Granted, we haven’t been a quartet for too long, but Harmony, Inc.’s International Contest was a truly amazing experience for Epic. We won’t give you the blow-by-blow, but we’d like to blog a few highlights of our long weekend in Hershey, Pa.
With maternity leave for Kris and two members brand new to barbershop, Epic didn’t get rolling early enough in 2011 to be in the competition cycle. With no real duties, we decided to volunteer to work at the International Convention as a quartet. We worked the registration desk on Friday for a while—and learned just how complicated things can get for Gayle and the rest of the HI organizers who try to keep track of hundreds and hundreds of women!! Dealing with tickets and registration for that brief time leaves us forever grateful for the behind-the-scenes folks who work so hard to put the rest of us in the position to enjoy a great contest.
We also pulled a long shift on door duty during the chorus competition. While this may be among the most dreaded volunteer jobs on the docket, Epic found a way to make it epic anyway. We took turns stepping into the auditorium so we could each see a good handful of choruses do their sets, and the “outside” door guards visited with friends and competitors in the hallway. We also pulled up a new arrangement on our smart phones while we worked so we could read through the chart and learn our parts!
There were many touching and impressive moments from the contest stage and, while we were all impressed, our “newbies” were particularly stunned at the vast range of artistic styling that characterizes the barbershop genre. While we’ll run the risk here of forgetting some of our favorites we should highlight just a few—Stardust’s “Cheer Up Charlie,” Foreign Exchange’s “For Sale” ballad, Blaze’s smokin’ “Night of a Thousand Eyes,” Katie Taylor and For Heaven’s Sake performing “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” on the Champion Showcase, NBC’s middle of the night “Dancing Queen” jam session, a super-clean contest set by the Village Vocal Chords, and the very touching final swan song by the Ringtones!
Because we live in an area of the country that is not fortunate enough to have Harmony, Inc. chapters (yet), we are Associate members that call Area 2 home. This was our first chance to meet a lot of our Area 2 sisters and we had such a WARM welcome from so many people! After our experience in Hershey, we are beyond excited about reuniting with these new friends and supporters in Montreal at the Area 2 contest in the spring.
We sang Saturday night in the Chordyard and in various hospitality rooms—what a BLAST. We are always striving to be better and we know we have an exciting year of growth ahead of us, but the Harmony family treated us like rock stars!! Check out the videos below.
We were getting more requests to sing than our poor tired voices could handle! At 3:30 a.m., we declared a victory and headed to our room. Still, we stayed awake for at least an hour more talking through our Hershey experience and our favorite moments of the weekend.
This contest will always hold a special place in our hearts, without a doubt. Not only did we meet so many cool people and have buckets and buckets full of laughs, but we also bonded to a whole new level as a quartet. We were thrilled to share the experience with John and Judy Rector, Rob and “mascot William,” Dawn Crane, and the ridiculously fun and funny Dawn Langdon. Can we do it again next weekend??