It’s been a while since our last talk —little over six months in fact. While I anticipated that our next discussion would be on governance, I’ve decided to hold off on that till later this fall. My topic for this talk is a six month review of 2021.
As we began the year, we could see the signs of the toll taken on our chapters by the pandemic. After a year of virtual lockdown, many chapters have found their ranks have dwindled. Even those who continued to meet via zoom experienced Virtual fatigue. We have hit bottom, but have survived.
What a different —and better —world we find ourselves in now. The rollout of vaccines has been a game changer. We are having live chapter meetings and in person rehearsals again.
Most of us have started this gently, with a first meeting just to talk through our experiences and get to know each other again. The District would like to take the same approach with a casual picnic and cookout, an opportunity to meet and greet and sing songs and tags. We’re calling this event the Lakeside Harmony Camp. Bring a picnic or grab a burger from chef Scotty. Show off your culinary skills with the American Pie Contest. Take a hike with Tim. Be entertained by our top mixed quartet ‘Quadrophonic’ and youth quartet ‘Soundtrack ‘ There’s even a rumor that ‘Let’s Sing’ will be making an appearance. All this takes place on Saturday, August 21 at the Durant Nature Preserve in Raleigh. Registrations are now open, so join us for this first of many Lakeside Harmony Camps.
It’s so good to be singing again —blending our voices and resonating with each other. We’re polishing our repertoire and preparing to share our love of music with our communities, who have missed it and us. To speed our getting back into the game, the district has made available Community Outreach Grants that can help provide the seed money to get your performances out in public. These are outright grants, with no payback requirement. Contact our immediate past president Tom Martyn for more information. We want there to be no barriers to keep us from singing and sharing our song and rebuilding our chapters.
As Fall approaches, things really get exciting. We’re already preparing for our first in-person convention– – Fall Festival 2021 located in Hendersonville just outside of Asheville in the scenic Blue Ridge mountains. You’ve already heard the buzz about reserving your room early. Good news, the headquarters hotel is fully booked and will be ours exclusively to sing tags all night long. We’re lining up additional hotels for those who have yet to get rooms. Keep checking your emails this week. The link to register for Fall Festival will be coming out soon. We’re expecting a record crowd.
So the state of the district as we begin our second half of 2021 is good—and our prospects are looking and sounding better and better. Barbershop in the Carolinas—Nothing Could be Finer!