Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cool videos showing effects of sound waves on salt, corn starch mixtures

Why we get GOOSEBUMPS when we hear good barbershop harmony....

Here's an amazing video link sent to the chorus by our chorus director. And here's her intro to it:

"The link below is an interesting video. It has been scientifically proven that the chill bumps we get when listening to barbershop harmony is, indeed, a physical reaction to the sounds we hear. That would be classified as cymatics. And it all ties in with mathematics, which I love! Some of you may not be as "into this" as others. I find it fascinating.

Be sure and turn your speakers on VERY low then click on the link."

(PHH Blogger note: It's from the blog

Salt Sound Waves - video powered by Metacafe

Also, on her own, the PHH Blogger found this related video that makes use of a corn starch and water mixture. This link is also from; here is what Jamie said in his intro to the clip:

"Found this very interesting video of a non-newtonian fluid, and its reactions to the vibrations produced by sound. Reminded me a lot of the cymatics video I posted about last month. Non-Newtonian fluids are liquids that under some conditions act as solids."

PHH Blogger note: Awesome!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Piney Hills Harmony to conduct 'Singers Wanted' lessons, campaign

"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!"

"I heard a Sweet Adelines group perform and had to join. Bam! Now I am hooked. I LOVE it so much."

"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.

This is the 16th year the chorus has offered the lessons, and more than 300 people from across North Louisiana have participated -- from Shreveport to Monroe. Last year 31 women took part.

Chorus director Wanda McKaskle backed up the above 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 36 people from eight 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. 21 and 28 and Sept. 4 at the Presbyterian Church of Ruston, 212 N. Bonner St. A new aspect added during the 2007 lessons will be repeated this year: 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 614-0206 or

(Adapted from previous PHH article.)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lisa Holmes sings, works, leads her way to local Sweet Adeline of Year

Piney Hills Harmony's awesome Lisa Holmes, of Homer, has been named our local Sweet Adeline of the Year.

The award is based on service to the local chapter and the embodiment of what a Sweet Adeline should be. Holmes recently was elected to the chorus's board of directors, served as local motivational coordinator before the group's 2008 regional competition and was named the latest PHH Woman of Worth. Oh ... and she sings baritone and performs on the front row.

Lisa follows equally awesome Janet Philbrook, of Bernice, who was the 2007 winner.

After returning home from our regional competition this spring, Lisa -- who was virtually speechless when she won the honor -- shared a few of her thoughts with us:


During the breakfast at Regional Competition, I sat there, listening to Janet describing the recipient of the 2008 Sweet Adeline of the Year Award, and I scanned the room, imagining which of the ladies it was. Then I heard her say MY name! I was speechless. All that was going through my mind was “I am not worthy of this”…and “WOW, these ladies actually voted for me?” It’s nice to win any type of award, but the award is more important and special when it’s a decision of your peers.

Nearly two years ago, I signed up for some free vocal lessons, and I got more than that! I found a group of wonderful ladies of all ages, backgrounds and personalities who offered acceptance, encouragement and friendship. At first, with so many outside influences and little self-confidence in my singing ability with the chorus, I often had to force myself to attend rehearsal; I felt so unworthy and not yet committed. But now, my family, social and work schedules include Thursday night rehearsal. I look forward to Thursday nights! If I’ve had a bad day or week at work, or there are some health or personal issues I’m dealing with, I head to rehearsal for my “three-hour therapy session”!

Every day of our lives, God sends His Holy Spirit to us in many forms – a hug or kiss from a loved one or friend, kind words from others, a sunset, our children and grandchildren, a loving and caring spouse, a song … and more. To me, this includes the love and acceptance and sense of worth within the Piney Hills Harmony Chorus. When I sing and socialize with these ladies, I feel His Holy Spirit within me, giving me strength, confidence and knowledge that I can do anything!!

You ladies have no idea how important you are in my life, and I’m sure in the lives of other chorus members. We are supporters, prayer warriors and friends. I have NEVER belonged to a group of people whom I felt this way about! Each one of us is unique -- personalities, abilities, talents, quirks and attitudes. But when we put it all together ... we are amazing!

I love you all.

We love you, too, Lisa!

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