38 Years a Member of Sweet Adelines! (23-Sep-2022)

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.

We received our charter in January 1984 and competed for the first time in April 1984 in Syracuse for Region 16.  Sandie’s quartet competed as well and I believed I could never do anything that scary!

For years the membership remained rather small, hovering in the 30 something numbers.  Everyone did things to bring in money for the chorus.  We did car washes, flea markets and counted bingo cards.  I even became a member of the Board of Directors.

For our 50’s show in 1989, Sandie put me in a quartet to sing “Love Me Tender”.  I was a complete wreck!  I asked Sandie if she was trying to kill us!  Well, I went on stage and lived through it and I was on a high for 2 days afterward.

So, what has kept me in this chorus for 38 years?  I discovered I could do things that I thought I would never do.  I danced in the front row.  I competed in a quartet.  I became confident in front of an audience.  Membership in Sweet Adelines has continuously been a learning experience for me.   I learned how to sing barbershop harmony, the importance of vowels and proper breathing.  I learned that “the show must go on” when I broke my arm ice skating and then wore a sling for our cowboy show.

Something else that has kept me with my chorus is the wonderful friendships I have made over the years.  Recently the chorus was divided in octets in preparation for a performance.  I got to know more members and I sang next to different people.  I am very proud of my chorus because we kept performing throughout the Covid pandemic, first on Zoom then in person with masks.  Throughout this difficult period, we lost some members, but we also gained 12 new members!  We were one of the few choruses to compete in the Region 16 contest for 2022.  I’m still hanging in there and I will see you in Louisville KY in the fall of 2023 because..... we won the regional competition.

Shirley Webb

Canadian Showtime Chorus