Forty-one years ago on March 13, 1974, the Gainesville Chapter of Sweet Adelines International received its charter. Known as the Gainesville Sweet Adelines for many years, the name was later changed to The Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus. We have been a small, but mighty voice in our Coastal Harmony Region 9 which includes choruses in the state of Florida and parts of South Carolina.
We have been an awarding winning chorus from the beginning. In the small chorus category (up to 30 members), we have earned 11 first place, 3 second place and 2 third place awards. In addition, we’ve successfully placed 3rd twice, 4th three times and 5th twice in Regional Competition with all choruses. In April 2015, we placed 1st Small Chorus and 5th overall – the seventh time we’ve double medaled at Regional Competition.
1978 was our first competition in Mobile, Alabama. Our chorus won first place in the Small Chorus division. First Row L to R: Cheryl Arroyo, Diane Sherley (charter member, current director), Barb Dixon, Linda Frostholm Yon, Chuck Griffith (director), Pat Evans, Mickey Sherley, Lynn Tanny, Sandi Davis. Second row L to R: Dot Anthony, Kathy Boynton, Janet Cornelius, Grace Northrop, Edith Butler, Esther Hudson, Laurel Clark. Third Row L to R: ??, Priscilla West, Carol Vascotto Benefield, Kay Gonsoulin, Linda Danver, Gail Wells Garrett, Beth Ripple (current member), Mary Ann Mathers
Although times and fashions have changed, we still have a blast doing what we love – singing and dancing in harmony.
In 1996, Sweet Adelines International introduced the first small chorus festival. The highest scoring small chorus from each region were invited to St. Louis to participate on the international stage. We were delighted to be part of that initial group. Four years later (in 2000), for the first time small and medium chorus competitions were held in every regional competition. Our chorus scored in the top 5 in the world for the small chorus division. Sweet Adelines International, once again, invited us to attend the competition in San Antonio, Texas. We are so proud of our hard work, because in October of 2016 we will again be competing on the international stage as one of the top 5 small choruses.
We enjoy sharing our musical talents in various community activities like the Spring Arts Festival, singing the National Anthem at local sporting events, entertaining at the Thomas Center Tree Lighting Ceremony and caroling at the Oaks Mall. One of our favorite activities is singing patriotic music at the monthly Naturalization Ceremony for our new U.S. citizens and seeing the joy and pride on their faces. Our monthly singing engagements at nursing homes and assisted living facilities in our area brings joy to both the residents and our chorus members.
Naturalization Ensemble: Diane Sherley, Beckie Preston, Stella Kim, Mitzi Korb, Joan Gowan, Sharleen Simpson and Karen Caraway.
Over the years we have shared this unique musical genre at the MacIntosh Fall Festival, at various festivals in High Springs, at the Santa Fe College facility in Starke, at area churches and at county fairs. We experienced the joy of singing under broiling sun, in freezing cold where notes could be seen in the vapor, and under rainy skies.
In addition to the chorus, our chapter boasts three quartets who also love to share musical offerings at various community organizations. Check out On The Edge and The Clique.
We love to present shows like our spring concerts or Mother’s Day Tea. Our chorus has staged major shows like our 40’s radio show, a 50’s talent show and holiday shows. Recently, we have teamed with the BarberGators for our Holiday Harmonies Show. These collaborations have allowed us to present unique 8-part harmony arrangements, as well as showcasing our choruses and quartets.
Come join the fun and discover the joy in A Cappella singing!!