Submitted by Nancy Lambrechts

When I think back to my first experience at Regional Competition in Syracuse, I remember it as an amazing time.  It made me feel truly a member of the chorus after joining in the fall of the previous year, a rite of passage so to speak.

I thought it would be interesting to check in on our First Timers from 2023 in St Catharines. What was their experience? Read on and find out!

Just like many front rows in the Sweet Adelines world, Canadian Showtime Chorus’s front row puts in the extra time, as required, to learn and perfect floor patterns, moves, and more importantly, blossom and grow into the attitude and character that pairs with our musical selections.  And sometimes, we are fortunate to get extra coaching!! And like that old classic from C&C Music Factory "Everybody dance now!!", everybody did indeed dance! (Earworm alert) The amazing Erin Howden was in the CSC Front Row house!!! 

My name is Adrienne McLean. I became a member of Canadian Showtime Chorus in November of 2022 and I have been invited to share my experience with their New Member Program.

I retired shortly before the pandemic began and was hoping to become involved in a singing group once restrictions started to ease. A family member found CSC through a Google search and sent me the link to their website. I took one look at everyone’s smiling face and sparkly costume and I was hooked!

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. 

This past July 24th- July 31st, I was able to attend Harmony University, put on by the Barbershop Harmony Society. It was in New Orleans at Loyola University and I couldn’t be more excited to have gone. After two years delay due to the pandemic, I couldn’t have been prepared for what lay in store for me when I arrived. At the airport, not only was I greeted by warm and enthusiastic staff, I was surrounded by like-minded individuals who shared common goals: learning more barbershop, and the love and dedication we have for this art form. 

In November 1982, my friend invited me to her chorus rehearsal.  After I heard the first chord of barbershop harmony, I loved it!  This group was the prospective Nepean City Chapter of Sweet Adelines Inc. which was formed by Sandie Nason Kerr in January 1982.  I became a member and my first performance on stage was in a chorus show called “Razzle Dazzle” in February 1983.  I was so nervous that I thought the audience would see my lower lip trembling.

One of the most wonderful things about Sweet Adelines is the focus on personal improvement and growth – both as singers and individuals. In late July, two members of Canadian Showtime Chorus (CSC) packed our bags and braved the airports to attend SAI’s International Education Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. It was an exciting adventure and a tremendous learning experience for both of us!