We’ve been through a lot since the last time we posted. As a chorus. As a society. Many, many things have changed since our last post more than three years ago. Nearly two of those years were marked by the COVID-19 pandemic retreat. Some choruses in the barbershop community found that virtual rehearsals worked for them, and we did try that for a while. But many of our members were juggling too much with work, families, and other aspects of the world being flipped upside down, so we took a pause.
Now, as we welcome 2022, we are regrouping and redefining what we want Bella Nova to be. Even before the pandemic, the chorus struggled (as many do) with finding enough volunteers for the tasks to be done and keeping up with the rigors of a strenuous competition cycle. We were thrust into that as a very young chorus, so in some ways the pandemic offered a much-needed respite — an opportunity to take a breath and solidify our culture and identity.
We have spent some time at recent rehearsals deciding how we would operate to keep ourselves safe (see our FAQs for more information on COVID protocols) and what we want our future to be. We are a slimmed-down version of Bella Nova at the moment, and we’re very much looking forward to rebuilding in our redefined structure.
Here’s a summary of what we’ve recently designed as a group to outline our intentions.
Bella Nova is an inclusive women’s barbershop chorus focused on bringing joy to our lives and the lives of others through song. We strive to create a respectful, positive riser culture where we focus on our own performance, preparation, and improvement to support the chorus in competition and community performances.
In Bella Nova we are…
- Respectful and supportive- we respect and support the decisions of the director as well as the work of each member
- Prepared-we learn our material and are ready to perform within set timelines
- Self-directed- we focus on our own work and improvement rather than that of others
We are hopeful and excited about what 2022 (and beyond) has in store for Bella Nova. We have a rehearsal plan mapped out for the first quarter and we look forward to tackling it — not for a competition or performance schedule, but for the love of singing and being with each other.
We installed our 2018-19 board today with the guiding hand and wisdom of Dr. Perry White, CEO of the Harmony Foundation. His take on leadership was so good that Richard practically tackled him to steal his written notes when he was done speaking!!
Our founding president, Christina, created a series of annual awards that are decided each year by the outgoing president. Our current president, Cat Lander, noted that she couldn’t pick just one person for each category, so she decided to award two of each!
Riser Diva — Niambi Powell Stewart and Allyn Powell
Fabulous Freshman — Alessandra Daigneault and Jennifer Bushong
Richard’s Other Wife — Teri Allred and Christina Lewellen
The Invisible Crown Award — Annie Ermlick and Melissa Hartman
Oh, and cupcakes.
Our hearts are full as we head back to Virginia (and surrounding states!) from a wildly successful Area 3 Contest!
We worked so hard to get our Small Fry package off the ground in time for contest. We completed Round 1 (of 5…insert evil laugh) of our choreography plan and we donned our snazzy new outfits! Little Girl is so fun to sing and we know there is tons of potential with this package. We can’t wait to get working on the fantastic feedback from the judging panel.
We are proud of our second place finish…and a big shout out to newbies Nancy, Amanda, Sandy, and Martha!
Stay tuned!! In the meantime, here are some fun pics!
A huge thanks to all the volunteers who make the Area 3 events so special and memorable. Congrats to our sister chorus, NFCA, for a well deserved win and Lip Service for being such graceful and talented quartet champs!
We are very, VERY proud of all our quartets for representing Bella so well. And we owe a huge thanks to our talented director, Richard!
We were so excited to host Halo today during rehearsal so they could share with us the groundbreaking outreach efforts they’re making to have meaningful conversations about race. Through the medium of barbershop harmony, these ambassadors are encouraging community conversations about race, even when the they’re difficult conversations to have.
Shana and Niambi suggested that, like an unresolved chord progression, tension in conversations about race is a necessary part of the process. Only when the chords resolve in a barbershop arrangement do we make progress or feel satisfaction. Similarly, Halo is encouraging the use of barbershop harmony to guide conversations that can be challenging, leaning on the process of making music to offer the release and progress we have yet to accomplish in addressing racism.
This is some seriously cool stuff. Please take some time visit Halo’s website. We promise it’ll be enlightening and entertaining.
Thank you for all you do, Halo. We’re so proud of you.
Once again, we were thrilled to share a stage with our brothers in harmony, the Fairfax Jubil-Aires. The annual show in Centreville was nearly a full house and we loved performing for such a warm audience.
Here are a few of our favorite shots of the day! We’ll add more as we get them.
We know that a lot of work happens behind the scenes to keep our chapter running smoothly. The Bellas listed below have stepped up to run as Board members for 2018-19 and we are so grateful for their service. In addition to being wonderful singers and performers, these women will give selflessly of their time and expertise to keep the wheels turning, and we are so grateful to them. Please join us in congratulating the newly elected leaders!
President: Cat Lander
VP Music: Annie Ermlick
VP Programs: Jennifer Bushong
VP Membership: Marielle Roberts
VP Finance: April Setlik
VP Administration: Marcie Miller
At-Large Member: Jerri White
At-Large Member: Sara Wood
At-Large Member: Carey Fagerstrom
We love you, Bella board. We are here to support you!