In 1957, a significant shift of needs and ideals in the women's barbershop community led to the creation of second organization. After a struggle of meetings and debate, the Melody Belles of Rhode Island were the first chorus to officially split from Sweet Adelines, followed closely by four more choruses to pursue a different direction. These 150 women propelled the creation of what became Harmony, Incorporated.
Under the initial leadership of Peggy Rigby, Joanne Willett, and Joan Stockwell Chapman, a new home for barbershop was provided for women looking for a different structure and policy in a more diverse space in February 1959. Over the last 60 years, Harmony, Inc. has operated under the mission of "empowering all women through education, friendship, and singing."
And now, in conjunction with this milestone anniversary, Harmony, Inc. is working towards their current mission of "Harmony. Stronger." After meeting the goals of their 5-year plan "Harmony Strong 2020" ahead of schedule, the International Board of Directors set their sights higher with "Harmony. Stronger." in September of 2018. The organization is working towards full expansion across North America, being the premier provider of a rewarding contest experience for women, offering lifelong musical education, investing in an operational structure that ensures growth, and garnering respect from and for musicians of all genres.
Harmony, Inc. will convene in Sandusky, Ohio for their annual International Contest and Convention, highlighting the best talent of the organization in quartet and chorus contests November 7-9th. 33 quartets and 28 choruses will leave their best on the stage across four contest sessions. Meetings and educational sessions, as well as celebratory sisterhood events will take place throughout the convention from November 6-10th.
Friday, November 8th, the Parade of Champions featuring an evening of performances by past Harmony Queens and tributes to champion quartets celebrating milestone anniversaries. The evening will also celebrate the 2018 quartet champions, Aged to Perfection, who will receive their permanent crowns. Champion quartets Taken for Granite, LiveWire, Spot On, Change of Heart, and For Heaven's Sake will take the stage in song.
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Pinkertones, an Area 2 quartet comprised of Therese Cote, Julie Beals, Linda Delmolino, and Eileen Campbell. Espirit De Corps, Spirit of Harmony, Black Magic, Soundwave, and Showcase will also be honored for anniversaries.
If you can't join the celebration in person, FloVoice will bring the excitement to you! Watch all of the contests and concerts right here starting with the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday, November 6th at 7:30 pm Eastern Time.