UPDATE: The chorus placed fourth in the Double A Division.
A local barbershop chorus is getting ready for a big competition in Nevada. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky stopped by the group’s last rehearsal before the trip and has this story.
The Springfield Metro Chorus has worked hard to get to this point—the all-female group will compete Tuesday in the Sweet Adelines International competition’s Harmony Classic AA division in Las Vegas.
Monday night was their last chance to polish things up as they rehearsed at Central Christian Church.
(Choir Doing Vocal Warm Up Exercises)
The group qualified to compete in Vegas after scoring well at regionals in the spring.
The director of the Springfield Metro Chorus, John Stockstill, said this is “huge” for them. They’re going in having won before.
"We won the small, Division A, in 2014, and to keep growing and to keep going on like this...it's very unusual for a chorus to rise this quickly," he said.
The chorus was formed about six years ago, and Stockstill has been the director since. It’s apparent he loves what he does and that he and the chorus members have a lot of fun together.
At the competition next week, he’ll be dressed in western gear, complete with cowboy hat, cowboy boots, a holster and guns.
"All the gals are going to be dressed as saloon girls, and I'm the gambler. It's a cute story. They've all gone west seeking fame and fortune," Stockstill said.
The set will include the songs, “A Little Patch of Heaven,” “A little Less Conversation and a Little More Action, Please, “Their Hearts will Full of Spring” and “Hit the Road Jack.”
Stockstill said the competition is “very competitive.”
"I mean, we have choruses from Sweden, Great Britain, from all over the world. It truly is international," he said.
Amy Delamotte sings lead in the Springfield Metro Chorus. She’s been a member for about a year and a half.
"It is fun, exciting, exhilarating. I love it," said Delamotte.
She said she’s nervous but “really excited.”
Christy Burdette sings baritone and has also been in the chorus for about 1 ½ years.
"I like the sisterhood that we have. I didn't know about barbershop before I joined Sweet Adelines, and so it's been a whole new experience for me," said Burdette.
Burdette said, besides rehearsing every Monday night, they’ve given up weekends for practice as well. She feels good about their chances going into the competition next week.
Barbara Dean, who’s been in the Springfield Metro Chorus about a year and who also sings in the Ozarks Showcase Chorus, calls her fellow members “sisters” and said she’s excited about the chance to compete in Las Vegas.
"It's such a thrill to be able to do something like this, especially international. This is a big thing," she said.
As they finish up their competition in Vegas next week, the group will start looking ahead to 2017. They received a wildcard entry into the “International Choruses” division of the Sweet Adelines competition. They’re calling it “the Big Dance” because they’ll be competing against much larger choruses.
The Springfield Metro Chorus will compete Tuesday night (10/18) at 11:42 p.m. CST. The performance will be on a live webcast on the Sweet Adelines website, sweetadelines.com.