November 18, 2021 - Golden West Region 21 took time during their November 13th Annual Town Hall Meeting to celebrate the efforts of four choruses.
"2020 and 2021 brought so many challenges that affected everyone who loves barbershop harmony," said Region 21 Membership Coordinator Bev Berardinelli. "The really great news is that all of our choruses figured out how to improvise, adapt and overcome these challenges to keep our members engaged, active and learning."
Region 21 developed a new way to virtually track and honor these efforts during 2020-21, and invited each of the 17 choruses in to complete a questionnaire showcasing their efforts.
"Reading the responses was such an encouragement to our Regional Management Team," continued Berardinelli. "It's a testament to the spirit, ingenuity and genuine care for each other that is a hallmark of choruses in Region 21."
"The efforts of these choruses has gone above and beyond to keep the art form of four-part, a cappella harmony in the barbershop style thriving. Most importantly, the recognitions reflect genuine care for members throughout these challenging times. For that, every single person should be recognized, and on behalf of the Regional Management Team, we thank you greatly."
The Education & Learning Award celebrates the creation of a variety of musical activities, coaching and concepts that foster learning and growth within the artform of four-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. OC Sound Chorus, directed by Bonnie McKibbon received this award for 2020-21 for the creation of a variety of musical activities, coaching, and concepts that foster learning and growth.
"OC Sound took tag-singing to the next level by blending members’ recordings into quartets and played for the chorus. They showed iconic performances of a chorus or quartet, as well as spotlighting their own ‘Performer of the Week’ during rehearsals. OC Sound capitalized on multiple virtual education events with faculty and presenters to include a four-part series on the judging categories and how to improve scores in each," said Berardinelli.
"OC Sound also invited Deke Sharon to facilitate two sessions on a cappella music, the history of barbershop harmony, and how it’s changed over the years - Is that cool or what! Congratulations OC Sound on this special recognition!"
The Member Engagement & Support Award acknowledges key events and actions that support the social and emotional health of member individually and as a chorus. Simply A Cappella Chorus, directed by Wendi Young received this award for 2020-21.
" Simply A Cappella has supported the social and emotional health of members, both individually and as a chorus in the Member Engagement and Support category. The chorus created weekly “Peach Follies” to include games, quizzes, fun facts, and enjoying recorded performances from award-winning choruses and quartets, said Berardinelli.
"The chorus created and shared Christmas Grams and held an outside baby shower and celebrated a high school graduation with a drive-by. Simply A Cappella also had Halloween and Christmas parties met with phenomenal response. In April Simply A Cappella began a 'healthy contest' to encourage support for each other to get ready to resume in-person rehearsals. Treats and gifts were mailed or delivered to the participants. Congratulations Simply A Cappella on this special recognition!"
The Creativity & Innovation Award honors imaginative and inspired use of technology to facilitate virtual rehearsals, performances and shows. This 2020-21 award was given to the San Diego Chorus, under the direction of Kathleen Hansen.
"It was encouraging to read responses from the San Diego Chorus as to how you improvised, adapted and overcame challenges to keep your members engaged, active and learning," said Berardinelli.
"The San Diego Chorus was imaginative and inspired in their use of technology to facilitate virtual rehearsals, performances, and shows. The chorus recorded and released twelve virtual singles during in 2020-21 and quartets affiliated with the chorus recorded and released nineteen virtual singles within the same timeframe. San Diego produced and released two virtual shows, and was featured in four virtual community performances or festivals. The San Diego Chorus developed and launched six virtual a cappella singing grams for birthdays, valentines, and holidays to continue fundraising during this challenging year. In addition, they also enjoyed eleven virtual educational events facilitated by guest coaches, and introduced quizzes, polling, and prizes to increase member engagement. Awesome, San Diego and congratulations on this special recognition!"
The Resiliency Award commends organizational response that demonstrates love and support to members facing adversity and challenges of all kinds. The 2020-21 Award for Resiliency was awarded Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus.
Enchanted Mesa Show Chorus modeled resiliency in their response to members facing adversity and challenges of all kinds," said Berardinelli.
"Enchanted Mesa responded to the adversity of their members with love and support. They allowed time, grace and support for members that lost family members, experienced significant injury, and health challenges. Their virtual installation and member recognition included balloon awards for milestone anniversaries, paper plate awards for every member, and international and regional recognitions to honor a 50-year member. Birthday parades, virtual parties for holidays, invitations to the 5 local barbershop choruses to education sessions all helped to keep connections with those that would otherwise have been isolated. Congratulations Enchanted Mesa on this special recognition!"
Each award-winning chorus will receive an award certificate and a $50 Amazon Gift Card in celebration of their efforts.