How does Harmony of the Gorge fit into the big picture?
Here's the long story - never told before (by me)....
Harmony of the Gorge is a small chorus belonging to Sweet Adelines International (SAI) for 40 years now. SAI was founded in 1945, in Tulsa, Oklahoma by a small group of women who loved to sing. Since then, it has evolved into an organization that spans the globe, connecting nearly 21,000 singers around the world in song. SAI is divided into 24 Regions across North America and now around the world. Our chorus is part of Region 13 (WA, AK, parts of ID, MT, and OR).
Prior to Covid, our chorus singers had opportunities to attend yearly workshops and conventions/competitions at both the regional and international levels -- as attendees and some of us have also competed on the international stage with other choruses. Other members of our chorus have had the privilege and time to serve in leadership roles in our region over the years. Interacting with other singers at these events has always been wonderful - a chance to sing with others, perform for others, laugh with others, learn something new, and SHOP for BLING! (anything sparkly or shiny)
In the past, I'd say that most of us choked at hearing the words "regional competition" mentioned in our chorus planning each year. Our little chorus has performed regularly for the last 39 years. We've earned ribbons of different colors throughout the years - including one year we earned the "Most Improved Chorus" award -- and even better, we earned medals for being the First Place Chorus in the small chorus division!!!
As a chorus we always do love performing our songs at our best throughout each year in our communities ... this happens weekly by working on our music at home and then bringing it all together weekly during our short rehearsals.
Once a year (in the Spring), we have the opportunity to take what we have learned and perform for the other singers in the region. We also can receive feedback and (yes) scores from the top experts (judges) in the four musical categories for barbershop singing (Sound, Music, Expression, Visual Communication). << MORE INFO >> After the contest weekend is over, our chorus celebrates, reviews the feedback, and then uses that information to strengthen our musical growth plan for the coming year. COMPETITIONS ARE EDUCATIONAL - FUN - AND THEY ARE POSITIVE! This year, our regional competition would have taken place in the Spokane Convention Center, Exhibit Hall C.
But here we are in 2022, and Sweet Adelines International and Region 13 leadership has decided that our contest will be held virtually - with choruses and quartets recording their contest "sets" and then uploading the video recordings for our judges to review. This year, May 19-21, Region 13 will transform our normal "together" convention in a virtual event for us and others around the world to enjoy.
In April, we recorded and submitted our two songs, "Fit as a Fiddle" and "You Are My Sunshine" and we are in the International Division (below). Now, we are starting to polish off our songs for performances throughout the summer.
We will be postponing our "convention fun" part of the weekend, ahead to 2023, when we will invade Spokane which is beautiful in the Spring - the lilacs are blooming. Our hotel and the convention center are right along the Spokane River and the lovely 100-acre Riverfront Park, with many great restaurants nearby, and again SHOPPING!
Contests do provide options:
There are three divisions (ways that we can participate) - and two variations offered this year. We can decide which options fits us each year.
Here are some videos from our Region 13's 2019 contest -- showing HotG and others:
2 Song package
2 Song package
This Rhythm of the Rockies performance is too awesome not to include for you to watch ...
minimum of 2 songs