Focusing on possibilities
By Linda Brehaut, International President
Possibilities – wasn’t that my word for 2022? Just today I learned that we are looking at getting back to in-person rehearsals in February. (This is me thinking positively about the possibility!) I know Areas are creatively working on plans to hold in-person AC&C this spring. They took the time to brainstorm all the possibilities they could think of and found solutions. The new schedules might just have opportunities we want to keep, going forward!
We have hosted three Area town halls to date, with three more scheduled for early February. Thank you for your questions and wanting to part of the solution. The task force and the IBOD may not have thought of everything, but collectively, with your help, we are trying to bring clarity to the events and do our best to problem solve ahead of time.
Our judging community held their virtual Category Training School the weekend of January 28-30. I had the privilege of being there for opening remarks. On behalf of all of you, I thanked them for their commitment to Harmony, Inc. Looking at this panel, I realized that many of them are Musical Directors, Presidents, or other administrative leaders in their chapters, many sit on committees and volunteer in other ways – their commitment to the organization as a whole is something we are truly grateful for. As we look to a season of AC&Cs, we appreciate that our judges are willing to travel, judge, coach and encourage us. We can’t afford to pay them in dollars, but we trust they will accept our gratitude and respect as payment!
The IBOD will be meeting in the morning on February 5 to develop our strategic thinking skills. And then we will be going to our virtual Board table for the afternoons of February 5 (and February 6 if we need to) to take care of business. The minutes will be posted on the website in the next couple of weeks.
Keep looking for possibilities – for opportunities! These are the roots to growth. (I know... we’ve grown a lot over the past two years – let’s not look in the kitchen or the TV for those opportunities.) Let’s look to each other and be creative as we get back to singing.
Seeking Nominees for International Board
Sandra Dunlop, Elections Committee Chair
It is time to seek nominations for Board Directors and Area Directors to the International Board of Directors. This year, four (4) Board Directors will be elected by the membership at large. Directors of Areas 1, 3, and 5 will be elected by the members of their respective areas. For further information, see the Corporate Manual.
The International Board of Directors is composed of volunteers with a genuine interest in the future of Harmony, Inc. Serving on the International Board is a privilege we hope many of you will want to experience.
- Be a member of Harmony, Inc. in good standing, for a minimum of two (2) years at the time of nomination
- Have previous administrative or board experience in a professional or volunteer capacity
- Possess strong verbal and written communication problem-solving and decision-making skills
- Have daily access to a computer and the skills required to communicate electronically
- Be able to work independently and collaboratively and manage time effectively to meet deadlines
- Attend two out-of-town or virtual meetings each year, November and May, approximately 4-5 full days each
- Attend two virtual quarterly meetings, usually February and September, approximately 3 hours each
- Attend additional virtual meetings as needed
- Participate in additional Standing or Special Committees
- Possess a valid passport enabling international travel
- Commit to the culture and mission of Harmony, Inc.
- Possess a basic understanding of, or a willingness to learn, how to interpret financial reports
- Support a culture of philanthropy
- Desire to improve the organization for all members. Board members are respectful of our history but willing to look forward with a vision to see the organization grow.
- Dependable, organized, prepared and detail oriented. Board members must be willing to commit the time needed to accomplish the work of the Board.
- Strong verbal communication skills. Board members must effectively communicate in meetings and in written reports/documents. They encourage dialogue and listen to the ideas of others with an open mind.
- Board members must collaborate, adapt, think strategically, analytically and critically in a professional manner, with a commitment to confidentiality.
- Board members must have a passion to serve the organization in a constructive and harmonious way!
Specialized Skills that are considered an asset on the IBOD:
- Leadership or managerial background
- Knowledgeable in music
- Experience in the Not-For-Profit community
- Experience in Strategic Planning
- Experience in Marketing, Customer Service, Public Relations, Law, or Finance/Accounting
- Effective public speaker
Deadline: Nomination forms (HAR 034, Part 1 and HAR 034, Part 2) must be returned to the Elections Committee Chair and Corporate Office no later than May 1.
Forms: The nomination has two online forms, and both must be submitted by the deadline. HAR-034 Part 1 is the Nomination Form to be completed by the member nominating a candidate, and HAR-034 Part 2 is the Application for the nominee to submit. Both forms can be found in the members-only section of the Harmony, Inc. website under Forms/Documents.
Nominee Chats: One-on-one chats will be conducted with the nominees. These interviews will be posted to the Harmony, Inc. website and available for the membership to view.
Board Directors - Board Directors will be expected to perform a variety of functions and must be flexible with the time and desire to take on extra duties. It is highly recommended to see the Corporate Manual for additional information.
Area Director - An Area Director’s primary responsibility is to represent her Area at International Board meetings and to keep in touch with the interests, concerns, and needs of the Area. It is highly recommended to see the Corporate Manual for additional information.
Attendance at Board Meetings - International Board Members are required to attend all in-person and virtual Board meetings as determined by the Board of Directors. Newly-elected International Board Directors are expected to attend the 3rd Quarter meeting and Annual meeting of the Outgoing Board. This has proven to be an invaluable way to get acquainted with the work and what will be required, coming into an elected position.
Harmony, Inc. will only continue to grow and flourish if willing members give a little of their time and effort to make it happen. Allow your name to stand for election…it will be deeply appreciated by all Harmony, Inc. members.
Please remember the deadline for nomination submissions is MAY 1, 2022!
Promotion & recruitment ideas
By Kim Meechan, Director of Membership
Something that has been on the minds of our chapter leadership, as well as the IBOD, is retention and recruitment, particularly during the past two years. The Membership Team presented a HIVE class on the topic in September 2021. That recording is available on our website in the Members Only section.
Speaking of our website and the treasure trove of resources found there, the Membership: Tools and Resources page has just had a revision. Please visit to find helpful information on recruiting ideas as well as chapter success stories and articles. If your chapter has new ideas and/or a success story about retention and recruitment, please send me your story. With your permission, I may include it on that page so that everyone in Harmony, Inc. can benefit from your experience and ideas.
If you have never visited the Members Only section of our website, you’ll need your username, which is your membership number. If you don’t remember your password, or you’d like to change your password, click on “Lost Your Password?” and create a new one.
Harmony, Incorporated certified judges, candidates, and mentors gathered virtually for our annual Category School, the weekend of January 28-29. After starting with a general meeting Friday night, participants then broke into their respective categories. They spent all day Saturday learning, teaching, coaching, and growing, and then wrapped up an amazing weekend … together again … singing (on mute) the Harmony theme song.
Says Wendy McCoole, "Thank you, amazing friends, for such a wonderful, fun, and fulfilling weekend!"
Virtual Category School a huge success
By Kathy Greason, ICJC
Another virtual CTS completed. On the one hand, sigh. On the other hand, 100% attendance! And on the other hand (oh, wait!), we were able to hold it in the middle of a blizzard. Really! Yes, there were a few connectivity issues as a result, but at least we weren’t snowbound or awaiting rescheduled flights 'til Tuesday.
Our official school lasted from an opening session at 7:00 pm Friday to a closing session at 8:30 on Saturday evening. Inquiring minds may wonder what we did at school. Here’s the scoop.
Following a welcome from Linda Brehaut, our International President, and a short icebreaker activity (let’s not talk about drawings created with the non-dominant hand…), we participated in a group class (Broadway to Barbershop) and then split away to separate Zoom accounts for category-based classes.
The COJs had “exercises” to undertake at their own pace during the school, checking in with their Category Director on her open Zoom session whenever necessary. The COJs were the most challenged by connectivity and computer technical issues – but, by training and inclination, they are also the most suited to dealing with that! Things do occasionally go wrong in contest… They were having so much fun (?) that they extended their school, with an additional meeting at 4:00 Sunday afternoon.
The Music category discussed video performances, reviewed criteria for analyzing arrangements for contest suitability, and did chord identification stuff, among (many) other things. They also enjoyed seeing an unexpected drop-in guest describing what the Singing category was up to.
The Performance category had invited guests from across the country to make presentations to their category. I think I saw PER screenshots on Facebook that included Mark Kettner, BHS category director, Marty Lovick, and maybe Cy Wood, as well as the usual suspects.
The Singing category took advantage of Zoom technology to attend a BHS category meeting on Saturday afternoon, that meeting focusing on proposed changes to the SNG category description. Note for our members: the changes, should Harmony, Inc. adopt them, would not change how you are judged, but simply would reflect more accurately in the category description what is cause and what is effect.
Refreshing evaluation skills
A big focus for all the scoring categories this year was refreshing evaluation skills. Through the marvels of technology, and with another year of Zooming under our belts, we accomplished this with live-streamed quartet performances. All four of the categories appreciated that Area 2’s Out on a Limb and mixed quartet Sweet and Sour each spent more than three hours with us “live” on Saturday so that we could listen and practice scoring and evaluation skills “in person.”
At CTS, we always try to respond to members’ concerns that come to our attention. This year, we know that many of our members have expressed concern about the effect of the pandemic on their musicianship, singing, and performing skills, and what that will mean to them in contest. Don’t worry – we’re planning on enjoying your performance, and will simply meet you where you are during evals.
And members have been wondering whether the judges will be able to assess performances of masked and unmasked singers fairly. The scoring categories addressed that head on, listening to and watching live-stream and video performances, with singers masked and unmasked. Our conclusion? We’ve got your backs! Those exercises and the discussions around them showed that we can judge masked and unmasked contestants fairly. As the Performance judges pointed out, who performs visually with her nose, anyway? A caution, though. Singers who adjust ill-fitting masks during a performance will create a visual distraction, just as adjustment to a costume during performance would.
At our closing session Saturday night, we celebrated another weekend of learning together.
- We acknowledged the 5-year service increments of the following judges:
Lynn Blakeney, PER – 5 years
Sue Kember, SNG – 5 years
Sue Novosad, COJ – 10 years
Theresa Weatherbee, PER – 25 years
- We thanked our mentors, Chris Buechler (COJ), Tom Gentry (MUS), Joe Hunter (PER), and Rik Johnson (SNG) for the support that they offer our judging program at CTS and year-round.
- And we congratulated Diane Patterson, who, as a dually certified judge, is subject to certification requirements for her COJ role in certification-year-minus-one, in this case 2022. Despite the challenges of a contest-free pandemic year, she was able to complete assignments necessary to support her recertification as a COJ this year. Congratulations, Diane.
In closing, here’s my take on the school. By attending our annual school, our judges and candidates have once again shown their commitment to acquiring and maintaining skills in service to our members. Together, we rejoice in knowing that we are ready to go out to our Areas this spring and be part of what we hope will be the best convention and contest experience ever for every single member of Harmony, Inc. See you there!
Area Contest Entry Forms & Deadlines
Area 6 AC&C
March 31-April 3, 2022
Contest Entry Deadline February 1, 2022
Late Entry Cut-off Date March 2, 2022
Area 2 AC&C
April 21-24, 2022
Contest Entry Deadline February 21, 2022
Late Entry Cut-off Date March 23, 2022
Area 3 AC&C
April 29-May 1, 2022
Contest Entry Deadline February 28, 2022
Late Entry Cut-off Date March 30, 2022
Area 5 AC&C
May 27-29, 2022
Contest Entry Deadline March 28, 2022
Late Entry Cut-off Date April 27, 2022
Area 1 AC&C
June 2-5, 2022
Contest Entry Deadline April 4, 2022
Late Entry Cut-off Date May 4, 2022
Area 4 AC&C
June 10-12, 2022
Contest Entry Deadline April 11, 2022
Late Entry Cut-off Date May 11, 2022
As a reminder, all contestants who will perform in Harmony, Inc. contests must be members in good standing, which means that all Harmony, Inc. Corporate, Area, and Chapter dues must be current as of April 1, 2022 in order to participate in contests.
All quartets must be registered with the Quartet Development Coordinator prior to registering for contest. Visit https://www.harmonyinc.org/har-028-official-quartet-registration-form/ to complete the quartet registration process.
Area Contest Entry forms are available now for both Chapters and Quartets on the Members Only section of the website or by following the links below. You may complete the contest registration process and pay online, or you may submit your form using the online system and mail payment to the Corporate Office by the posted deadline.
Chorus Entry Form: https://www.harmonyinc.org/har-063-official-area-chorus-contest-entry-form/
Quartet Entry Form: https://www.harmonyinc.org/har-061-official-area-quartet-contest-entry-form/
Mixed Barbershop Harmony Association quartets are also invited to attend Area Conventions and sing for score and evaluation on a space available basis. Check the MBHA website for particulars.
Condolences from the Membership
- To the family and friends of Shirley Visentin, charter member of the Rainbow Tones and former member of Harmony Niagara and Pride of Niagara. Shirley passed away on January 14, 2022.
- To Denise Struve (Village Vocal Chords, Area 4) on the loss of her husband, Paul, following a personal valiant struggle against the cancer that ended his life's journey.
- To Jane Drummond (Toronto Accolades, Area 5) on the recent sudden passing of her husband, John Drummond.
The remaining COVID-19 Protocol Q&A Area Town Hall sessions are approaching. A Zoom link will be sent out to you prior to your session.
Area 1 February 6, 6:00 – 7:00 pm EST
FEBRUARY 5-6: IBOD Q1 meeting. Contact Corporate Office for link if you wish to observe.
Area 3 February 6, 7:30 – 8:30 pm EST
Area 4 February 7, 8:30 – 9:30 pm EST
APRIL 15: Agenda items for 2022 IBOD Mid-Year Meeting due.
MAY 1: Applications/nominations for International Board of Directors due.
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