Masters of Harmony - State of the Chorus

Bill Rosica, President, Jan 6, 2011

With housing on the decline, unemployment at one of its highest levels and the economy a little bleak, the Masters of Harmony had a banner year. I took a look at my calendar for last year where I keep my mileage and found there were 66 events (including rehearsals) in which members could have participated. There were seven shows, two choreo sessions with Erin Howden, two contests, an all-day rehearsal, a recording session, and a banquet. Then you could have gone to the Spring Convention and International Prelims in Reno, “Go For the Gold” Show in Fullerton, International Convention in Philadelphia, and the Leadership Academy in Pico Rivera. We began with our annual awards banquet and ended with our annual Christmas show. Not much different than past years, but a good kickoff to a “golden” 2011.

We added 13 members to the fold — 11 new and two reinstated. And most of those new guys have taken on roles of responsibility. As president, it is so refreshing to see the new guys ask what they can do to participate, other than just being on the risers.

We have 19 quartets that feature active or emeritus members. Anyone who paid the least bit of attention at the fall contest would have noticed that, one after another, quartets in the Santa Fe Springs Chapter marched onto the stage. Not bad for a chapter that concentrates on Music, Singing and Presentation! Oh yeah, quartets get judged on those categories as well. And, by the way, our own quartet, The Crush, won the district quartet championship by a 187-point margin.

The chorus contest was challenging. When you hit the stage all lit up and ready to dazzle the audience and judges and find there is absolutely no sound coming back, it is time to kick it into muscle memory mode, isn’t it? We did fine, but came away a little disappointed. We know we let the stage beat us this time. Well, we’ll have another shot at it in July. The stage may be just as challenging, but I’ve sung with you guys four other times on that stage. I’m not concerned!

I couldn’t write an article about the State of the Chorus without mentioning The Westminster Chorus for their stunning performance in Philadelphia. I know each and every one of you knows that the dual MOH-Westminster guys bring a lot to the table each week at rehearsal, and we would not be in the position we’re in without them. These guys keep me feeling younger than the 63 years I have accumulated.

Gentlemen, we are beginning a new year with many great accomplishments from 2010. I believe we have the right men in place to help reach our goal this summer. Jack Peters made sure that tickets were sold to our shows. Mark Hale continues to give us all the tools we need to sing at that top level. Your board will make sure all the administrative items that go with running a chapter like ours are well-defined and carried out at the highest level.

With 2011 now off and running, please make that commitment to support the Masters of Harmony in whatever you’re asked to do. We still need to give the leaders the three things Mark asked us for 10-plus years ago: Attendance, Attention and Trust.

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