Choral-Aires is an a cappella barbershop chorus of more than 100 energetic women ranging in age from 20's to 80's and all with diverse backgrounds, careers and interests. We're teachers, business women, nurses, students, artists and retirees. We're single women, wives, mothers and grandmothers! We garden, quilt, sing in a band, volunteer and travel all over the world. Some of us even hunt for Bigfoot! We differ in many ways. What brings us together? Is it the music? Friendships? The sparkly costumes? Absolutely! But most of all it's the exhilaration of doing something we love, the satisfaction of doing it exceptionally well, and the joy of sharing it with others.
Performances with the Choral-Aires include annual shows, community events, and annual competitions at Midwest and many exciting world-wide locations. We've performed for church groups, sung the National Anthem at baseball games and entertained seniors. We've competed onstage in Houston, Honolulu, Nashville, Las Vegas, and New Orleans. We also have smaller ensembles to perform for special events. If you're looking for a unique musical experience to liven up your event, please check out our Book Us section. Many of our members have numerous musical commitments and benefit in all aspects of their lives from the vocal and performance opportunities found at Choral-Aires.
Education is embedded into weekly vocal instruction at rehearsals to enhance our fun and accomplishments. Regular coaching from industry leaders is also a priority for Choral-Aires. The expertise of these experts helps us to develop excellence within our craft and incorporate state-of-the-art performance Innovations.“If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing.”
Barbershop harmony is vocal harmony produced by four parts: tenor, lead, baritone, and bass. It is performed a cappella — without any instrumental accompaniment. Barbershop has its roots in the American gospel and minstrel quartets of the last century. It is one of the recognized indigenous American musical genres, along with country-western, dixieland jazz and the American spiritual.
Barbershop-style harmony is different from any other kind of choral or group singing. It is characterized by a “cone-shaped sound” where the broadest strength is at the lowest part of the chord and the lightest is at the top. Specific chord structures, delivery and interpretation all contribute to the “lock-and-ring”. This sound is created by a perfectly balanced and in-tune chord, which produces harmonic overtones. Listen closely to a barbershop-style song and you will often hear a note (or notes!) “ringing” above the highest tone – without anyone singing them!
Barbershop chords differ, as well, with the "barbershop seventh" the 1st, 3rd, 5th and flatted 7th notes in a scale used to create the characteristic barbershop sound.
In choir, voices are typically divided into four parts, soprano, alto, tenor and bass, with the melody usually residing with the highest voices, the sopranos. In barbershop, however, the lead voices most often carry the melody. Tenors sing above the leads; baritones and leads swap places regularly; the basses, just as in church choir, sing the very lowest notes. The melody regularly switches from one part to another, making singing and listening just that much more engaging and fun.
Who are the Sweet Adelines?
Sweet Adelines International is a highly respected worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education, competition and performance. This independent, nonprofit music education association is one of the world's largest singing organizations for women.
Members extend over five continents and belong to more than 500 choruses and 1,200 quartets. Sweet Adelines choruses and quartets sing exciting a cappella, four-part harmony music, barbershop style. The music includes special arrangements of today's ballads, classic songs, popular show tunes and mainstream music. Members say that singing the powerfully balanced sounds of barbershop harmony provides a rich, rewarding experience.
Each spring, Choral-Aires Chorus participates in the Midwest Harmony Region 3 chorus competition. These competitions are a special time for quartets and choruses from around our region to come together to sing for each other and receive some constructive feedback from a panel of judges. The winners of the regional competition in both quartet and chorus categories then travel to the Sweet Adelines International Competition, which is held a year later in the fall. Members of the Chorus have had the privilege of representing the region in 13 international contests, placing in the top ten, ten of those 13 appearances. In 2013, the Choral-Aires Chorus earned eighth place medals in the Sweet Adelines International Competition held in Hawaii.
Choral-Aires Chorus is a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, a non-profit organization of approximately 30,000 members in choruses and quartets worldwide. Sweet Adelines International is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.