Why did women organize to sing barbershop harmony? For many years people believed that barbershop harmony was best suited to men's voices. Not so! Anything as nostalgic, as poignantly sweet, as romantically and historically interesting as barbershop harmony -- anything as colorful and fascinating in its costuming and dramatic possibilities has certain and potent appeal for women.
Sweet Adelines International, a nonprofit music education organization for women, was founded in 1945. Today the organization has more than 30,000 members in more than 600 chapters in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico and six countries in Europe.
The reigning International Champion Quartet is Rumors from the Dallas / Ft. Worth, Texas Metroplex. The current International Champion Chorus is The Rich - Tones, from Richardson, Texas, a Dallas suburb, directed by Dale Syverson. These singers will hold their titles until November 1999, when, in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2000 international champions will be chosen.
Sweet Adelines International's President is Karen Breidert, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. She oversees the work of a 13-member international board of directors responsible for managing the annual $3.7 million budget.
The mission of the organization is to advance the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance. Through its outreach program, Young Women in Harmony, educational materials about the art form are distributed free to any vocal music teacher who requests the information.
The international headquarters is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Women interested in learning more about the organization can call 1-800-992-SING.