OCEAN CITY – Harmonious music will be flowing from the Convention Center Thursday, April 28 to Sunday, May 1, as the ladies of Sweet Adeline International Region 19 come into town for their annual convention.
Sweet Adeline’s International is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance. There are 33 regions who participate in Sweet Adeline International.
The organizations motto is to “harmonize the world”. It provides education through its “Young Women in Harmony” program that offers music educators a means of including the study and performance of barbershop harmony in school music programs.
Sweet Adeline’s Region 19 includes choruses and quartets from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
“This year is the eighth regional competition,” Region 19’s Marketing Coordinator and singer from Cape May, NJ, Brenda Cunningham said.
There are 1,100 women who participate in Region 19 and the local chorus that will be competing in this year’s regional competition is DelMarVa Chorus.
“We are really excited because Delmarva is considered a young chorus,” DelMarVa Chorus and Eastern ShoreFire quartet member Carol Ludwig said.
Ludwig has participated in Sweet Adeline for 32 years and helped form the DelMarVa Chorus in 2003 when she moved to the area from Pennsylvania.
“I missed it…so four of us got together and started the chorus,” Ludwig said. “They are really doing well. We won the most improved chorus twice already.”
According to Ludwig, there are 39 choruses and 28 quartets in Region 19. The regional competition is annual and every group has to compete at least once every two years.
“You have to sing in the American art form of barbershop,” Ludwig said.
In the regional competition, there is one chorus and one quartet chosen to move on to perform in the international competition. There are three different categories of choruses based on size.
“We have second and third place in all three of those categories, the overall winner is the regional winner and they go on to compete international,” Cunningham explained
The competitions are open to the public. Proceeds from the performances are shared with scholarship funds, health care, social service programs and the arts and humanities.