By Polly Keary, Editor
It’s like a barbershop quartet for women, and it’s coming to Monroe.
Voices Northwest, a chorus group that belongs to the international four-part chorus group organization the Sweet Adelines, is relocating from a rehearsal space in Everett to one in Monroe.
Now the group’s director is hoping Monroe area women will want to come down and join in the fun.
It’s a great way to make lasting friendships, said Charlene O’Connor, director of Voices Northwest. She’s been doing it for 35 years, she said, and enjoys the weekly rehearsals, the performances and the competitions that can sometimes take them to really nice places.
People don’t have to know anything about music to get started, she said.
“Most of us have never sung; most have never learned to read music, but we learn,” she said.
Singers are sorted into four different voice classifications, and then sing in four-part harmony in barbershop quartet style, a cappella.
They regularly perform at places like nursing homes and community events, and they also enter competitions.
The Sweet Adelines organization has more than 30 regions throughout the United States, and each region has multiple choruses. Monroe falls into Region 13, which has more than a dozen chorus groups, including Voices Northwest.
“We have a regional competition once a year, and if the chorus does well enough, you get to go to the international contest, which is in Denver this year, and next year it’s in Honolulu,” said O’Connor.
Voices Northwest has a history of doing pretty well in competitions.
But in order to do well they need to practice, and the space they have been using in a performance hall in the Everett Mall wasn’t working out well. One of the members also attends Monroe First Baptist Church, and arranged to move practices there.
Voices Northwest is a secular chorus, but the new space is very good, said O’Connor, and she hopes women in the area will join the group.
On Dec. 13, Voices Northwest plans to perform Christmas songs at the church as a benefit to the food bank, and as a way for interested people to learn more about the chorus.
“Christmastime is a great time to get together and sing songs, and share the spirit,” said O’Connor.
To learn more about Voices Northwest, go to the First Baptist Church at 17922 149th St. S.E. in Monroe at 7 p.m. any Monday evening, when the group is rehearsing, or visit www.voicesnorthwest.org.