July 16th, 2024

Southern Accord chorus celebrates 25 years of harmony

By Erika Mathieu SOUTHERN ALBERTA NEWSPAPERS ssnews@sunnysouthnews.com on October 5, 2023.

The Southern Accord Chorus is gearing up to celebrate 25 years of group harmony. Submitted photo

The Southern Accord Chorus is celebrating 25 years of music magic.

In celebration of the significant milestone, the local women’s a cappella chorus is gearing up for their upcoming event, “Harmony Connections- Celebrating 25 years with Our Community.”

The event will take place in Lethbridge on Sat. Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at the College Drive Community Church, just 10 minutes from their long-time rehearsal space in Lethbridge County at the McNally Community Centre.

The organization is currently home to 28 members, many of whom travel from Vauxhall, and even as far as Milk River, in order to attend the in-person rehearsals.

In 2022, Southern Accord received two medals at the Region 26 Sweet Adelines virtual contest, placing in third for small choruses and fifth out of all chorus sizes in Western Canada. In addition to hearing the musical stylings of Southern Accord, attendees will get to experience the rhythm and music of the U of L Global Drums, who will be joining the evening as special guests.

The upcoming Harmony Connections event will showcase Southern Accord’s four part harmonies in an indoor performance setting for the first time in several years since the onset of COVID-19, and will be an opportunity for the group of singers to share their harmonies and talents with the community and will coincide with World Singing Day.

Over the course of the pandemic, members remained unified in their efforts, and found genuinely innovative ways to comply with restrictions, and continue making music together.

Member Sylvia Klassen said the group is proud to represent women from many different walks of life.

“We’re so diverse,” and said membership is comprised of business owners, artists, musicians, nurses, and triathletes.

“Even through COVID, we still rehearsed outside and had extra masks. We did not falter.”

“We even had a show in the midst of that and called a ‘car-bershop’. We were all in our cars in our own vehicles, and we all had a microphone set up on our vehicle, then the audience was in a field, just across the way from us. They would turn their radio onto a radio channel and they can hear us.”

Despite differences, and distance, the group finds cohesion and harmony when they come together for rehearsals and performances.

“I think it’s because we just love to sing,” Klassen said.

Southern Accord’s signature four-part harmonies are achieved by the group’s baritone, bass, tenor, and lead vocalists, and as is the case with any team effort, all participants regardless of their role play an integral part in the strength and success of a group performance.

“Because we all sing together, we all have to be on the same pitch. We all have to be on the same note and on the same cadence, and I think that that helps build up a camaraderie, you know, because we have to be together in music, and our steps. Because we are also a chorus, we do have a lot of action and motion in our music, so we all have to make sure that when our hand goes up, everybody’s hand goes up. It has to be unified.”

The chorus performs a wide range of genres including contemporary, barbershop, and show tunes.

The upcoming Harmony Connections showcase will take place on Oct. 21 at the College Drive Community Church at 2710 College Drive South in Lethbridge. Those interested in attending can buy tickets by visiting https://bit.ly/3ElBJ0Y, Analog Books, or directly from any chorus member. To learn more about the Southern Accord chorus visit https://southernaccord.org

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