I joined the Oregon Coast Chapter of Sweet Adelines
in the summer of 1994, just after my first divorce... because I was ready to do something just for me, and over the years it has been one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.
The chorus is made up of some of the most diverse and extraordinary women I've had the pleasure of calling my friends, and I treasure them. Like many other members, I've come and gone from the chorus over the years, and have always been welcomed back with open arms whenever I was able to attend performances and other functions they have put on - they throw the most amazing holiday parties - and have competed with the chorus and in a quartet several times. These ladies know how to have a good time.
The whole chorus traveled to Washington, DC over the July 4th holiday in 2001 as part of a Music Celebrations event, and my quartet 'High Hopes' sang our swan song, "God Bless the USA" - after an amazing 6-year run - on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. That was a very memorable trip.
Recently, one of our long-time members lost her husband of 56 years. The memorial service was today, and she requested that the chorus sing at the service. So 25 of us showed up to support our sweet Betty. It was something the ladies just do because we care, and the relationships behind the scenes are extraordinary.
Our members have ranged in age from 16 all the way up to Miss Jo, who will be 90 in February. She was one of the charter members when the group formed in 1989. There are a few who are still dedicated members after more than 20 years of singing barbershop and other acappella arrangements together. Plenty of members have come and gone over the years, but as you can see on the website, it is a family of ladies who share a love of singing.
I am privileged to be a part of this group of wonderful women, and I have appreciated the friendships over the years more than I can say. I have learned so much and grown so much as a person because of my affiliation, and I am thankful to all of them for being such amazing women.
Director Carol Duvall is retiring at the end of the year, so things will change again for the chorus. Check out their performance calendar and catch one of their holiday shows if you can, you will be greatly rewarded. Especially the one on December 13th at the Ark in Newport, I know that one will be exceptionally awesome. And I'll see you there!