We’re back from our first ever Region 14 Convention and Competition. We had a GREAT time!
Last fall, when Jenny moved to Raleigh and joined the fabulous Carolina Harmony Chorus, we gained a whole new family of “sisters in harmony” in the chorus, and a whole new extended family in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Region 14. Since then, we hadn’t had any opportunity to attend a regional event yet, and so this spring’s convention and competition was our first chance to meet up with all our new friends.
And the weekend was spectacular! None of us had ever attended a regional competition in any region other than Region 19, so we were looking forward to seeing how things work in other places. There were a couple things we noticed that were slightly different. For example, the competition is held in a venue that is connected to the hotel, so there is no bus to take competitors to the event, they can just walk through the tunnel under the street. There were more quartets competing and fewer choruses competing than in a typical Region 19 contest. And the seating in the auditorium was general admission rather than assigned chorus blocks of seating.
But for the most part, the contest was (comfortingly) similar to our experiences. Everyone is smiling and happy to see their friends that they haven’t seen since last year. Quartet and chorus competitors go into sparkle mode and put their best stuff on stage. Lots of sequins, rhinestones, false eyelashes and red lipstick. Lots of hairspray. There is camaraderie and friendly competition, but hugs all around. The music is great, and the performances are inspiring.
And there is the same uplifting feeling about the weekend – that special intangible thing that holds all Sweet Adelines together in an eternal sisterhood. Some singers are battling nerves, then emerge triumphant, and you just want to cheer forever. Some singers battle tough things at home that make it hard for them to even attend, but they find a way, and they enjoy the time of their lives on this special weekend. Some singers achieve more musical artistry than they ever have before, and you are thrilled for them and thankful for their gifts. The judging system leads us to believe that only one quartet or chorus wins, but we know differently – every singer there has won something special. Everyone there has a story, and everyone there is a champion of their own circumstance.
We’re so grateful for the wonderfully warm welcome that we received from the Region 14 Management Team, Convention Steering Committee, Circle of Champions, choruses, quartets, and members. Y’all were so friendly! (see? we’re learning). The southern hospitality stereotype is well-deserved, y’all made us feel so comfortable all weekend long. Thank y’all so much!
And hearty congratulations go out to Carolina Harmony Chorus for your First Place Small Chorus and Fourth Place Overall finish! Congratulations also to Greenville in Harmony Chorus and Shades of Jade Quartet for your championship performances. And finally, congratulations to ALL the competitors for your fantastic performances, we enjoyed each and every one!
Yep, our first Region 14 contest weekend was just like home, just with a southern drawl. 😉