Harmony on the Bay makes sweet music to charm Mid-Shore
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 email@example.com.
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.
Harmony on the Bay members spread holiday cheer with one of their Christmas singalongs.