Latest News

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  • Inaugural Chorus Retreat
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 14 Mar 2020
    Inaugural Chorus Retreat

    Honing our Craft in the Mountains

    We felt very lucky last weekend to spend the weekend at The Ridge at Maleny, working on our competition songs and also taking some time to connect as a chorus. Coach Glenda Lloyed travelled up from Canberra to join us in the stunning surrounds of Booroobin, and we are so appreciative of the support she continues to provide to our choir. 

    Not only did Glenda help us in unifying our vocal production (by ditching any unnecessary vocal manipulation), she also arranged a stunning new ending for our contest ballad, and switched up some of the chords in other sections of the song. We can't wait to sing it for our family, friends, and fellow barbershoppers!

      

    Aside from some glorious singing, we were thankful for the opportunity to relax with a few drinks and some delicious food while we took in the sweeping mountain views. There was quartetting, guitar sing-alongs, and a bit of group 'tagging' (where one person teaches the end of a song - the tag - in four parts).  We have a very talented group!

       

    The Sunday of our retreat fell on International Women's Day, so we decided to mark the occasion with a flash-mob! We headed to the markets in Maleny, sang Glenda's fabulous arrangement of the iconic Helen Reddy anthem 'I Am Woman', and then we disappeared as quickly as we'd arrived! We then held a celebratory lunch at Hotel Maleny.

       

    We are so appreciative of being part of this chorus, and being able to take part in lovely experiences such as retreat.  Huge thanks go to Glenda, our Musical Director, Julie, and our Team Coordinator, Natalie, for helping to create such a memorable weekend!

  • Performance at The Lounge Jazz Club
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 29 Feb 2020
    Performance at The Lounge Jazz Club

    Getting Jazzy

    On Thursday 27th of February, Blue Sky Harmony had a fantastic evening performing at The Lounge, upstairs at The Royal Hotel in Nundah - one of our regular haunts!  This cool live music venue features leather booths, Chesterfield couches, wood-panelled walls, and a pool table nook surrounded by beautiful framed black and white photos.

    We were invited to take to the stage by Art Deco Dance Orchestra, whom we had previously met while they were performing at the regular 'Jazz Thursdays' event at The Lounge.  On this occasion they performed two sets with guest vocalist Peter Vance, and during their break we sang some of our favourite jazzy a cappella tunes - including the debut of our new contest uptune! 

    The audience was wonderfully engaged.  It is rare to make a strong connection with audience members in any venue serving drinks, so we were thrilled to have such an appreciative crowd to interact with. Our choir always loves getting out and about in the Nundah community, and The Lounge was no exception. 

    We received wonderful feedback from band leader Joe Howman, who said "We were blown away with your harmonies and heartfelt performance. The arrangements were interesting, novel and beautifully executed. We had excellent feedback from the audience and the venue's management. The Blue Sky Harmony performance contributed to making the night a big hit. In fact my sax player said to me, ‘How can we follow that?’."

    Our sincere thanks go to Art Deco Dance Orchestra and everyone in the audience who made this such a memorable performance!

  • Directors' School 2020
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 24 Jan 2020
    Directors' School 2020

    Blue Sky Harmony Music Team Attends Director Training Weekend

    Last weekend was the Sweet Adelines Australia Directors' School in Sydney, which was attended by more than 100 musical directors, assistant directors and visual team leaders from all over Australia - and even some from New Zealand! The special guest faculty was Cy Wood, who has worked a an actor, producer, special events coordinator, and creative director, as well as coaching barbershop. Cy has significant experience in the area of showmanship, helping tie together the music, lyrics, singing and expression to create honest and moving performances. 

    In addition to Cy's coaching, members of the Sweet Adelines Australia Regional Education Faculty presented classes such as: How to Teach, Inspire and Lead; The Truth About Resonance; and Conducting Skills. There were targeted networking sessions in which registrants were grouped according to their roles in their choruses - very valuable for sharing stories, techniques and strategies. 

    Blue Sky Harmony's Musical Director, Julie, and Assistant Director, Jess, had a wonderful time learning new skills and networking with musical leaders from other choirs. Jess was invited to lead physical warm-ups one morning, and she had the whole room getting Uptown Funky! What a great way to share some Blue Sky Harmony joy with other Sweet Adelines. 

    At our first rehearsal following Directors' School, we heard about some of Cy's teachings and we look forward to incorporating them into our songs. Thank you to Sweet Adelines Australia for putting on this amazing educational event every year, so our directors can continue to grow and learn, and bring back new ideas to our chorus.
     

      

        Jess getting some valuable conducting feedback                   A small chorus of attendees being directed by Jess

      

        Physical warm-ups - Blue Sky Harmony style           Our directors traveled to Sydney with musical leaders from
                                                                                         Redland Rhapsody Chorus, which is based in Alexandra Hills 



    Featured image: Julie, Cy and Jess at Directors' School

  • Holiday Fun
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 11 Jan 2020
    Holiday Fun

    Thursday Nights Well Spent!

    We've had a lovely break from rehearsals since the 12th of December, but we couldn't resist the opportunity for a couple of get-togethers during our 'time off'. First, we headed to the Hamilton Hotel for their regular Thursday night karaoke night - this time with a Christmas theme! We thoroughly enjoyed watching some talented and entertaining singers hit the stage, and we even chatted to a few people about our awesome little a cappella group.  

    We performed songs by a range of artists, from Sam Smith to Belinda Carlisle, The Pointer Sisters, Duffy, and ABBA. The audience of fellow singers was extremely supportive, and loved the choreo that baritones Suzi and Kate threw into their rendition of 'Waterloo'. We hope to return for another round of karaoke in future!

     

      
    Karaoke time! Blue Sky Harmony members at the Hamilton Hotel's Christmas karaoke night


    Another activity that we don't have a chance to do often is head out for late-night shopping.  We didn't quite do that, but we had a lovely dinner at Chermside to start off the year. Next week, we're back at rehearsals!

     


    A sneaky drink and a chat after a lovely dinner to start the new year


    There is so much to look forward to this year for Blue Sky Harmony. We can't wait to have our first retreat, our first trip to the Sweet Adelines Australia convention and competition, and also charter as a chorus within Sweet Adelines International - a worldwide organisation of barbershop singers. 

    It's wonderful to be part of a choir like ours, in which a shared love of singing can lead to long-lasting friendships. We hope to make many more friends in 2020 - come visit us at a rehearsal any time! 

  • Christmas Performances
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  •  Date Posted: Mon, 16 Dec 2019
    Christmas Performances

    Blue Sky Harmony's first carolling season

    Our chorus has thoroughly enjoyed the last few weeks - our first season of Christmas carolling!  Our Festive Season Singing Workshop was a wonderful start to the holiday season, and we were proud to introduce 15 women to our style of a cappella singing during three rehearsals in November.  

    Performance-wise, were excited to sing for an enthusiastic audience - full of excited children - at the Hawthorne Garage Christmas Carols on 1st December.  Hawthorne Garage is a gorgeous grocer/deli/produce market, and they have run their carols event for the last couple of years to raise money for local community members in need. Although the festivities had to be moved under cover this year due to rain, it didn't dampen the spirits of the event organisers and guests. 

    Not long after the Hawthorne Garage carols, we hosted our inaugural Blue Sky Harmony Christmas Concert at Toombul Shire Hall, on 5th December. This was attended by an audience of more than 40 friends and family members, who heard a mix of traditional and contemporary carols sung by our choir, a quartet and a trio of singers. For the finale of the show, our Festive Season Singing Workshop participants joined us on stage to sing the three songs that they'd learnt with us. We also had a surprise for our audience - a carol medley featuring... kazoos!  It was a light-hearted way to end the performances, and a perfect segue into supper. 

     

      Sparkling Blends performs 'Santa Baby'                                    Time for an audience sing-along!


    Our final performance of the season was by the beach at Scarborough Christmas Carols on 8th December. As well as fabulous music, this event had twilight markets, food trucks, rides, and loads of Christmas activities. Scarborough Christmas Carols provided us with a unique performance situation - individual microphones. Although we usually sing with microphones that pick up the choir's combined sound, we took advantage of the opportunity to use individual mics and unleashed our inner divas! The audience was huge - plenty of families with picnic blankets and camping chairs - and it was a wonderful event to be part of. 

     

       Hanging out in the deli air con at Hawthorne Garage       In amongst the crowd after our Scarborough performance        


    Something else that we were happy to be part of this festive season was the 'It's In The Bag' campaign run by Share The Dignity. This charity's main focus is to help women and girls experiencing homelessness, by helping them access sanitary products and other personal care essentials. Each Christmas, they call for donations of handbags/backpacks filled with santiary items, toiletries, and other items; these are then distributed to women and girls in need. With generous support from family members, friends, workshop participants and colleagues, we were able to put together 17 bags for the It's In The Bag campaign. We hope to support this extremely worthy charity again in future years.

     

        
      We met Santa Claus backstage!        Some of the donations we put together for 'It's In The Bag'     Dropping off our bags at Bunnings


    We're now on a break from rehearsals until 16th January, but we're going to have a couple of social catch-ups in the meantime!  We're very proud of what we've achieved as a chorus over the last few months, and we thank everyone who has shown an interest and supported us during this time. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and wish you all the best for the coming year.  



    Featured image:  Blue Sky Harmony on stage at our inaugural Christmas Concert.

  • Festive Season Singing Workshop
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 6 Dec 2019
    Festive Season Singing Workshop

    Sharing the joy of singing

    Throughout November, Blue Sky Harmony was excited to welcome 15 women to a series of introductory workshops on a cappella singing. Participants came to the workshops with a range of levels of singing experience, from long-time choristers to complete newbies, and the lessons had something for everyone. Each week, we focused on a different skill area and worked on learning three festive songs.

    The workshop's finale was our Christmas concert on 5th December, which had an audience of more than 40 supportive family members and friends. Many of our workshop participants took the opportunity to showcase the results of their efforts, joining us on stage for three songs. The final song - a Christmas carol medley - had a surprise twist... kazoos!  It was a fun finish to a wonderful few weeks of learning. 

    Members of Blue Sky Harmony thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the workshop participants, and we hope that some have been inspired to do more singing in future. There is a choir out there for everyone! We believe that a creative outlet is so important to have - it allows for self expression, facilitates learning, and builds confidence. Our chorus looks forward to running further a cappella workshops in 2020, so we can encourage more women to get back into singing. 

     


    Some of the Festive Season Singing Workshop participants, with Blue Sky Harmony members


    Featured image:  The finale of our Christmas concert - a carol medley with kazoos!

  • Vocal Pedagogy Worshop with Steve Scott
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 29 Nov 2019
    Vocal Pedagogy Worshop with Steve Scott

    Blue Sky Harmony in Canberra

    Five members of Blue Sky Harmony travelled to Canberra to attend a special workshop by educator Steve Scott, from 22-24 November. Steve works for the Barbershop Harmony Society - the US men's barbershop organisation - as a Music Education Specialist. In this role, he oversees the development and implementation of new interactive and online learning for Harmony University, and assists in the operation of music-based curriculum at Barbershop Harmony Society education events.

    Steve's specialisation is in vocal pedagogy, which is the study of the art and science of voice instruction. Vocal pedagogy is used to teach singing, including how to achieve proper singing technique.  The classes that Steve presented over the weekend described how the voice works, what doesn't improve singing technique (i.e. mythbusting), how the correct body alignment can positively affect sound, and how to better use breath and vowels when singing.  

    Barbershoppers from all over Australia took part in the workshop, so this was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with friends from other choruses.  The event was hosted by Brindabella chorus, who are heading to the Sweet Adelines International convention next year to compete in the Harmony Classic - a competition of the ten best small-to-midsized barbershop choruses in the world. Workshop participants were treated to a sneak peak of Brindabella's competition package, so we feel pretty special!  

    We are now looking forward to putting many of Steve's teachings into practice as we work towards performing at the Sweet Adelines Australia Convention and Competition in 2020 in Hobart. 

     


    Vocal pedagogy expert Steve Scott coaches Brindabella Chorus. 


    Featured image:  Blue Sky Harmony members Ainslie, Michelle, Suzi, Natalie and Courtney on their way home after an educational, fun-filled weekend in Canberra.

  • Special Singing Performance
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  •  Date Posted: Mon, 28 Oct 2019
    Special Singing Performance

    The River City Clippers' Annual Concert

    Blue Sky Harmony was honoured to be a guest act at the annual concert of Brisbane-based men's barbershop chorus, The RIver City Clippers (pictured above) on 27th October. This year, the Clippers took a creative idea and turned it into a wonderful themed show - Close Encounters of the Musical Kind.

    The concept of the show was based around an alien called Notone, who was travelling through outer space when she discovered something amazing... the golden record that was launched into the solar system on NASA's Voyager spacecraft in 1977! History buffs may know that this record was inscribed with directions to earth and instructions on how to create a record player. By following these instructions, other intelligent life-forms would be able to play the record, which carried greetings from the people of planet Earth, and samples of music including classical, blues and rock 'n' roll. 

    In the Clippers' show, the intrepid alien had found the record, decoded it, and then travelled to earth to find out more about the music she had heard. Luckily for Notone, she landed right next to the Clippers' rehearsal venue - a perfect place to find the information she was seeking! The story of how Notone made her way to Earth was covered in a clever show-opening video, which you can still watch here.

     

        
    Blue Sky Harmony backstage at the Clippers' concert           After the show. L-R: Nick, Julie, Steve and Jess       


    Over the course of the afternoon, the Clippers took the audience on a journey through many types of music, and Blue Sky Harmony was happy perform a set of four songs during the show.  This performance was our choir's official public debut, and we thoroughly enjoyed singing to a room full of barbershop and a cappella music fans.  The show was a great success, and we look forward to collaborating with the Clippers again in future. 

    You can catch us performing next at our Christmas Concert on Thursday 5th December - find out more here.

  • Christmas Concert
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 22 Sep 2019
    Christmas Concert

    Feel the festive spirit with Blue Sky Harmony

    Blue Sky Harmony is proud to present our inaugural Christmas Concert on Thursday 5th December from 8pm at Toombul Shire Hall, Nundah, on Brisbane's northside.

    Join us for an evening of music to kick-start the festive season! You will enjoy traditional and contemporary carols performed by our choir, quartets, and participants in our November singing workshop. Audience members will even have a chance to join in the singing!

    Tickets are $10 each, or free for children under 15, which includes entertainment and light refreshments. Grab your tickets today!


    This event is supported by the Lord Mayor's Community Fund and the Councillor for Northgate Ward.


  • Enjoying the local arts scene
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  •  Date Posted: Tue, 17 Sep 2019
    Enjoying the local arts scene

    Blue Sky Harmony is out and about!

    Over the past month, we’ve had a packed schedule of amazing concerts and workshops!  We attended the Vocalescence and Sound Connection combined show in August, which included an exciting Wizard of Oz-themed package.  This was followed soon after by a concert hosted by the Blenders Chorus, featuring award-winning men’s barbershop quartets The Newfangled Four and Blindside.

    From late August to early September, talented Blue Sky Harmony member Liliana was performing in the title role of Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble’s production of ‘Henry IV Part I’. Many of us rugged up to enjoy this play at the Amphitheatre, Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane.

    Most recently, we were thrilled to attend a masterclass with ‘the father of contemporary a cappella’, Deke Sharon.  Deke is a singer, arranger, composer, director, producer and teacher, and he is widely known for his role as the musical director and arranger for the ‘Pitch Perfect’ films. Our choir’s members enjoyed learning some vocal percussion skills and hearing Deke’s thoughts on performing.

    We love to attend shows and workshops as a chorus.  Not only do these outings give us ideas for our own performances, but they’re also an opportunity to build closer connections with other arts groups – and have a lot of fun in the process! 

     

      Liliana as Henry IV                      Some of Blue Sky Harmony's members with The Newfangled Four quartet             

     Photo: Craig McDiarmid

    Featured image:  Blue Sky Harmony with Deke Sharon

  • Come Sing with Blue Sky Harmony!
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 28 Aug 2019
    Come Sing with Blue Sky Harmony!

    Festive season singing workshop

    Do you love to sing? Are you interested in learning more about harmony singing and vocal production? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a star of the stage? If the answer to any of these questions is 'YES!', then we invite you to join us for a fabulous festive season singing workshop!

    Workshop participants will join the members of Blue Sky Harmony for three rehearsals, from 7:00-9:00pm on the 14th, 21st and 28th of November. During this time, they will learn a fun holiday song in four-part a cappella harmony with our choir, and work on improving their vocal production and performance skills.

    The excitement won't end there though! On Thursday 5th December, participants will have the opportunity to join Blue Sky Harmony on stage to perform for family and friends at our inaugural Christmas concert, starting at 8pm. All rehearsals and the Christmas concert will be at Toombul Shire Hall, in Nundah Village, Brisbane.

    Register now for the Blue Sky Harmony festive season singing workshop, or contact us anytime for more information. We hope to see you there!

    This workshop is supported by the Lord Mayor's Community Fund and the Councillor for Northgate Ward. 


  • A Cappella August
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  •  Date Posted: Mon, 12 Aug 2019
    A Cappella August

    Blue Sky Harmony Embraces Learning Opportunities

    August has been an action-packed month so far for Blue Sky Harmony, and we're less than two weeks in!  Last Thursday night we were thrilled to spend a night being coached by Glenda Lloyd in our new rehearsal venue - Toombul Shire Hall.  Glenda is Master Director of Brindabella Chorus, a Sweet Adelines Australia Regional Education Faculty member, and also an arranger, songwriter, and medallist quartet singer (bass in Debacle Quartet).  Although we are a small choir, we sounded five times the size by the end of rehearsal, and were singing with joy and freedom.  We celebrated with a drink after rehearsal, and enjoyed a chat with one of our favourite coaches.

    We followed on from this special night with a whole weekend of learning at Sweet Adelines Australia's 'August A Cappella' event. This was just one of a series of workshops that will be held all over Australia in August, and around 60 people attended in Brisbane (pictured above),.

    Glenda Lloyd and Jo Oosterhoff were our coaches for the weekend - Jo sings tenor in the Australian champion quartet, Enchant, and is also a Master Director of A Cappella West Chorus, which she co-directs with Lindsey Dyer. With this wealth of experience, the weekend was sure to be a success, and Blue Sky Harmony's members had a wonderful time honing our vocal production and performance skills.  

    Another highlight of August A Cappella was catching up with other singers from all over the east coast - from Bundaburg to Melbourne. It is always a delight to spend time with other women who share our passion for a cappella harmony singing. We can't wait to see what the rest of August brings!

                Blue Sky Harmony at August A Cappella                    Coaching with Glenda Lloyd (Glenda pictured centre)            
  • Blue Sky Harmony Launches
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 27 Jul 2019
    Blue Sky Harmony Launches

    Welcome To Our New Website!

    Thanks for stopping by to learn more about Blue Sky Harmony. Although we are one of Brisbane's newest performance ensembles, our members have been singing together for many years. In our midst we have seasoned a cappella singers, educators, facilitators, and musicians. 

    Our choir has a varied repertoire of contemporary four-part a cappella harmony music, and our performances incorporate storytelling and movement. We are now accepting bookings to perform at events and functions - if you are planning an event during the festive season, please contact us ASAP as our availability is limited. 

    Blue Sky Harmony is based in Nundah, on the northside of Brisbane, and we welcome membership enquiries from women who love to sing, embrace new challenges, and strive for excellence. For all the details of how to sing with us, visit our 'Become a Member' page. 

    We invite you to follow us on our journey via Facebook, Instagram, or by signing up to our mailing list (via the 'join our mailing list' box on the top right of this page). 



 
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