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Harmony in Style

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THUNDER BAY, ON  ---- October 24, 2012  --  Real women, real harmony, real fun, are the on the front of Sounds of Sounds of SuperiorSuperior Chorus’s brochure. After sitting down with Claire Belluz, spokesperson for the group I think the brochure beautifully describes this women’s chorus. However I would add “real good” as well.

For the past few seasons since Lake Superior Collegiate &VI has been opened, I have been listening to this choir rehearse in the room across the hall where I attend Consortium Board meetings. This is my first chance to interview this well established group. The Chorus belongs to an association called the Sweet Adelines. They host district and national conventions and each season they travel to share their music and compete with fellow choruses. This chorus takes great pride in placing well at these competitions. Attending conventions is a lot of fun and it gives the women an incentive to prepare and sing well. When they are finished they return home sharing an experience that they will continue to share as common memories.

Lead by Jackie Knowles I heard the choir warm up and rehearse a few selections. The chorus is in capable hands and its members are well disciplined as singers and members of the group. They have a sound that is unique to a group that sings in close harmony. Like Male choirs an arranger for this chorus has to fit the four notes of a chord into the range of women’s voices. There is less space to fit all the notes than there is in a mixed chorus which could easily add an octave or more range. Thus the unique sound of close harmony, complete with lots of 7 chords.

The choir sings nicely in tune and the blend is excellent. Like many female barbershop groups the bass line is favoured and each of the upper parts is a little weaker to produce a unique blend. In any choir having a solid bass line creates the foundation for solid singing in all parts. Jackie Knowles explains this as a pyramid sound model and it is the blend idea behind this chorus.

The chorus sings from memory and this allows them to group closely together for more mutual support than a choir that reads music. (Music takes up a lot of space) This chorus however does not stand still for long as much of their music is choreographed to create an entertaining show, The chorus provides its members with a sense of attainment in learning how to sing, how to appreciate good choral music barbershop style. With this group fun and fellowship is standard, musical knowledge can be picked up as you grow into the choir.

The choir is always looking for new members. I think this is a great choir and a new member will receive a wealth of happy and challenging experiences through several years of participation. They will grow socially and musically and have a lot of fun. With all the choreography they can save the cost of an exercise club as well. For more information about becoming a member call Carol Morgan President at 345-8078 or Jackie Knowles at 767-0256.

On Sunday November 4th the chorus will present “Harmony in Style” a musical fashion show with Cathy Alex of CBC acting as EMCEE. The event is in the Cafetorium of Lake Superior High & VI from 2-4 p.m. Adults pay $20 and children $10. Tickets are available from Chorus members, or from Nygard or Kitty Cucumber Children’s Boutique. You can also call Lenore at 345 – 3212 for tickets and information. 

Bert Rowson
Arts Editor: LakeSuperiorNews.com

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