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Sweet Adeline Quartet Champions

There's something special about the sound of ladies voices raised in harmony and the fun can be infectious. These ladies know how to have fun as witnessed at the annual Sweet Adeline conventions where the joy of singing, performing, and being with friends is everywhere. Here is a list of all the gold medal winners who are called, quite rightly, The Queens of Harmony.

Displaying 1 - 50 of 69 items.

2023 : Ladies Quartet

The Ladies are a dynamic group of women committed to making music with authenticity and joy. They began their career together preparing for the 2016 Rising Star Competition in New Zealand. Since becoming the 2016 International Rising Star Champions, The Ladies have taught all around the country at various a cappella and barbershop camps, and entertained audiences around the globe. The Ladies most recently won the 2023 Sweet Adelines International Competition and are the current Queens, as well as placed 6th at the 2022 Barbershop Harmony Society international quartet competition. As music educators and long time barbershoppers with 30 years of combined barbershop singing experience, they have enjoyed spreading the love of harmony with musicians of all ages, and look forward to continuing to do so in the years to come!

2020 : Viva!

Viva!: a celebration! - of life, love, friendship, and music. Four friends who have a passion for singing, harmony, and friendship came together to form Viva! Quartet in the summer of 2015. Their members, Patty Cobb Baker, Gina Baker, Chris DeRosa, and Peggy Jones each bring their unique flavor to the music they sing. Their USO Show has been on the road in Missouri, Texas, Georgia, and several cities in Florida.

Since formed they have also competed and became Regional Champions in 2018 which qualified them for the Sweet Adelines International competition. St. Louis in 2018 earned them Silver Medals and most recently came home from New Orleans competition with the Gold!

2019 : ClassRing

ClassRing quartet consists of four young women who came together in the Spring of 2014 to compete in the Sweet Adelines International Rising Star Contest. After only a few months of rehearsal, they won the contest and were named the 2014 International Rising Star Champions! The quartet has since gone on to compete in the Sweet Adelines International contest. ClassRing is your new 2019 Sweet Adelines International Quartet Champions!

2018 : Lustre

Lustre is a lovely award winning quartet out of the Baltimore area. Lustre's musical adventures began in 2005, and what a journey it has been! Kate, Lori, Lori, and Jenny met through Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus, and have been ringing chords together ever since. They have wowed their audiences at performances and contests around the country, from shows in Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania to international competitions in Houston and Denver. You may even have seen them singing at a Baltimore Orioles game or two! Lustre is proud to be the 2013 Sweet Adeline's International 7th Place Quartet Finalist.

2017 : Frenzy

These four talented women have performed all over Washington State and British Columbia, and entertained audiences with their distinctive sound and style.

Frenzy is truly an international quartet with Anne living in the Vancouver, BC area while Nikki, Judy, and Melissa live in the Seattle, WA area. Long drives and border crossings have become a regular part of their weekend rehearsals!

All four members of Frenzy are members of Sweet Adelines International (a worldwide a cappella singing organization for women). Frenzy includes two chorus directors and a choreographer and, between them, they represent two choruses: a cappella joy Chorus (Seattle, WA), and Westcoast Harmony Chorus (Surrey, BC). They are all chorus and quartet coaches and, in their "real lives", they have day jobs in the law, financial analysis, and teaching areas.

2016 : Speed of Sound

Speed of Sound is a long-distance quartet with over sixty years of combined barbershop experience. Although they've been together for about four years, they've already achieved major accomplishments as Sweet Adeline barbershop singers. In the spring of 2012, they won their very first regional contest (Region 14!) with a record score. They followed that up by placing 12th in the world at the 2012 Sweet Adelines international competition in Denver, Colorado, and then 9th at the 2013 international competition in Hawaii, then 2nd at the 2014 international competition in Baltimore. Most recently, they placed FIRST IN THE WORLD at the Sweet Adelines International competition in Vegas!

2014 : LoveNotes Quartet

LoveNotes formed in 2002 and have since been competing, performing, and teaching all over the world. They competed in the Harmony Sweepstakes a cappella competition in 2009 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco where they won 1st place and also received the award for Best Original Arrangement for Bohemian Rhapsody. They went on to compete at the Harmony Sweepstakes Nationals where they placed 2nd while also winning the Audience Favorite award.

In the Fall of 2013, LoveNotes was crowned International Quartet Champions at the Sweet Adelines International Quartet Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii. They were also chosen as winners of the Celebrity Award by Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers. They have released five CDs throughout their quartet career.

2013 : Touche

Touche Quartet is the 2013 Sweet Adelines International Quartet Champions and are ready to perform for you! This coast-to-coast adventure is a direct result of friendships made through years in Sweet Adelines. Though the distance may be thousands of miles, they bridge the country between them with their unique, special brand of friendship and harmony. You'll find Patty and husband Jeff Baker relaxing in hip Southern California, just steps away from the sand and surf of the Pacific Ocean. A short trip north to the majestic mountains of Oregon is where Kim and Tim McCormic spend their time in beautiful wine country. Across the continent in warm, sunny Florida is where Jan and Jerry Anton, as well as, Gina and her husband Jeff Baker call home. There they enjoy the many beaches of the Atlantic, lush golf courses, and an endless number of local attractions. Can you say Frequent Flyer Miles? And what's better than one Jeff Baker? TWO Jeff Bakers!! Great Friends, Fun, and Music are what this foursome is all about. Their ability to entertain with a mixture of energy, humor and tight harmonies took them straight to the championship and will surely bring you to the edge of your seat! Enjoy the ride

2012 : Martini Quartet

Martini Quartet formed in July 2007 over a round of cosmopolitans at Sandy Marron's home in Tacoma, Washington. Singers Sandy Marron (tenor), Lisa Myers (lead), Shannon Harris (bass) and DeAnne Haugen (bari) knew right from the beginning that they had a special blend! Yet this Martini has been shaken AND stirred not just once, but three times during the group's four year journey to become Sweet Adelines International's 2012 International Quartet Champions!

2011 : MAXX Factor

MAXX Factor was formed in 2004. This current foursome has been singing together since August 2007. Lead Leslie Wodday became a Queen of Harmony in 2000 with Signature Sound Quartet. She joined MAXX in August of 2007. Founder Valerie Hadfield-Rasnake is a barbershop brat. She sang with Region 19 medalist Quartets Ritz Carleton and Vanity Fair. Co-founder Baritone Kim Hudson, also a barbershop brat, has sung with Region 19 medalist quartet Vanity Fair. Prior to joining MAXX in 2005, Tenor Molly Plummer sang with Region 19 multi-medalist quartet RhythmWorks. Molly and Valerie are members of the International medalist chorus Pride of Baltimore. Kim and Leslie, currently Chapter-at-Large, have competed internationally with the Pride of Baltimore chorus.

2010 : Zing!

Zing! quartet enjoys ZING-ing songs. The tenor, Michelle Hunget, has a long family history of singing barbershop. She is the most decorated tenor in Region #7 quartet history and has been on the International stage many times with quartets and the Kansas City Chorus. Susan, the lead in the group, started singing barbershop in the early 1980's. She is part of the International Champion quartet Classic Edition. She is a chorus director and coaches many groups. The Okie in Zing is Mary Rhea. The well-traveled Navy wife has many claims to fame. Her list of membership in fantastic choruses is long and now she's directing a fantastic chorus - OK City. She has sung baritone in many quartets and is a great addition to Zing!. The bass part is ablely handled by Melynnie Williams. This is Mel's second quartet. She has been in several choruses and has enjoyed getting to know the international ropes.

2009 : Moxie Ladies

Moxie Ladies is a champion Sweet Adeline quartet that's been delighting audiences all over North America, and they're delighted to have the opportunity to sing for you today. The quartet represents two regions: Region 17 and Region 4, and they've won those regional quartet contests respectively. They've qualified to compete at the Sweet Adelines International Competition with other quartets throughout the world for the last three years. In October, 2007 they were elated and honored to be named the 4th Place International Medalists and in 2009 they were crowned Queens of Harmony.

Their journey together began back in January, 2005 when they met for the first time with this foursome. Jennifer and Amy, who are both music educators, began their barbershop quarteting careers in Distinction and won their first regional competition together just one year after joining the hobby! Gretchen and Stacey, who are both in advertising sales, are second-generation barbershoppers and sang previously together in Success Express, two-time International Top Ten Quartet Finalists.

2008 : Four Bettys

The Four Bettys are the 2008 Sweet Adelines International Champion Quartet. With a combined 40+ years singing and numerous national and international awards, they share a passion for performing. The Bettys just love an audience, and have enjoyed a wide variety of performance situations including concerts, barbershop chapter shows, special events, serenades, or even drive-by singings. The Bettys have sung for audiences in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Nevada, Kansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Florida, Canada, Maryland and can soon be seen in Oregon, California and Hawaii. Last May, the Bettys had the rare honor of headlining a show at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

2007 : SALT

SALT is a Swedish barbershop quartet that won the Sweet Adelines International Quartet Championship for 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2006. The quartet placed third at the international contest in 2003 (Phoenix) and 2004 (Indianapolis), and earned a second-place finish in 2005's contest in Detroit.(citation needed) SALT's November 2008 feature performance in Anaheim, California, was noted by the Vasa Order of America.(6) At the time of winning the Sweet Adelines competition, SALT included tenor Anna Öhman, also a music teacher; lead Annika Andersson, a manager at a social security agency; baritone Anna-Stina Gerdin, an elementary school teacher; and bass Susanna Berndts, a speech therapist. Karin Sjoblom later replaced Gerdin as baritone. The quartet announced its retirement on Facebook in June 2012 "after singing together for 13 years".

2006 : Spotlight

Spotlight organized in January 2001. Later that year the quartet won the Region #2 quartet competition which enabled them to compete at the International Quartet Contest in Portland, Oregon that fall. Over the next 4 years the quartet went through two member changes and placed in the Top 5 at each International Contest held. In the fall of 2005, the International Contest was scheduled to be in New Orleans, Louisiana, but with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina it was quickly relocated to Detroit, Michigan. It was there that Spotlight was thrilled to be announced the 2006 Sweet Adelines International Quartet Champions. The win was made even sweeter because the location of the contest allowed for numerous family and friends to be in attendance for the special occasion.

2005 : Buzz

We certainly have heard the buzz on this group! With an outstanding pedigree including lead Debbi Connelly (the two-time medal-winning wife of legendary Joe Connelly!) and Tenor Nancy Fuhrmann from champions City Lights, the quartet won the championship their first time out in 2005!

Tenor, Nancy Cloeter sang tenor with the 1992 Champion Quartet 'City Lights', with whom she traveled and performed extensively. Lead, Debbie Cleveland is a high school choral director, and frequent clinician for Youth Harmony events. She sang lead with 'Showtime', the 1994 champs, and is a member of the Sweet Adelines International Faculty. Baritone, Karen Breidert is on the Sweet Adelines International Faculty, and is a Past International President. She is also director of the International Competitor 'Spirit of the Gulf' chorus in Ft. Myers, and is a popular coach in barbershop circles.

2004 : Brava!

After 12 appearances on the Sweet Adelines International Competition stage, Brava! won the International Championship in Phoenix, Arizona on September 19, 2003. Bringing the gold medals & crowns home to Vancouver Canada was a first for their proud country. Not only did Canada have its very first gold medalist quartet, this was also the first time in many years that all four members of the championship quartet are all brand new "Queens of Harmony" in the Coronet Club of Sweet Adelines Int'l. Brava! Quartet was born in 1989 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and their journey from novice to number one was not an easy or short trip, but was always an interesting one and well worth the efforts! One step at a time, with the occasional step back, and only one missed contest in 1995, their international placements from 1991 to 2003 are witness to their dedication and tenacity.

2003 : Swinglish Mix

2003 Queens Of Harmony, who had placed in the top five every year for the previous five years, triumphantly brought home the gold. The title was a second for lead Suzanne Harrington and bass Naima Meyer, who won with the GROWING GIRLS quartet in 1989. You'll find lead Suzanne Harrington chilling out in Ronninge, Sweden with her hubby Doug (Second Edition, 1989) and boys Jack and Tom. Moving to this side of the Atlantic, you'll catch bass Naima Meyer on the Gulf, enjoying the warmer temperatures of sunny Florida with husband Jamie (Second Edition, 1989) and kiddos Adam and Selma. Take a short jaunt north to the rolling hills of Kentucky horse country, and there'll be tenor Eleanor Hawkins sipping a mint julep with her hub Peter, while kids Spencer, Delaney, Carter and Baby Elliot bet on the ponies. Hop in the plane for one last trip across the continent to find baritone Patty Hawley Pennycook meandering the back roads of the California wine country with husband David and their new baby girl, Carly Jean. If you charted their individual routes to and from rehearsals, it might remind you of the map scenes in Indiana Jones!

2002 : Fanatix

Fanatix quartet consists of Connie Noble, tenor (past international champion with The 4th Edition and Savvy and long time tenor of High Society); Darcy Newell, lead; Sandy Shelver, baritone (past international champion with High Society); and Gerry Papageorge, bass (past international champion (tenor) with Panache). They formed in the summer of 1998 when this kid from New Mexico and a big shot tenor and baritone finally convinced another legendary tenor/lead to make bass her new mission. They earned 4th place at their first regional contest (the highest they ever got!) and earned a wild card slot to international. They were thrilled to sing their way into 4th place at our first international contest in Atlanta in 1999! (This was Darcy's first international medal, and Gerry became the first Sweet Adeline ever to earn international medals in 3 different voice parts: lead, tenor, and bass).

2001 : A Cappella Gold

Together we found so much in common, our love of music, singing and especially the barbershop sound. We all started singing as tiny tots and each have had a mother and/or grandmother as our musical mentor. Encouraged by our families to sing and play instruments, some of us, namely Kim and Tomi, were coerced into attending a Sweet Adelines event. It wasn't long before Kim found herself singing in a quartet, The Sugar Sounds, with her Mom and two close friends. It was only the beginning of a long love affair.

2000 : Signature Sound

Their first Regional contest was in April 1991, where they got their very first medal -third place. The following spring Signature Sound placed second and scored high enough to be given a wild card slot in the International contest in Baltimore, Maryland.

The quartet won their first regional competition in 1994, and were off to Reno, Nevada for International. Their goal was to make the top twenty, but they overshot that and ended up placing ninth. For the next three years, the quartet continued to place in the top ten. In Nashville, Tennessee, in 1998, they came in second place. In September 1999 in Atlanta, Georgia, Signature Sound achieved their goal and were crowned as queens. Leslie would win another crown with MAXX Factor in 2010.

1999 : Rumors

Rumors, the 1999 International Champion Quartet of Sweet Adelines International has been singing together for five years, but have known each other for more than 20. When they were jailed in 1993 for falsely representing themselves as sane individuals, they found that singing together didn't make them deathly ill, just mildly dizzy, sometimes nauseated. This was an acceptable trade off for ringing chords now and then.

All four are career women in very diverse fields. In a field in Richardson Texas, the baritone, Dale Syverson, is the entertainment director for a nudist community. She has donned clothes especially for the publicity picture and, as their contract specifies, for all show performances. Any afterglow performance should be viewed as an "attend at your own risk" proposition. Lead Judy Baxter, a north Dallas outfielder, is a crisis counselor at the same community. She is the top ranked professional in the field for creating crisis in a controlled atmosphere. Only Hurricane Andrew has a higher ranking..

1998 : Classic Edition

1998 International Championship Quartet Sweet Adelines International Classic Edition's journey to the championship began seven years before their win, in the same city. The foursome organized just nine months prior to the 1990 Sweet Adelines competition in Salt Lake City, winning their regional competition and making them eligible to compete on the international stage in Salt Lake that same year. Although each member had extensive experience singing with other quartets as well as one another, their performance at the 1990 international contest was disappointing. Gaining confidence with each succeeding contest, and following their coach's advice, the quartet qualified again for international competition. They placed ninth in 1991 and sixth at each international contest from 1992 through 1995. Perceived as restrained by many judges, the foursome learned to let their hair down at the 1996 contest and earned second place medals. And after finally attaining the top prize in 1998, the quartet says that preparation and learning to take a risk was the key to success. Personal and family reasons made it impossible to keep up their busy show schedule, and Susan Ives left the quartet in 2000.

1997 : 4-Star Collection

4-Star Collection has been thrilling audiences throughout the country since 1987 with their warm rich sound. This entertaining group not only exemplifies the finest classic interpretation of the barbershop style, but also treats their audiences to a wide variety of traditional popular and secular a cappella tunes. 4-Star reached the zenith of their barbershop quartet experience when they "captured the gold" in October, 1998 at the Sweet Adelines International Quartet Competition in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 4-Star's extensive national travel schedule now includes international ports, as they performed during a 12-day tour in Ireland, in March of 1999. Plans are in the works for future trips abroad as well.

1995 : Chicago Fire

Original Tenor: Helen Giallombardo. Helen left prior to Regional Contest 1990 and was replaced by Amy Brinkman, youngest sister of Bass, Bonnie Fedyski. With the Wild Card position for International Contest 1990, Amy competed at International and won her crown without ever winning a Quartet Regional First place medal.

Original Baritone: Joan Melling (Lead of The Tiffanys). Joan left after Regional Contest 1990 and was replaced by Bonnie (Big Bon) Pressley 12 weeks before International. With the Wild Card position for International Contest 1990, Bon competed at International and also won her crown without ever winning a Quartet Regional medal of any kind.

1992 : City Lights

City Lights offers a musical experience to remember. Their wide-ranging repertoire includes sons from traditional barbershop harmony, jazz, Broadway show tunes as well as popular classics.

In 1992 City Lights captured the title of Sweet Adeline International Quartet Champions in Baltimore, MD. Since that time they have traveled to Vezprem, Hungry where they were invited to teach and perform at the Hungarian Choral Festival. They recently toured the United Kingdom from Aberdeen, Scotland to Portsmouth, England teaching the barbershop craft as well as coaching and performing. The group has performed throughout the USA and Canada and have numerous TV and Radio credits. In 1998 City Lights won the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Regional Championship in NYC and competed in the 14th Annual National Finals in San Francisco, CA where they placed third.

1991 : Swing Street

This is performance material sung by the 1991 Queens of Harmony! From the opening chords of "The Chordbuster March" to the fabulous final chord (nail it, Ladies!) of the "Andrews Sisters Medley" you will be treated to the finest in barbershop singing. Yes, of course there is jazz added to the mix on "Jazz Baby," "Low Gravy" and the aforementioned "Andrews Sisters Medley," but this recording is chock full of tradition. "I'm Beginning To See The Light," "For Sentimental Reasons," "In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree" and "Last Night Was The End Of The World" are some of the songs which would fall into that categorization, but Swing Street reinvigorates tradition to the delight of our ears.

1990 : Panache

The Bad News is, the former Sweet Adelines Queens of Harmony, the four lovely, talented women of Panache, have disbanded and are no longer singing together as a group. The Good News is, they left us this wonderful 2-CD set to remember them by! We won't go into the individual titles, but suffice to say that there's a 'whole bunch' of our favorites on these two CDs, including selections from discontinued Panache titles. These are the songs that took them to Sweet Adelines Gold, and that made them one of our best selling Barbershop titles. These four beloved entertainers are leaving exactly the way they came into our lives with Panache. Enjoy!

1989 : Growing Girls

Growing Girls formed on January 5th, 1979 in Ronninge, Sweden. All four girls were 11 years old at the time, hence the name Growing Girls. Anna's & Malin's mothers sang together in a quartet called "The Beautiful Screamers" and the young daughters thought it would be fun to start a quartet of their own. They asked their respective classmates, Naima & Suzanne if they would be interested in singing in a Barbershop quartet. Naima & Suzanne immediately replied: "Sure, but... what's Barbershop?" Anna's mother, Britt-Helene Bonnedahl, Master director of International medalist chorus Ronninge Show Chorus, became the quartet's coach and mentor. Since the girls started they have performed all over Sweden and the US, as well as in Germany and New Zealand. They all attended Adolf Fredriks Musikskola, a school for performing arts in Stockholm, and were encouraged by their music teacher, Bo Aurehl. In 1983 Britt-Helene started the Ronninge Show Chorus, and Growing Girls were welcome to join Sweet Adelines International at 14 (finally!), with sponsors. The quartet competed and won in the Area (Regional) contests in 1985, 1986 and 1988, and went on to compete at the International contest in Houston in 1988, to reach their dream of becoming Queens of Harmony, in Miami Beach in 1989.

1988 : Savvy

he four members of Savvy all sang with San Diego Chorus, which Kim directed as well. The chorus was a frequent international medalist and Savvy credited the chorus' support for much of the quartet's success. Called "a special quartet," Savvy exemplified Sweet Adelines at its best - they sang exceedingly well, were active members on all levels, were true friends and shared their love of singing with all.

Connie (not related to Sandy) is the only Sweet Adeline to boast four quartet gold medals: She won first in 1972 with 4th Edition, obtained her second as replacement tenor in High Society, her third here, and her fourth with Fanatix in 2001.

Kim, a popular coach as well as successful chorus director, has three quartet gold medals (High Society, a cappella Gold).

Sadly, Savvy retired shortly after winning, when illness claimed the life of Tippi Sanders, one of Sweet Adelines' finest bass voices.

1987 : Ginger ‘N’ Jazz

Ginger 'n' Jazz competed four times internationally before winning the championship. Their winning songs were You'd Be Surprised, Who'll Take My Place When I'm Gone, Take Me to the Land of Jazz, Pal of My Cradle Days, 'Deed I Do, Put Your Arms Around Me Honey, and So Long Mother.

Their coach was another champion, Dale Syverson (Tiffanys, 1973; Rumors, 1999). In 1989 Peggy Barnes (Gram) became the replacement for Judy Clancy as bass, and the group entertained until retirement in 1995. Debbie was the founding director of Sooner Sensations Chorus in Oklahoma City until her untimely passing in August, 2015. Peggy would later win a crown as the bass in Rumors and spend many years as the director of the Top of the Rock Chorus in Little Rock, Arkansas. Friedemann has been an assistant director in Region 25's Talk of Tulsa chorus along with her husband, Frank.

1986 : Ambiance

This six-month-old quartet won its regional competition in the spring of 1986 and lost its bass immediately afterward. With a new bass, the members of Ambiance were as astounded as everyone else when they won the 1986 international quartet championship just six months later. It was their first international competition and it has been said that they owned the stage - everyone knew this was no ordinary quartet.

Ambiance soon became a Sweet Adeline legend, maintaining a full performance schedule for the next nine years before retiring in 1995 with a sold-out, farewell concert at New York's famed Carnegie Hall. It is fortunate that the quartet's unforgettable Fats Waller package, and their impressive vocal gymnastics on Rhapsody of New York (an adaptation of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue), are preserved on cassette and CD. Ambiance was named first runner-up in the 1992 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards in the category of best recording by an unsigned professional. The award was for their 1991 recording, I Hear a Rhapsody. The awards are given by the Contemporary Society of America (CASA).

1984 : 4 For The Show

First organized in 1977, 4 For The Show won its first regional contest the following year. By 1981 there had been two personnel changes, resulting in an addition in an international champion vocal combination. This quartet was the first to sing one of Sweet Adelines' most popular contest ballads, Kiss Me One More Time (composed and arranged by Norma Anderson).

Sally would later go on to win a second quartet gold medal (Panache, 1990); Joni was considered to be one of Sweet Adelines most accomplished leaders - she directed Verdugo Hills chorus for more than 20 years and was active as an arranger, a coach, and a judge in three categories. 4 For The Show retired as an active quartet in 1988. Joni Bescos passed away in 2009.

1983 : Melo-Edge

Melo-Edge competed internationally three times before winning. Maureen and Donna are sisters. With several other barbershop champions, the quartet appeared on the nationally broadcast Phil Donahue Show in 1983.

At the time the quartet won the championship, the members led full and busy lives outside the organization: Janell listed her occupation as "domestic engineer," and she also served as office manager for her husband, a nationally known watercolor artist and instructor; Donna was a senior systems analyst for a Chicago insurance company; and Debra was vice president in charge of Options Exchange for a Chicago stock brokerage firm. Melo-Edge was active through the years, not only performing on barbershop shows and other events but coaching and teaching at music schools and seminars as well. Melo-Edge retired at the Coronet Club Show in Atlanta, Georgia, in September 1999.

1980 : Penna-Fores

The Penna-Fores, including sisters Shirleyann and Betty, had competed internationally nine times before winning and continued to entertain audiences until their retirement in 1985, capping a 15-year career. Betty explained their philosophy after the 1980 contest: "We love singing and do everything we can to improve our skills, but as long as we are making progress musically, the fun we have is worth the work. We have used competition as a learning experience, never allowing placement in contest to destroy the enjoyment of singing together." Betty has stuck by that philosophy throughout her Sweet Adeline career, which includes two terms as international president of the organization (1991-93). As former director of Vienna-Falls Chorus in Virginia, Betty is another of the seven Sweet Adelines to win gold medals as both a quartet member and chorus director. Betty also directed the Houston Horizon Chorus for many years and is currently leading The Woodlands Show Chorus in The Woodlands, TX.

1979 : The Hallmarks

The Hallmarks registered as a Sweet Adelines quartet in January of 1975, won their regional contest in May of that year and started up the ladder of success in international competition, but hardly at the bottom rung. The quartet placed in the top five in the next four international contests, ranking second in 1977 and '78. Their crowning performance came in 1979 as they competed against 46 other quartets for the championship, wearing dresses fashioned by Liz from curtains and bed sheets ordered from the Sears catalog.

During their years as competitors The Hallmarks maintained a busy performance schedule across the U.S. and Canada. In 1975 the quartet was featured in a PBS educational film, and the following year participated in a two-week concert tour of Poland.

1977 : The Shondells

England was the site of Sweet Adelines' first European convention; The Shondells won their title at Royal Albert Hall. They had been singing together for ten years and had competed internationally eight times before winning. The Shondells were active performers - their credits include two USO tours overseas, one a 1972 tour to the war zones and firebases of inland Vietnam. The quartet continued to entertain audiences until retiring in 1981. Melodee is a third generation Sweet Adeline: Her mother, Ila, had been a member for 26 years at the time the quartet won the title. Her grandmother, Garee Rogers, had been a member for 25 years and served as international president of the organization from 1962 to 1964. Melodee became musical director of Sweet Adelines' Wichita Chorus in 1969.

1976 : High Society

The four original members of High Society were also members of the 1975 International Champion San Diego Chorus. They began singing together at a coffee shop after a chorus function. Several hours later they agreed they had something special and that all four wanted to be quartet champions.

Bette was choreographer for the San Diego Chorus and, after winning the quartet championship, began directing the Escondido Chorus. Kim was a relative newcomer to Sweet Adelines. She had met Pat in a carpool, where they sang with the radio. Pat was unable to convince Kim to join Sweet Adelines but Kim's mother finally persuaded her. Sandy served as the costume chair for San Diego Chorus. Pat served as assistant director for San Diego as well as director for Singing Hills Chorus. She was a choreographer coach and designed the quartet costumes and hairdos.

1975 : The Front Office Four

Vicki, Chari and Dixie all began quarteting at Lansing (Michigan) Community College, where barbershop quartet singing was offered as a two-credit class. Already an accomplished music arranger, Chari arranged most of the music the quartet sang, including four of the six songs that won the championship.

They performed with The 4th Edition in several USO shows. The Front Office Four retired in 1980 after five years performing across the country.

1974 : The Sounds of Music

The Sounds of Music won their gold medals at the same competition that their chorus, Gem City, won the chorus championship. Jean Barford is another of the six Sweet Adelines to win gold medals as both a chorus director and quartet member. Judy served on Sweet Adelines' international board of directors for 20 years.

The quartet organized in 1969 and had already earned the admiration of audiences from Hawaii to Washington, D.C., when they won the contest in 1974. The quartet actively entertained audiences across the nation for 17 years, until their retirement in 1986.

1973 : The Tiffanys

The Tiffanys had been a performing quartet less than two years when they won the championship, but they had a total of 39 years' Sweet Adelines experience. Jane was an elementary school secretary whose hobby was piano and music arranging. The Tiffanys was her third quartet.

Joan was a chorus director and had sung with five previous quartets. Dale directed the West Suburban Chorus and had already been active for 12 years in Sweet Adelines, including three other quartets.

Dale was also a member of Rumors, the 1998 International Champion Quartet. Louise had eight years of Sweet Adelines experience and had sung with Dale in a previous international medalist quartet, The Debutones. The Tiffanys retired in 1976.

1971 : Bron’s Tones

Bron Dixon, a charter member and musical director of Sweet Adelines' Mobile (Alabama) Chapter, organized The Bron's Tones quartet in 1962. All four members were originally from Mobile but personnel changes and transfers divided the group between Birmingham and Mobile, creating a 260-mile, five hour drive for rehearsals. Early in 1971, the quartet had made a 17-day USO tour of military hospitals in the Pacific.

That same year they won the Sweet Adelines championship; the morning after winning, the new international champions made a special closed-circuit television performance at the request of former U.S. President Harry S. Truman. The Bron's Tones remained active until their retirement in 1978.

1970 : The Rarities

The Rarities included a sister team, Connie and Christine, as well as the first Sweet Adeline to win two international quartet gold medals - Jarmela Speta, of the 1955 champion Nota-Belles. Even prior to the 1970 international contest, The Rarities had performance bookings well into 1972.

The quartet originally formed in 1965 and had tenor and bass personnel changes before winning a regional contest in 1967. Unable to compete internationally that year, they continued working and took second place medals in 1968. Shortly before the 1969 international contest, their tenor found it necessary to retire; but coach Jarmela Speta knew "almost" all the tenor parts and joined the quartet taking second place once again. One year later The Rarities realized their dream of international gold medals.

Performances during their championship year included an appearance on the television show "To Tell the Truth," with panel members Bill Cullen, Anita Gillette, Kitty Carlisle and Gene Rayburn. The show's host was Garry Moore. Jarmela represented the quartet as the panel tried to guess who was telling the truth; then the quartet performed.

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