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Stroke of 12 - News from Region 12
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August 2015

AIM for More!

Sacramento is the place to be September 18-20. Not only is the fabulous Lori Lyford coming back to Region 12 for more high energy education in singing your very best, but we have four, yes, FOUR choruses and a quartet going to International competition, and they’ll all be at the Pep Rally to show you how they plan to represent Region 12!

This year, you must self-register online, instead of signing up with your chorus. Register now and make sure you have a hotel room!

If you’ve already registered, please go back and tell us your class intentions. We want to make sure we have the right size rooms and enough chairs and handouts for everyone. You can change your mind later, but we just need SOME idea for planning. Please help!

Our judges at Regional told us that synchronization was an area for us to focus on. Lori Lyford will bring her considerable expertise to bear on different ways to help us all with sync. She’ll help us get every ounce of beauty and meaning out of our music and lyrics while staying in sync, take breathing to the next level of artistry, and help us get through the minefield of unified word delivery. 

Lori will also work with front line directors on arm-waving skills and how we might be contributing to problems with lyrical delivery and sync.

Here are some highlights of other things you’ll find at the September AIM Weekend:
  • Classes taught by Regional faculty, including:
    • An interactive class on how to get the most out of your show venues and music.
    • Arm-waving for assistant directors and section leaders (and we need singers!).
    • Sharing some of Erin Howden’s amazing showmanship techniques.
    • Discussion to kick-start the Region 12 arrangers’ program.
  • Fresco quartet “playing tag” with anyone who wants to come and sing Friday night.
  • Verve quartet organizing tag singing throughout the day Saturday.
  • New champions Song of Sonoma Chorus being coached by Lori Lyford Sunday morning
You can also look forward to:
  • A mini-Mass Sing, using Regional songs and the Mass Sing songbook – bring yours with you! We’ll also have them for sale at registration.
  • Michelle McGinnis of SFSW getting us up and moving with joy on Saturday morning.
  • PVIs (first come, first served) with Regional faculty – register in advance.
  • Quartet coaching (first come, first served) with Regional faculty. Did you know you can get visual coaching as well as vocal coaching? Register in advance.
  • DCP testing - schedule in advance with Angela Suraci.
  • Lunch forums (fora?) for chorus birds of a feather: team coordinators, finance coordinators, communication/marketing/membership coordinators, assistant directors, and front-line directors. Sign up for lunch in advance.
And of course the Pep Rally!
  • Oregon Spirit Chorus, Division A, Harmony Classic
  • Pacific Empire Chorus, Division AA, Harmony Classic
  • Sacramento Valley Chorus, Division AAA, Wild Card at International
  • Bay Area Showcase Chorus, Division AAA, Regional Champions at International
  • Surprise! Quartet, Regional Champions at International
What a lineup! Region 12 is definitely on a roll!

A Recipe for Musical Irish Stew from Mission Valley Chorus

 
What happens when the following ingredients are shaken AND stirred?
  • A Director with a vision for expanding musical horizons by creating shared musical experiences beyond Contest (Thank you, Angela).
  • A Management Team buying in and collecting information to share with the Chorus.
  • Chorus members excited at the prospect of another musical bonding experience.
  • One member willing to take on ALL the duties of being the point person for logistical and financial details of the trip (THANK YOU, Vicki Bannerman).
  • Having a year to make installment payments.
  • Traveling with our own audience—ever-helpful friends and family members.
  • Creating communication partners so that those members staying at home were kept abreast of the adventures abroad.
  • Fabulous tour guides and superbly skilled bus (coach) drivers (at least once per day, massive applause would be offered by the passengers for some surgically precise maneuvers).
  • Incredibly lush green landscapes (it’s not called the Emerald Isle for nothing!), studded with well-fed cows and/or busily grazing sheep.
  • Castles, villages, Viking ruins, cathedrals, churches, carefully restored old mansions and magnificent gardens; Trinity College and the Book of Kells; the Waterford Glass factory and watching the creation of crystal pieces from start to finish; The Guinness Storehouse Visitors Center (a pint included with the admission fee); a Jameson’s Irish Whiskey Sampling Tour; the Irish version of Colonial Williamsburg in the living reconstruction of the homes and environment of Ireland in the 19th century at the Bunratty Castle Folk Park….complete with the aroma of burning peat; traditional Irish music and dance performances; delicious food, bus tours; walking tours; exciting shopping opportunities for beautiful Irish woolens; Blarney Castle and its beautiful grounds (a few of us made it up to the top to lean over backwards to kiss the Blarney Stone);  and rain, mist, snatches of sun; and yes, POTATOES. Potatoes served with breakfast. Roasted potatoes served as a side dish to every protein, even if it was covered with mashed potatoes or served on a bed of mash.  Potatoes in the soups.
  • And our performances….the formal and the informal ones. All three scheduled ones were for non-profit organizations. The night we sang at St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Killarney, where we helped raise funds for restoration. We performed outdoors at the Community Day Festival for St. Brigid’s Family Resource and Community Center in Waterford.  There was a platform and some fabric shading over us…but no sound system. Our master sound engineer came to our rescue. John Brawn and one of our tour guides located a sound equipment rental shop and rolled the amplifiers and the microphones and the wiring up the hill before hooking it all up. Our last performance was at St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland, in Greystone, about an hour outside of Dublin. It was a benefit performance for Open Door, a local charity providing facilities and activities for adults with physical disabilities in North Wicklow and South County Dublin. We ran out of encore material!!  Thanks for the great MC work, Lysanda! In attendance there were three female members of the Serendipity Chorus, of the Irish Association of Barbershop Singers, who joined us in some tag singing as we were departing.
  • We sang impromptu in St. Mary’s Cathedral, a Catholic church just outside of Killarney. We sang in the Visitor’s Centre at Glendalough. We sang in the Waterford Crystal Gallery. We sang at the end of our tour of Dublin Castle, and so charmed our guide that she showed up at our concert in Greystone. At the end of an evening’s entertainment at the Merry Ploughboys Pub (the musicians were extraordinarily talented), we were asked to sing to the packed roomful of guests. As everywhere else in Ireland, the audience could not have been more gracious and appreciative.
  • And what else happened? A seagull stole a half-sandwich off the lunch table, right in front of Margo. Leprechauns were blamed for missing room keys and earrings, which were found later in the same places that had been searched twice. New friendships were formed among Chorus members and significant others who never get a chance to chat at length otherwise. Photographs were being taken constantly. Much delicious tea was consumed. 
As our tour guide would say, with the appropriate head tilt (or it doesn’t count), “top of the mornin’ to you all.”  Wish you had been there, but now you know how to create your own Irish musical stew.
-Adele Amodeo
Step up for our Young Women!

Our Young Women In Harmony program is preparing for an exciting season including Mountain Harmony Camp (November) and AIM Workshop (January). This is a great time to discover the joys of working with our youth by joining our YWIH team. We want every Region 12 chorus represented - are YOU the one who will step up and be your chorus YWIH contact person? Fun challenges guaranteed!  Contact Cyndi Sharp, Program Manager, at csharpadeline@gmail.com
Director Wanted in Georgia

Harmony River Chorus, Region 14, Augusta, Georgia (about 22 talented singers) loves to sing and harmonize, but we need a director to help us do it properly. Requirements: solid musical background, a serious desire to help us improve, and a serious love for fun. Contact: 
beckybwo3@gmail.com.

A Sizzlin' Summer


Pacific Empire Chorus is on a sizzling, hot wave of activity that’s full of sound and vibrancy this summer.  Getting ready for the Harmony Classic at International this October has us moving and grooving. Our ever-motivated director, Patty Pennycook can agree that we are one powerful group of women who are on the same page when it comes to singing and giving our all!
 
The summer plan started out with an a cappella “crash course” workshop in Marin.  We welcomed many new, potential members with our friendship, love and commitment to the craft of barbershop music
 
On July 1, we sang at the Marin County Fair in the evening. Many of us performed a large repertoire of songs. It was a fun venture and good experience as we rev up for Las Vegas.
 
We welcomed Lori Lyford from the Scottsdale Chorus as our coach in July. Her superb teaching skills helped us all get a better understanding of vocal technique.  It was a weekend full of singing, learning and bonding.
 
Next comes the Awesome Joe Connelly in August, always bent on giving the very best of  advice so we can perform like champions!  He will shape us up as the final product that will perform in the Harmony Classic.  His no-nonsense, yet upbeat, approach to us has been a gift over the years, and we greatly welcome him and his passion for barbershop.
 
So, as the summer sizzles on,  Pacific Empire Chorus will be on a steady course of preparation for International at Las Vegas, riding the wave with enthusiasm and excitement.  We will be seeing you at Pep Rally in September!   
-Nancy Drelich

Summer Events

  • August 15th, Oregon Coast  25th Anniversary Show, featuring Oregon Spirit and Sea Breeze Harmony. Newport Performing Arts Center, Newport, OR
  • August 15th, Bay Area Showcase's A Cappella U for Young Singers. Comunidad Cristiana Del Silicon Valley, 1748 Junction Ave, San Jose 
  • August 29th, The SURPRISE Show, Featuring Surprise! with Special Guests: The Interstate Rivals, PDQ and other surprise guest performers.2pm, The Kendall-Jackson Theater, 4400 Day School Place, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
  • August 29th, Sacramento Valley Friends and Family Performance, 6:30pm, La Sierra Community Center, 5325 Engle Road, Carmichael, CA.
 

Shot out of a Cannon!

Holy Moly, if Song of Sonoma thought we’d get more than a week of a breather......we weren’t looking at the calendar! Whew! Performances, Planning Meetings, Coaching, Market Nights, Picnic....fun, fun, fun.....Breathe, breathe, breathe!!!

We came back from Reno walking on clouds! We celebrated with food and laughter and the chorus received ribboned “Master Singer” medals and Sharon wore her “Master Director” pin. We reviewed the score sheets and cheered the positive and got right back to work honing our skills.

A couple of performances in May and June gave us a great way to beam our energetic delight back out into the community! Jim Arns flew in from the windy city and coached us with a different twist AND it was our first summer coaching yet...........

A picnic in the park was a brief slow down change of pace to get together for fun and food and family. On July 31/Aug 1 we'll be experiencing Ryan Heller as a coach for the first time. Every one is super excited to meet this powerhouse musician.

Our annual Garage Sale coming up August 15th for fundraising and motivation to clean out our excesses and storage places—Very Zen....could it get better? Oh Yeah and...Baby, will it ever!!!

We sang at downtown Market Night four times total in June and July and had four new faces at rehearsal. Spreadin’ the Joy and beaming in new sisters in song! Song of Sonoma is having a “Summer of Love!”
-Eileen Keister

California HEAT SummerFest

On July 18, the California HEAT presented SUMMERFEST, an evening of repertoire numbers at a unique location, the Tehama County Museum. The Museum, a 150-year-old designated National Historic Site, was open for touring prior to the performance. HEAT members love to sing in The Annex, added in 1998, with its fabulous acoustics.

The program included several patriotic songs in observance of Independence Day, the 2015 contest package, and other favorites. Chorus members and the audience were treated to the exciting debut of Platinum Finish, a new HEAT quartet with Lindsay Hannan--tenor, Carol Stephens---lead, Renea Etzler---baritone, and Debbie Stolp---bass. To the “sold-out” house, Director Anita Main presented an entertaining look at barbershop style, with emphasis on the contributions of the bass section. A barbeque-themed raffle basket featuring a hefty gift certificate to a local butcher shop was won by a lucky guest.

At the close of the program, guests and members enjoyed cake, lemonade, and conversation. Audience reaction and box office results were so positive that SUMMERFEST might just become an annual HEAT event!
-Geri Miller-Riedel
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