Dual Membership (24-Nov-2022)

The beautiful thing about Sweet Adelines are the friendships you build along the way. There is a special connection you have with your chorus, and there are some lucky few who get to have two families as a dual member. 

I joined Sweet Adelines at a very young age. I was only 16 when I became a member of Northumberland Chorus. I took a break from barbershop when I moved to Ottawa for university. I was in a rather tough place when I had to take a year off from school so I decided to get back into singing. That is when I found Bytown Beat. 

What drew me to Bytown is that it had the same small-town vibe that Northumberland had. It is a small, tight-knit group of people, who embraced me, helped me through my rough time, and showed me all the love in the world. They expanded my Sweet Adelines family, loved me and brought the joy of singing back into my life. 

During the pandemic, I heard about the virtual Christmas Chorus that Canadian Showtime was running. There were a few dual members in Bytown Beat already, and the challenge of a highly competitive chorus had intrigued me for a while. The Christmas Card went really well, and there just happened to be a new-members drive coming up in the new year.  I decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

The CSC New Members Program was so much fun and broadened my SA family even more! I once again felt so embraced and loved. I also experienced the challenge of trying yet another new part (I’ve now been a Bari, Tenor and Lead!). 

Each time I join a different chorus, I gain so many new skills. I hope that I’ve done a good job at bringing those abilities into everything I do. I’ve learned to be a better and stronger singer. I can now add Communications Coordinator and New Member Coordinator to my resume, and I’ve just become an all-around better person. 

It is a lot of work being a member of two choruses, but so rewarding, and a welcomed challenge for an over-achieving woman like myself. I’ve been able to expand my family, I’ve met so many friends, and above all, I’ve gotten to experience some incredible music “only two nights a week”.

Courtney Merriam