Singing Together Brings Happiness

Singing Together Brings Happiness
Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Martha Thomason
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, Jan 29 2024
~ Submitted by Cheryl Standage
“Happiness is singing together when day is through, and happiness is those who sing with you. Happiness is morning and evening, daytime, and nighttime too...for happiness is anyone and anything at all that's loved by you.”   Clark Gesner, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - Vocal Score

Singing – Together brings happiness and a whole lot of energy to those attending Region 25’s Quartet Retreat held January 26 - 27, 2024 in Edmond, OK.

It was a cold and rainy night in Edmond but the energy within those walls warmed the heart and created a safe and comfortable atmosphere for learning. Chaired by Mary Rhea, OK City Chorus Director/SAI President, and co-chaired by Tori Cassidy, OK City Chorus, the schedule did not disappoint.
The weekend of enjoyment and education kicked off as over 100 Region 25 Heart of America quartets, individual singers, and observers gathered together with exceptional coaches and faculty.  We were delighted with Friday evening’s opening session by our featured Guest Faculty, Vickie Maybury – Director of Skyline Chorus in Denver, Colorado. The session was titled, Energy – The Lifeforce of Performance, and we experienced firsthand that “energy is all around us, and we must actively engage it!” through demonstrations from audience volunteers.

The next morning, Maybury shared her passion with us all with her presentation titled Why I fell in love with Barbershop, which included moving performances that are memorable because of the energy, the message, and the heart and soul that shine through.

OK City Chorus was represented by 7 quartets, and there were several additional OK City Chorus members who experienced “quarteting” in Harmony Roulette or observed the quartet coaching. Singers also attended what was a high energy learning experience from amazing coaches who were there for one main reason and that is to share their incredible expertise and talents with quartets from around the region.  All of this in one spot, yes that means, our own Mary Rhea and Donna Smith plus Vickie Maybury, Kelly Causey, Val Clark, Lindsay Chartier-Holdeman, Vickie Dennis, Frank Friedemann, Patty Friedemann, Connie Light, Dale Syverson, Jeff Veteto and Melynnie Williams.  Did you catch all those names???  Where else could you go and get that amount of talent all aimed towards helping you and your quartet rise to new singing and performing levels for a very minimal fee?  That is what finally convinced me to attend even though I’m not in a quartet.  I decided that I would not want to miss being with all these great talents and that I could always use more confidence and energy and of course happiness in my life.  Did I walk away with all that, you bet I did and more!

Stay tuned for next year’s Region 25 Quartet Retreat that is sure to have even more energy and happiness to share.  The retreat is traditionally scheduled for the last weekend in January.

Some comments from Chair/Co-Chair and attendees:

Karen Phillips – Team Coordinator - Region 25 Management Team: “Quartet Retreat by far is my favorite Region 25 event of the year. You can listen to quartet coaching in every level, from brand new to Top Gun quartets. The best part is you can hear the progress made by the quartets in real time. During the weekend there is opportunity to ask a coach questions about something you didn’t quite understand. The icing on the cake is the education given in the mass classes. Again, my favorite
regional event.”

Co-chair Tori Cassidy: “Watching quartets being coached made me realize that I need that coaching too, so I can be the best I can be. It made me realize how much untapped potential I have, and that a coach can help me discover and share it!”

Sara Anders: “The reason I didn’t want to get coached was because our quartet is still new and I
didn’t think it would be beneficial for us. I didn’t think we were even close to being ready for a coaching session. But that was not the case. It ended up being really informative and helpful.” Sara has, in past years, attended the Harmony Roulette, and here is what she had to say, “I loved doing the Harmony Roulette. It was a lot of fun and certainly hones your listening skills”!