Education News

A Most Amoosing Double Quartet

by katshaver on August 8, 2015 No comments

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.

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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 No comments

 

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!

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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 No comments

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 rmt_education@region21.org 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 No comments
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