Hello and welcome to the fourth of our State of the District messages. Today we focus on Events.
Historically, if one were to ask what the districts do, the answer you would most often receive is that “they put on the conventions”. Indeed, that is a major component of what we do. It accounts for 80% of the budget and directly affects the greatest number of chapters and members.
Over the last 10 years the Carolinas has experienced a good deal of success with our conventions. Our inaugural Fall Convention in Myrtle Beach South Carolina had more than 900 attendees. In 2014 we introduced the first Fall Festival in Charleston South Carolina arousing national interest. “It’s not just a contest anymore”– we have expanded our offerings to provide something for everyone: coaching, classes, tours, banquets, fun and fellowship–embracing youth, mixed ensembles and enriching the local community. We have been places we’ve never been before, spannng the district from Savannah, Georgia to Asheville, North Carolina, from Columbia to Raleigh. Now, in this era of Covid, we’ve held our first Virtual Barbershop Festival, witnessing the debut of outstanding virtual chorus and quartet videos and celebrating our innovation and creativity.
We also participate as individual members, Chapters, and as a District in international conventions. Our Chorus entry, the Carolinas Vocal Express, achieved our highest scoring, placing 16th in the world, while we have enjoyed silver level ranking in our seniors entries with Let’s Sing! and the Carolinas Statesmen at Midwinter. Speaking of MidWinter, I encourage you to register for MidWinter 2021. It’s an immersive virtual experience at a fraction of the in-person cost (no hotel or air fare1). Be sure to visit the Carolina‘s room while you’re there. Here’s the link to register: Virtual MidWinter
Speaking of Carolinas, we are hosting the 2022 International Convention in Charlotte. We will be post Covid and itching to be together in person. So get ready to attend and join in with one of our many chorus competitors.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. For 2021 we have our spring convention, which will be a blend of in-person quartets and virtual choruses in Walterboro, South Carolina in May. Then in November Fall Festival returns to Asheville North Carolina with our first fully in- person convention.
But conventions are not our only events. Coming soon this January 30 is Leadership Academy. This will be our first virtual Academy. Here’s the link to register: Leadership Academy
So the state of events in the Carolinas is surprisingly good. We have successfully swapped in-person activities for virtual ones, honing the new skills of creating storylines, sound production and videography. We have left a legacy of musical performances on the virtual platform that showcases our talents, creativity and contributions to a worldwide audience. The world is our stage, and we are on it!
Our next and final State of the District address will cover governance. See you soon!