2022 Barbershop Harmony Society MidWinter Convention

An Inside Look at the Chorus & Quartet Festival with First Class

An Inside Look at the Chorus & Quartet Festival with First Class

Midwinter Pasadena is underway and the Chorus & Quartet Festival takes the stage today!

Jan 14, 2022 by Amanda Cornaglia
An Inside Look at the Chorus & Quartet Festival with First Class

The 2022 Midwinter Convention got fully underway yesterday with an afternoon full of classes and emotional first concert featuring the return of the barbershop convention and beautiful voices on stage and off. Kicking off today at Noon Pacific is the Midwinter Chorus and Quartet Festival and we caught up with one of the performing quartets, First Class. 

Tell us more about First Class. Who are you? How did you get started?

First and foremost, we are a quartet comprised of barbershop diehards. We have all been enjoying this hobby for a very long time as quartet singers, chorus members, and as musical leaders. Wendy, Stacy, and Kristin sing in Vocal Standard Chorus. We are all section leaders and Stacy is the assistant director. Maria directs Song of the Lakes chorus in Region 2 and is a BHS board member. Kristin also sings in Take 4 quartet. So, we all pretty much eat, sleep, and breathe barbershop.

The quartet formed in January of 2020 right before the pandemic and Maria joined our quartet family in September of 2020. We represent both Sweet Adelines (Regions 2 & 5) and BHS (Central States District). We were all looking for a new musical adventure and everything just clicked. With the top trio living in Kansas City and Maria living in Michigan, we are a long-distance quartet but the fun we have together makes it worthwhile.

What made you sign up for the festival this year?

We love BHS conventions! Also, the prospect of singing for real live people was very appealing. We love the idea of participating in a festival and value the opportunity to gain feedback to help us improve as an ensemble.

How has your preparation been? Any tips on COVID creativity?

Being a long-distance quartet that formed during a pandemic has absolutely forced us to get creative. We have rehearsed on Jamulus, had quartet masked rehearsals (we even recorded our holiday music video masked), had trio rehearsals in KC with Maria zooming in.

I think our main tip for COVID creativity is to say that a lot of things can be accomplished virtually: business/planning meetings, talking interp, Jamulus rehearsals etc. If your quartet is not comfortable meeting in person there are still ways to make progress.

What are you most looking forward to in Pasadena?

We are honestly most looking forward to the joy of the live barbershop experience. We can’t wait to hear some of our favorite barbershop ensembles and to be able to share our musical product with others.

This will be our second time performing for a live audience.  

We’re looking at Midwinter as a great opportunity to bond as a quartet, see old friends, meet new ones, support all of the performers and of course…sing. For live people. Did we mention we’re excited about that?!

What else do you have planned for 2022

We’re still in the planning phase for 2022 but definitely more fun and singing together. We are gearing up for our SAI Region 5 competition in April and plan to attend Harmony University in July.

 

Watch First Class perform along with quartets and choruses from across the US today – only on FloVoice!