This year’s edition of Harmony College Northeast (HCNE), being held August 13-15 at Fitchburg State College, is shaping up to be the best ever. I have elected to keep many of the popular features that have made our school so successful in recent years and then sprinkled in several new items we know you will enjoy. We promise that our amazing staff will provide you with an educational and fun barbershop experience unlike any other. Whether you sing in a quartet, direct your chorus, or contribute every week as a member of your chapter’s chorus, there is something for you at HCNE that will increase your enjoyment of our great hobby.
For those of you who have attended the school before, you will find another wonderful outdoor BBQ on Friday evening to kick off the weekend followed by an informative general session, including an workshop about how to systematically improve your quartet or chorus using the Singing A’s program, presented by Larry Bean and Jim Dodge.
On Saturday you will enjoy the same successful quartet coaching program using the POD system or many of the most popular classroom offerings from recent years. Of course we will have another huge Saturday night show featuring no less than five international level guest quartets, the Harmony Explosion Chorus of High School singers, plus several of our own District favorites. After the show, you will enjoy one more fun-filled pizza party and afterglow with singing well into the night.
On top of all that, we have added nine brand new courses for this year and expanded the staff to include additional members of the NED Singing A’s Team and The NED HEP Team. We will also introduce new faculty members from Granite Statesmen University (GSU), an innovative music education program developed by the Nashua chapter. Students will find new courses in music planning, singing and performance, and several subject areas that explain and celebrate the uniqueness of our musical style.
The Vocal Boot Camp, being taught by Steve Tramack and the GSU staff, is a proven program that blends informational lectures about singing technique and anatomy with active, small group vocal workshops focused on the basics of producing a quality sound. The Granite Statesmen, your 8-time District Chorus Champions, believe that this attention to the basics is what fuels their continued musical growth. The Friday evening general session, produced by Larry Bean (The Management) and Jim Dodge, NED VP of Music & Performance, will elaborate on how to systematically improve your quartet or chorus.
At Harmony College Northeast, students can learn to become better singers and more informed musicians, or you can simply attend to revel in the barbershop sound and camaraderie. You have the flexibility to choose the program that you will enjoy most.
This year’s feature quartets include: Happiness Emporium your 1975 International Champions from MN, plus 12th Street Rag from MO; The Exchange from IA and KY; Reveille from NY; and of course, the Harmony Explosion guest quartet, 3 Men and a Melody, also from MO. Joining them on the stage Saturday night will be a few past NED champion quartets and our own college champs, Men in Black.
With all of that going on, we have still managed to hold the line on tuition and will enjoy the same low rates featured last year. Only $120 pays for your course(s), food for the weekend, and lodging both Friday and Saturday night. A lower, commuter rate is also available for those who live close by and do not want to stay over.
Attending these types of schools makes you a better, more motivated singer and is a wonderful celebration of what our Society and our musical style is all about. Please don’t cheat yourself by missing it. Also, challenge your leadership team to encourage your fellow chapter members to attend. There is something to be gained by every singer who participates in this school. In the end, you will benefit from having a more enthusiastic and informed singer next to you in your quartet or chorus when you invite a friend to join you at HCNE. Perhaps your chapter can offer a scholarship program for the newest members, so they can get out of the gate fast and learn about our style more quickly. This could be the kindest gift you could give a new guy and it might help him to become a happy, contributing member of your team for a long time to come. SEEYA! at the school!
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