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We Belong Together

It sure felt great to be together in March for our first regional contest in three years. We have another opportunity coming up to gather, sing and learn at the 2023 Summer Seminar, We Belong Together, June 9-11 at the Hilton Mission Valley in San Diego.

Education Coordinator, Leah Rippetoe, is building on a successful event at this venue last year. The hotel is working with us to expand the dining options and make the parking more accessible. There will be a full schedule of great events and meetings with lots of time to relax and enjoy beautiful San Diego.

Our faculty for 2023 is Anne Downtown and we are thrilled. Anne has been singing barbershop since 2000, when she joined Westcoast Harmony Chorus. She was instantly hooked and hasn't looked back since.

Anne became a co-director of Westcoast in 2005 and the sole frontline director in 2011. At the age of 24, she earned the title of Master Director, the youngest person ever to attain Master Director status! Under her direction, Westcoast has won the Canadian Maple Leaf Region 26 Chorus Competition multiple times and, in 2013, earned the title of International Harmony Classic Champions. In 2022, Anne directed Westcoast to their highest ever score & placement at an International competition, placing 6th! Anne is a member of the Sweet Adelines International Faculty, having established herself as a trusted vocal coach for individuals, quartets, and choruses around the world. She is also the chair of the Director Resource Toolkit Task Force, and a Co-Chair of the 2024 International Directors Seminar. In the past, she has served as the Region 26 Education Coordinator, on the Region 26 Regional Education Faculty, and on the International Music Sales & Marketability Committee.

Anne sings baritone with the 2017 International Quartet Champions, Frenzy. She also sang baritone with the Young Women in Harmony quartet Stir It Up, winning a 2nd place medal at the 2006 International Rising Star Contest after only 5 months of rehearsals. Anne lives in the Greater Vancouver area, and in her “other life,” she works at a law firm as a senior corporate legal assistant. In 2010, Anne completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Criminology from Simon Fraser University.

And, the Seminar Chorus is back, under the expert guidance of Lori Lyford. You will be able to sign up for this chorus as a class. Look for that option as you register and for the download options for the music and learning tracks.

Do you have entry getting ready for the Double Quartet Contest? Competition Coordinator, Lou Gordon, is waiting to hear from you if you do. Be sure and check whatever you are working on through the Song Assessment Tool on the international website and send Lou your details at

Most exciting of all is that Stars of the West, our YWIH quartet contest, is back on. The Region has earmarked funds to help individual choruses sponsor these quartets, open to singers under the age of 25. Registration for that contest is already open on the regional website.

Registration is open for both the event and the hotel venue. Book soon. Deadline for lower prices is May 15, 2023.


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