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Sweet Adelines International hosts singing competition

(April 24, 2015) Sweet Adelines International will be hosting its Region 19 Women’s Barbershop Singing competition this weekend with 20 chorus groups and 25 quartets battling for the chance to advance to the international competition in Las Vegas.

“It’s an opportunity to listen to some really good music, have a great night out and women get the opportunity to see if they would like to join us,” said Brenda Cunningham, marketing coordinator for Sweet Adeline’s International.

The activities kick off in the new performing arts center on 40th Street at 5 p.m. today, Friday, for the quartet’s competition lasting until about 10 p.m. The winners will qualify for the international competition in Las Vegas, which will take place in October.

The chorus contest starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday and lasts until about 5:30 p.m. The winners receive a chance to compete in the international competition in Las Vegas in 2016.

Approximately 30 regional winners advance to the international competition each year, Cunningham said.

A show of champions will take place on Saturday from 8-10:30 p.m. where all winning teams have the opportunity to perform and winners from last year’s competition will be back to put on a show for the audience.

“It’s an opportunity for small and mid-size groups to show off their performance and singing skills,” Cunningham said.

GQ (Girls Quartet) comprised of Towson University alumni and winners at last year’s competition will be back this year with a performance on Saturday night, Cunningham said.

In addition, several awards will be given out at the show including best novice quartet, most improved quartet and chorus, first place small chorus, mid-size and overall.

A new open division will give two chorus teams including Delmarva Chorus of Berlin the chance to perform and sing creatively, Cunningham said.

“They can include skits and comedy which gives teams a chance to show off other skills and the audience votes on their favorite,” she added.

Delmarva Chorus will be doing a spoof on “Maxine,” one of Hallmark’s popular characters with an attitude. All members will be decked out in grey wigs with some type of Maxine outfit.

“We will have two emcees and had to clean up our jokes a little bit, but it’s still going to be funny,” said Delmarva Chorus Director, Carol Ludwig. “We will be singing ‘Heart & Soul’ and ‘Ring Out the Bells in Dixieland,’ which is a typical barbershop chorus song while dressed as Maxine.”

The local group has performed in Sweet Adelines International for the past 11 years. It is a community group who volunteers and sings at local events including the Veterans Memorial in Ocean Pines, Ludwig said.

“I think the event is very good and educational,” Ludwig said. “Competing keeps us in the loop of the Barbershop art form.”

Groups from Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey will all be represented by about 1,000 singers on quartet and chorus teams this weekend.

“Competing in regional competitions are an every year requirement for the international level and are primarily an educational program that shows us how we are doing,” Cunningham said. 

Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide non-profit organization of about 23,000 women singers from countries such as Australia, Japan, Sweden, England and the United States. The organization is always looking for new members to join, and most recently, Germany has been interested in putting a group of singers together.

“We work really hard and were darn good,” Cunningham said.

The competitions will take place on Friday and Saturday at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street. Admission cost is $25 for spectators.  

For more information about the competition or Sweet Adelines International, visit www.region19sai.org or www.sweetadelineintl.org.

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