Education classes

Here it is folks! Education classes available to all IC&C attendees.


Thursday, November 7 @ 8:30

Equality, Diversity, and Me! – Kim Meechan, Chair, Equality and Diversity Committee

Join Kim Meechan, Chair of Harmony Inc’s Equality and Diversity Committee, for an informative and interactive workshop that celebrates diversity and raises awareness about equality.  Learn steps you can take to move towards a more inclusive environment, ensuring all women feel they belong!

PR 103 – Social Media StrategiesAngie Beatty, PR Coordinator and Anita Prather Harvell, Social Media Coordinator

When developing your social media strategy, it is important to determine how social media fits into your overall marketing strategy, as well as the mission, vision, goals and purpose of your chorus, quartet or area. Social Media Coordinator Anita Prather Harvell and PR Coordinator Angie Beatty will show you the “rules of the road” to find and use the most effective social media outlets to meet your needs.

Bring the Lyrics to Life – Gene Spilker, Performance Judge

This class will help you discover the reasons why composers and arrangers make the word choices they do and empower you the singer to make artistic decisions to create natural and effective performance plans.

Drop and Give Me 25 – D Dyer, Singing Judge

Learn vocal exercises designed for life-long healthy singing guided by the elements of the singing category: Intonation, Vocal Quality, Unity, Expansion, and Vocal Expression. 

“but I AM smiling!” – Lynn M. Blakeney, Performance Judge

We probably all know that person….heck, we might even be that person! During the class we will talk about some tips and tricks to help everyone bring their story to life in any song. I will be asking for some volunteers to show how it works. Hope you will step out of your own comfort zone and come to the front of the class to volunteer. This is YOUR class….so, bring your questions, tough examples, and enthusiasm and I will do my best to answer and help. 


Thursday, November 7 @ 9:30

Inclusion Conversation Corner – Kim Meechan, Chair, Equality and Diversity Committee 

Keep the conversation going after the Equality, Diversity and Me! workshop. Equality and Diversity Committee members will be available to hear your thoughts and suggestions for building on Harmony’s move towards an inclusive organization.  Celebrate your own diversity by adding a “note” to our Inclusion Project.

You Be The Judge – Alan Gordon, Singing Judge, and Tony Sparks, Music Judge

Do you want to test your skills at judging a contest?  Have questions about how a score is determined?  Is it magic?  Sorcery?  Are you new and want to get insight into what the judges are thinking?  Join 12-year Singing Judge and 2-time BHS quartet champion, Alan Gordon and 9-year Music Judge and internationally-ranked quartet medalist Tony Sparks as we watch videos, score ANY category you wish (and even change from video to video), and discuss HOW and WHY a performance might score as it does.  No experience necessary, and YOU won’t be judged!

Coaching Under Glass – Jeremy Conover, Singing Judge

Ever wondered what happens in a coaching session? Ever thought about the process a quartet goes through in their efforts to improve? Once you win a crown, there’s no need to keep improving…right? Come get a front row seat and watch your 2018 HI Queens, Aged to Perfection, as they continue their journey, even after winning their crowns. Aged to Perfection has graciously offered you a look behind the curtain as they will work with Jeremy Conover, Singing Judge, to refine their sound, elevate their performance and have some fun! See how one of the best quartets in HI works, how they rehearse and how they continue to look for ways to elevate their level of artistry. Jeremy brings 20 years of coaching all levels of quartets from beginner to Gold Medal quartets and will not only personalize the feedback but will also show you the “why” behind the coaching. Don’t miss this one!

Make money doing what we do best:  Singing! – Sue Melvin, Director, Rochester Rhapsody

Wait…Don’t raise those dues yet!  Learn how to get more paid performances and also about breaking into the lucrative Singing Telegram business. Get templates and tools for making it happen as well as proven successful tactics for organizing, advertising, pricing, putting together the music end, and more.  It’s profitable, fun, increases community awareness, and increases performer confidence!

Performance Believability  – Diane Patterson, Performance Judge

Discussion and identification of performance believability by comparing and contrasting various performances.  Believable performances means being vulnerable.  How do I do that?  Let’s talk about this and identify ways to get there.

The Body is a Dynamic Performance Instrument – Gene Spilker, Performance Judge

Gene “Doc” Spilker is a practicing chiropractor with special insight on how the human body can contribute or detract from our most efficient vocal production. Come learn the secrets of harnessing your body to become a dynamic performance instrument.


Saturday, November 9 @ 8:30 

Fundamentals of Music Theory – Janet Billings, Music Judge

This class is designed for the beginner student to explore the elements that construct a piece of music.  Learn to identify the notes on both the Treble and Bass staff, rhythm basics, time signatures and musical symbols.

Breathing Anatomy – Jen Wheaton Forest, Harmony Queen

We’ve all heard the sentences like “breathe from your diaphragm” and “support that sound.”  But without a true understanding of the mechanism, it’s difficult to know how to use it.  Imagine being given the keys to a backhoe and told to use it perfectly without actually having ever seen inside one.  This course will cover the structures of the breathing mechanism, including the vocal tract, the lungs, the diaphragm, and other muscles involved in respiration.  Get ready to feel those muscles!

Get Out of Your Shell – Heads Up Barbershop Edition – Susan Spencer, Assistant Director, Harmony Magic

Your chorus has been learning more about this new Performance Category and how to perform a song. But sometimes those emotions the director wants you to give are hard to put on your face and in your body. Even though you think you’re sharing, the director is saying to give more. This class will be a fun, interactive game to help us all practice getting those emotions out there. If you know the game Heads Up, this will be like that but with a twist, suitable for a large group playing together. So come play and share emotions!

Success with Young Women Singers – Tony Sparks, Music Judge

Although all ages are welcome, this course is specifically geared toward ‘non- youth’ (age 40+) chorus directors, coaches, and singing mates of young women. Share in the Lessons Learned from directing, mentoring and coaching spirited groups of young women (all under age 30). Understand their desires, fears, priorities, strengths, and challenges. Prepare yourself to be more successful in dealing with them and helping them become the most successful singers and team players they can be.


Saturday, November 9 @ 9:30

Captivating Rehearsals – Jordan Travis, Singing Judge

Learn how to create varied and interesting rehearsals to help grow musicianship, performance, membership, and FUN!  This presentation is perfect for Musical Directors, Assistant Directors, Section Leaders, Performance Coaches, and other artistic leadership roles. 

Vocal Techniques – Steve Scott, Singing Judge

Learn how to use your voice as the instrument it is. Gain an understanding of how the voice creates sound and add various techniques to your toolbox that will allow your instrument to achieve its full potential.

Using Improv to Improve Your Performance – Katie Taylor, Director, Northern Blend

If you want to get in touch with your inner emotions and see how using non-verbal communication can bring you success on the stage, come experience the joy of theatrical improvisation! Improv is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters and dialogue are made up on the spot. Think outside the box and then see how we can apply this to our barbershop performances! No experience in theatre needed! Join the FUN!

Quartet Fixes When There’s No Coach in Sight – Sandi Wright, Performance Judge

Okay, so you’re in a quartet and something is wrong.  How do you fix problems right there at rehearsal?  From tuning issues to note problems…whether it’s out of balance or out of synch, these and many more issues are discussed with real-world fixes.  High priced coaches are nice, but sometimes a DIY approach is best.  Learn to be a better quartet with this handy class for all levels.

Chorus Master Class: New England Voices In Harmony


Saturday, November 9 @ 10:30

Louis Armstrong, New Orleans Jazz, and Barbershop Harmony – David Wright, Music Judge

It is a well-known fact that the early greats of New Orleans jazz, including Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, and Jelly Roll Morton, sang in quartets prior to picking up the horn.  Recent research by British jazz historian Vic Hobson shows convincingly that their barbershop harmonizing influenced their playing. We will discuss these links and the likely role of barbershop harmony in igniting the birth of jazz in the early 20th century.

Conquering the Aging Voice – Sandi Wright, Performance Judge

They tell us to use it or lose it, and that is true…well it doesn’t get any easier, does it?  This class was developed because I am the epitome of an aging voice, but at 67 years old I was still in a top ten quartet.  I’ll give you the physiological reasons why our voices aren’t what they used to be, and I’ll also give some advice that works for me.  If you are singing along and notice that annoying little wobble, or if you go for a note and it doesn’t land in the spot you’re aiming for, this class is for you.

Starting a Vocal Development Program – Steve Scott, Singing Judge

The purpose of this class is to assist music leaders in developing and running an effective Vocal Development  Program for their chapter.

Powerful Performances: What Can We Learn From Other Genres – Joe Hunter, Performance Judge and Marty Lovick, Performance Judge

Join Performance judges Joe Hunter and Marty Lovick in an interaction session viewing and discussing a variety of powerful and highly entertaining performances from outside the barbershop arena, done by masters of their craft, with an eye to why such performances are compelling and how we can learn and apply the principles demonstrated.

Quartet Master Class: Aged to Perfection