Vocal Connection Chorus was started in January 2021, (in the midst of the pandemic!) by four women with over 87 years of collective Sweet Adeline experience. The founding members expertise includes directing, choreography, leadership at both the chorus and Regional levels, plus experience on the international stage in choruses and quartets.
Recognizing how quickly the Phoenix valley is growing, they believed there was room for another chorus in the area and so launched Vocal Connection.
Vocal Connection's goal is to allow our music to connect us as singers, while simultaneously connecting with the broader community through performances and community outreach.
Was it foolish to start a new chorus in the midst of a pandemic? The founders of Vocal Connection realized it was actually the perfect time. Director Leslie Dalton said, “We’ve been able to spend a lot more time tackling the chartering process (for Sweet Adelines International), which we may not have done if we were meeting in person and rehearsing. We thought because we couldn’t have rehearsals in person, we could focus all our energies on planning.” And plan they did.
They started asking themselves questions such as, “What do we want to do? Why are we doing it? Who do we want to attract?” These questions helped them formulate their chorus identity and culture, and led them to the name “Vocal Connection.”
Starting a chorus has been a positive experience for Vocal Connection. “It has been exhilarating, exciting, daunting and even frustrating at times, but the information supplied by Sweet Adelines International has been so thorough and helpful!,” says Leslie. “It has really given us a good roadmap of how to tackle all the tasks.”
Help has come from International as well as the region, and Vocal Connection has also reached out to leaders in other choruses. The Sweet Adelines community has been vital to their success.
Vocal Connection embraced virtual rehearsals from January through May, and then were exhilarated to begin meeting in person in June, 2021! The pandemic “made us recognize online rehearsals can still be educational, effective, and fun. Because of the pandemic, individual responsibility is more important than ever to keep our vocal skills strong,” says Leslie.
But there’s no replacement for singing in person. Leslie says, “After everyone being so isolated, we felt it was the perfect gift to women in the area, giving them something to do that they can call their own. One night a week they can get away from reality, giving them an opportunity to enjoy a community with like-minded singers.”
Vocal Connection produced two virtual chorus videos over the summer, and have learned over 15 new songs in less than a year, including some holiday songs
Our strength has been “having a team that works well together, has a common vision, and is willing to jump in and do what needs to be done. We have surrounded ourselves with a team of people who have similar goals and also have the passion and drive to achieve them!”
As Leslie says, “If we can build and grow a successful chorus during a pandemic, we can do anything!”