Change The World – Change The Words

Our new common song, Change the World, is so much fun!  The lyrics speak of a world that is happy and harmonious, as well as sharing our love with those we care about the most.

You’ll be excited to hear that the International Chorus will be performing Change the World virtually, and we’re hoping to get 150 members to participate! When the International Chorus performs this, and whenever we gather to sing this as an organization, we will be making a change to the following lyrics so we include all our loved ones:
The word changes are in measure 42: “I’d make you royalty” for tenor/lead/bari, and in measure 43: “You’d be royalty” echoed by the basses.

I am SO excited to get the chance to sing this with you all! Can’t wait to see our 150-person VIRTUAL CHORUS performing this song!

Submitted by Katie Taylor
Director of Music Programs
[email protected]

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ALL Chapters – Year-End Tax Filing Due!

All Harmony, Inc. chapters operate with a fiscal year of April 1 – March 31. Please see the Harmony, Inc. Corporate manual in Section 4, page 4.14, under “Chapters”, item #3 for further reference.
For U.S. Chapters, this will require you to file your electronic postcard 990-N by August 15, 2020.
For Canadian Chapters, this will require you to file your T2 by September 30, 2020.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions.

Additionally, all Chapters are reminded that they are required to send the VP Finance their respective taxing agency’s acceptance email, if filed electronically or a copy of their return receipt, if mailed.

Submitted by Donna Clarkson
VP Finance
[email protected]

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A Note from your Website Manager

Hello, Harmony!

I have a couple questions for you:
1) You want to email your fabulous president, Donna McKay. You start typing her name in the ‘to’ field, and 5 different @harmonyinc addresses pop up. What do you do?
2) You want to email someone on the board who you’ve never emailed before. You know her title and might be able to guess what her email address would be. What do you do?
3) You’ve received an email from me alerting you of a typo in an email address. What do you do?
4) You’re writing an article for the HI note, under a time constraint. You’re pretty sure you’ve typed everything correctly (including your contact information), but don’t have time to double check it. What do you do?

Did you know what we have a fail-stop set up so that if you email someone with an @harmonyinc email address, but that address doesn’t exist, it bounces to me as your webmaster? That way, emails aren’t left floating around in cyber space. That means, any email addresses that have typos land in my inbox (and how many I receive a week is pretty eye- opening!)

While I never mind helping folks out (and we ALLLLLL make mistakes), I have two concerns. First of all, sometimes emails are of a personal nature. I would hate a private email of mine to land in someone else’s inbox. Secondly, perhaps the intended recipient will miss out on something (I’ve twice received a, “We have ten minutes to put an order in for lunch!” I assume that person
didn’t get to eat lunch that day.)

I ask each of us to please try to keep our contact list up to date, search out someone’s email address if you need a new one, and double check what you type ☺

In the meantime, I’ll continue to forward along what finds its way to me.

Submitted by Tanya Reid
Web Manager
[email protected]

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Singing Together (sort of) Again!

I don’t believe that I’m being presumptuous in saying that we all REALLY miss singing together.  It isn’t surprising that singers everywhere are turning to virtual chorus projects. What we all need is to feel more connected to each other during this pandemic, so throughout Harmony, Inc., chapters and quartets are engaging in virtual chorus projects.

Several projects have come to this writer’s attention including Jordan Travis’ InstaChoir’s amazing version of O, Canada! released on Canada Day and Bella Nova’s rendition of Come the Wild, Wild Weather, currently in production. Amanda Cornaglia, Bella Nova’s tech guru, said, “Bella Nova is working on a virtual version of Come the Wild, Wild Weather because we were missing singing together and both the lyrics and theme of the song are fitting for the times.  Voluntary participation includes Bella Nova members (from at least three states) coming together virtually for education, fun, and fellowship.”

Two completed Area 5 projects, Scarborough Harmony Chorus’ Isn’t She Lovely (completed in June) and Sugartones’ Feelin’ Groovy (completed for Canada Day) can be found on their websites.  Another project “in the works” is Northern Blend’s A Million Dreams.

Sugartones Director Jan-Åke Westin observed, “Although it is a big learning curve both for members recording for the first time at home (80 percent of the chorus chose to participate) and for the mixer/editor, all the effort is definitely worth it!  The immense pride we felt watching our virtual finished product was mostly about the joy of singing and entertaining together again!
“Sugartones are born hams who love to do annual musical theatre shows and many community performances” continued Jan-Ake, “so this gave us an opportunity greet and entertain our community online, thank the town for their ongoing support, and get ourselves into the local media again.  It was also an incentive to learn new songs and keep practicing.  We learned lots, so next time will be easier!”

If you want to try a virtual project, recording can be done on whatever is handy (phone, Zoom, Mp3, video camera…).  The tools used to mix/edit these projects include:
∙ Sugartones: Audacity (audio) and Corel Video Studio (video) by the son of a member
∙ Full Circle (MBHA): Vegas Movie Studio by a knowledgeable member
∙ Bella Nova: ProTools and Adobe Premiere Pro by a video production pro who is a chorus member —  How fortunate is Bella Nova?
You might want to check out your internal resources, including family members before looking further afield for editing help!

Jan-Åke and Amanda both agree that support is necessary for some members to learn how to record at home. They also share that many members struggle with the sound of their own recorded solo voices, so we needed to learn not to take ourselves too seriously, not to aim for perfection, to reduce our stress, and above all, to have fun and ENJOY!

This writer found the virtual chorus experience very rewarding. It has brought my chorus closer to each other, and best of all, we got to sing “together” again! To raise all our spirits, please share links to your virtual accomplishments with us all. We do
love to cheer each other on —  even from home!

Submitted by Judy Breckles
Staff Writer
[email protected]


EDITOR’S NOTE: Sugartones’ Judy Breckles debuts as a new staff writer for our new HI Note with this article. Judy was so incautious as to respond a couple of months ago to the standing query at the bottom of this newsletter, “What would you like to read about in the [then] E- Note?” Having determined what she wanted to see, we invited her to write the story. (Evil, we are.) And she did! Along with Director of Communications Mary Ann Wert, I’d like to offer a great big WELCOME to Judy as a staff writer for the HI Note! We are looking forward to reading her future articles.

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Honor and Cherish

Images have for many years presented an award at the Harmony, Inc. International Convention and Contests to the quartet that it deems the “Image of Harmony” for the year. These quartets are recognized for the significant contributions they have made to Harmony, Inc., and their community.

With the passing of their lead, Sue Trenchard, this past winter, the quartet has decided to honor her memory – her love of music, family, friends, and life – by renaming the award the Susan C. Trenchard Service Award. The first Susan C. Trenchard award will be presented at the Harmony, Inc. 2020 Virtual Convention and Celebration, November 6-7.

Now is the time to submit your nomination for this award. The deadline is July 31. Write a letter detailing your chosen quartet’s contributions to their Chapter, Area, Harmony, Inc., and Community. List the names of three or four others who support this nomination, and send your letter to [email protected]

Submitted by Roxanne Powell
[email protected]

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Highlighting H.I.V.E.

“Great job, H.I.V.E.!” says Margie Fife from Area 1.
“Thrilled with this format! This made my year!” says Jan LeClair from Surround Sound.
“What an opportunity to learn, at no cost, from top barbershop educators from the comfort of my own home!” notes Jacquie Jenson.

These are some of the many overwhelmingly positive comments from among the hundreds of recent H.I.V.E. participants. As you might expect, many were delighted to “see” their HI friends from afar at these sessions and were missing convention education classes.  They also think that these sessions help to overcome the COVID Blues. The Liberty Belles’ Nancy Weisbein shares
that the sessions are valuable even for those who don’t attend.
“The sessions have been super valuable for me. Also, when any chorus member attends H.I.V.E. classes, she comes back to virtual rehearsal and talks about what she has learned and how it might apply to our chorus.”

The convenience of this form of education also appealed to most participants.
Jacquie Jenson says, “I appreciate that the classes are recorded so that I can watch again or watch those that I didn’t see in real time.”
Sannie McInnis from the Sugartones says, “I prefer online learning as it allows me to concentrate in my own ‘quiet’ environment and to do the workshop again if I choose to.”

Most think H.I.V.E should continue after the pandemic restrictions, particularly because of benefits to the elderly, financially challenged, associate or ‘long distance’ members who may not find area or convention education classes possible.
Anne Ash of the California Note Catchers sums it up, saying, “Virtual classes open up many options especially for our older members who don’t travel and have limited incomes, really leveling the playing field, offering opportunities for so many members that would not necessarily be able to access them.”  She went on to say, “Every H.I.V.E. class I’ve attended has been organized, well-run and worthwhile.”

Margie Fife, the Area 1 Membership and Youth Coordinator, expresses everyone’s appreciation, “I am grateful for all the facilitators, planners and presenters and would like them to know that they are appreciated for giving their time and talents to all Harmony members.”

Submitted by Judy Breckles
Staff Writer
[email protected]



EDITOR’S NOTE: Sugartones’ Judy Breckles debuts as a new staff writer for our new HI Note with this article. Judy was so incautious as to respond a couple of months ago to the standing query at the bottom of this newsletter, “What would you like to read about in the [then] E- Note?” Having determined what she wanted to see, we invited her to write the story. (Evil, we are.) And she did! Along with Director of Communications Mary Ann Wert, I’d like to offer a great big WELCOME to Judy as a staff writer for the HI Note! We are looking forward to reading her future articles.

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Guess Who’s New?! HI’s New Quartet Development Coordinator, Jessica Jones

Today we introduce to you Jess Jones, our new Quartet Development Coordinator. This enthusiastic, hard-working lady joined Harmony, Inc. only about 600 days ago and has been falling further and further in love with the organization ever since.

With a background in competitive singing, Jess found Harmony, Inc. after 15 years of encouragement from our own queen of hearts, Katie Taylor. Jess began singing baritone with Northern Blend Chorus in January 2019 and officially became a HI member in April 2019, right before her first Area 3 convention. Since then she’s joined NBC’s mighty lead section, become a member-at-large on the Chapter board, assumed the role of lead in a quartet, and helped the chorus earn their second-place silver medal at
IC&C-Sandusky in November 2019. Not too shabby for her first year!

When asked what first attracted her to HI, Jess says: “EVERYTHING! While Katie encouraged me (for nearly 15 years) to join NBC, I knew very little about Harmony, Inc. until my deep dive into all things barbershop last year. I knew I had found a very special organization, but I didn’t fully grasp how empowering the sisterhood is until my first Area contest. Since then, I have read every bit I can about our history, talked with as many members as possible, and continue learning about our culture through
every woman I meet. I was blown away by the support and pure joy expressed throughout every moment of my first International contest last November.”

With the same eagerness, Jess explains how she became interested in the Quartet Development Coordinator position. “Both Donna McKay and Katie knew of my newfound passion of barbershop and Harmony, Inc. and approached me about the QDC position. Despite my minimal quartet experience, immersing me into this position will connect me with more amazing women and allow me to use my organizational and people skills in an enjoyable way. In addition to our current and prospective quartets,
I am eager to work with our IBOD, Assistants, and Area Directors. I may never be as funny as Debi Stoll, but I hope to reach the high standard she has set as QDC!”

As her passion for barbershop grew, it guided Jess to sing in her first (and current) quartet, Roulette in May 2019. While excited, she says, “Needless to say, I was quite nervous about singing lead, but am embracing it and learning so much from my experienced quartet mates. I long for the day we can perform for you!” With a few familiar faces in her trio: Morgan La Croix, tenor; Lynn Blakeney, bass; and Katie Taylor, baritone, our bets are easily placed on the wonderful things they will do together.
When not immersed in all things Harmony, Jess has been a department secretary at her local community college for nearly 14 years. “I love serving eager students and passionate educators, much like in Harmony, Inc.!”

In her spare time, she enjoys listening and singing to all genres of music and spending time with her husband, Ryan, and two children, Brandon, 16, and Samantha, 3. They camp as much as possible during the short Northern New York summer months and take advantage of the recreation opportunities in the Thousand Islands and greater Adirondacks region year-round. She loves to play tennis and allegedly has a silly tongue trick she can do. She encourages you all to “…find me at our next contest or convention for a good laugh!”

Of all the things that make singing with Harmony, Inc. special, Jess thinks the most important is our supportive culture.
“Although I have not been a part of a barbershop or singing organization,” says Jess, “I have competed as a vocalist on a local level and been involved in cover bands and choirs. Competition kept me from joining Northern Blend earlier and I was sure it would take the fun and joy out of singing. Fortunately, Harmony, Inc’s approach to competition is truly about empowerment and experience, not about winning for the sake of bragging rights. Regardless of where you place, this organization cheers each
other on and loves you for being courageous! We all belong here.”

We all knew, when arriving at Harmony, Inc., that we’d found a place we belonged and now you do too, Jess. You’re a spectacular example of what new energy can do for any organization!
Welcome home, Jess Jones. Welcome home.

Submitted by Robyn Lynn Matula
PR Coordinator
[email protected]

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Getting To Know You

The Liberty Belles have a new member today!

What makes that unusual? This new member has never been to a live rehearsal!
She came to her first rehearsal via Zoom on May 18, then attended every Zoom meeting until, on June 22, she sang a virtual audition and passed!

One day, we’ll get to hug her and welcome her in person.  In the meantime, she’s using the time to learn our repertoire and loving it!

Welcome to our new member, Wei Chen!

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Volunteer Opportunities!

Are you looking for a way to give back to Harmony, Inc.? We have two Assistant positions available, and you may be the perfect fit for one of them!

After many years as our Copyright & Licensing Coordinator, Erin Cassidy will be retiring soon. Thank you, Erin, for dedicating your time and talents in service to Harmony, Inc. We are actively seeking a volunteer to fill the Copyright & Licensing Coordinator
position. This volunteer reports to the Director of Music Programs. The primary duties are:
– responsible for maintaining 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
– compiles quarterly SESAC, BMI, and ASCAP reports


The Membership Coordinator is the perfect position for you if you are passionate about membership recruitment and retention. This volunteer reports to the Director of Membership. The primary duties are:
– connects with Harmony, Inc. chapters, quartets, directors, and Associate members
– works with new chapters, geographically outlying chapters (GOCs), and chapters on reserve status, in coordination with the Director of Membership
– works with Area Associate Representatives to ensure Associate members are well connected to Harmony, Inc.

Want more details? Check out the job descriptions in the corporate manual or email [email protected] If you are ready to apply, please fill out the online application.

Submitted by Donna McKay
International President
[email protected]

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Congratulations to the 2020 Judith Waite Scholarship Recipient!

Earlier this month we learned about the woman who made the Judith Waite Scholarship possible. Now we’ll meet the 2020 recipient of the scholarship. Please join me in congratulating JENNIFER CARSON from Island A Cappella in Area 1.

Jennifer is enrolled in a Bachelor of Music program at the University of Prince Edward Island and recently completed her first of five years. She made a transition from teaching dance and performing in theatre to teaching music.

She describes the journey this way:
“I really enjoyed teaching. But I loved being at the helm of a music classroom. I loved being able to sing all day, share my enthusiasm for and knowledge of music and rhythm, wave my arms with a baton in hand, instill curiosity and encourage students of all ages”.

Jennifer has been a member of Harmony, Inc. since 2015. She is grateful for the support she receives from her Island A Cappella sisters and particularly the baritone section who lovingly claimed her daughter as their “baby bari”!

Jennifer also sings lead with her quartet TAMbre along with Jan Coffin, bass; Kellie Annett, tenor; and Marylynn Cote, baritone.


Submitted gy Kim Meechan
Director of Membership
[email protected]

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Your International Board of Directors Working For YOU!

COVID-19 and In-Person Rehearsals

The Barbershop Harmony Society and the American Choral Directors Association each published guidance recently for ensembles interested in singing together while COVID-19 remains a significant public health concern. The Harmony, Inc. International Board of Directors has not changed its position on this issue. We advise that you refrain from in-person chorus rehearsals and/or performances at this time due to the risk of contracting and spreading the virus during these activities.

IBOD Mid-Year Meeting Update

Your International Board of Directors conducted a very productive Mid-Year Meeting in June through Zoom video conferencing! The full meeting minutes are, or soon will be, posted in the members-only section of the Harmony, Inc. website (webmaster note: they are posted!). I also encourage you to take time to read the full meeting minutes.

Harmony. Stronger. Strategic Plan
We made good progress in several areas of our strategic plan in the first quarter of 2020. In March, we took a dramatic detour due to COVID-19. As AC&Cs and IC&C were canceled, we shifted our focus to virtual education, assisting chapter musical leaders with Zoom rehearsals, and connecting with our members through more robust communication in the bi-weekly E-Note. At our Mid-Year meeting, Quantum Governance shared their Governance Assessment Report which was compiled over the past few months based on the results of surveys and discussions with Board members. As the IBOD reviewed the report, we identified action steps we should take to move our governance and leadership to the next level of excellence.

Harmony Grace & Two Nations
After much discussion and careful consideration of the feedback received from many of our members, the IBOD has voted unanimously to remove Harmony Grace & Two Nations from the Harmony, Inc. repertoire. Please read the article in this issue called, “Getting to the Heart of Inclusion”, which shares details and FAQs about this decision.

For the Love of Harmony Program Recognition
The Fundraising Task Force recently reviewed the recognition program established several years ago for the “For the Love of Harmony” program. We fully intend to continue the FLOH program; however, we will be revamping the process for recognizing donations.

Review of Venue Contracts
As we worked through the agonizing process of canceling our 2020 conventions, we realized the importance of ensuring that all future venue contracts be either negotiated through a meeting procurement agency, such as HelmsBriscoe, or reviewed by an attorney. This will be our policy for future venue contracts in order to better protect our organization.

Virtual International Convention
The Board approved a plan and funds to be used to create a virtual International Convention in early November. Stay tuned for more information as we roll out plans for the virtual convention which will take place in early November!

Membership Coordinator
As you know, membership growth and retention are key areas of focus in the Harmony.Stronger. strategic plan. It was decided at Mid-Year that the IBOD would reinstate an unfilled Assistant role previously called the Chapter Membership Coordinator. The position will be renamed “Membership Coordinator”. She will work with the Director of Membership to assist chapters with various membership growth initiatives and will also handle Associate members’ needs. If you are interested in finding out more about this position, please contact the International President or the Director of Membership.

Harmony Awareness Week Date Change
At the recommendation of our Social Media Coordinator, the Board voted to change the date of Harmony Awareness Week to coincide with Harmony, Inc.’s anniversary. Going forward, Harmony Awareness Week will occur the week of February 26.

Name Change from E-Note to HI Note
At the recommendation of Roxanne Powell, the name of the E-Note will be changed to the HI Note. The focus of the HI Note will be to expand the appeal of this bi-weekly newsletter to a broader, more public audience, while also including important member information and deadlines.

Song Donation for 2021, “From Now On”
Marie Ross generously donated an Adam Scott arrangement of “From Now On” from The Greatest Showman. This song may be used as the 2021 International Chorus song, and/or possibly a common song for Harmony, Inc. in the future. Thank you, Marie!

Change to Area Demarcation
Earlier this year we were excited to add The Greater Montreal Chorus as a new prospective Harmony, Inc. chapter in the Montreal area. Based on the current Area demarcation lines, this new chapter falls within Area 1; however, they requested to be part of Area 2. Our current chapter, Montreal City Voices, is already part of Area 2, an exception that was granted to them a few years ago. Given that we will now have two chapters in the Montreal area, both requesting the accommodation to be part of Area 2, the Board approved an agenda item submitted by Patricia Cassidy to move the Area demarcation lines so that Montreal falls within
Area 2. See the Mid-Year meeting minutes for full details.

Potential Canadian Incorporation
A task force was created to investigate the benefits of Harmony, Inc. incorporating in Canada. This is a complicated issue. The task force will connect with an attorney in Canada to conduct research and present the findings to the IBOD.

Area Affiliation for Associate Members
In the past, Harmony, Inc.’s policy has required Associates to be members of the Area in which they reside. However, we have had requests from Associates in the past to affiliate with a different Area for various reasons. Having found no valid reason why Associates must be members of the Area in which they reside, the IBOD has voted to allow Associate members to select the Area with which they want to belong.

For full details about all items and decisions made during the Mid-Year Meeting, please refer to the Mid-Year minutes in the members-only section of the Harmony, Inc. website.

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Thank you, Judy Waite!

There are many tasks involved in my role as Director of Membership and one of them is to chair the Selection Committee for the Judith Waite Scholarship. As I read over the requirements and the time line I kept thinking about Judith Waite:
– Who was this woman who generously left the gift of the scholarship in her name 10 years ago?
– What was she like?
– What did Harmony, Inc. mean to her?

This year is the last year for the Judith Waite Scholarship to be awarded. Each year, for ten years, a Harmony, Inc member or family member received $1,000 to go toward their music education.

I wanted to learn more about this remarkable woman so I reached out to some of her friends in the Village Vocal Chords.  Through them I got a very good idea of who Judith Waite was, and more importantly, who she still is, in the hearts of those her spirited personality touched.

Thank you to Lynn Randall and Jacquie Jenson who provided me with photos and stories.  Although I never met Judy, I can feel her spunky energy through the following story from her friend, Jacquie Jenson.
“To know Judy, as I did, was to share in the humor and wit of an active mind. After joining The Village Vocal Chords, she admitted to us that the first night she visited a rehearsal she signed the guest book with a fake name, in case she didn’t want further contact with the group. That was our Judy!
“However, that anonymity was quickly set aside as she joined the chorus and became a valued member of the bass section. While her music world began with early piano training, once she got involved in the VVCs she was TOTALLY involved. She was an excellent sight reader, learning her music quickly and correctly and was a strong supporter of all things barbershop. Once, The Villagers were singing at a Christmas banquet, serenading individual tables through-out the room. Judy was attending that banquet as a guest but as we moved from table to table, she did the same, to be able to listen to each song we sang. An active supporter of all VVC quartets…that was our Judy!
“In addition, Judy was a bit of a perfectionist, and encouraged those around her to be the same. Give her a written document, whether it be a newspaper, a report, or a letter, and she approached it with editing pencil in hand, circling grammatical and spelling errors. In her non-barbershop life Judy was involved at several levels of teaching but also enjoyed a period of time
in retail sales. Judy was a people person and remained actively involved in all aspects of her life. For example, after moving into a retirement home, Judy continued to be a go-getter, helping to organize and staff the home’s gift shop. That was our Judy!
“All that being said, it is entirely consistent that the scholarship that memorializes her is for those involved in increasing their musical knowledge through education. Music and education were hallmarks of this wonderful and witty lady, and a scholarship encouraging those two things…well, that was our Judy!”

Submitted by Kim Meechan
Director of Membership
[email protected]

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REFUNDS: Contest Entry Fees/ICC Pre-registrations

If you have not already done so, please be sure to contact Judi at [email protected] to advise your wishes regarding your Area quartet/chorus contest entry fees and your preregistrations for ICC 2020.

Contest entry fees paid by choruses and quartets for AC&C and IC&C entries will be refunded at your request, or may be donated to Harmony, Inc.

If you choose a refund, electronic refunds will be returned to the original sender, unless otherwise specified. If you paid by check and are able to provide electronic information for a representative of your quartet or chorus, we prefer this method and strongly encourage you to do so.

You may request a refund by contacting the Finance Office at [email protected] Please include:
– Name of your Chapter or Quartet
– Name of contact person to whom refund will be sent
– Preferred method of payment and associated PayPal US, PayPal CAN, or Etransfer address
– Mailing address if check/cheque is your only option

If you wish to donate the funds to Harmony, Inc. you may send a request to the Finance Office and an internal transfer of funds will be done to record your donation, or complete the online For the Love of Harmony form and indicate that the payment will be made by transfer of contest entry fee. CLICK HERE (insert link) for further information and instructions.

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Quartet Registration Past Due!

Haven’t registered in 2020?
The deadline was July 1, but you can still register.

However….within the next couple weeks, quartets that have not renewed will be deleted from the Official Quartet Directory. We don’t want that to happen, my friends, so log into the Members area of the Harmony, Inc. website and take care of that pronto!

Scroll to, and click on Forms/Documents and find Form HAR-028 and just follow the directions. Use an electronic method of your choice to pay….it’s easy.

Also happening soon is the transition of the Quartet Development Coordinator position to Jessica Jones (member of Northern Blend). She’s been preparing to take over, getting acclimated and learning the job. She’s very capable and friendly and will do a fabulous job! You will be able to reach her at the same address: [email protected]

Have a great summer. “Harmony from our hearts…” is keeping us together and strong, but we all look forward to reuniting in song, and the joy of  “Harmony Hugs.”

– Deb Stoll
(almost retired) Quartet Development Coordinator

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How I Spent My Pandemic Shutdown

A.D. 2070: “Gramma, was it very b-o-o-o-o-r-i-n-g in the olden days during the COVID-19 Pandemic?”

Imagine half a century from now how you’ll answer your grandchildren’s questions about 2020. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to tell them you spent some of your time creating a rocking music video as part of the Minor Chords Virtual Chorus? It’s as simple as Do-Re-Mi, ABC, 1-2-3… It’s not too late to join this project. But hurry, time is of the essence!

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Getting To The Heart of Inclusion

Harmony, Inc. was born from a desire to value and appreciate all women regardless of race.  Recently Harmony, Inc has been exploring ways to increase our knowledge about equality, diversity and inclusion and the impact exclusion, whether intentional or not, has had on our members. We want to look honestly at our past and present practices through a transparent lens
and ask ourselves if we are truly inclusive.

To this end, the International Board of Directors voted unanimously to remove Harmony Grace and Two Nations from our repertoire, recognizing that including songs of a religious nature excludes many of our members.  We anticipate that you may have questions about this recent decision so we have prepared answers to possible Frequently Asked Questions.

Today’s world events are shining a light on the many ways that human beings are seen and treated as different.  We’ve shared information so that we can all learn together.  We’ve provided venues where members can share their thoughts.  We have had difficult conversations that have made us even more resolved to stretch our inclusive reach to all women.  We are particularly mindful of those who, because they may be diverse from the mainstream population, often are not heard.

Moving forward, we will be reviewing all songs in our repertoire to ensure they do not come from a history or intent of discrimination, nor hold any symbolism that would be deemed offensive.  We have talked a lot about equality and diversity.  We are getting to the heart of inclusion through action.  It is a move in the right direction and one that we are glad to be
making so that we can proudly say we are an inclusive organization.

Submitted by Harmony, Inc. IBOD and the Equality and Diversity Committee
[email protected]

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It’s The Music That Brings Us Together: With Compassion and Harmony For All

Ever wonder how someone takes a simple creative spark and turns it into something magical for the world to share? One of Barbershop’s finer examples of this wizardry is found in a writer, arranger, BHS music judge, International quartet champion baritone, devoted husband, and loving father…..the Chord Master himself, Clay Hine.

So in honor of this first week in July, typically one of celebration at Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Convention, I interviewed Clay about his recent gift of the song; It’s The Music That Brings Us Together.

What is your process and advice for budding arrangers?
“For me, arranging and writing are a lot like woodshedding and improvising. I get an idea, either from an existing song or just from a situation, and start to picture how that could be cool if it were done in a certain way by a certain group. After that, it’s filling in the words and notes to fill out that picture. I find the best way to get better at doing that is to do it a lot. I was fortunate to sing with quartets and a chorus that enjoyed singing stuff I arranged so I practiced and got a better feel for what worked and
what didn’t. Honestly, I’m still going through that process! Two great resources I’d suggest – The Theory of Barbershop Harmony by Dr. Burt Szabo (an awesome primer on music theory specific to barbershop) and www.rhymezone.com (great place to go to find rhyming words when you’re writing lyrics).”

What prompted you to write this new song?
“Right after the Covid19 lockdown, our choruses started having virtual rehearsals. I began working on a virtual recording project for my chorus, Atlanta Vocal Project. I wanted to write a long tag but nothing very deep just a fun project that expressed a sentiment! But as I wrote it, it seemed like there was more sentiment around what we were doing than this short piece expressed. And since I’ve often heard from barbershoppers, “We come for the music, but we stay for the friends,” it seemed especially important now.”

What was the original intention for the song?
“I thought a song like this would be a great way to help everyone realize that even during all of the weirdness in the world that remembering why we need and love what barbershop has to offer was especially important. It’s easy to focus on the tasks we do and not take time to remember ultimately why we do them. So I spent more time remembering what barbershop really means to me personally and figured most other barbershoppers probably shared that sentiment.”

What were the moments leading up to the song being released for all barbershop voices?
“I did the original chart for male voices with my chorus in mind (when I arrange or write, I always picture a specific ensemble performing the piece). With help in tweaking the song in a few places, Tony DeRosa, one of my favorite people to collaborate with was generous enough to make tracks and make them available to BHS all for no charge! It was then that it occurred to me maybe other organizations might feel similarly too! So I emailed them all (actually, my rock start daughter Melody checked with SAI and
Harmony, Inc.) trying not to sound too pretentious, but everyone was very nice and showed interest! So looked at creating versions with higher voices (reaching out to Michaela Johnston for female voices and Tony for a mixed version). To no surprise, they were totally supportive and very happy to donate their time to the chart and the tracks.”

Any future projects?
“Nothing specific, but the response from this song has been fun, so who knows? Any suggestions as I’m always looking for fun new material…..although I’d be happy not to have the opportunity to draw inspiration from any more global catastrophes! I do have some fun, short, simple pieces with juicy chords that I’ve done over the years. It is kind of my own polecat collection that I may start to throw out there for anyone who wants to sing them.”

And finally, what has writing this song meant to you on a personal level?
“It was the kind of project that got more personal as it progressed. I’ve been very blessed to have been engrossed in barbershop since I was born and even more blessed to have had amazing opportunities to meet barbershoppers all over the world. I’m passionate about what the lyrics in this song talk about and I think that’s something that barbershoppers everywhere share. I love that barbershop can be a place where that’s what’s important to us. Where people who love music, ringing chords, and sharing that with good folks can put aside any other differences we might have. We can just enjoy the music and the friendships. Would be great if the world could find a way to do that!!”

Our world is certainly getting closer to that goal thanks to arrangers like Clay bringing us together, especially during these unprecedented times. And while he may get called “Melody’s Dad” more often than Clay these days (his daughter, also an arranger & BHS Music judge, is one of our own Harmony Queens (2019 International Quartet Champions, Hot Pursuit)), we all can attest to the impact a “Clay Hine Arrangement” has had on our lives at some point during our barbershop careers.

So we thank you, Clay. For although it’s the music that brings us together, it’s the gifted dreamers like you, who continue to arrange a special place in our hearts and encourage us to always share our joy.

Submitted y Robyn Lynn Matula
PR Coordinator
[email protected]

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Awareness, Understanding, Action

Harmony, Incorporated was founded in 1959, primarily due to the exclusion of women of color in Sweet Adelines International.  Our founding members were committed to providing women of color a place to experience the joy of barbershop singing. They understood the need for, and benefits of, diversity and inclusion.

Sixty-one years after our founding, Harmony, Inc.’s Call to Action reaffirms our commitment to this mission. The words in this statement are powerful, but without action they mean nothing.

So, where do we begin? Let’s start by increasing our awareness and understanding of the core issues surrounding racism and unconscious bias. Next, I ask each member to ensure that our members of color feel fully valued as singers and leaders in our chapters and our organization. I ask each member to seek out, encourage, and welcome women of color into Harmony, Inc. As an organization, we must do our part to eliminate systemic racism in the United States and Canada.

The Equality & Diversity Committee is compiling a list of resources to increase our awareness and understanding of the root causes of systemic racism. I have included a short list of resources, with more to follow soon from the EDC.

I ask all members to seek awareness and understanding and, lastly, to take action to induce real, long-lasting change.

Together we are Harmony. Stronger.

Submitted by Donna McKay
International President
[email protected]

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The Connection: Trans-Atlantic Quartet Forms Initial Bond Between LABBS and HI

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Ladies Association of British Barbershoppers and Harmony, Inc. have long shared a special bond that began with the chance meeting of Englishwoman Marilyn Penketh and American Ginny Gedney. Upon Marilyn’s passing this spring, her daughters penned the following account of her life and the beginnings of the LABBS-HI association.

Marilyn Penketh – 1945 – 2020
Our Mum, Marilyn Penketh, discovered barbershop back in 1976 at the age of 31 and decided to start her own chorus that same year in our front room. The Havant Ladies Barbershop Harmony Chorus, England, aka The Pitchpipers, was born and both of us wanted to join in, too. Toni-Ann, (being the eldest) got to join right from the start and Karen had to wait until she was eight! Mum was in a quartet with Toni-Ann and two other members (Kathy and Loli) and they called themselves The Havatones.

Mum threw herself into helping the fledgling Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers and became Treasurer first, followed by many other posts on the Executive Board including becoming the Chairman of LABBS in 1987 to 1989.

In February 1982, an Ginny Gedney came to visit The Pitchpipers. This American lady had been in England just a week, having moved there when her husband, Ron, had a job assignment in the town of Havant on the south coast. This was the start of Mum’s love for Harmony, Inc. Our families became really good friends and Ginny, Pam (her daughter), Marilyn and her youngest daughter Karen formed a quartet called The Connection that competed in 1983, placing 5th and winning the Novice Quartet Award.

One of the highlights for mum was traveling with Rhiannon Owens-Hall, Sheila Rice, Sandra Landey and Margaret DeWolf to Providence, Rhode Island, in 1985 with a view to learning about barbershop from Harmony, Inc. It was this trip that sparked off Mum’s desire to attend as many Harmony, Inc conventions as she could and to become an Associate member for more than
25 years.

Mum was instrumental in inviting the Village Vocal Chords over to one of our conventions and other quartets like Cameo Performance, Four In Accord, Kaleidoscope and The Villagers to name a few. She really wanted the two organisations to become close. So many Harmony, Inc members knew Mum. It is a real joy to know she had special bonds with all of you.

There is so much more we could write but I will leave this now with a heartfelt thanks to all the barbershoppers all over the world who knew Mum and who helped make her life full of song.
Mum and The Pitchpipers did a lot of charity fundraising for a local hospice, The Rowans. If you would like to donate to them, that would be wonderful.  They were amazing at helping Mum in the last few days of her life and we are eternally grateful for their compassion and dedication.

Submitted by Karen and Toni-Ann Penketh

The Pitchpipers (LABBS), coached by Barbara-Ann MacIntosh, Gloria Swanson, and Ginny Gedney, competed in 1986 with an American football set, singing All American Girl and Mr. Touchdown, USA.

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Guess Who’s New? Coastal Voices, That’s Who!

Eagerness. Determination. FUN

That’s what Coastal Voices Chorus brings as one of Harmony, Inc.’s new chapters. This energized Area 6 chorus officially chartered on October 1, 2019, but their journey started a mere four months prior when a board of primarily “out of state transplants” was determined to create a chorus that would fit their needs in the Southwest Florida area.

Under the charge of their original Board of Directors (Angie Beatty, Pam Ringo, Betsy Grim Long, Tina Gleason, Debbie Toy and Jeanne O’Connor), these determined women managed to create a member’s handbook and chorus bylaws and file the necessary paperwork with the State of Florida to become recognized as a 501(c) in record time. They are very thankful for all of the
assistance they received in the process from Harmony, Inc. and feel this was the right organization for their members to fulfill their dream.

Coastal Voices is proudly a place for any woman of any age as their current membership ranges from 19 to “80 something!”

“We’ve worked hard since chartering to learn new music, welcome new guests, prospective members, and always enjoy our time together.” says Team President Angie Beatty.

While the arrival of COVID-19 derailed their debut at Area 6’s AC&C this past April, the chorus has been utilizing their time and talents, like many of us, “Zooming” each week and growing together as a family. It can be a challenge week to week, but Angie is confident that they will come out stronger than they went in. “We’re not done yet! We still hope to attract more singers to join this talented group and are working on music with an eye toward competing at some point when quarantine has been lifted and we can sing together again,”  she says.

And we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us once that happens.

Welcome home, Coastal Voices Chorus.  Welcome home.

Submitted by Robyn Matula
Public Relations Coordinator
[email protected]

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We’re Moving!

The Corporate Office has a new address, effective June 20, 2020.

Corporate Assistant Kelly Peterson, has recently moved from Fort Benning, Georgia, to Richmond, Virginia, on orders from the U.S. Army. Kelly’s husband, Erik, is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army and will serve as the commander for the Richmond Recruiting Battalion for the next two years.

The new Corporate Office address is:

Harmony, Inc. Corporate Office
2106 Liesfeld Pkwy
Glen Allen, VA 23060

Any mail sent to the previous address will be forwarded.

Submitted by Kelly Peterson
Executive Assistant, Administration
[email protected]

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Attention Youth! Virtual Chorus!

Looking for a way to connect with other Harmony Youth in an exciting virtual project? Check out this opportunity.

Minor Chords will be singing ‘ABC’. The deadline is approaching, so hop to it!

Submitted by Kristin Gunasekera
Youth Programs Coordinator
[email protected]

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Apology and Thanks

Due to an editorial oversight, the 2019 Convention Team was omitted from page 27 of the recent issue of The Key-Note. These ladies planned and executed our fabulous 60th Anniversary International Convention and Contests at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, last November.

We owe this team an apology for failing to recognize them and our heartfelt thanks for the five days of magic we all experienced. The Key-Note has been updated on the website to include recognition for the team who are:
Convention Manager Allison Thompson
Convention Contest/Stage Manager Linda Hilko
Convention Volunteer Manager Anne Leinen
Convention On-Site Manager Carolyn Pellow
Convention Registration Manager Chris Hembel
Convention Team Assistant Dorothy Webster

Submitted by Roxanne Powell
Editor, e-note and Key-note

[email protected]

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Time To Re-Register Your Quartet!

If you have not registered in 2020, NOW is the time. Form HAR-028 is found in the Members area of the website.  Follow the directions carefully, and you will find it’s not difficult. The fee is now $20 (after many years at $10). As the contact of your quartet, please do everything you can to send your form online, and pay via PayPal or one of the other electronic options.

Now is also the time to process your nomination for The Image of Harmony Service Award. The deadline is July 31, but if you have a quartet in mind, jump on that right now. Write a letter detailing their contributions to their Chapter, Area, Harmony, Inc.
and Community. Really give them their due credit. List the names of 3 or 4 others who support this nomination, and send it to [email protected]

If you haven’t seen it in the E-NOTE or elsewhere, this is my last month of being the Quartet Development Coordinator. It’s been an adventure, and I’ve loved the opportunities to interface with you in this capacity. I’ll still be around, so don’t forget to say Hello at convention. I leave it in the capable hands of Jessica Jones, who is just starting her adventure in this position, and I know you’ll make her feel welcome and appreciated. You can still send your questions to [email protected], and it will go to the correct person.
Thanks for the memories! Heartfelt Harmony Hugs and love to you all.

Submitted by Deb Stoll
Quartet Development Coordinator
[email protected]

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Membership Adventure: The Power of Positive Thinking!

The global pandemic we heard about eventually made its way to North America and turned our world upside down. I am sure I’m not alone in saying I was in shock during the first month, adjusting to the new rules of contact, mask-wearing and the disappointing news that rehearsals and singing with my Harmony, Inc. sisters would have to cease.

Then something happened. Action! Determination! Creativity! Ingenuity!

Our dedicated Board of Directors met for hours, sorting out just how the new COVID world would impact our members, our craft, our conventions and contests. They agonized over difficult decisions, all with member health and safety being paramount.

Chapter music leaders quickly learned how to navigate Zoom rehearsals and structured them to serve as check-ins, social events, education and yes, singing opportunities! Invitations were extended to coaches and other chapters to join in, providing a wonderful way to meet other barbershoppers.

Chapter leaders checked in on their members by phone and email, organized car drive-bys when members needed to be cheered up, dropped off gifts of homemade bread and reduced chapter dues, all of which demonstrated kindness, compassion and solidarity.

Volunteers stepped forward to provide virtual workshops in what was eventually named THE HIVE (Harmony, Inc. Virtual Education) by our brilliant Communications Team. Harmony members could step into these virtual classrooms live or visit Harmony’s website to view the recordings at their leisure.

Gifts of free music appeared in our publications and we responded as if we received a cool beverage on a hot, humid day. Yes, we were thirsty for music!

Amazing video performances were planned so that we could sing together, once the solo pieces were blended by technological geniuses!

The power of positive thinking! After the initial shock dissipated Harmony members didn’t give up. They didn’t say, “This is too hard.” They said, “We can do this! We’ll have to learn new ways but we can still be Harmony. Stronger.”

THANK YOU for being there, for Harmony, Inc. and each other!

Submitted by Kim Meechan
Director of Membership
[email protected]

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