About Us

Mission Statement

Arbutus Sounds Chorus, located on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, is proud to be a Chapter of Sweet Adelines International.

Arbutus Sounds Chorus is a diverse group of committed, fun-loving women of all ages.

We are united by a love of singing a cappella four part harmony within the circle of friendship.

We strive for musical excellence by building individual and ensemble singing skills through education, rehearsal and community performance.

It is our vision to enrich the lives of our members and audiences inspiring all with our love of singing.

Sweet Adelines International (SAI)

Arbutus Sounds Chorus is a charter member of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance. We are within Region 26 which comprises BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan — the only SAI region that’s all-Canadian!

About Barbershop

You’re probably familiar with men’s barbershop quartets. Women’s barbershop has the same four parts: bass, baritone, lead, and tenor, but in a smaller range (yes, the men go lower AND higher!).

Songs arranged for barbershop singing are distinguished from other choral arrangements by the use of a specific set of chords, the smoothness with which words flow from one to the next, unique timing, and the dynamic changes from soft to loud within phrases. All songs are performed “a cappella” — no accompaniment, and no sheet music!

Arbutus Sounds practice and perform a wide variety of musical selections, ranging from classic old ballads to modern movie themes, from upbeat jazz arrangements to swingin’ gospel tunes. We are constantly adding new songs to our repertoire. Plus, every winter we bring out a selection of Christmas music arranged with a barbershop twist, for seasonal performances.

Rehearsal locations and times

We are located on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, accessible from Vancouver via a 40 minute scenic ferry ride. Rehearsals take place every Tuesday evening from 6:45 to 9:15pm at Roberts Creek Elementary School (Music Room) for most of the year, and in Davis Bay when school’s out. We meet year-round except for summer and Christmas breaks.

Several times throughout the year we host SAI-certified coaches for local weekend workshops that focus on taking our vocal and performance skills to the next level and perfecting our competition songs.

Membership

We have 25-30 members from Langdale to Halfmoon Bay, ranging in age from early twenties to 70+, from a wide variety of backgrounds and vocal experience. About half of us can read music (not a requirement as we have learning CDs/downloadable tracks for all songs in the repertoire). New members always welcome!

Quartets

There are several unofficial quartets within the chorus who perform in the community and at chorus special events. We encourage the formation of new quartets at any time.

Our director

Our director is Deb Sneddon, who previously sang lead with the chorus for several years before taking over director’s duties from long-time Sweet Adeline Grace Kucher, the chorus founder. Deb is constantly upgrading her directing knowledge and experience by attending SAI workshops and educational seminars.

Our assistant directors are Connie Johnston and Teresa Nightingale, both baritones, who take over directing duties a few months a year when Deb is on vacation, and assist Deb throughout the year.

Performing

The chorus performs in the community throughout the year at various events, both public and private. Every year we sing several times at local nursing homes. Some years we offer singing Valentine-O-Grams to the public. We have been putting on our own shows several times since March 2010 and will continue to do so. We also compete in Sweet Adeline’s regional competitions at least every 3 years. Performances blend singing with costumes, makeup and choreography to add visual excitement.