After two rounds of the Harmony, Inc. Quartet contest, Hot Pursuit topped 30 other quartets to become the 2019 Harmony Queens. This Area 6 quartet and 2018 Sweet Adelines Rising Stars charmed the audience, accepted a standing ovation and scored a record 81.5%.
Earning the silver medal for a second time, Area 4’s Take 4 bettered their 2018 score to earn an 80.7%. Also from Area 4, Fierce finished third with a score of 79.1%.. Representing Area 5, Swing Theory scored 78.0% to finish fourth, and NewQ out of Area 2 finished 5th with a score of 76.9%.
The finals were filled with everything from classic ballads to moving uptunes, representing all of the best that Harmony, Inc. has to offer. While the results were tallied, the afternoon also highlighted the organization’s youth, with a fun, circus-themed performance by the Minor Chords and a swan song performance and presentation by the 2018 Queens, Aged to Perfection. Just before the new queens received the traveling crowns, Aged to Perfection was also presented with their permanent crowns, custom designed for them by Barbara MacIntosh.
Life’s A Pitch received the Image of Harmony Award for their service to the organization. As the highest scoring novice quartet, Resolution won the Findlay Plaque and SweetLife won the Accord Award for Most Improved.
After one of the most ambitious chorus contests in 60 years of Harmony, Incorporated, A Cappella Showcase, representing Area 5, won gold with a score of 1507 – 83.7% (1507), just 2 points shy of the highest score of all time, earned by Village Vocal Chords in 2005.
The group started their set with the iconic song from Les Misérables, “On My Own,” so moving you could hear a pin drop in the packed auditorium. The mood changed to boisterous as they started “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes,” complete with choreography that brought on an overwhelmingly positive response from the audience. As is customary for the winning chorus, director Jordan Travis was given the Skidge Heath Memorial Award.
Silver medalists, Northern Blend also exceed all other previous chorus scores earning 1500 points – an 83.3%, making this the first chorus contest to see two choruses exceed 83%. The Blenders put up two widely loved songs, “Pure Imagination” and “I Got Rhythm,” performed with an elevated level of zest that we’ve come to expect from this top-level ensemble. The audience even got to see a couple of cartwheels, which only visually emphasized the energy we got from their performance.
The remaining medalists also put forth the gold standard.with a 78.5% from Sounds of the Seacoast, a 78.4% by the Village Vocal Chords, and first time medalists, Atlanta Harmony Celebration! earning a 76.1%. Atlanta Harmony Celebration! also took home the Montreal City Voices Tait Trophy for Chorus Improvement Score by Ranking. The group moved from 11th place in 2018 to 5th in 2019. The record setting scores continued on down the line, with numerous choruses hitting their best scores ever.
Additional awards included the LABBS Trophy: Non-Medalist Highest Performance Score which went to 7th place chorus, Bella Nova, and the G. Ruth Geils Memorial Award: Highest Scoring Chorus with the Least Number of Appearances on the Contest Stage for 6th place finisher Lake Ridge Legacy Chorus. Bluegrass Harmony was recognized with two awards – the MacIntosh Award for Highest Ranking Non-Medalist Small Chorus (25 or less) and the Jerry Dunlop Memorial Award given to Kris Wheaton, the Novice Director Highest Score in Chorus Contest.
Each year, Harmony, Incorporated kicks off the International Contests with the quartet semifinals, making for a exciting start to a long weekend of excellent singing.
With powerful ballads, charming uptunes, and even a handful of well-done parody pieces, 31 quartets put their best on the stage, likely setting themselves up for possible record-breaking scores.
The top ten features multiple Harmony Queens, longtime barbershoppers, a large number of cross-registered Sweet Adelines quartets, and a handful of quartets brand new to Harmony, Incorporated. These groups will compete in finals on Saturday afternoon in Sandusky. Which quartet will be the new Harmony Queens?
In order of appearance:
Mic Testers – Generations
1. Something Good
3. Take 4
4. Swing Theory
5. New Q
8. Hot Pursuit
9. Lip Service
10. Balancing Act
Check out the full semifinal results HERE. Scores for the ton ten quartets will be announced after finals.