We come together every week to learn and to share the joy of making great music using nothing but our voices. As a member of Riverland Harmony Chorus, you’ll learn more about your voice and how it works and develop your performing skills. We provide opportunities for learning through large and small group learning and individual feedback. You’ll also have opportunities to participate in workshops, perform at events and compete with the chorus in competitions and eisteddfods.
Riverland Harmony Chorus is a vibrant community of singers of all ages. We work hard but we have a great time doing it. Why not come along and try us out?
Is Previous Experience Necessary? Previous experience is not essential to become a member of Riverland Harmony Chorus, although it's often helpful. Many of our members have no formal singing experience prior to joining the chorus. Skills required of new members are the ability to sing in tune and to hold their part in the chorus. We provide training in breathing, vocal and visual performance skills. All Riverland Harmony Chorus members strive for continuous improvement.
Our songs are based around singing four-part chords, so there are four voice parts in a chorus. The parts are: lead, the part which sings the melody; bass, for deeper voices, which provide a solid foundation for the chord; baritone, a harmony part, singing in the same voice range as the lead; and tenor, for higher voices, adding the top notes to the harmony. Although the terminology used is for male voices, all music is written for female voices. The balance between these voice parts is critical to the sound of the chorus. On your first night at chorus you will be placed into one of the four voice parts. As you sing with the chorus, you may wish to move to another part. You can discuss this with our director at any time. As balance is so important to our sound, we may have more need for some voice parts than others.
Sheet music is provided as each new song is learned. For music already in the repertoire, see our Music Secretary. Members are not required to read music, as learning CDs are provided for all new songs and for the existing repertoire. They are recorded in stereo, with your voice part predominant on one channel and the other three parts heard softly on the other channel. Members are encouraged to learn to read music, and usually find that their music reading skills develop over time.
Riverland Harmony Chorus currently has members ranging in age from their teens to 80-something. We have no maximum age limit for members. Chorus accepts members under 18 years of age. However, youth members must demonstrate that they are able to act with maturity in an adult environment and cope with staying up until the end of rehearsal. The chorus sometimes performs at locations licensed to serve alcohol, and also occasionally travels interstate. Parents/guardians of members under 18 are responsible for arranging suitable supervision for these events.
Becoming a Member of the Chorus
On your first night, a member of the music team will sing with you and help decide which part is best for you, and also provide you some initial feedback.
To be eligible for membership of Riverland Harmony Chorus, you must attend five out of eight rehearsals, then pass an audition.
The audition is straightforward. You'll be advised which song or songs will be used for your audition, based on what the chorus is working on at the time. The whole chorus sings the song, and you record yourself singing it on a hand-held recorder such as a smart phone or mp3 player. You can borrow one if you don't have one. You cannot use your sheet music during the audition.
The Musical Director will assess the recording, listening for correct notes and words with good tuning, breathing and vocal production.
The chorus management team will confirm your membership at their next meeting.
Sweet Adelines International
Sweet Adelines International (SAI) is a worldwide organisation committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony, through education and performance. SAI was formed in 1945, and its headquarters are in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. SAI has around 25,000 members in countries around the world. In Australia, there are just nearly 1,400 women singing in 32 choruses spread around the country. When you join Riverland Harmony Chorus you will become a member of SAI, committed to furthering its aims while enjoying the fun and fellowship of singing and performing barbershop harmony To learn more about Sweet Adelines International, visit the international website www.sweetadelineintl.org or our Australian Regional site www.sweetadelines.org.au