Saturday, October 20, 2007

Here's what a sing-in looks like -- feel the harmony, warmth and love!

For those of you who might be reading this and have never witnessed a Sweet Adeline "sing in," where new members are officially welcomed into the chorus, here are a few photos that will allow you to experience it vicariously.

These pix show Piney Hills Harmony singing in our newest member, tenor Caroline Leung of Ruston. This brings our roster to 36 members at the moment. Wow, are we smokin' or what?!? We're so proud and pleased to have all our new members, and we also value our older (er, I mean "veteran") members tremendously! This is such a great group of ladies.

Quite frankly, we've never before had this many close-ups of someone being sung in (guess that's one of the perks of being sung-in solo). But there's such great emotion being shown, we thought we'd share them all with you! Thanks to Wanda for the photos! And thanks to Teresa for providing the photos from International in the post below.

During the ceremony, the chorus sings the Sweet Adeline theme song, "Harmonize the World," and the soon-to-be member is brought into the center of the circle. As the established members continue to sing, the new member is "pinned" with an angel pin. Then, all the veterans take turns welcoming her into the circle of song and the sisterhood of Sweet Adelines -- with hugs and smiles and sometimes even tears!

Here is the ID for these pix:
#1) Mary hugs Caroline while Sallie Rose sings "Harmonize." Or is it the other way around? Is Caroline hugging Mary? OR: All of the above????
#2) President JudySis hugs Caroline while Karen and Faith look on.
#3) Frances hugs Caroline, and there's Miss Jules lurking in the background!
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President Judy summed up things well in an e-mail that she just distributed to chorus members:

Congratulations to Caroline Leung! Caroline is our newest "Sister in Song", our newest tenor, and member number 36!!! We welcome her as a member of PHHC, even though she's been faithful to attend our rehearsals for several months, including Summer Music Camp and has been like our sister already. We admire Caroline for her zeal, diligence, determination, and love of music. Again, welcome Caroline!!!
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back from Canada, they represented us well







As we've mentioned before (of course!), six members of Piney Hills Harmony Chorus traveled to Calgary, Canada, this past weekend to attend the Sweet Adeline International 2007 competition. Five of them competed as dual members of Little Rock's Top of the Rock Chorus. Those who competed on that grand international stage are (from left in Photo 1) Carol Ogle, Donna Fike, Wanda McKaskle, Sheila Stepp and Teresa Hendrix. While there, they traveled to visit the beautiful Lake Louise (Photo 2). Piney Hills Harmony president Judy Sisson (far right, Photo 3) accompanied them. Photo 4 shows more great scenery, and Photo 5 shows them out for a night on the town.

Here are some e-mail comments concerning how their PHH sisters feel about these traveling singers ("lifted" by the PHH Blogger; hope that's OK!).

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* WOW! is the only thing I can say about the magnificent Web cast we were able to watch. The quality of the Web cast was wonderful...so improved since watching it for the first time 2 years ago.

I absolutely OD'd on barbershop this weekend listening to the magnificent quartets and choruses...they took my breath! But, as you can see, I managed to get it back...lol...and, did you not see all our sisters up there singing their hearts out? They all looked so beautiful and the closeup shots were great!

I saw all of you and you absolutely gorgeous! Even saw our beloved Sue (PHH's former assistant director) singing her heart out with her Florida chorus. The commentators kept mentioning how beautiful and striking your red outfits were. They were impressed.

We are so proud of all of you for making such a commitment and look what a great opportunity it was...a trip to Calgary to sing on the International stage. WOW! that must be awesome! I'm sure all of you need to rest. Rest well, dah-h-hlings...you deserve it! I'm already socking away all those pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, & bills I can lay my hands on so I can go to Hawaii----can hardly wait! Aloha Oi!!!!"

Hugs 'n Harmony,
Jerri

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* I was very proud of all our Piney Hills Harmony folk who sang their hearts out up in Canada. Several of my office mates watched the performance and were very impressed.

To the Canada Crew: You all sang with tremendous emotion (yes, it came across during the Web cast!), and as Jerri said, you all looked loverly. I know all of you learned lots of great things that you want to bring back to share with PHH, as Sheila said in the recent newspaper article about the trip, "to make us even better than we are now."

Looking forward to lots of post-Canada hugs Thursday night! :-)

Love to all,
-- Sallie Rose

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* My chest is "busting" (get the double meaning here?) with PRIDE for ALL of you who went to Calgary. Proud of who represented us there and proud to be a part of PHHC myself ... I'm SOOO lucky to be a part of your chorus and to KNOW you all. What an awesome group of singers ... and ladies ... I thank you for allowing me to be a part of this group of special people. I can only imagine how awestriking the experience was for each of you. You should be busting with pride too!!! A job WELL DONE!!!

Love all of ya,

Ginger

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* DITTO...DITTO...DITTO...DITTO...ETC...

-- Karen (aka "Sparkles")

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Anyone else feel free to add a comment here, either those of us who remained in the U.S. or those of you who made the great journey.

Once more, we're terribly proud of all of you. In a phrase: You done good!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Piney Hills Harmony sends singers to worldwide contest

Five members of Piney Hills Harmony will compete at the global level this coming week during the Sweet Adelines International annual convention.

Thirty-four choruses and 52 quartets will gather Oct. 9-13 for the international contest in Calgary, Canada.

Those from Piney Hills Harmony will compete as dual members of the Top of the Rock chorus in Little Rock. They are Sheila Stepp, of Ruston; Wanda McKaskle, of Bernice; and Donna Fike, Teresa Hendrix and Carol Ogle, of Monroe.

When Sheila thinks about performing on the international stage, she sums it up with one word: "Wow."

"I can't describe how excited, nervous and honored I am to be a part of such an event," Sheila said. "To me, competing onstage at International is like competing at the Olympics: You're pitting yourself against the world's best singers, vying for a gold medal, trying to bring home the win for your chorus and your region."

Piney Hills Harmony is in Region 25 of the Sweet Adelines organization, which includes North Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, southwest Missouri and north Texas.

Carol said the Piney Hills Harmony contingent began rehearsing with Top of the Rock in January and since then has made the three-hour trip approximately twice a month.

In explaining that kind of commitment, Carol said, "It's just so much fun – even the three-hour drive and the hours of rehearsing. It's a great opportunity."

Actually, it's not the first time Piney Hills Harmony members will have been at international. Wanda and former PHH member Sue Moore of Calhoun sang with Top of the Rock when the international contest was held in Detroit in 2005. And Wanda, Carol, Sheila, Teresa and seven other Piney Hills members attended international as spectators last year when it was held in Las Vegas.

"Last year when we went to Las Vegas, I thought: 'I can do that,'" Carol said. "It's just really exciting to see the great accomplishments people can make. It's a great synergy – the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, working together toward a common goal."

Both Carol and Sheila say that the experience is providing skills they can take back to other areas of their musical lives, such as their local chorus or quartet.

"Going to this kind of competition takes your skills to a higher level," Carol said. "It's like taking a graduate course in barbershop."

Sheila agreed: "I've been so fortunate, not only to have wonderful training from the director of my local chorus [Wanda], but to have had outstanding coaching and direction from internationally recognized leaders of barbershop music."

Top of the Rock coaches during 2007 included several directors whose choruses have won international gold, such as those from Dallas, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Sweden.

"I've become a much more effective singer from this experience," Sheila said, "and as assistant director of Piney Hills Harmony, I hope to share what I've learned with my chorus so that we can grow as a group and become even better than we are now."

Former assistant director of Piney Hills Harmony, Sue Holder, will also perform in Calgary -- with the Jacksonville Harmony Show Chorus. Sue retired from Louisiana Tech last year and moved to Jacksonville, Fla., and is now a member of that award-winning chorus.

Piney Hills Harmony President Judy Sisson of Monroe, who also attended last year's convention in Las Vegas, will accompany the group to Canada.

Top of the Rock is scheduled to perform at 4:05 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. A Web cast of the event will be available at this address: www.sweetadelineintl.org/webcast.cfm.

More info on TOTR can be found at www.topoftherockchorus.com.

The six members of Piney Hills Harmony who will travel to Canada for this year's Sweet Adeline International convention are (from left) Sheila Stepp, Wanda McKaskle, Carol Ogle, Teresa Hendrix, Judy Sisson and Donna Fike.

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