Harmony Inc

Meet the Assistant: Nancy Weisbein – Manual Chair

Welcome to our newest assistant for the International Board of Directors, Nancy Weisbein!

A member of Harmony Inc. since 2016, Nancy proudly sings bass with The Liberty Belles Chorus in Lansdale, PA out of Area 3. She recalls worrying, as she headed to her first rehearsal, “Would it really be for her?” Luckily for us all, she fell in love with it!

No stranger to leadership, Nancy is honored to serve as the current President and Membership Chair for her chorus but also as Area 3’s Education Co-Coordinator and Membership Coordinator.

In her spare time….Nancy works full time as the manager of a CPA firm, is in a new quartet called No Rush, she loves to sew and feels quite absolute in her preference of waffles over pancakes…. or maybe pancakes over waffles.

When the Manual Chair position became available, she felt that her love for editing and details was the perfect fit for the job. Learning new skills has her very excited to tackle this task as she transitions into the role with the help of Chris Hembel.

While she admits it sounds like she’s involved in “too much”, she confidently remarked, “It’s never too much when you’re doing what you love.”
With a heart this kind, we are all safe in her equally capable hands. Welcome, Nancy!

Submitted by Robyn Lynn Matula
PR Coordinator
[email protected]

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Reflections on our Harmony Creed

In the past few weeks, as it became clearer and clearer that our singing year, and possibly life, will never be the same again, I have had a chance to truly reflect on what it means to be part of this wonderful sisterhood that we call Harmony, Inc.

During that reflection, I have spent a lot of time thinking about our Harmony Creed. How many of us have gotten to the point of simply reciting it as if we are asleep at the wheel? How many of us take the time to truly understand what it means to us?

During this stay-at-home time, I have been working on a history project for the Association of Harmony Queens, and as such, have been going through all of The Key-Note publications since fall of 1959. Back then, the Creed didn’t exist yet. The first iteration of what we now call our Creed was a Code of Conduct (a fun read for another time). All of a sudden, in March of 1961, the new Harmony Creed showed up in The Key-Note.

For those who don’t know, the Harmony Creed was written by a Harmony, Inc icon, Ruth Geils. In the December 1965 issue of The Key-Note, Ruth wrote an analysis of the Harmony Creed – an explanation of what each line meant to her and why it was written. Though some of the exact sentiments are a little dated, they are still very important today. Today, I would like to share those words with you, as they have really helped me to remember what our sisterhood is about!

Harmony from our hearts, as well as voices
In educational and organizational work it is essential that people learn to work happily together towards a common goal. With harmony in our hearts – towards each other, towards those we entertain and towards those unfortunate people who cannot understand what we are all about – we can accomplish our aims and purposes. Any and all bitterness over past associations that resulted in personal unhappiness must be put aside as we work in harmony together, proving that ours is a worthy cause as well as a joyful one.

Affection for each other, oft expressed
The human heart responds to affection, and the human mind functions more productively in a climate of affection, respect and understanding. Because Harmony has a larger job to do than other barbershop organizations, and the road is more uphill, it is even more important that we uplift and encourage each other in our travels together.

Radiant with our love of barbershop
It is the aura we create by singing together happily that draws others to us and convinces them that we are engaged in something special, something interesting and something worthwhile. It is important, therefore, that we not only enjoy our music together, but that we share it with as many others as we can reach.

Mindful of our principles and ideals
Harmony, Inc. is founded on the principle that democracy can and should be applied in educational, organizational and social work. It is the responsibility not only of the leaders, but of every member to guard and maintain the highest degree of democratic practices and policies in the conduct of Harmony’s business. Free speech, free press, open discussion, rule by the majority with respect for the minority – all are part of our structure. Members of Harmony should, therefore, be familiar with their organization and take an active part in its business and in the formation of its policies.

Outstretched hands to every race and creed
Because of our very reason-for-being, we have a responsibility to pay more than lip service to this line of our Creed. If we are to demonstrate that we believe in our own policies and justify the existence of our organization, it is important that our choruses be integrated. Only by living by our code of honor in this respect can we hope to prove the sincerity of our convictions.

Neatness in our dress and in our thinking
Neatness is another word for cleanliness which, it is said, is next to Godliness. This pertains to our minds and hearts, as well as our appearance. It implies also a neat, orderly and business-like manner and approach to our hobby and objectives. Our emotional responses should be reserved for our music.

Young in heart, for singing keeps us young
There is that about our music that is exciting and youthful, as well as nostalgic.

Inspired with our desire to grow and flourish
Only by constant, steady growth can we prove that good government policies to work and are practical. The best means we have of proving our worth as a separate organization is to attract many women who might not otherwise enjoy this hobby, and many more who find the combination of good music and high ideals attractive.

Nourished by our devotion to our music
Ours is the only barbershop organization with a higher purpose than the music itself. Our music is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Nevertheless, from our music we gain the constant nourishment we need to fulfill our several purposes. It is, therefore, even more important that we are ardent and faithful members and barbershoppers, receiving regular and frequent sustenance from our singing.

Constructive in our work for Harmony, Inc.
The natural outcome of accepting and living by the other letters of our Creed is that we will be constructive in our work for Harmony.
-Ruth Geils, December 1965


Submitted by Jen Wheaton Forest

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Thinking About Applying to Become a Judge?

Being a judge is a wonderful way to serve Harmony, Inc…even when a pandemic cancels contests. For example, you may have seen some of our judges teaching classes as part of Harmony, Inc. Virtual Education. Or maybe a Harmony judge has dropped in on your Zoom rehearsal. If you want to be part of helping our members grow and learn, the judging program may be right for you. Here’s how to become involved.

First, ask yourself some questions today: Do I thrive on helping our Harmony, Inc. members in whatever way I can? Am I a good communicator? Am I willing and able to commit time and money to go to Category Training School (CTS) for a four-day weekend once a year, and to attend Area contests to practice, knowing that the training process is never less than two years, and can be as many as five or six (though it is usually somewhere in the middle).

If answers to these questions are making you think that you should look further at the judging program, then check out the Contest & Judging Handbook in the members-only section on line, and look at the category descriptions for the four categories. While you are reading, ask yourself some more questions: Do I relish being organized and creating a good experience for all? When I am at a barbershop performance, am I most drawn to the ringing chords? The entertainment? The drama? The musicality? Do I have some music theory background? Some vocal training or teaching background? Do I have good computer skills? Based on your answers to these questions, you will likely identify a category that seems a particularly good fit for you.

And if you feel you need more information, talk to any judge and ask any questions. We are all passionate about what we do, and would love to provide any information that might help you with your decision.

So, let’s say you’re ready for the next step. If you have been a Harmony, Inc. member for two years, contact Sue Novosad, the ICJ Committee Training Coordinator ([email protected]) to request an application now. She will send you an application and a General Knowledge Test. You must complete and submit them by July 1.

Based on your application and on feedback from references, the Training Coordinator will notify you in early August about whether your application has been accepted. At this point, if you have applied to be in a scoring category, the Category Director in your chosen category will also be in touch with you and ask you to complete assignments designed to assess your current knowledge and skills related to that category.
The assignments might include answering questions to show your understanding of the C&J Handbook category description, providing a coaching video, or taking a music theory test or vocal pedagogy test, among other things. Assignments will be given and completed between August 1 and October 1. These assignments are an opportunity for you and the Category Director to determine whether the category you have chosen is really a good fit for you, and for the Category Director to make recommendations about resources you may need to study further before you are ready for CTS.

If the category seems to fit and if you have satisfactorily completed any assignments that were given, then in early November, you will receive an invitation to the upcoming Category Training School. And you are on your way toward what may be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life!

Submitted by Kathy Greason
[email protected]

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Music Speaks Louder Than Words #NsStrong

Some may or may not be aware, but Nova Scotia, a beautiful Canadian province along the Atlantic ocean in our Area 1 awoke Sunday morning, April 18th, to a slow trickle of unbelievable news.

I have always called Nova Scotia home and live just an hour from where I was born and raised. Things are pretty relaxed here compared to some larger cities. Even our capital city, Halifax, is nothing compared to places like Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, or even the larger cities in the states. So crime is something we see on a small scale. Small things make the news. Our evening news celebrates birthday and anniversary milestones by our residents. I like the small town feel of our city.

All that changed on April 18th.

A man, who I refuse to name and further sensationalize, following a domestic fight, went on a murderous rampage, while dressed as a police officer, driving a police car replica. He lit homes on fire, and then shot home owners or neighbours as they tried to help. He pulled over innocent folks driving down the street and shot them. He shot police officers. His killing spree ended when he happened to stop for gas at this same gas station some officers had stopped at. At the end of the day, 22 lives were lost, plus that of an unborn baby. A police officer, a teacher, a nurse, a family, a retired firefighter, and more.

Lots of people experience loss and trauma. While this is now the largest mass shooting in Canadian history, I think what made it so hard to process, was the fact that Covid-19 kept our arms tied.

We couldn’t embrace one another. We couldn’t hug our loved ones. We couldn’t console those who had lost someone. All we could do was sit at home, and keep thinking…

But then, Tuesday night came. Time for Zoom rehearsal. I’m sure a lot of us weren’t feeling up to it, but didn’t know where else to turn. We chatted and sang and did our usual thing. But something amazing happened at the end of rehearsal when we sang ‘Rise Again’, a song written and sung by Nova Scotians.

Those words took on all new meaning, and there weren’t many dry eyes on that Zoom call. And it’s true. When words just can’t express what you’re feeling or trying to say, music speaks.

When the waves roll on over the waters
And the ocean cries
We look to our sons and daughters
To explain our lives
As if a child could tell us why
That as sure as the sunrise
As sure as the sea
As sure as the wind in the trees
We rise again in the faces
Of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again
When the light goes dark with the forces of creation
Across a stormy sky
We look to reincarnation to explain our lives
As if a child could tell us why
That as sure as the sunrise
As sure as the sea
As sure as the wind in the trees
We rise again in the faces
Of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again
We rise again in the faces
Of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again

Submitted by Tanya Reid
President of The ScotianAires
[email protected] 

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Stay Connected

Hello everyone! Since our “stay at home” orders have been in place, our Musical Leadership have been busy, staying involved as a community, through our weekly Special Editions of the “Musical Leadership Connection” newsletter and our weekly ZOOM Round Tables. We’ve been discussing ways to keep you connected! We’ve also stayed connected through our Musical Leadership Private Facebook Chat Room where ideas are shared, challenges are discussed, and successes are celebrated. I am here to say that YOUR Musical Leadership ROCKS and, recognizes and embraces the importance of staying connected in order to maintain that feeling of belonging we all love.

Our many articles, published in the most recent E-Notes, have focused on the numerous ways to stay connected as a community. Although there are many Video Conference platforms available (like Messenger, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.), ZOOM seems to be at the top of the list these days, for groups like ours, for their versatility and accessibility. I encourage you to check it out if you have not yet done so. It’s super easy to sign up and create your first ZOOM Virtual Rehearsal.

As a result of our Musical Leadership ZOOM Round Table Meetings, we’ve discovered that it’s almost effortless to invite outside guests to help with your Virtual Rehearsals. This can be as simple as inviting one of your regular coaches to drop in and say “hi” or, having someone provide a short theory lesson or vocal warm up! I have been compiling a list of volunteers to do just that, so if you are interested in helping, please drop me an email with your availability and what you are willing to offer our chapters. We need fun, interesting and educational material for our virtual rehearsals – WE NEED YOU!  Send your information to [email protected]

And please use ZOOM meetings any time of the week even if it’s just to connect and exchange stories of what everyone is doing to stay fit and healthy.

Stay connected, stay healthy and keep singing!

Submitted by Anne Bureau
Chorus Director Development Coordinator
[email protected]

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Liberty Belles Love Giving Back!

While The Liberty Belles Chorus loves nothing more than to bring music to our local community, it’s important to us to support a local charity with a mission we truly believe in with more than just the gift of song.

Laurel House is a domestic violence agency serving individuals, families and communities throughout Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, being dedicated to the vision of ending domestic violence in each life, home and community. Its mission is to advocate for and empower those impacted by domestic violence by providing crisis intervention, safe haven, supportive programs and resources and to advance social change through preventative education and through community training and collaboration to foster a coordinated response to domestic abuse.

Periodically through the year, the Belles collect and donate items listed on Laurel House’s Wish List – its most needed items at that time. Items collected include groceries, household items, clothing for women and children, linens, and gift cards for Wawa, Target, Walmart, Uber/Lyft, just to name a few.

“Our Board of Directors discussed aligning ourselves with an organization that would promote and support women in our community since that is the mission of Harmony, Inc. The suggestion of Laurel House was brought to the chorus for discussion and was unanimously approved,” said Christine Dunigan, chorus liaison with Laurel House.

Last year, our chorus was asked to perform at Laurel House’s holiday party for its families, dedicated workers and volunteers.  We were told that 100 women and children will be attending, and the charity wanted to give each attendee a holiday gift bag. The Belles decided that we would be donating the holiday gift bags.

In early December, some of our members dropped off 100 donated holiday gift bags at Laurel House. Some items donated in the gift bags included pads and pens, face masks, bath supplies, and candies.

“I have been a supporter of Laurel House ever since I moved to Pennsylvania. As a survivor of domestic abuse, as well as knowing family and friends that have been victims of abuse, this organization is close to my heart,” said member Lisa Traxler. “I was thrilled when we decided to support Laurel House in both tangible ways as well as bringing a little joy to them during holidays with a performance at their holiday dinner.”

The Belles are so blessed to be able to support this amazing organization!  For more information on Laurel House, please visit www.laurel-house.org.

Submitted by member Sarah Thorne-Miller

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The Hive. A place for community. A treasury of knowledge.

What’s the latest buzz? Harmony, Incorporated Virtual Education (HIVE)! Yep, interactive classes, lectures, symposia, recordings are now available to every Harmony member through the magic of the internet. We may need to be physically distant from each other during this unusual spring and summer, but we can still meet virtually to support each other and grow together.

With this thought in mind, the Education and Communications Teams have created The HIVE. Top tier instructors from IC&C 2019 responded to the call, providing virtual versions of popular classes covering singing skills, leadership advice, music education, membership recruitment and retention. And there’s more to come as additional instructors come online.

Music Judge Janet Billings leapt into online education early, offering multiple Zoom sessions on Music Theory at ever-advancing levels. She says she took this initiative because “The more our singers enhance their skills, the better we all are for it.  As a newly certified Music judge, I have had many excellent mentors along the way. Offering basic music theory classes seemed like an appropriate way to pay it forward.”
Said Maria Blair of Bella Nova Chorus after a recent session, “I really like starting to understand the framework of what we do. Janet is such a patient teacher.”

Singing Judge D Dyer encourages her class to Drop and Give Me 25. Her exercises for life-long healthy singing guided by the elements of the singing category: Intonation, Vocal Quality, Unity, Expansion, and Vocal Expression debuted to rave reviews.

Harmony Queen and music educator par excellence Katie Taylor offers Sight-Reading for Dummies. Says Katie, “Want to be a little more independent when learning your music? I’ll help. Don’t be afraid!”
Student Patricia Margaret Day observed following Katie’s class, “…there is so much material…. but I learn something each time I sit through an educational ZOOM!”

–  Susan Spencer has a class, Get Out of Your Shell – Heads Up Barbershop Edition, that uses an interactive game to encourage more expressive faces and bodies.

There’s still time to join a live class, too. Coming up this month are:
Stretches for Everyday Singers – A demo of some important stretches every singer should do before singing as well as an explanation of why each is important. Wear pants and come ready to stretch and share experiences with Jen Wheaton! Wednesday, May 6, 3 p.m.

Who We Are and What We Do – How to provide an enjoyable, well-focused, compelling musical and social experience that attracts and retains new singers, taught by Anne Bureau. Saturday, May 9, 2 p.m.

Sight-Reading for Dummies 2 – Join Katie Taylor for round two of this quest for independence. Wednesday, May 13, 7 p.m.

Conquering the Aging Voice – If you go for a note and it doesn’t land in the spot you’re aiming for, this class is for you. Sandi Wright gives physiological reasons for the change in our voices and some advice that has worked for her singing in a top 10 quartet well into her 60s. Thursday, May 14, 2 p.m.

Recordings of these sessions may be found on the Members Only website for later viewing, as well.

Special thanks to:
– Anne Colt, our Education Coordinator, for the remarkable and vital job of getting the classes and instructors organized.
– The Communication Team for jumping in quickly to promote and design.
Special recognition goes to Robyn Matula for her creative play on words in naming the program The HIVE, to Anita Prather Harvell for the elegant yet approachable design of the videos, and Tanya Reid for the tech wizardry involved in getting The HIVE up and running on the website.
– Our participants, whose enthusiastic response drives us onward. The enrollment for the first classes offered was astounding!  Our honeycomb runneth over.
The HIVE is a fruitful way to allow singers to continue to grow and flourish, to further our mission to empower women through education, friendship, and singing.

Allison Thompson says, “Thanks, Harmony, Inc., for offering these online classes. They [are] amazing! I hope this is something we can continue post COVID 19.”

Yes, Allison, The HIVE is here to stay. Harmony. Stronger. Now that’s something to buzz about.

Submitted by Robyn Lynn Matula
PR Coordinator
[email protected]

and Kelly Thomas
VP of Education
[email protected]

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Meet the Assistant: Robyn Matula, PR Coordinator

Welcome to our newest assistant to the International Board of Directors, Robyn Matula from Area 6!  Here are a few tidbits about Robyn.

How long have you been a member of Harmony, Inc.?
I have been a member of Harmony since 2018. I am the Vice President & Membership Chair for Atlanta Harmony Celebration!

In addition to being a member of Harmony, Inc., I am a member of Sweet Adelines International, Barbershop Harmony Society, and Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association. My quartet, Beauty and the Beard, was the 2019 Area 6 Mixed
Barbershop Quartet Champion. I also sing lead in Extra, a Sweet Adelines quartet in Region 14.

What appealed to you about being the PR Coordinator?
I care about how our organization comes across (to others). I want everyone to know who we genuinely are, and what better way to know the organization better is to tell its story.

We are women singing barbershop and, while there’s a competition aspect, every chapter and member is different. Some are community-focused, some emphasize competition and some are both. Nothing is cookie cutter even if you’re eating the cookie.

Now for the really important question, maple syrup or honey?
That’s a tough one because good maple syrup makes it, but I have to pick honey.

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

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Contest Entry Forms

Contest Entry Forms for the 2020 IC&C in Louisville, Kentucky, are available on the Members Only page of the website, now. Remember, this contest is open to ALL Harmony, Inc. chartered choruses and registered quartets (as of April 1, 2020). Please read the April 2 announcement and FAQs for more information on these contests. The deadline to enter is July 31, 2020. After that date, eligible contestants will be placed on a waiting list and notified on September 1 if they will be added to the contest.

Chorus CEF link
Quartet CEF link

If you have questions about completing your contest entry form, please email [email protected] or call (toll-free) 1-855-750-3341.

Submitted by Kelly Peterson
Corporate Assistant
[email protected]

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Harmony Emporium RFP On hold

Plans for a Harmony, Inc. on-line store have been put on hold for now. We are hoping to resume the process in September. Watch this space for an announcement with regard to the revised due date for RFPs.

In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Jan DelVecchio, Director of Business Services.

Submitted by Jan DelVecchio
Director of Business Services
[email protected]

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Exciting News About Volunteers

We have two new Board Assistants joining our list of awesome volunteers!

Our new PR Coordinator is Robyn Matula. She is a member of Atlanta Harmony Celebration and is relatively new to Harmony, Inc. Her background and enthusiasm will make her a great addition to the Communications team.

Jessica Jones, also new to Harmony, Inc. and a member of Northern Blend, will be coming on as our new Quartet Development Coordinator when Debi Stoll retires in June. Jessica brings with her a newfound passion for barbershop and quartetting.

To learn more about our new Assistants, keep watch for articles featuring Robyn and Jessica in upcoming publications of the E-Note.

We are still searching for a new Manual Chair. This position has been filled by Chris Hembel for the past several years, and she is ready to pass it on to someone new. The Manual Chair keeps our corporate manual up to date with procedural and policy changes made by the Board. If you have experience maintaining large manuals in a knowledge-based system or software such as Adobe InDesign or FrameMaker, or if you have worked in another system that might be more efficient, you may be a great fit for this position.

For more information, email me at [email protected]. If you’re interested in applying, the Assistant application can be found here:

Submitted by Donna McKay
International President
[email protected]

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Nancy Flagel Re-elected Area 5 Director

It is with great pleasure that we announce the results of the election for Area 5 Director: Nancy Flagel.

Nancy serves as the current Area 5 Director, and also on the Board of Scarborough Harmony Chorus as public relations and marketing director. Before joining SHC, she was a member of Toronto Accolades where she also held several board positions.

Nancy’s passion is volunteer work.

She’s been involved in several events including: the Pan Am Games as supervisor of media distribution, Indigenous Games working in the accreditation area, and Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life as the chairperson. She also works full time with a firm that represents 20 companies across the U.S. and Canada.

Nancy will be assuming a two-year term as Area 5 Director and International Board Member immediately following the 2020 International Contests and Convention in Louisville, Kentucky in November. She loves representing Area 5 and working with all of the wonderful members within the Area.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Nancy, and to thank her for her willingness to serve her Area and Harmony, Inc. in this important way. It is indeed a great honor to serve on the International Board of an organization such as ours. The work will be both challenging and rewarding but is appreciated by all Harmony, Inc. members.

Submitted by Marie Ross
Nominating Committee Chair
[email protected]

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Welcome to Harmony, Catch Fire!

Harmony, Inc. is pleased to welcome Catch Fire as our latest chapter, arriving on March 8, 2020 just days before a global pandemic changed our lives. They are located in Phoenix, Arizona making them our third Geographically Outlying Chapter (GOC), joining Women In Harmony in Manitoba and On Q in New Mexico.

Recently, our Director of Membership Kim Meechan, met with four of the five founders (Amy Johnston, Jennifer Lynch, Lesley Lewis and Avanna Peeples) via Zoom to find out how this chapter got ignited!

Amy, who is the President of Catch Fire, said, “It was like magnets being drawn together.”
She and other founding members had previous involvement with barbershop organizations so were familiar with Harmony. Avanna noted that the history behind Harmony’s formation was based on inclusion and that was an important factor for her decision to get involved. Last summer Jennifer, Amy, Lesley and Sarah Black met over beverages where they “brewed up the perfect fit”.

Bringing in Avanna with her organizational skills, each recruited a few women with a passion for singing and adventure to attend a big meet and greet event. They had the amazing fortune to bring in talented pair Brent Graham (A Cappella Syndicate, BHS) as director and Theresa Weatherbee (Harmony, Inc. judge and performance coach) as Performance Team leader. Jennifer and Sarah reached out to Bev Jackson, Harmony’s New Chapter Development Coordinator and the rest is history.

Catch Fire is now hosting fundraisers, sporting their own logo on tees and glasses designed by Jennifer, and setting their sights on IC&C in Kentucky. When asked what they see in their future there was no hesitation. With many of the members being mothers, they want to engage youth, giving them an introduction to barbershop and possibly forming a youth auxiliary.

They also want to connect with their community and provide a fresh look and sound to barbershop arrangements with the help of their director Brent Graham and performance coach, Theresa Weatherbee, both of whom are integral founding members.

While speaking with Amy, Jennifer, Lesley and Avanna it was evident that these women are excited, eager to embrace Harmony, Inc. and are on fire! A perfect fit, indeed!

Submitted by By Kim Meecham
Director of Membership
[email protected]

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Gallons of Lemonade

So, Harmony, how are we all coping with the new world order? Has the tiny microbe – and governmental response to its invasion – sent you into isolation? Or have you and your sisters in song discovered new coping mechanisms and avenues to interact with each other, learn interesting things about our shared passion for barbershop and singing in general, and possibly embarked on a physical, mental, emotional, or musical self-improvement program?

My mother used to say, “You can cry over bruised lemons or you can make lemonade.”

I’ve decided it’s time for lemonade. And here are a few resources I’ve found in my quest for a recipe and ingredients:

Like many of you, we’ve been using this video conference platform for chorus meetings, gabfests, games, parties – even one-on-one (or 2-3) sectional work and introducing a new song. Need help getting familiar with the platform? Or ideas for what to do once you have the gang gathered online? Check these out:

How to use Zoom
There are many YouTube tutorials on this subject. One of the best is A Cappella Showcase director, Jordan Travis’ “Choral Leaders Zoom Tutorial”, a simple step-by-step guide .

Ideas for Zoom rehearsals/get-togethers
– Play performance recordings of your ensemble and critique.
– Introduce new music, play the learning tracks and watch the score.
– Have fun with games: scavenger hunt, name that tune (or arranger, or composer, or the decade you first heard it – you get the idea), Encore, Internet party games from Jackbox.
– Short “hot seat” interview to get to know chorus members better.
– “Stump the Director” – members take turns asking outlandish questions of the Director (or choreographer, or any other chapter leader)
–  “Wear pants” – activities that get members out of their chairs like a choreo review/learning session or physical warm-ups

There are so many resources available in the age of the internet!
– Interested in Leadership topics? Harmony, Inc. has an entire course facilitated by Steve Denino on the Harmony, Inc. YouTube channel.
– Looking for vocal warmups and personal improvement in lung power, focus, flexibility, intonation – heck, just want to start a program to help you be a better singer – check out Kathleen Hansen’s lessons and exercises at KHANSENMUSIC CHANNEL .
– There’s even a lovely, full-length morning vocal warmup led by Kathleen in her cute night clothes with coffee cup handy, as well as instructions on an ear training app and much, much more – new ones every day.
– Don’t read music – yet? Now might be the time to improve skills in this area. Janet Billings leads music theory discovery sessions on request using the resources at Musictheory.net. Check out her posts here or contact her directly.
Free classes and tutorials from our friends at the Barbershop Harmony Society including Copyright 101, Grant Basics 101, the Science of Riser Placement, and a dozen more.
– Free Fridays – Barbershoppers are never done learning, and we want to make sure you and your chapter can keep growing together. The Barbershop Harmony Society is offering two months of FREE online classes each Friday beginning April 17 at 2:00 CDT. Each Zoom class will be 55 minutes and leave ample time to engage and ask questions while we learn from each other.

The barbershop universe has flashed into Facebook’s public square with a myriad of interesting offerings, among them:
– Mo Field and Amelia Charnock lead a Beatles-A-Day sing-a-long that helps you be impressed by how many lyrics you remember. Check it out  – and while you’re at it, why not cue it up and invite your friends to a watch party on Facebook?
– InstaChoir – a no-stress, no-strings-attached singing experience for anyone, so come on out to this drop-in singing event. You get to both hear and make some great music and have an AMAZING time.
– Facebook Live sing-a-longs – Jordan Travis and Hayley Verrall led a couple of songfests in March, among them this virtual journey through representative pop songs of each decade. Another opportunity for a watch party!
– Get to Know Hot Pursuit Quartet – a Facebook event
– The Tramack Virtual Concert – a Facebook event featuring performances by Sweet and Sour, Taken 4 Granite, and more.
– Quarantinis with Aged to Perfection – Drinking together always helps, but since we can’t be “together” why don’t you join us for another edition of Quarantinis with ATP April 22 at 7 p.m.! Message the quartet for the Zoom link.

What other resources have you found? Please drop a line to [email protected]  to share what you have found or what inventive idea your chapter/quartet is using to maintain community, musical/performance skills, or service to others.

Submitted by By Roxanne Powell
[email protected]

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2020 IC&C Will Be Like No Other in History

We know there are many of you trying to determine whether to attend this year’s unprecedented IC&C and we are hopeful that global circumstances will allow you to do so. To help in your planning and decision process we wanted to share the current proposed agenda.

Please note: We won’t know until the July 31 deadline how big the contests will be. If we have a large number of contestants, we may need to adjust the convention schedule as a result. We will notify members as soon as possible if there are changes to the schedule so you can plan accordingly.

Wednesday Events
Opening Ceremony

Thursday Events
Education Classes
AHQ Rehearsal & Meeting
International Chorus Rehearsal
Quartet Semi-Finals
Parade of Champions

Friday Events
Chorus Contest
Minor Chords Rehearsal
Sing with the Queens

Saturday Events
Delegates/Associates Meeting
Education Classes
Master Classes
Quartet Finals
Dinner Showcase

Submitted by Allison Thompson
Convention Manager
[email protected]

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A Message From The President

Hello Harmony Members,

Tough times bring out the best in all of us. Over the years, Harmony, Inc. has weathered many storms, but none quite like this one! I continue to be amazed at the love and support Harmony members are providing to one another. Be sure to check out Roxanne Powell’s article which outlines the many ways our barbershop community is sharing knowledge and talents to make gallons of lemonade out of an overabundance of lemons. Don’t you wish we had that same surplus in toilet paper?

I’m delighted to let you know that many of the instructors who taught education classes in Sandusky will be conducting these classes again through Zoom! If you missed out on these great classes at IC&C 2019, this is your opportunity to learn new skills and stay connected to Harmony, Inc. Keep watch for more information coming soon.

Thank you to the members who have contacted me to share your excitement about our plans for IC&C. It certainly will be a convention like no other as we come together in friendship and song in November. I’m also aware that some members have concerns about traveling or gathering in large groups, and we hurt for those who are financially impacted due to job loss or the Canadian exchange rate. Many things can change between now and November, and we’re hoping that you’ll all be able to join us in Louisville. Over the next six months, we’ll continue to monitor the situation with the health and safety of our members as our highest priority.

Please reach out to me anytime to share your thoughts. I want to hear from you! For now, stay home, stay safe, stay tough, wear a mask, and share your love of music and song in whatever safe ways you can. I look forward to sharing the love of Harmony with you again soon.

Together we are HARMONY. STRONGER.

Submitted by Donna McKay
International President
[email protected]

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Lemonade from Lemons

Several week ago, Northern Blend Chorus was working hard preparing for the excitement of Area Contest. We were gathering at rehearsals, meeting for coaching, coming together for PVI’s, feeling the energy of one another standing side-by-side on the risers and then all of a sudden…NOTHING! No one could have imagined that the universe would hit the pause button and leave us in such a unique and unprecedented state where our being together has become dangerous and life-threatening.

The call to social distancing really meant physically distancing ourselves from each other and the passion that we all share – singing and sharing the heartbeat that is Harmony. So, we had to use our creativity to develop new and safe ways to keep our bonding strong.
Here are some of the initiatives we’ve undertaken:
– As a group, we have gotten together via ZOOM for music theory lessons on Mondays.
– Our director has offered virtual PVI’s for any chorus member.
– We all gather for the Instachoirs and Sing Alongs that others have posted.
– Our board has met bi-weekly via ZOOM to discuss updates, planning (as much as we can) and how to fill the needs of others during this uncertain time, while keeping our Chorus strong.

Several of our group members have done other things to keep connected:
– We continue to make phone calls, text, use messenger, email and post in our Members Only Facebook page.
– We post updates from the Board at least weekly, send cards and notes.
– We have virtual coffee dates and play games together online.
– We have shared gifts on each other’s doorsteps and continue to care for one another as much as we can.
– Those who live closer together get outside and have physical distance walks together and I have even seen a ‘just to see your face’ drive-by.

It is a challenging and uncertain time, but our passion for song and one another is strong. We will emerge from this victorious and be Harmony Stronger and Healthier!

Submitted by Taralee Lashway
President, Northern Blend Chorus
[email protected]

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Physical Distancing, Not Social

Last Tuesday was the first virtual rehearsal for the ScotianAires chorus and, to be honest, it was surprisingly successful considering it was the first time ‘dipping our toe in the water’!
Director Sue Kember hosted the Zoom meeting and shared the link via email to all members. Sue and I ran a technical troubleshoot and check-in session for members between 6:00 – 7:00 pm prior to rehearsal. We have been using a private page on Facebook to stream video of our weekly rehearsals for a while now, and we continue to post updates and educational videos on Facebook during this time of social distancing. However, we have found Zoom to be a flexible platform and more suited for our weekly online rehearsals because we can see each other and connect with one another in almost ‘real-time’! Zoom is also available on multiple devices (iPhones, android phones, iPads, laptops, PCs) which makes it very accessible for our members. We were thrilled that 50 members were able to join us on Zoom for our first rehearsal!

Like others, we soon discovered that the rehearsal flows best if everyone is on mute and shares their video if they’re able to. The host is able to mute / un-mute anyone from her computer. Then you can all see each other but members are singing along at home with whoever is the ‘speaker’ at that time.
Sue and I took turns to lead a few warmups, and then Sue sang her interpretation for our new ballad. Everyone sang along at home with her to get used to the phrasing. Then we sang through our contest up-tune with different section leaders taking turns to sing their part. This was an interesting exercise, singing along with your part at home, harmonizing to just the tenor, bass or bari line. We’re hoping that members might volunteer to lead this exercise with some of our well-known rep songs in the future.
After that, we sang a few other songs, came off mute to sing Happy Birthday to three of our members (we knew it wouldn’t synchronize, but that was the fun of it!!) and then some of us stayed online longer to socialize and catch up. We needed this social connection.

Moving forward, we have made audio tracks for our new ballad (section leaders layered on their parts to create a four-part track to Sue’s interpretation of the lead line). We are also going to share a video to teach a tag, investigate how to use the room option to break-out into sectionals with different co-hosts, use the ‘share screen’ option to share educational slides, learning tracks or videos of us singing so that we can sing along with the four-part harmony at home.
We are offering PVIs over Zoom to be held at a different time to our weekly chorus rehearsal, and we’re also planning to run Zoom educational classes on music topics requested by the membership!

We know our members are missing the social aspect of rehearsals, but we have chosen to regard this enforced down-time as an opportunity for each member to focus on individual improvement and musical growth! Hopefully, when we’re back together again, this personal improvement will positively impact the chorus as a whole! We look forward to being with each other again in the future, and in the meantime, we’re happy to have social media available to us!

Submitted by Adele Merritt
Assistant Director of ScotianAires
[email protected]


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Convention Corner

We are excited about the possibility of seeing so many of you at IC&C this year. Now more than ever, we need to all come together to celebrate our organization and what it means to each and every one of us. I know that it has benefited all of us during this unprecedented time of quarantine and while we haven’t been able to be together physically, I love seeing all of the creative ways you are finding to stay in touch – and in tune!

As you start thinking about the IC&C, there is some important information about
– Event prices
– Hotel info
– Transportation
– Parking
to be found on the IC&C webpage.

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Baytones Announce New Director

We are proud to announce our new Director for Baytones Harmony Inc is Bonnie Sue Dowdall. Bonnie bring enthusiasm and energy to our chorus and we look forward to working hard for her as we move forward in 2020.

After two years of being on Reserve Status due to low membership, we are excited to share that we now have 18 members registered with Harmony, Incorporated.

Submitted by Dianne Cerka
Chapter President
[email protected]

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A Harmony Emporium is in the Works

Harmony, Inc. is looking to add a “Harmony Store” to our website. We are seeking RFPs from retailers who are able to provide:

– A small number of pre-approved Harmony, Inc. branded items.
– Items will be offered for sale through a webpage/link on the Harmony, Inc. website.
– Items will be available for sale to customers in Canada and the USA.
– Retailer will provide an option for shipping items to Canada and the USA.
– Retailer will work directly with the customer; there will be no requirement for Harmony, Inc. to purchase or maintain stock.

If you are able to provide this service yourself please consider submitting an RFP. If you have a retailer with whom you have worked and you think they would be interested in this opportunity, please forward this information.

If you require additional information, email the Director of Business Services.

RFPs must be emailed to the Director of Business Services by April 1, 2020.

Submitted by Jan DelVecchio,
Director of Business Services
[email protected]

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VVC Taps Lynn Randall to Direct

The Village Vocal Chords are thrilled to bring to an end our search for a new frontline director and to introduce you to our new director, Lynn Randall.
Oh, you already know Lynn?

Well, for those of you who don’t know her, Lynn began her adventures in barbershop singing in 1975 with Sweet Adelines International. She joined Harmony, Inc. 5 years later and became Assistant Director of The Harmonettes Chapter. In 1992 she moved to the Chicago-area from Massachusetts, joined the VVCs as a lead singer, and has been our Assistant Director for the past 4 years. She also currently directs the new Harmony, Inc. prospective chapter ‘A Cappella Project’.
She is a multiple time Harmony Queen (as the lead of ‘Talk of the Town’, ‘Voices’, and ‘U4X’ and the replacement lead of ‘The Villagers’). In addition she holds a Music Education minor, along with a Bachelors degree majoring in Business Administration. But more importantly, she brings to us her extraordinary knowledge and coaching skills, as a Harmony, Inc. Certified Singing Judge since 1997.

We’re excited to share this new chapter in Lynn’s barbershop career and know Harmony, Inc. joins us in celebrating and supporting us under her leadership.

More new chorus directors!

President Ruthie Farrell of the St. Louis Chordinals is pleased to announce the chapter has found its new Music Director, Juliet Jackson. Ruthie writes, “We’ve entered her for Directors First and Harmony University scholarships. Congratulations, Chordinals and Juliet!”

Pam Stewart of Classic Blend informs us their new Director is Jim O’Neill. Watch for articles on the adventures of these new chorus-director partners in future issues of the E-Note!

Submitted by Jacquie Jensen
Village Vocal Chords

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New Chapter!

Congratulations to Catch Fire who chartered as a new Geographically Out of Area chapter on March 8, 2020.

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“This Is My Quest”

During IC&C in Sandusky, Ohio, Susan Brooks, a long-time member of The Over Tones, now with A Cappella Showcase, willingly took on the task of delivering Past International President pins to a number of special Harmony, Inc. women. Here is her message – a wonderful story of friendships and Harmony, Inc. history!

“I have completed my mission to give these ladies their 60th anniversary Past International President pin. You would not believe how thrilled they all were. I spent time with all of them and the memories and laughter flowed!

You may wonder why I cared.

In the early days of Harmony, a number of Woodville girls travelled to Orillia to sing, laughing and singing all the way.  As numbers grew and they found Roy Keys to direct they decided to form Woodville Country Chords. My mom, Gertrude Lillico, was the founding president, November 1, 1966. Marilyn Kelsey, International President 1966-1968, Dianne Pethick 1979-1980, and Marlene Sargent, 1974-1976, were all very active members of the Country Chords.

I sang bari at Mom’s elbow whenever I was home and when I got my teaching job in Elmira, Marion Baier, who had sung with the Country Chords and was now in Guelph, lured me to the Over Tones.

Oh my, how life unfolds. That’s where I met Jo Rider, International president 1977-1979. Jo went on to charter the Chord Spinners and was their first director.

I hope the current Harmony membership will be reminded how much these ladies love Harmony. We have a wonderful history full of wonderful people!”

Thank you for sharing this with all of us Susan.  It is a beautiful reminder of how our time in Harmony, Inc. impacts our lives, brings us together and fills our hearts with wonderful memories!

Submitted by Kim Meechan
Director of Membership
[email protected]

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We Say Again: New Procedures Now in Effect

THERE’S NO NEED TO REGISTER NOW if you registered anytime in 2019!

Wait, what? Why? Last year, the Quartet Registration deadline was moved from January 31 to July 1.

All registrations received any time in 2019 were labeled valid until July 1 of 2020.  This was communicated in your Registration Confirmation, and in E-Note articles. So…..if you are already registered, you are eligible to compete in the coming AC&C’s.  Then you will need to Renew/Re-Register by July 1.

If you have a change in personnel, please email [email protected] with the details: the new member’s name, status as Chapter Member (what Chapter?) or Associate (from what City or State/Province?) , what part she will sing, and who is no longer a member of your quartet. Your Quartet Registration must match your Contest Entry, so please process any changes before you enter a contest.

Remember that any new quartet member must be a member of Harmony, Inc. If her membership is “in process”, please communicate that, and I will work with the Corporate Office to expedite.

New quartets can register any time, and must be registered to compete in an Area Contest. Please use the new, easy, online form HAR 028 on the HI website.

Take full advantage of all the opportunities at AC&C….perform anywhere, any time you can….it’s a BLAST…..everyone wants to hear you….and it will make you a better quartet!

Submitted by Deb Stoll
Quartet Development Coordinator  
[email protected]

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