Har­mony on the Bay makes sweet music to charm Mid-Shore

Record Observer - - FRONT PAGE - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — Har­mony on the Bay, a Sweet Ade­lines acapella cho­rus group, has been pro­vid­ing har­mo­nious tunes to the Mid-Shore for six years now. The ladies re­cently en­ter­tained lo­cals with their Christ­mas pro­gram a “Women’s’ Aux­il­iary Christ­mas Kick Off” on Dec. 3 at Good­will Fire Hall in Cen­tre­ville.

Known for their bar­ber­shop sound, Har­mony on the Bay (HOTB) cur­rently has 18 mem­bers, spokesman Gla­dys Kaplan said, but they are hop­ing to re­cruit new — and younger — mem­bers. “The av­er­age age of the group is go­ing up, and we are re­ally en­cour­ag­ing younger girls and women who are in­ter­ested in singing to join.”

The group ac­cepts mem­bers as young as 12 years, and cur­rently the two youngest mem­bers the group has been court­ing at­tend Queen Anne’s County High School. A love of singing is all that is re­quired to join, said Kaplan. HOTB em­ploys a “Ready, Set, Sing” pro­gram to help new re­cruits learn the finer points of singing acapella style.

There is also a quar­tet within the group called Hot Pink, a quar­tet is com­prised of four parts: bass, bari­tone, lead and tenor, ex­plained Kaplan. Both the quar­tet and cho­rus com­pete sev­eral times a year and are judged on their sound, cos­tumes and chore­og­ra­phy. This year the group will com­pete on stage in Her­shey, Pa., and Las Ve­gas, Nev.

Although one of the small­est groups in the re­gion, says Kaplan — a min­i­mum of 15 mem­bers is

needed to com­pete in most com­pe­ti­tions — HOTB is ranked num­ber 23 in the world.

The com­pe­ti­tion may be se­ri­ous, but Kaplan says join­ing HOTB has been a lot of fun and a great way to be in­volved in the com­mu­nity. This past sea­son the women also per­formed for two Fes­ti­val of Trees, in Sym­phony Vil­lage and twice at the Queen­stown Out­lets. They also trav­eled to Townsend, Del., for a per­for­mance.

One of the high­lights of the Christ­mas play at Good­will was the par­ody of “At Last” rewrit­ten by mem­bers Dot­tie Ruth and Tracy Franz, said Kaplan. With lyrics like, “I over­spent the Christ­mas bud­get, my hus­band will be re­ally, re­ally mad. I smile, the in-laws have ar­rived. And here we are in heaven ... For it’s Christ­mas time ... Joy at last!” it’s not hard to imag­ine there is much fun in­volved with all the hard work.

In Fe­bru­ary, the group will pro­vide their ser­vices as “Singing Valen­tines.” For a small fee, you can have two songs sung to your valen­tine with a hand-de­liv­ered card and red rose.

Re­hearsals are held at 7 p.m. Tues­days at the Cen­tre­ville Amer­i­can Le­gion Jeff Davis Post. Any­one in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing is en­cour­aged to email har­monyon the­bay@gmail.com.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

From left, Har­mony on the Bay mem­bers Nancy Lor­song, Gale Guinand and Jen Kuethe com­bine for a song.

Clau­dia Har­ney mod­els her 1950s at­tire at a Har­mony on the Bay re­hearsal in De­cem­ber.

Har­mony on the Bay mem­ber Dale Huff­man mod­els vin­tage 1950s at­tire for one of the group’s per­for­mances.

CONTRIBUTED PHO­TOS

Har­mony on the Bay mem­bers spread hol­i­day cheer with one of their Christ­mas sin­ga­longs.

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