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Greater Nassau Chorus places fourth in the world
by Jennifer Jablonski for Vocal Area Network
Posted November 10, 2009

Harriette Walters and Greater Nassau Chorus in Nashville, TNThe Baldwin-based Greater Nassau Chorus recently earned a fourth place medal at the Sweet Adelines International 63rd Annual Convention and Competition held at the Sommet Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance. There are over 1,200 registered quartets and 600 choruses in the organization which are located in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Wales and most of the 50 states in the United States.

Each spring, choruses within the organization compete on the Regional level, and the winners are eligible to compete at the International level the following fall. As the 2008 champions of Greater New York Region 15, Greater Nassau Chorus spent the last year and a half preparing for this October's International competition. Under the expert direction of Master Director Harriette Walters, they worked tirelessly to hone their vocal production and performance skills, emotional expression, characterization and artistry. They brought in the finest coaches in the Sweet Adelines International organization, including Betty Clipman, Renee Porzel, Ruth-Ann Parker, Mark Paul and Carole Kirkpatrick, to offer additional feedback and instruction. The chorus itself has its own Music Staff, Showmanship Team, Visual Team, Costume Committee and Management Team to assist with every detail. Chorus members were also encouraged to enhance their own personal preparation and internalize the musical plan so that the songs became "singer-driven."

Their hard work and many hours of rehearsing paid off!

In the Semi-Final round, where 33 choruses are judged on two songs, a ballad and an "up-tune" (a fast, energetic number), Greater Nassau Chorus' performance of Sammy Kahn's "Time After Time" and a medley of "I Never Knew" and "Get Me to the Church on Time" earned them high enough scores in Music, Sound, Expression and Showmanship to proceed to the Finals round.

The top 10 choruses that enter the Finals prepare an entertaining "show package" consisting of a ballad and an up-tune plus other music. The songs are often creatively strung together with narration and a storyline like a mini-Broadway play. This year, Greater Nassau Chorus presented a creative and humorous "Gone with the Wind" spoof complete with special costumes and props to enhance the production. Members were excited at the opportunity to share this package with the 6,000+ audience members who attended and were ultimately thrilled to receive 4th place medals—their best International finish to date.

Master Director Harriette Walters also competed in the Sweet Adelines International competition as a member of the 2009 Regional Championship Quartet, a.k.a. Their quartet finished 11th out of 50 top-notch quartets from around the world and had the opportunity to perform as mic testers in the Quartet Finals. Between her chorus and quartet accomplishments, Walters is thrilled. "We had a great experience in Nashville," she said. "And the most rewarding part of the whole thing is that we did it together. It's based on mutual love for what we do and for each other. We can't wait to share our hard work with our friends, family and Long Island audiences this winter."

Greater Nassau Chorus will be performing all of the music they performed in Nashville as well as holiday songs and other contemporary hits in their upcoming show, "Come Celebrate Our Sound! 50 Years of Sweet Harmony." In addition to featuring the chorus, this show will include performances from several top-notch quartets including the 2009 Region 15 Quartet Champions a.k.a., the 2009 Atlantic Region Barbershop Quartet Champions Hudson Chronicles, and Regional quartet competitors Pitchcraft and Drive! The show is scheduled for Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 3:00 PM at West Hempstead High School, 400 Nassau Boulevard, West Hempstead, NY 11552.

Women are invited to discover the joy of singing chord-ringing, fun-filled music a cappella-style with Greater Nassau Chorus. For information about membership and upcoming performances, visit www.greaternassauchorus.org.

Jennifer Jablonski handles marketing and public relations for the Greater Nassau Chorus.

Content Contact: Jennifer Jablonski.
Revision Date: November 11, 2009.
Technical Contact: Steve Friedman.

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