Saturday, September 29, 2007

Meet Piney Hills Harmony's newest members...

... part of a newly minted, continuous chain.

As promised, here are some photos of our 2007 Piney Hills Harmony rookies. We got a group shot Thursday night of everyone except Holly, and we hope to get her in a pic this coming Thursday. (We missed you at rehearsal, Holly! :-)

We also captured an action shot of Belinda's being sung in and present it here for your viewing pleasure. Isn't that a great smile? Oh, BTW, that's one of Belinda's new sisters in song hugging her, Jean Dunham.

In the group shot, the IDs are as follows:
Bottom row, from left: Rebecca, Kathy
Top row: Charles Etta, Ginny and Belinda.

As President Judy said last week in one of her e-mails, "Hip, Hip, Hurray!" Indeed, we're entering into a new world for Piney Hills Harmony -- new, and very exciting. We're blessed to have all these wonderful new ladies and wonderful new voices to join our chorus.

Ooo, ooo, ooo -- almost forgot one of the newest, neatest things that I figured out: We now have members that span almost every age group in an unbroken chain. We've got a(n almost) teenager, we've got 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings, 50-somethings, 60-somethings and 70-somethings. How cool is that?!?!?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gotta post this right now!

Hello again....

The PHH Blogger plans to post some photos of our new members this weekend. Got a group shot tonight that included everyone except Holly. (Holly, we missed you tonight and hope to get you in a pic next week! :-)

But the PHH Blogger can't wait till the weekend to post this news. Gotta do it right now. Right this very minute.....

We added another newbie tonight! In the past two rehearsals we have now sung in six -- count 'em, six -- new members. The previous post listed last week's additions. Tonight, Belinda Reid became our latest rookie, another new baritone. Yea! We're just a-growin' up a storm.

Another happy Thursday night for Piney Hills Harmony! Double :-D

For all of you who weren't able to attend rehearsal, we did miss you. Wanda, hope things go well with you and yours. There were also others out sick or on cruises, etc. etc. etc.

Sheila, great job tonight in Wanda's absence.

I'll sign off with Chica's cheer for this week:

Hey! Sisters,
We're back to sing with pride,
So step aside,
Yell - Go, Sing, Win,
Hey! Region 25,
We're back to attack!
We'll show no slack!
Hey, Sisters!
We're back to sing with all our might,
D-i-g-i-t....dig it! (clap clap)
That's the way, Sisters
Love it, you can't stop it!
We're to the top, We rock it!


Thanks, Chica!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We're mid-size!

Let's face it: Most of the time we women don't like to admit it when we get bigger. But guess what? There are 30-something women in North Louisiana who are ecstatic about growing larger ... the members of Piney Hills Harmony Chorus!

Tonight, PHH sang in five new members, who will be added to our current roster of 29. That brings us to 34! Yea!!! That means we have been re-classified as a mid-size chorus, rather than a small chorus. We're very excited and, what's more, the newbies appear to be as well. :-)

Our newest members are as follows: Charles Etta Johnson, Ginny Kimbrough, Holly Gleiser, Kathy Hightower and Rebecca McNeill. Plus, a few additional new PHHers are lurking in the wings.

Hopefully in the next week or so, we'll get a nice group shot of all the new rookies to post here on the blog.

Till then, happy harmonizing! And Sweet (Adeline) dreams, girls!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tech to offer singing class as continuing ed; PHH director to instruct

Thought the membership of Piney Hills Harmony and/or new visitors to our site might like to read the following news release that was distributed by Louisiana Tech University.


If you love to sing and would like to enhance your vocal abilities, Louisiana Tech has a continuing education class that might resonate with you.

"This class will appeal to someone who wants to become a better singer, who wants to take their singing to a new level," said instructor Wanda McKaskle.

The course is open to both men and women and will be taught Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 26 to Oct. 17. Ability to read music is not a requirement.

Judith Brown, administrative coordinator for Tech's Division of Continuing Education, said, "I'm really excited about this program and about Wanda as its instructor after going on the Web and reading about her."

McKaskle is a professional in her field, Brown said, and is acquainted with and has studied with professionals across the United States and Canada.

McKaskle's credentials include serving as director of Ruston-based Piney Hills Harmony Chorus of Sweet Adelines International, a group that has won gold-medal honors in its regional five-state competition. In that capacity, McKaskle has traveled to numerous events such as the International Education Symposium, which brings together Sweet Adelines from across the globe to study with some of the world's top vocal instructors.

Brown said to her knowledge this is the first time Tech has offered a continuing education course with this theme.

McKaskle said her favorite part of the class is the kinesthetics of singing. "Singing is a mind thing," she explained. "Moving different parts of your body frees up your mind to let your voice be free and pure and natural."

Yet the most important and fundamental facet of vocal production is breathing, McKaskle said. She has labeled it "the fuel of singing."

"You've got to know how to breathe properly and how to have your 'instrument' aligned properly with correct posture," she said. "These are two basics, and everything else enhances your sound."

Other topics to be covered include "Breath Control – tension, capacity, management," "Embouchure – shaping your mouth for singing," "Articulation – creating words that communicate," "Phonation – creating the sounds of music," "Resonance – creating good vocal vibes," "Synchronization – creating unit sound for choral singing," "Vocal Warm-up Routines – awakening your vocal instrument," "Keeping a Healthy Voice – health tips and relaxation of the instrument," "Expression – communication of the musical product through the lyrics" and "Energy – Performance + Personality + Synergy."

McKaskle said the sessions will include both a classroom environment and vocal production as a group. "There won't be one-on-one singing, so no one is going to be put on the spot," she said.

"My goal is to show anyone interested how to become a better singer, to show ways to reach out and transport the audience to smiles, laughter or tears. The course can also give teachers more information to pass on to their students and show how music fills your soul with harmony and peace."

"Learn to Sing" will meet in Tech's Davison Hall, Room 105. The fee for the four three-hour sessions is $85. For more information about this or other fall CE classes, call (318) 257-4433 or visit

Tech's Division of Continuing Education is committed to learning as a lifelong process. It offers courses that provide learning for personal enrichment, respond to business and workforce development efforts, support employer training needs, and form alliances with and deliver contract courses to business and industry.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

... And, oh, by the way ....

This is kind of a P.S. to the previous posting about upcoming events in Piney Hills Harmony.

We shared with you earlier that the chorus representing Region 25 (our region) in the 2007 Sweet Adelines International Competition will be Top of the Rock ... from Little Rock (where else?!?).

We also want to let you know that the outgoing 2006 International Champion is from Region 25 as well -- the Rich-Tones, from Richardson, Texas. You can find them in our "Links" section. They're the greatest ... better than Broadway!

Here are some pix so that you can get to know them better.

Also, it's worth mentioning that Region 25 has produced the new International President, Peggy Barnes Gram, co-director of Top of the Rock.

Why not pencil in these Piney Hills Harmony dates?

If you're reading this blog and aren't an official member of Piney Hills Harmony [ but obviously have an interest in the chorus! :-) ], you might want to mark a few dates on your calendar.

* Our first-ever really-big Christmas Show is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Dixie Center for the Arts (previously the Dixie Theater) in downtown Ruston. The two-hour show will feature Christmas songs by the chorus during the first half; the second half will spotlight the guest quartet Brick Street as well as the chorus in a round of exciting non-seasonal songs. See Brick Street photo below, and click on "Brick Street Quartet" in the "Links" section of this blog to find out more about this talented and very funny foursome.

* Five of our members will compete with the Little Rock chorus Oct. 9-13 in Calgary, Canada, during the 2007 Sweet Adelines International Competition. These PHH ladies are dual members with Top of the Rock and travel to rehearse with the Arkansas group at least twice a month. During the actual contest, we'll be able to tune in via the Web. As noted earlier, see below for a pic of TOTR, and click on the "Top of the Rock Chorus" link to find out more about our northern neighbors.

* Regional competition is set for April 24-28 in Richardson, Texas. No pressure -- but by then we hope to have several of the "Singers Wanted" ladies in our midst as our Sisters in Song! See "Region 25, Heart of America" link for more regional info ... Plus, PHH's pic from last year's regional contest is shown in the "About Me" section of this blog.

We'll add more dates and more details in the days to come. Till then, happy harmonizing, both in song and in life.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Obviously, she's just gotta sing!

One of our guests in this week's rehearsal is a member of the Corpus Christi chapter, Frances Arnett. She plans to visit as much as she can these days while her husband is working in Shreveport. Frankly, we're glad she's addicted -- her presence is a welcome addition!

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