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Re: [bbshop] Acapppella Xpress featured in newspaper

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  • Thomas Arneberg
    ... Congrats on the great exposure, Ellen! I reformatted the text (and removed Microsoft control characters), for ... - Tom A. ( LOL Home Page:
    Message 1 of 2 , May 1, 2001
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      > From: "Ellen Puffe" <epuffe@...>
      >
      > Acappella Xpress, the current Region 6 Sweet Adeline champion chorus, was
      > featured in the Sunday entertainment section of The Forum.
      > The story focuses on the chorus as outgoing regional champs, and the
      > upcoming regional convention to be held in Fargo May 11-13.
      >
      > Here's the link to the story directly:
      >
      > http://www.in-forum.com/pub/04292001/21135.shtml
      >
      > It's been a wonderful ride as chorus champs for the 2000-01 season.
      > We're looking forward to our first international contest in 10 years.
      >
      > Ellen Puffe
      > Acappella Xpress Women's Show Chorus
      > Region 6 2000 Chorus Champions-Portland Bound!

      Congrats on the great exposure, Ellen!

      I reformatted the text (and removed Microsoft control characters), for
      those who don't have web access:

      | ------------------------------------------------
      | http://www.in-forum.com/pub/04292001/21135.shtml
      | ------------------------------------------------
      |
      | Sweet harmonies: Fargo's Acapella Xpress prepares for Sweet
      | Adelines convention, competition
      |
      | By Tom Pantera
      |
      | The Forum - 04/29/2001
      |
      | If you're a fan of a cappella music - especially the
      | barbershop variety - the next two weeks will be heavenly.
      |
      | Choruses from all over the Upper Midwest and parts of
      | Canada will be in town for two separate conventions.
      |
      | The first will be Friday and Saturday when the Land O'
      | Lakes District of the Society for the Preservation and
      | Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America meets
      | in Fargo.
      |
      | The second will be May 10 through 13, when the Sweet
      | Adelines International Can-Am Regional Convention and
      | Competition meets here.
      |
      | Pat Rittgarn, a member of Fargo-Moorhead's Acappella Xpress
      | women's show chorus and co-chairman of the women's
      | convention, says the Sweet Adelines event should draw 600 to
      | 700 people, with 16 quartets and 13 full choruses competing.
      | The region covers the Dakotas, Minnesota, part of Montana,
      | part of Ontario and all of Manitoba.
      |
      | This is the second year in a row the convention has been
      | held in Fargo. The convention also was held here in the
      | bad-weather year of 1997, when a blizzard stranded all the
      | attendees at the Holiday Inn. "We had a great time,"
      | Rittgarn says. "The Holiday Inn was very gracious."
      |
      | Acappella Xpress, the defending champions, won't actually
      | be competing this time. "If you win one year, the following
      | year you come back as the outgoing champion and you
      | perform," Rittgarn explains.
      |
      | The Acappella Xpress performance will be held on the
      | convention's second day. The chorus competition will be at
      | noon on the same day in Festival Concert Hall on the North
      | Dakota State University campus.
      |
      | But Windstar, the Acappella Xpress quartet, will compete.
      | The quartet competition will be at 6:30 p.m. on the
      | convention's second day, also in Festival Concert Hall.
      |
      | While both choruses and quartets sing in four-part harmony,
      | the similarity ends there.
      |
      | "In a chorus, you have many people singing each part,"
      | Rittgarn says. "In a quartet, there is just one person
      | singing each of the parts. In a quartet "you can't rely on
      | anyone else."
      |
      | But that's part of the fun, she adds.
      |
      | Both choruses and quartets are "an opportunity for adults
      | to be able to perform, to dance, to sing, to use their
      | musical skills theatrically," she says. "You don't just
      | stand in a chorus. You learn choreography. I was in my 30s
      | before I could sing and dance at the same time."
      |
      | And the lack of instrumentation is a plus, she says. "You
      | totally rely on the vocal production. You're not enhancing
      | it with instrumentation. It's just a pure sound. It's kind
      | of exciting."
      |
      | Judges for the competitions will come from all across the
      | country. Rittgarn says each judge assesses an individual
      | area: music, sound, expression and showmanship.
      |
      | "There's very extensive criteria for each category," she
      | says. "The judges are all trained and they must pass certain
      | criteria in order to be qualified. It's a very lengthy
      | education process." Most have degrees in music, she adds.
      |
      | The judging itself is done to very exacting standards.
      |
      | "The actual criteria are kind of technical," Rittgarn says.
      | "We sing everything a cappella, so there's no musical
      | background. Our music is written in four-part harmony, so
      | the chords ring. If you're singing it right on, you can hear
      | a fifth note." That fifth note, an octave higher than the
      | rest, is a byproduct of the harmony called an overtone.
      |
      | But equally as important as technical singing skill is the
      | presentation. "Showmanship is the costuming and makeup and
      | hair, but it's also the choreography, the energy, how you
      | put your music across the footlights," Rittgarn says.
      |
      | The local chorus has been around since 1955 and has gone on
      | to international competition eight times in the last 20
      | years. Before that, there were no international competitions
      | for choruses, only for quartets.
      |
      | In the next international competition, in October in
      | Portland, Ore., Acappella Xpress will compete against groups
      | from 27 regions covering not only this part of the world but
      | England, Sweden, Germany and New Zealand. (International
      | chorus competitions are scheduled 18 months after regional
      | competitions to give winning groups time to raise funds for
      | the trip.)
      |
      | One of the convention's biggest events, a cabaret, will be
      | held at 8 p.m. May 12 in the Fargo Holiday Inn Great Hall.
      | The new regional champions and the second- and third-place
      | finishers, in both chorus and quartet, will perform, as will
      | Breakpoint, an award-winning local men's barbershop quartet.
      |
      | The competitions and performances are open to the public.
      | Tickets for events at Festival Concert Hall are $15 and are
      | available from the box office there; tickets for the cabaret
      | are $15 and available at the door.
      |
      | ------------- end

      - Tom A. ( LOL Home Page: http://lol.spebsqsa.org )
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