The Heart of New Jersey Chorus is an affiliate of the international organization, Sweet Adelines International, a not-for-profit organization. The chorus is a tax-exempt, 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in the state of New Jersey. We file an IRS Form 990 annually, as well as the required NJ state filing. Contributions to the chorus are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by current IRS regulations.
The chorus takes its stewardship responsibilities seriously: management team members must be a member of the chorus and are elected by fellow chorus members to serve staggered two-year terms. The management team members then determine which member is best suited to serve roles such as Management Team Coordinator, Assistent Team Coordinator, Secretary, and Treasurer. Annual budgets are prepared in advance of each fiscal year and results are reviewed at monthly board meetings. Board members are volunteers and are not compensated by the chorus. All chorus members are committed to the success of the chorus. They enjoy participating in outside performances such as our annual show and contributing according to their time and talents to the success of the chorus.
Most importantly, the organization is made up of local women who are just like you and who enjoy singing with each other. We are young and old, single and married, with careers outside and within the home. We are a supportive group of women and we welcome new members. If you have an interest in joining the Heart of New Jersey Chorus, please contact our Membership Chairperson, Kerrie, at [email protected].
Will the chorus perform at my event?
The Heart of New Jersey would be delighted to sing for your event. From private parties to County Fairs, Parades, Street Fairs and corporate and not-for-profit events, we love to perform. The Chorus has also been very proud to sing for Veterans and Senior Citizens. For more information, please call Carolyn at 732-474-8529. You may also send email to our Performance Coordinators at [email protected].
How do I become a member?
The chorus is always looking for talented new singers.
Have people complimented you on your singing voice? Do you love to sing?
If so, we would love to invite you to visit our Wednesday evening rehearsals and find out more about the Heart of New Jersey Chorus. All women are welcome to our chorus and hope you will enjoy the gift of song and friendship that we provide.
The Sweet Adelines International organization is dedicated to preserving the art of barbershop singing. There is an audition process which you can learn about by visiting a rehearsal. There are four parts in barbershop: Tenor, Lead, Baritone, and Bass.
Our rehearsal location is 18 Schoolhouse Road, in Millstone Twp/Clarksburg, on Wednesday evenings starting at 7:30 PM. Please arrive at least 10 minutes before rehearsal starts.
You can email the committee regarding membership questions at [email protected] or contact Kerrie at 609-469-4537.
What if my voice is too low, or too high, or too ...?
What if my voice is too low? Or too high? Or too in-between?
Not to worry, we have a place for you!! Heart of New Jersey performs in the Barbershop Style. What that means is we sing four-part harmony without musical accompaniment. Ladies with a deeper vocal range will probably be comfortable singing "BASS". Ladies who can harmonize and have voices in the mid-vocal range will probably love singing "BARI" harmonies. "LEADS" are just that and these strong voices enjoy singing many of the melodies for the songs we perform. Last but not least, high voices will fit right in as "TENORS".
Come join us for a rehearsal and we will work with you to find your comfort range. We want you to have fun and enjoy yourself and the music.
Can I afford it?
In terms of money....
If you think you are worth a latte a day, you can afford chorus.
The cost of chorus is a combination of monthly dues, the cost of costumes, costs of overnight events which happen a couple of times per year, and some miscellaneous expenses.
You are worth it. You are likely the person in the household not doing anything for herself.
In terms of time...
Rehearsal is one night per week, starting at 7 or 7:30 and ending at 10. There are a couple of weekend overnight events as well as performances which occur around 10 times per year ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." - Chinese Proverb
"I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing." - William James
What is rehearsal like?
Rehearsal starts out with physical warmups. Our body is our instrument and we need to make sure that it's appropriately prepared to sing. Physical warmups are fun and are fitting for all age groups. The chorus does stand on risers for rehearsal.
Then, we move into vocal warmups. Vocal warmups work on the parts of us that directly affect our sound. We work on breathing exercises and scales, making sure everyone from the lowest bass to the highest tenor is ready to sing. You may find the exercises don't go low or high enough for you, in which case you can drop or raise your voice by an octave, as appropriate.
We then move into vowel exercises. What is that, you ask? Barbershop singing is highly dependent on matching sounds, and the sounds that we typically sing for the longest time are the vowels. For example, to sing the word now, we barbershoppers sing NAH-ooh. We hold the NAH longer than the ooh, and do what's called "turn the vowel" at the end of the word. This ensures we get the best match of our sound, the best resonance, and the most ring. Barbershop is all about ringing chords, or making them sound as if more than four voices are singing at the same time.
Then, we get into the music itself. We typically start with a song or two we know well, then move into work on the songs that we're still trying to perfect. We normally have both learning tracks and sheet music for songs, to help those who don't read music but can learn by listening. The learning of the words and notes is done by the chorus member herself, outside of rehearsal, by listening to the learning track and following along/reading the sheet music. The section leaders and director help people with trouble spots, both individually and in groups. The rehearsal itself is the time where we all, as a chorus, are working as a group to learn the director's interpretation and work on our unit sound.
We get the chance to chat with our sisters in harmony prior to 7:30 and after rehearsal ends.
How often does the chorus rehearse?
The chorus rehearses weekly on Wednesday evenings, from 7:30 until 10 PM. We sometimes start at 7PM for choreography and/or craft sessions that focus on refining the craft of barbershop singing. Our rehearsal location is 18 Schoolhouse Road, Millstone Twp/Clarksburg, NJ.
If you would like to sit in on a rehearsal to get a feel for things, please contact Kerrie, Membership Chairperson, at [email protected]. It's important to contact Kerrie, because we have occasional performances on Wednesdays.