Sweet Adelines International
Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performances. This independent, nonprofit music education association is one of the world's largest singing organizations for women. "Harmonize the World" is the organization's motto.
The international membership of nearly 25,000 women, all singing in English, includes choruses in most of the fifty United States as well as in Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden, Wales and the Netherlands. The organization encompasses more than 1,200 registered quartets and 600 choruses.
The date was Friday, July 13, 1945, when Edna Mae Anderson of Tulsa, Oklahoma, brought a few women together in her home. The women wanted to participate in – the "chord-ringing, fun-filled harmony" that their husbands, members of the men’s Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA), were singing. From that meeting grew the nucleus of what was to become Sweet Adelines International.
July 23rd was going to be the kick-off date. Invitations were sent to all barbershop wives asking them to meet at the Hotel Tulsa, where the men had met in 1939 to form SPEBSQSA. By year's end, the 85-member chapter incorporated in Oklahoma. Within four years, the organization had grown to 1,500 members singing in 35 chapters and 60 quartets in 14 different states; adopted bylaws and elected national officers; and created a system for adjudicating national annual competitions to select the best women's barbershop quartet.
SAI is governed by an elected board of directors, and administered by a 27-person professional staff in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Each region is managed by an eight member Regional Management Team, consisting of a Team Coordinator, Education Coordinator, Finance Coordinator, Marketing Coordinator, Communication Coordinator, Events Coordinator, Directors Coordinator and Membership Coordinator. Each position is held for two years, with half the team standing for election each year. Most of these positions are nominated by Sweet Adelines International or by the Regional Management Team. The Director's Coordinator is elected by the front line directors and Membership Coordinator is elected by the membership.
International Convention and Competition is held each year during late September, October or early November. It provides both a competition arena for the organization's best quartets and choruses and an educational experience for members. Thousands of Sweet Adelines gather in the convention city to participate in and learn from this exciting competition, which selects the International Champions.
Sweet Adelines International is a singing organization that provides for achievement through competition. The regional competition provides each chorus and registered quartet the opportunity to measure its achievement in the performance of the art form of barbershop harmony. Winners of the regional competitions qualify to compete in international competition.
Share the excitement of the organization's ten best small and mid-sized choruses as they present entertaining 12-15 minute performance packages at the annual International Convention.
The anticipation, excitement and discipline of preparing for an adjudicated barbershop contest in an environment of learning and fun is available to women singers age 25 and younger. The purpose of the Rising Star Quartet Contest is to encourage young women to develop mastery in their singing technique, and experience the pleasure of singing four-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style. The Young Singers Foundation awards cash prizes for the top three placers.
Sweet Adelines International choruses are divided into geographic regions.
Note: Regions 7, 18, 20, 22-24, 27-29, and 33 no longer exist, and were merged into neighboring regions.
- Region 1 - North Atlantic
- Region 2 - Border Lakes
- Region 3 - Midwest Harmony
- Region 4 - Harmony Heartland
- Region 5 - Spirit of the Midwest
- Region 6 - Northern Lights
- Region 8 - Rocky Mountain
- Region 9 - Coastal Harmony
- Region 10 - Great Gulf Coast
- Region 11 - Sequoia Pacifica
- Region 12 - Pacific Shores
- Region 13 - North by Northwest
- Region 14 - Heart of the Blue Ridge
- Region 15 - Greater NY/NJ
- Region 16 - Lake Ontario
- Region 17 - Great Lakes Harmony
- Region 19 - Atlantic Bay-Mountain
- Region 21 - Golden West
- Region 25 - Heart of America
- Region 26 - Canadian Maple Leaf
- Region 30 - Satellite Area (isolated chapters)
- Region 31 - Quartet of Nations
- Region 32 - Nordic Light
- Region 34 - Southern Cross (Australia)
- Region 35 - New Zealand
Regions 22, 23, and 24 (previously listed above) merged into neighboring regions on May 1, 2013.