THREE dedicated Invercargill singers were rewarded for their commitment and talent when their choir gained fifth place in the Sweet Adelines International 2016 competitions held in Las Vegas in October.
Members of the Invercargill Foveaux Harmony Chorus, Anne McPheat, Jessie Campbell and Rosalie Boath successfully auditioned for the Sweet Adelines Christchurch City Chorus which enabled them to compete in the international awards alongside 34 other acts.
After winning the national awards, the Christchurch group gained entry to the international awards and its musical director Virginia Humphrey-Taylor invited barbershop singers from throughout the country to audition for her choir.
They committed to 18 months of rehearsals, travelling to Christchurch once a month, receiving vocal training from Pitch Perfect vocal coach Deke Sharon and practising in their own time.
They were grateful to the Invercargill Licensing Trust for providing scholarships to help with their costs.
Performing two songs, the Kiwi chorus placed in the top 10 followed by a show package which won it fifth ranking and the award for Most Entertaining Chorus.
McPheat said New Zealand was now considered in the top echelon barbershop for women and the placement also gave Humphrey-Taylor the distinction of being named a Master Musical Director.
“We put in a lot of work – it’s a big commitment so it was really nice to get the acknowledgement,” McPheat said.
The awards were held at MGM Grand Las Vegas, which hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry, and McPheat said it was an amazing venue to perform in.
“As we walked down the corridor making our way to the stage, we passed all these photos of the stars that have performed there – Beyonce, The Rolling Stones, Sting and to think all these big names have walked down here before me was such a buzz.”
With 8500 women in one place, Campbell said the event made for “a lot of noise and sparkles”.
“We had two amazing outfits with tassles and bling but you don’t really stand out in Vegas because everything is blingy there,” she said.
The three singers continue to rehearse and perform with the Invercargill Sweet Adelines group under the guidance of musical director Sarah Rae and encourage other women to come along and check out the group in action as it’s always looking for new members.