What is Sweet Adelines International?
Sweet Adelines International is a membership organization of female singers, who meet regularly to practice, socialize and have fun. All active members belong to a chorus, and some members create and sing in quartets. Sweet Adelines’ choruses and quartets perform in public and may compete at regional and international levels.
The Sound of Sunshine is a 501-C non-profit organization affiliated with Sweet Adelines International. The singers are all volunteers, range in age from teenagers to retirees and travel from seven different counties throughout Central Florida to be a part of the chorus. Not only do they sing but also they support a number of musical education programs one being The Young Women in Harmony Program. It focuses on acquainting young female singers with the barbershop style, primarily in school-based choruses and quartets. In addition, the program provides music educators free educational materials and music for junior high, high school and college age singers. Instructors may also receive volunteer support from the Sound of Sunshine chorus, quartets and individual members. The efforts are helping to fill the gaps left by budget cuts in the arts curricula in public schools. Music educators and students from around the world are responding enthusiastically to this program.
What kind of music do Sweet Adelines sing?
Sweet Adelines choruses and quartets perform four-part a cappella harmony, barbershop style. This style of music lends itself to songs from any era – today’s ballads, popular show tunes, even jazz. Sweet Adelines’ have performed their unique style of music in a number of popular venues from professional sports stadiums, Olympic ceremonies, with major symphonies, and even on several national television shows. A PBS special featuring Sweet Adelines International recently aired nationally to over 80 million households.
How does the barbershop style differ from conventional harmony?
If you ask our members, they’ll tell you that singing this style of music is a high like nothing they’ve ever experienced before. It’s a buzz.
Finding the right part for your voice is the initial step. Any woman of average singing ability, with or without vocal training, will find a part that fits her range.
- Lead is the melody and is sung in the range between A below middle C, and C above middle C.
- Tenor is a harmony part sung consistently above the lead. Although tenor is the highest voice in barbershop harmony, it should not be confused with soprano of conventional singing groups. The tenor should have a light, sweet, pure tone that will compliment but not overpower the lead voice.
- Baritone covers approximately the same range as lead. The baritone harmony notes cross the lead notes; sometimes sung below and sometimes above. Baritones must constantly adjust their balance to accommodate their position in the chord.
- Bass singers should have a rich, mellow voice and be able to sing the E flat below middle C easily. Basses should not be confused with the alto of conventional groups. Many altos can sing the bass part, but others are much better suited to lead or baritone, depending on range and vocal quality.
Where are Sweet Adelines’ choruses?
Sweet Adelines International is a musical force in the United States and throughout the world. The international membership of nearly 30,000 women, all singing in English, includes choruses in most of the fifty United States, as well as Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden and the Netherlands. There are prospective choruses in Denmark, Greece and United Arab Emirates.