Life is good
By Linda Brehaut, International President
So far, July has been a great month. We’ve experienced weather of almost every kind, I’ve managed to spend more family time and less time at the computer these days and I offered to work a couple of weeks to allow others to take some vacation time. Plenty of good in my world. I hope there's plenty in yours, too.
Thank you to those who attended the recent town hall meeting to go over the proposed bylaw changes. I really appreciate the input and discussions we have at these meetings. Of course, thank you to those who have already voted, and a reminder to those who haven’t yet,... you have until July 30 to participate.
Thank you, Take 4
Our sincere appreciation goes out to Take 4, our reigning quartet champions, for representing Harmony, Inc. on the Showcase stage at the recent BHS convention in Louisville. Amazing ambassadors, for sure! Although I was not able to attend the BHS convention this year, I am grateful to Linda Muise, who was our representative on my behalf. Thank you, Linda.
IBOD meets next month
The IBOD is preparing for their third quarter meeting (Q3) August 16, when the current Board and the incoming Board members will sit (I’d say, "at the table," but…) on Zoom together. New Board positions do not take effect until the close of the International Convention in November.
How do you say?
That reminds me of something I wanted to share with you. Did you know that several years ago a decision was made that we would not use the term “competition” to describe our time on the stage, but rather, we would refer to it as our “contest.” I know other organizations use the term competition, but if you hear it in reference to Harmony, maybe you could discreetly mention that we use the terms “contest” and "contestants!" We also say "chorus," not "choir," and "director," not "conductor." Somewhere, there is a list of terms. We should resurface that as a reminder to those of us who have been around for a while and as a resource to our newest members.Ʝ
Time to book rooms at IC&C
I hope many of you have already booked your rooms for IC&C. Please check our website for updates. There's lots of valuable information there. If you are considering arriving early or staying a couple of extra days to do some sightseeing, there are several events and opportunities being advertised.
Take care of yourself and don’t try to fight mother nature!
Who's who and what's what
By Shannon Shelton-Muller, IC&C Marketing Manager
Hotel booking for the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is now open! Don't forget to have a list of your roommates available when making your reservation as this information must be given during booking.
How do I book a hotel room?
You can book your room online at https://www.experiencegr.com/harmony-inc/
Room rate = $164 + 15% tax
*Can I use a debit card to make my reservation?
- Rates will be honored three days pre-and post-convention for extended stays. (11/2 - 11/14).
- Self-parking is $16 per day; valet is $17.50 per day.
- There is complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
- Reservations must be accompanied by a valid major credit card*. The amount of deposit required equals the value of the first night’s accommodation, including tax.
- You must indicate your HI roommates when making your reservations.
- Guaranteed reservations are held for arrival until 6:00 a.m. on the day following the first night reserved.
- A $50.00 early departure fee is assessed upon check-out to all early departed reservations.
- Deposits are refundable if notice of cancellation is received by the Hotel Reservations Department at least 48 hours prior to the date of expected arrival.
- Guest check-in is 4:00 p.m.; however, early arrivals will be accommodated based on availability. Check-out time is 11:00 am. Requests to retain room beyond that hour should be directed to the Front Desk. Depending on room availability, a late departure charge will apply.
- Please be sure to have your credit card number, billing address and names of your roommates with you when you make your reservation.
- The last date to make your hotel room reservation is October 13, 2023.
Yes, you can. But please be aware of the hotel’s policy on securing funds for incidental charges. It is the policy of the hotel to authorize payment for room and tax as well as $50/day for incidental charges.
As such, per the hotel: "Use of debit/check card as security or payment for your room immediately places a hold on funds in your checking account. The amount of the authorization/hold request will be for up to 7 days room and tax plus an estimate for incidentals. Your financial institution may continue to hold these funds for three to five business days after you check out. The hotel cannot accept responsibility for overdraft charges resulting from holds placed on debit/check card accounts. If you would like to pay for your visit with your debit card, we suggest you use a credit card at check in for the pre-authorized hold. Upon your departure, please see the front desk, and we will be happy to process the sales against your debit card at check out."
What is the fair share assessment fee?
To help cover the costs of IC&C expenses and meet our contractual obligations, all members of Harmony, Inc. are required to stay at the convention hotel or pay the Fair Share Assessment Fee - the equivalent of one night’s stay at the hotel (including taxes).
Are there restaurants available onsite?
There are a number of food options inside the hotel, including a Starbucks and Kitchen Counter which serve breakfast. Click here for the complete list.
During the contest on Thursday and Friday, we will also offer food sales at the Convention Center.
I have mobility issues – will it be difficult for me to get around?
All activities in the hotel and convention center are ADA accessible. The contest pattern is roughly 10 minutes of travel time. There is a covered skywalk to get from the hotel to the contest venue. You can rent a scooter for the week at a discounted rate of $190. This includes delivery and pick-up of the scooter. To reserve your scooter, call Amigo Mobility Center at 616-361-7559. The reservation deadline is 10/25/2023.
Can I bring a service animal?
Yes, service animals are allowed at the hotel and DeVos Place. But please email Allison at ICCManager@harmonyinc.org so that appropriate accommodations can be made. Please put ICC Service Animal Accommodation Request in the subject line.
What is the smoking policy at DeVos Place and Amway Grand Plaza?
Both properties are smoke-free. Smoking inside the convention center is prohibited, including traditional and e-cigarettes. Amway Grand Plaza is a non-smoking hotel.
What is the best airport to fly in to?
The closest airport is Gerald R. Ford (GRR) in Grand Rapids. The closest major airports are Detroit Metro (DTW) – 155 mi, Chicago Midway (MDW) – 178 mi, or Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – 204 mi.
If you are driving, click here for directions to the hotel.
Is there parking available?
Ample parking is available at the hotel for $35/night. Valet parking is also available for $39/night. All attendees will receive a 50% discount during the convention. (See bullet point 2, above.)
Does the hotel have a shuttle?
Experience Grand Rapids will be providing Harmony, Inc. IC&C attendees complimentary airport transportation from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel on the dates and times below. Transportation will be by full-size motor coach, departing from the airport every hour. To take the shuttle, please exit through door #3 (across from Baggage Claim.) Return trips will depart from the Amway Grand Plaza, Lyon Street entrance on the hour.
Arrivals: Wednesday, November 8 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Departures: Sunday, November 12 4:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
If you are traveling outside the dates and times that the shuttle is running, click here to see ground transportation options available from the airport.
Is there a place onsite where I can nurse?
The hotel has a dedicated nursing mothers’ room located on the main level of the hotel within the exhibitors building.
What is the weather like in Grand Rapids?
In November, temperatures in Grand Rapids average between 32 – 48 degrees F (0 - 9 degrees C.) You can get the most current forecast along with monthly temperature averages by clicking here.
Is there anything to do around the hotel?
Check out this list of things to do in the area, including several museums perfect for a November day.
Also check out the Grand Rapids Attendee Exclusive program to enjoy special attendee-only discounts at local restaurants and attractions, just by showing your smartphone!
Special registration instructions for groups
By Linda Briggs, IC&C Registration Manager
Are you part of a group, no matter how small, registering for IC&C? If so, you should select "Multiple" on the HAR-080 AEP Registration Form.
Who should use the Multiple AEP Form when registering?
1. Associate members, if more than one, who are in a quartet.
2. Quartets that are not part of a Competing Chorus.
3. Choruses who are only sending a few people.
4. Individuals who are bringing a guest.
5. All Competing Choruses.
Why should the above people use the group form?
1. It helps to keep all the information for any sized group, 2 to 100+, together so there is less chance of missing someone.
2. It reduces the amount of money Harmony has to pay in transaction fees.
It's a great tool and easy to use! Click here for PDF instructions and Click here for the form.
TUNE UP TIPS: Don't forget online AEP Registration is open! Early bird pricing is available until September 1 and the online deadline is November 3! You may still purchase AEPs and tickets at the door after this date.
Mark August 27, 2023, on your calendars for our Know Before You Go Call. We will be hosting a Zoom call at 4 p.m. ET on that date to help you get all the information you need before you go to IC&C. So we can make sure we know what kind of information you need, please submit any questions to Convention Manager Allison Thompson by August 20, 2023.
Photo order forms are on the website: Harmony Inc. 2023
Contest late entry forms are accepted until Sept. 1 with a $5 per performer late fee. Click here for chorus or here for quartet.
We are now accepting Big Screen Ads! It’s a great way to show support for your favorite chorus, quartet, coach, etc. Go here: IC&C Big Screen Ad
• Deadline is Oct 1.
• Harmony, Inc. member, quartet, or chapter = $35
• Non-Harmony, Inc. barbershop member = $100
• Not affiliated with any barbershop organization (outside provider) = $150
Can't make it to Grand Rapids for IC&C? Don't miss a note! Acaville has extended their partnership with Harmony, Inc. and you can get in on all the fun in Michigan. Membership Levels – Harmony, Inc on Acaville
By Kim Meechan, Director of Philanthropy
How many members does Harmony, Inc. have? That's how many reasons there are to donate! And for every reason, there are just as many ways to donate. We generally think of donations as being monetary gifts. Did you know that non-cash gifts, such as goods and services, are often just as valuable to an organization? This month’s Donor Spotlight is about a member who gave us the gift of music, something we all can use! Read on to find out more about Marie Ross and why she donated From Now On to Harmony, Inc. Her reason is beautiful and moving.
How did you discover Harmony, Inc.?
I began my involvement with barbershop through SAI in 1994. Following the region splits that happened with SAI, I chose associate membership and began singing with the Atlanta Feminist Women's Chorus. Although I was enjoying the opportunity to arrange songs that were culturally inclusive - These are the Names of the Goddess, I Come From Women, and a version of O Come Emmanuel that celebrated the Jewish, Christian, and Pagan faiths - I was missing barbershop. In 2011, I looked for a barbershop chorus and found two Harmony. Inc. choruses in Atlanta. I visited Atlanta Harmony Celebration! first, and found my home.
What is your fondest memory while being a Harmony, Inc. member?
There are so many, it is hard to choose. My quartet experience with Wild Fermatas; AHC! achieving 5th place in contest - in yoga socks; being certified as an Administrative Judge with Harmony. You know, I think it has to be every AC&C where I am on the panel, and get to experience the love and sisterhood alive and well in each Area, as they come together and build another year's memories. The funniest memory without a doubt is the year Sounds of the Seacoast celebrated the color white at Area 2 AC&C - as Zombie Brides.
What impact has Harmony, Inc. had on your life?
I have had the privilege to serve in so many ways - at the chapter, Area, and International levels. I think the most impactful thing has been unexpected. I come from a family of brothers, raised sons, and served in the Army alongside men. However, over my years with Harmony, Inc, I have learned how to enjoy and thrive in the company of women.
You provided a "gift in kind" of music by paying for the arrangement and the first 100 copies of From Now On from the movie, Greatest Showman. Please tell us why this special gift was important to you.
I was watching a greenlight video on YouTube where Hugh Jackman was explaining how he was not supposed to sing when he went to New York to "sell" the movie, The Greatest Showman, to the investors. He explained how he couldn’t NOT sing with this song. His delivery of the message moves me to tears even now. We were distanced by COVID, I missed singing together, and as I listened to the lyrics I could see (in my mind's eye) the IC&C audience singing along with, "... and we will come back home, and we will come back home... again." Further, I was struck by the thought (as they published in the closing credits for the virtual chorus that year) that although we might have forgotten, there is so much more to Harmony than the chase for gold medals, ribbons, and crowns - that our love for the music and each other is the only thing that really matters.
Your donations to the For Love of Harmony program enable you to identify individuals or groups to receive special recognition, while at the same time providing a monetary gift to Harmony, Inc.
In memory of Cynthia Anne Donahue, mother of Kelly Annette
|Condolences From The Membership
Those we cherish will always live on in memory.
- to Patricia Cassidy (Village Vocal Chords, Area 4) on the death of her mother, Lauris Cassidy.
Need to post a condolence notice? Please have the information sent to the Corporate Office to be recorded. Thank you.
|Missing Your HI Note - Whitelist Instructions
Harmony, Inc. Email Whitelist Instructions
Since your email provider probably uses some type of overzealous filtering, we ask that you add us to your trusted list of senders, contacts, or address book. This is also known as "whitelisting."
If you do not see an email from Harmony, Inc. in your inbox, the email may have mistakenly been sent to your spam folder.
Please open your spam folder and if you find an email from Harmony, Inc. open it and mark it as "Not spam"...
NEXT: Click your provider below to Whitelist email@example.com
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If messages continue to be sent to your junk folder, contact your ISP or spam filter application support and ask how to whitelist firstname.lastname@example.org.
15 AUGUST - U.S. Chapters file 990-N with IRS,
16 AUGUST - IBOD Q3 meeting, 6-10 pm ET, via Zoom.
1 SEPTEMBER - End of late entries for IC&C. End of early bird AEP pricing for IC&C.
SEPTEMBER 30 - Canadian Chapters file T2 with Revenue Canada.
1 OCTOBER - Big Screen Ads cutoff
3 NOVEMBER - End of Online IC&C registration. Tickets may still be purchased at the door.
5-8 NOVEMBER - IBOD Annual Meeting, Grand Rapids, Michigan
8-11 NOVEMBER - IC&C, Grand Rapids, Michigan
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS & CONTESTS
2024 NOVEMBER 6-9, GALT HOUSE, LOUISVILLE, KY
2025 NOVEMBER 5-8, HERSHEY LODGE, HERSHEY, PA
2026 NOVEMBER 11-14, GALT HOUSE, LOUISVILLE, KY
2027 NOVEMBER 10-13, NIAGARA FALLS CONVENTION CENTER, NIAGARA FALLS, ONTARIO
2028 NOVEMBER 1-4, HERSHEY LODGE, HERSHEY PA
The next issue of the HI Note comes to your inbox August 5. What would YOU like to read about in that issue? Share your thoughts with email@example.com by July 28.
See you in a couple weeks!
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