Monday, July 30, 2007

Congratulations to our Janet, Piney Hills Harmony's Sweet Adeline of the Year 2007

We'd like to again congratulate our treasurer and Woman of Many Hats, Janet Philbrook, who was named Piney Hills Harmony's 2007 Sweet Adeline of the Year.

Janet is a truly wonderful person and a tireless worker for PHH. She has countless times gone above and beyond the call of duty on many projects, such as costuming, fundraising, serving on the front row, etc. Her can-do personality is always joyful and positive. And last but not least, she's the reason we have our great director, Wanda ... Janet is her mother!

Above left is a photo after the announcement was made concerning Janet's award at this year's Chorus Breakfast at our regional competition in Dallas; her friend Eloise Dance is sitting beside her. The other pic shows Janet in a bit more formal attire. (For an explanation of Janet's PJs and the Chorus Breakfast, please see previous posts :-)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Count the ways that singing counts: Piney Hills Harmony sponsors 'Singers Wanted'

"I had never even sung a note, outside of my car, but then I got up on those risers and felt that harmony go right through me - I was hooked!"

"When I joined, I was just looking for a place to sing. I found a place I didn't know I'd been looking for ... I'm loved, I'm appreciated, I belong ... I found me."

"What other hobby allows a woman like me, of average abilities, the opportunity of performing on stage just like a professional? I love all the glitter and glamour of Show Biz!"

These are just a few of the comments that women from across the nation have made after they joined Sweet Adelines International. More can be gleaned from

The good news locally is that in August, the Ruston-based Piney Hills Harmony Chorus of Sweet Adelines will sponsor free group vocal lessons for women -- "Singers Wanted." Participants will have a chance to improve their singing skills as well as be introduced to a popular hobby.

Chorus director Wanda McKaskle backed up comments from the Divas Wanted Web site. "Musical experience isn't necessary for either the lessons or to join the chorus," McKaskle said. "Any woman of average singing ability, with or without vocal training, will benefit from the lessons and can also find a part that fits her voice range if she eventually wants to join the chorus."

In addition to musical training, McKaskle said, the chorus promotes harmony and friendship among women. It also provides community service, offering its talent for entertainment at civic events and charitable functions. Currently, the membership in the award-winning chorus includes 29 people from seven parishes.

Celebrating more than 60 years of barbershop harmony, Sweet Adelines International has a membership of over 27,000 women around the world. The organization is dedicated to educating its members in the art of singing four-part harmony, barbershop style, and has as its motto "Harmonize the World."

McKaskle explained about the phrase "Divas Wanted": "It's not your grandmother's barbershop anymore. If you haven't heard the recent arrangements that we and other Sweet Adelines perform, you'll be pleasantly surprised -- and pleased -- at the up-to-date feel of the songs."

McKaskle said the organization also offers members a chance to grow in many realms other than music.

Another Divas Wanted entry reiterates that emotion: "I learned more from being a member of Sweet Adelines than I ever learned at work. Apart from the musical training, I gained useable skills in marketing, administration and leadership. My confidence and self-esteem have gone through the roof and I am more successful in all aspects of my life now."

The Ruston lessons will be offered from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 9, 16 and 23 at the Presbyterian Church of Ruston, 212 N. Bonner St. A new twist this year is that the third week will be a performance night so that vocal class attendees can sing with the chorus for their families.

For information about the lessons or chorus, contact McKaskle in Ruston at (318) 614-0206 or

And we'll have fun, fun, fun ... at SMC

PHH participated with gusto in this year's Region 25 Summer Music Camp held in Denton, Texas. The annual event featured internationally acclaimed director and coach Jean Barford, the master director from Gem City Chorus in Dayton, Ohio.

Since 1972, Gem City has won five gold medals and four silver medals in international competition, a feat achieved by no other Sweet Adelines chorus. It was such an honor and a pleasure to soak up all the knowledge that this wonderful lady had to offer us June 22-23.

Here are a few scenes from our summer sojourn. From the top:

Teresa and Wanda share a hug and a meaningful moment.

Donna, JudySis, Lea and Karen pose at one of the many eating establishments that was visited during the trip.

Sharon, Lea, Teresa and Sheila toast to all the fun that's being experienced and the knowledge that's being gained.

Jennifer, JudySis, Sheila, Lea and Jean pause in front of one of the buildings where classes were held.

Jerri, Caroline and Mary share some cold treats.

The grungier the better!

The world may not be ready for this, but we're posting anyway, for posterity!

The 2007 PHH Competition Breakfast officially became a Grunge Fest again this year, after several years of other various themes. Translated: We gathered around 7:30 a.m., still sleepy, but ready to have fun and blow off some steam before the actual competition that afternoon.

As it has been for several years now, the regional competition was held in Dallas. At the breakfast, we had a grand time letting our hair down and letting it all hang out (sometimes literally!).

Here are but a few examples of that. There MAY be more to come in the future, especially if we get permission to post the winner of the 2007 Grunge Breakfast, who has previously mandated that her photo NOT be posted. ;-) Wonder why?

With that thought in mind, perhaps the names of those shown in the photos below should be omitted to protect the ... guilty. Clockwise from top left, here's the scoop:

* OK, these first two gals don't look so bad; that's why we're leading off with them! :-) But you can see that on one person's dress, that little hangy-uppy thing is visible. So, see? She really is grungy after all!
* In the 2nd pic, these folks are really in the spirit of things. Not only do they have on their cool sunglasses; they're also sporting Bubba teeth! But no fair -- they've got on matching shirts!! (Hint concerning that: They're in a quartet together.)
* The 3rd photo shows our absolutely MAH-valous Rookie 2007 class. Aren't they a wonderful crew?
* The final photo shows one of the "acts" during the Breakfast -- the Dream-On Girls. They are obviously appropriately named!

Take a gander at our 2007 contest photo

Here is our official photo from our regional competition this year in Dallas. Please see posts below for chorus members' comments concerning this event.

Go, PHH!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Summer time means time to post to blog again!

Hello, everyone!

The PHH Blogger is back after a late-spring, early-summer hiatus. We have one more written posting concerning our experiences during regional competition this spring, and then we'll move on to competition photos -- and also some pix from Summer Music Camp.

Here's the final written comment concerning our 2007 competition, sent in by (at that time) a rookie who had experienced her first contest with Piney Hills Harmony.

From Lisa H., of Homer:

As if we didn't get enough this weekend, we ended up playing our learning tapes on the way home Sunday, singing along! Okay, it’s now officially running through my veins!

Again…….I simply say……"Oh……my……gosh!"

Wanda, you were right………I didn't understand your words when you said, "You'll enjoy the competition, but mostly you'll enjoy listening to all the choruses, quartets, and the big show!" – but now I understand completely. The Richtones are still singing and dancing in my brain! (And quartets – you were maaaa-vaaa-lussssss!!!!)

My husband’s uncle & aunt (from Plano, TX) came to the competition Saturday afternoon, and they were very impressed. Jason’s mom told me yesterday that they called her and said they were very surprised at the performances…………it was not at all what they expected – they thought this was going to be some proper, stuffed-shirt singing…instead, it was a bunch of women "having a good time"!!!!

Just so you know……we've already got our skit for next year (is this a bari thing?)
More to come in the next few days and weeks.

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