Billings (WoN Voice Quartet) [email protected]

Area 3: VACANT. Interested? Contact Sarah Thorne-Miller [email protected].

Area 4: Sandi Wright (Great Day Quartet) [email protected]

Area 5: Lise Anne Boissonneault [email protected]

Area 6: Cheryl Copeland-Lewis [email protected]

 

Already established, but need a refresher on quartet guidelines? The Quartet FAQs and Information page is the best place to start. Find out membership and registration requirements, naming your quartet, and a few other FAQs.

Curious about policy details related to quartets? Section 5: Statements of Policy, page 5.4 is for you. Really want to geek out with me and learn all things HI quartets? Then consider Section 9: Quartets a fun, six-page adventure between your Brené Brown books! 

Don’t forget about The HIVE classes, including Virtual Quartetting, Leading the Way, We Got This, and What About Our Personalities. 

Just have general questions or ideas? Don’t be shy! I would love to hear from you. My 2021 New Year’s Resolutions include meeting more of you and finding inspiration through our Harmony world of quartetting! I look forward to connecting with you.

Submitted by Jess Jones
Quartet Development Coordinator
[email protected]

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New Year Offers New Opportunities

Happy New Year to all!

Yes, we have closed the door on 2020 and opened the door to 2021. It was time; it is time! January feels like a good time for a new start, a time to hit the reset button. It’s a time to dig deep to find that motivation we need to see ourselves through the winter and plan for what the new year will bring. I must admit that having the last few weeks off Zoom meetings has kind of left me looking forward to them. Soon enough, we will “see” each other again. Remember this is a great opportunity to connect with other chapters and quartets to share the challenge of planning creative get-togethers!

 

Hope for the new year

I know COVID-19 isn’t far from anyone’s mind and that we are not out of the woods just yet, but there is hope. There is light on the horizon. What does hope for the new year look like? It looks like the photo I pulled from Music Judge Liz LeClair’s Facebook page.

This is hope, my friends. The vaccine is available and I am forever grateful for individuals who work in health care and facilities that care for our most vulnerable. It’s good to know that they are first in line to get the vaccine.

The rest of us will wait patiently for our turn and, yes, we know that it will take some time for the vaccine to find us all. When it does, I suspect many of us will be happily sitting at the table putting together plans for some in-person events. Until then, we remain in a holding pattern. We have so many questions and just no clear answers. We’ve already canceled our Area Conventions & Contests to ensure our safety through the first six months of the year, and we are spinning our thoughts on what the fall will look like, specifically the International Convention and Contests. (I’m still looking for a gently used, but dependable, crystal ball if you have one!)

 

We closed out 2020 with hope, optimism, and excitement. On December 20, Harmony, Inc. chartered the Mollyockett Chorus, from Norway, Maine. How exciting is that!  Please take some time to read the article introducing our newest Chapter elsewhere in this issue. (I’m not going to tell you any more details. You will have to read along!)

 

Service opportunities await you!

Thank you to those individuals who took up the invitation to let me know that they would be willing to offer their time to sit on one of our committees or fill an Assistant position. Your willingness to serve is definitely respected and valued.

We are pleased to announce Nancy Arkin as our new Business Services Coordinator. Nancy is no stranger to leadership positions as she previously served on the IBOD for 7 years, including one year as Director of Business Services!   Welcome to our team of Assistants, Nancy!

It is not too late for you to consider an Assistant position.  If you have the skills and the time, we are still looking for a Recording Secretary and a Licensing and Copyright Coordinator – Interested? Send me a message, please – the sooner the better, so you don’t forget!

There is much more to read in this issue of the HI Note. Please stay informed and connected.  We appreciate your comments and questions and are here to serve you.

 

Opportunity for Harmony, Inc. at BHS Mid-Winter Convention

Harmony, Inc has been invited to host a hospitality room (or a suite of rooms) at the BHS Mid-Winter Virtual Convention January 28-31, 2021!  BHS has also extended their member pricing to any Harmony, Inc. member who would like to attend.

What does this mean? It means we have a couple of rooms that we can set up with videos, etc. so that members can visit the room and enjoy some of the creative work Harmony, Inc. has produced this past year.

Are you interested in taking on this little short term (very short term!) project?  I would love to have someone who is willing to coordinate the planning of events for this hospitality room contact me. There is an orientation session planned for this week.  Thanks!

Submitted by Linda Brehaut
International President
[email protected]

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Welcome to our newest members – Mollyockett Chorus!

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Mollyockett Chorus, from Norway, Maine, as our newest chapter. The name Mollyockett honors a well-known Pequawket Native American woman who was born in the 1700s and spent much of her life in western Maine.  She was a healer, an artisan, hunter, storyteller, and friend of the settlers in the region. With the addition of Mollyockett Chorus, particularly after the year we’ve had, we can certainly say, “Harmony, Stronger!”

Bev Jackson, Harmony, Inc.’s New Chapter Development Coordinator, has been a member of Harmony, Inc. since 1973 and has never been this excited about announcing a new chapter. “It has been a challenging year for all musical groups to keep members engaged while unable to meet and sing together. I am absolutely amazed that Jolan Ippolito, president of the Mollyockett Chorus, was able to engage all of the members of the chorus, orient them to Harmony, Inc, complete the paperwork, collect the dues and finally become a chartered chorus, members of Area 2, Harmony, Inc. The usual charter presentation and celebration will have to wait until we can all get together to welcome them to the Harmony, Inc. family,” she says.

Members of Sweet Adelines International for 24 years, the chorus decided to inquire about joining Harmony, Inc. after hearing wonderful things about our organization from coach Jessie Caynon. Their Director, since 2017, is Simon Smith. Simon brings not only his strong music background but also fun and energy to weekly chorus rehearsals. A music education major from the University of Southern Maine, Simon studied euphonium as well as choral conducting. He is currently what might be called an itinerant music educator, working many different jobs over the course of his week. In addition to working in schools, Simon has a private-lesson studio in and around Bethel and Portland, Maine for brass instrument instruction.

Mollyockett President Jolan Ippolito says, “When the Mollyockett Chorus made some initial, gentle inquiries into becoming a chapter of Harmony, Inc., concurrent with the COVID-19 shutdown, the immediate warm and sincere welcoming conversations and flood of information not only made us feel important, but wanted.  Although we are a small chorus, we were overwhelmed with the eagerness shown by all of our touch points along a COVID path to our membership.  Membership now in Harmony, Inc., for our chorus and members is something positive to celebrate as we end 2020 and look forward to singing together in person in 2021. What better way to end the year on a high note!”

Submitted by Kim Meechan
Director of Memberhip

[email protected]

and

Bev Jackson
New Chapter Development Coordinator
[email protected]

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Notice: Upcoming Membership Renewals

On February 15, 2021, documents and information will be distributed to all Chapter Presidents, Chapter Secretaries, Associate Members, Affiliate Members, and Life Members. The current renewal forms reflecting this year’s reduced rates will be available in the Members Only section of the website beginning February 15.

All members, regardless of the date they initially became members, will be required to renew by April 1. This includes new Chapter, Associate, and Affiliate members who joined between October 2020 and March 2021.

CHAPTERS:
If you have had any change in chapter leadership in the past few months, please notify the Corporate Office and provide updated contact information.
Your renewal documents will be specific to your chapter. Please follow the instructions provided in your renewal notice.
Area dues must be submitted along with International dues for all renewing members.
If your chapter has a male director, you must renew his Affiliate membership and pay his Area dues.

ASSOCIATE & AFFILIATE MEMBERS:
Renewal documents will be sent by email. Please notify the Corporate Office if your email address has changed in the past year.
Your renewal documents will be specific to your Area and will include the correct Area dues amount, if applicable. Please follow the instructions provided in your renewal notice.

Please call the Corporate Office toll free at 1-855-750-3341 or send an email to [email protected] with any questions. I am happy to help with this process!

Submitted by Kelly Peterson
Corporate Assistant

[email protected]

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New Chapter!

Congratulations to Mollyockett Chorus who chartered as a new Area 2 Harmony, Inc. chapter on December 20th.

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We’re Still Connecting – in Harmony!

Did you know Harmony, Incorporated has an official communications email group called the Harmony Connection? It’s a place where people can ask questions, network, and stay in touch with just an email address – no specific social media account required!

Some of you may have seen that Yahoo Groups, the platform for the Harmony Connection, is shutting down.  But never fear, the Harmony Connection is moving to a new home in the next few weeks on Groups.io – and you’re all invited!

All you have to do to join is accept the invitation that will show up in the email that you have on file with the Corporate Office.  If you decide you don’t want to join, that’s OK – just delete the email registration notice.  But if you do, you could be missing out on official notices and info, “what’s new,” conversations, questions and all things barbershop.

And  Harmony, Inc. members are not the only people on the Harmony Connection.  As with the previous forum, we’ll include barbershop folks like judges, arrangers and others that can contribute to a lively barbershop conversation.

We’ll start to add people slowly with full migration by the first of the year.  Check your mailbox for your invitation – we’ll see you there!

Submitted by Anita Prather Harvell
Social Media Coordinator
[email protected]

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Requesting Missing Common Songs

The International Board of Directors decided at the November 2020 meeting to create a process for any member (chapter or individual) who did not receive a copy of our new common songs when they were initially offered to order the sheet music and learning tracks. The form to request downloads is now under forms on the Harmony, Inc. Members Only section of the Web site.

Submitted by Sara Stone
Director of Programs (Music & Education)
[email protected]

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Change The World

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
International President

[email protected]

 

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Seeking 2021 Nominees for International Board of Directors

It is time to seek nominations for Board Directors and Area Directors to serve on the International Board of Directors. This year, four (4) Board Directors will be elected by the membership at large. Directors of Areas 2, 4, and 6 will be elected by the members of the respective areas. For further information, see the Corporate Manual.
 
The International Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers with a genuine interest in the future of Harmony, Inc. Serving on the International Board is a privilege we hope many of you will want to experience.
 
Requirements:

  • Be a member of Harmony, Inc., in good standing, for a minimum of two (2) years at the time of nomination.
  • Have previous administrative or board experience in a professional or volunteer capacity.
  • Possess strong verbal and written communication, problem solving and decision-making skills.
  • Have daily access to a computer and the skills required to communicate electronically.
  • Be able to work independently and collaboratively and manage time effectively to meet deadlines.
  • Attend two out-of-town or virtual meetings each year, November and May, approximately 4-5 full days each.
  • Attend two virtual quarterly meetings, usually February and September, approximately 3 hours each.
  • Attend additional virtual meetings as needed.
  • Participate in additional Standing or Special Committees.
  • Possess a valid passport enabling international travel. 
  • Commit to the culture and mission of Harmony, Inc.
  • Possess a basic understanding of or a willingness to learn how to interpret financial reports.
  • Support a culture of philanthropy.

General Expectations:

  • Desire to improve the organization for all members.  Board members are respectful of our history but willing to look forward with a vision to see the organization grow. 
  • Dependable, organized, prepared and detail oriented.  Board members must be willing to commit the time needed to accomplish the work of the Board.
  • Strong verbal communication skills.  Board members must effectively communicate in meetings and in written reports/documents.  They encourage dialogue and listen to the ideas of others with an open mind. 
  • Board members must collaborate, adapt, think strategically, analytically and critically, in a professional manner, with a commitment to confidentiality.
  • Board members must have a passion to serve the organization in a constructive and harmonious way!

Specialized skills that are considered an asset:

  • Leadership or managerial background
  • Knowledgeable in music
  • Experience in the Not-For-Profit community
  • Experience in Strategic Planning
  • Experience in Marketing, Customer Service, Public Relations, Law or Finance/Accounting
  • Experience as a chapter or Area officer, International Board member or assistant 
  • Effective public speaker

 
Deadline:  Nomination forms (HAR 034, Part 1 and HAR 034, Part 2) must be returned to the Nominating Committee Chair and Corporate Office no later than April 15.
 
Forms:  The Nomination Forms can be found on the Harmony, Inc. website under Forms/Documents in the members-only section. 
 
We encourage anyone who may be interested in becoming part of the administrative team that will move our organization into the future to consider running for the Board.
 
Interviews: One-on-one interviews will be conducted with the nominees. These interviews will be posted to the Harmony, Inc. website. Watch for more details in the HI Note.
 
Board Directors – Board Directors will be expected to perform a variety of functions and must be flexible with the time and desire to take on extra duties.  It is highly recommended to see the Corporate Manual for additional information.
 
Area Director – An Area Director’s primary responsibility is to represent her Area at International Board meetings and to keep in touch with the interests, concerns, and needs of the Area. It is highly recommended to see the Corporate Manual for additional information.
 
Attendance at Board Meetings – All International Board Members are required to attend all in-person and virtual Board meetings as determined by the Board of Directors. Newly-elected International Board Directors are expected to attend the Annual Meeting of the Outgoing Board. This has proven to be an invaluable way to get acquainted with the work and what will be required of them coming into their elected position.
 
Harmony, Inc. will only continue to grow and flourish if willing members give a little of their time and effort to make it happen. Allow your name to stand for election…it will be deeply appreciated by all Harmony, Inc. members. 
 
Please remember the deadline for nominations – no later than April 15, 2021!

Submitted by Trinda Ernst
Nominating Committee Chair
[email protected]

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Important News from the Nominating Committee

Area & Board Director elections have new dates

Due date for submission of nominations – April 15
Area Director elections will be held May 1 – May 15
Board Director elections will be held June 1 – June 15

Submitted by Debbie Parmerter
International Parliamentarian
[email protected]

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Hey, Volunteers!

Are you wondering where else you can offer assistance?


Opportunities will come up throughout the year and we will do our best to reach out to the membership to let you know what’s available. At this point, we are looking for:

  • one or two individuals who are interested in sitting on the strategic planning committee, and 
  • a couple of people for the philanthropy committee. 

If this is something that might interest you, please send an expression of interest to Linda Brehaut.

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’Tis The Season For Giving!

There are many ways you can shop and give back to Harmony, Inc. at the same time! 

Online shoppers in the U.S. and Canada can sign up for iGive.  It’s super easy to sign up by going to www.iGive.com/HarmonyInc, create an account, and install the iGive button.  When you shop online, iGive will check to see if the store provides a charitable donation, and if so, a donation will automatically go to Harmony, Inc. at no cost to you. 

If you are in the U.S. and you shop on Amazon, you can donate to Harmony, Inc. every time you shop on Amazon by registering for Amazon Smile.  Once you are set up, anytime you shop at Smile.Amazon.com, donations are automatically made to Harmony, Inc. at no cost to you.  It’s as easy as that! 

Lastly, don’t forget your own holiday wish list!  Perhaps you’re ready for a new t-shirt, tote bag, or tumbler.  You can now shop for official Harmony, Inc. merchandise at the Harmony Shoppe.  When you shop, Harmony, Inc. benefits from your purchases.  To access the Harmony Shoppe, go to the menu bar at the top of the Harmony, Inc. web page. 

Submitted by Donna McKay
Director of Development
[email protected] 

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