Education News

Mentoring a New Director with Kim Vaughn

by Tammy Meyers on January 21, 2020 Comments Off on Mentoring a New Director with Kim Vaughn

Honolulu Blend Chorus had the pleasure of experiencing our own Make Your Own Music Fest this past month when Kim Vaughn came to Hawaii to work with the chorus and our new director, Ben Leonid. This is Ben’s first time directing a SAI chorus, and we were all looking for a little support.

Kim energized both Ben and the chorus members with her fun, lively and inspiring coaching. While working with our director, she also provided much fodder for us to think about and work on. By evening’s end, chorus members shared what they had learned from Kim – how to sing with a back beat, pivoting around the part that holds a constant note on a key change, how to stay on pitch when notes repeat, remaining loose and sounding like an organ not a piano. The next day, Kim worked directly with Ben to further cement her suggestions. And, the following week, we had an amazing rehearsal with a relaxed, focused and energized new director!

In Ben’s words, “Kim Vaughn’s visit was a whirlwind of inspiration and practical help. Right from the start, Kim was excellent about pointing out areas for improvement in conducting (posture, hand placement choice, timing) and rehearsal technique (increased repetition, group management, establishing narratives for songs, taking time to analyze tough sections), as well as vocal production. In my one-on-one follow up session, we talked about challenges faced by directors that are both general and specific to barbershop and Sweet Adeline, including logistics, music selection, riser arrangement, delegation, and community involvement. Kim’s energy and drive are contagious…!”

As Eda Sakimoto-linuma, one of our members, described the visit, “I found this last session very helpful with new techniques…Region 21 is a very exciting and dynamic group of ladies. Education and the availability of excellent training have been so beneficial to our chorus. My encounters with Kim…reflect the warm support and wonderful relationships that are so special.”

While here, Kim stated, “All directors need mentors”, and we were so happy to have her!

Pam Kosansky

Honolulu Blend Chorus

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Tammy MeyersMentoring a New Director with Kim Vaughn

Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus Makes Their Own MusicFest

by Tammy Meyers on January 6, 2020 Comments Off on Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus Makes Their Own MusicFest

Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus had a fantastic MusicFest in October 2019 with Kathleen Hansen as our faculty! The morning session was devoted to vocal production, where we worked on the technical aspects of singing…placement of vowels, posture and body alignment, breathing and breath support, how to create overtones, etc. Although we’ve heard many of these things before, Kathleen gave all of us the opportunity to actually experience each piece of information and hear and feel the difference for ourselves.

In the afternoon, Kathleen worked with the chorus to put into practice what we learned in the morning, with reminders to each section of where they fit in the chord and how small adjustments from each member can make a huge difference. Over 30 of our members (plus a few guests) were able to attend for all or part of the day. It was fun, productive, and a great learning experience with lots of participation from everyone.

Judy Sherman

EMSC Team Co-coordinator

Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus



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Tammy MeyersEnchanted Mesa Show Chorus Makes Their Own MusicFest

Inland Empire Makes Their Own MusicFest

by katshaver on March 22, 2017 Comments Off on Inland Empire Makes Their Own MusicFest

March 14th was an exciting Tuesday for the Inland Empire Chorus! International Master Faculty member, Queen Kim Vaughn, came to work with us as part of Region 21’s new MusicFest program. Kim used her unparalleled teaching skills to work with us on the basics of the sound category: posture, phonation and resonation. Our members and guests were excited to hear the changes in our sound after working with Kim for the evening. Region 21 is blessed to have such amazing talent right on our doorstep. Huge thanks to Kim and to the entire Region for this great program.

Inland Empire Chorus



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katshaverInland Empire Makes Their Own MusicFest

A Most Amoosing Double Quartet

by katshaver on August 8, 2015 Comments Off on A Most Amoosing Double Quartet

If you’re going for medals, it’s always good to win two at a time – so they can clink against each other.

That’s what double quartet Pasture Prime aimed for at this year’s Summer Regional. The comedy contest offers two prizes, one judged by the standard SAI rules of sound, music, expression and showmanship; and the other is the coveted Golden Banana, a massive weighty trophy of plinths topped by a gilded banana (yes, it was once edible!), awarded for funniest performance.


Pasture Prime, 2015 Region 21 Double Quartet Contest

If you’re lucky enough to wrest the Golden Banana from our clutches (yeah, good luck with that), you’ll see that lots of winning double quartets hail from Tucson Desert Harmony. We have a tradition to uphold, we take our funny seriously. So we usually talk about next year’s contest in August, right after Summer Regional. Then we get distracted and busy and forget about it till about May, when we panic and rush to put something together.

Competing in a double quartet is a great way to introduce newer members to the art – and the heart – of what we do. There’s the singing of course – no hiding among the chorus. You have to sing out and hold your own when there are only eight of you. There’s the camaraderie: it’s especially fun to get close to people you don’t normally hang out with. And in double quartet there’s choosing a theme – this year’s cows came about after a very giggly afternoon that went from vegetables to kids’ costumes to udders. Then you have to pick music, write parodies, come up with choreo, costumes, and rehearse, rehearse, go on vacation, rehearse.

This is no director-driven endeavor. Anyone can put together a group, just go up to people and ask them, or send out a sign-up sheet. A chorus can have as many entrants as they’d like (but I must say it’s awfully difficult to rehearse if you’re in more than one double quartet). Any eight-some can compete as long as no more than 5 are in registered quartets. This year we had three registered quartet members, 2 relative newbies, two old hats and a director. The writing was done by three of us (including Fran), the costumes by 2 of us (including Fran), and the face makeup by one (Fran).

Competing in the Double Quartet contest is one of the most challenging, educational and fun things you can do in Region 21. Besides being udderly fantastic, it’s a really mooooving experience.

– Penny Starr

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katshaverA Most Amoosing Double Quartet

Touché Quartet Weekend – The Journey to the Medals

by Risa Page on May 26, 2015 Comments Off on Touché Quartet Weekend – The Journey to the Medals


from VOCAL SIGNATURE QUARTET - 2015 4th Place Medalists
Valerie Larsen-Fernandez, Kim Bettendorf, Esther Alva, Cindy Chrispell


R21-15-Q-VocalSigHere is something upon which we can all agree: being in a quartet means some extra work.

Vocal Signature certainly discovered that over the last year as we worked toward our goals leading up to Regional Competition in April. When we heard that this year’s Quartet Workshop would be extended from one day to an entire weekend, we were intrigued by the possibilities. Would it be worth the investment of time and money?

The answer to that was a resounding YES! During the workshop, we were coached by not one but TWO Queens (Pam Pieson and Patty Cobb-Baker), choreographed by Emily O’Brien, received individual voice coaching, and experienced some great performance opportunities throughout the weekend and at the Saturday evening show. And that doesn’t even include the classes that we attended throughout the weekend!

Working with the women who have the knowledge and the experience in vocal and visual skills was really beneficial in helping us set goals on which to focus during the weeks leading up to the regional contest.

The goal we set for ourselves was to improve by 50 points over last year’s score. We ended up receiving the Most Improved Quartet trophy with an increase of 110 points!



We couldn’t be happier with the route we chose, including participating in the Quartet Workshop!  Thank you Region 21 for the opportunity to challenge ourselves to learn, grow, and succeed!


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Risa PageTouché Quartet Weekend – The Journey to the Medals

2015 Spring Competition Education Class – Sunday Morning Send-Off!

by Risa Page on April 26, 2015 Comments Off on 2015 Spring Competition Education Class – Sunday Morning Send-Off!

BloodyMaryMimosaA great time was had by the 100+ attendees to our Sunday morning Education Class – Bloody Marys, Mimosas and Score Sheets: What to Do with the Judges Feedback.

Our energetic co-presenters, Jana Gutenson and Kim Vaughn, provided enlightening insight on ways to interpret what Judges wrote and how to turn that into a plan of action as singers and directors return to Quartet and Chorus life. There was something for every performer who crossed the stage and every registered attendee – vocal production tips ‘n tricks, music selection review, chorus and quartet teamwork and so much more!

The overall Judges’ Observations for Choruses and Quartets have been sent via e-mail to our Regional Quartet contacts, Front Line Directors, and Team Coordinators/Presidents. Also sent were the materials to which Jana and Kim referred, SAI Performance Guidelines and Making the Leap (via Sharon Babb), along with more information on Open Division. These documents and more will soon be available on the Education downloads page or contact Risa Page, Education Coordinator at to receive them.

It was a relaxing way to learn with coffees, lattes, Mimosas, and customized Bloody Marys in hand and next year we are investigating adding some light snacks so plan to come!

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Risa Page2015 Spring Competition Education Class – Sunday Morning Send-Off!

JUNE 2014 – Spring Training for Directors and Musical Leadership – Sharon Babb

by Risa Page on June 14, 2014 Comments Off on JUNE 2014 – Spring Training for Directors and Musical Leadership – Sharon Babb
Sharon Babb

Sharon Babb

“Get Your Game On!” was an exciting experience in San Diego with the ever-inspiring Sharon Babb – a Sweet Adeline to the bone who began her career in 1969 right here in Region 21 and has been active ever since as a chapter and regional administrative leader, certified judge in both sound and music, judge specialist in sound, master faculty, chorus and quartet coach, International Board member, and – always and ever – a baritone.

She inspired the attendees through a variety of classes:

Psychology of Competition, Managing in the Moment, Coaching for Sound, Individual Musicianship, IVI Techniques, Teaching through Tags, and much more!

Sharon focused on how to ensure that every director and every member experience these essentials at every rehearsal:

  • HA, HA (laughter/enjoyment/reasons to smile and celebrate),
  • AHA! (learning something knew/refresh a known /skill), and
  • AHHH!  (feeling inspiration and re-dedication to our magnificent art form)

It was a wonderful opportunity to experience Ms. Sharon Babb in an intimate setting at her effervescent best!

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Risa PageJUNE 2014 – Spring Training for Directors and Musical Leadership – Sharon Babb