piohdsm.gif - 3209 Bytes1998 Spring Convention News Briefs
as reported by Jim Styer

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Pioneer District :
(from the board meeting, House of Delegates and other venues)

For more details, ask your chapter's delegate to the House of Delegates or a district officer.

PioNet and the district's Web site, both about a year old, were lauded by the board and others for their contributions to electronic communications in the district.

  • At least 60 convention registrations and two hotel reservations were submitted via forms posted on PioNet and the Web site. The possibility of credit-card-paid reservations will be pursued.
  • Joel Mills , board VP for contest and judging, recommended adding electronic quartet and chorus contest reservations.
  • The board suggested that each chapter designate an e-mail contact for official notices from the district. All chapters now have at least one e-mail contact except Hillsdale and Swan Valley. All board members and several committee chairmen or members now have e-mail addresses.
  • Patrick Tucker-Kelley, membership staffer in Kenosha, called Pioneer's Web site one of the better ones he has seen, and was particularly intrigued by the maps to each chapter's meeting location. He said Kenosha has new mapping software and eventually hopes to provide location maps for all Society chapters, to be updated whenever a chapter reports a meeting site change to Kenosha.
  • The Pioneer e-mail listserv is operated by Jim Styer of Battle Creek, jimstyer@voyager.net. The Web site is operated by Steve Sutherland of Detroit-Oakland, sps@mediaone.net

    Concern was expressed by some delegates at the House of Delegates meeting that communications must be improved between board members and chapters and quartets. Some members have the perception that board members are not responding quickly enough or well enough to members' concerns. More use of the PioNet e-mail listserv was suggested. Also, the board will hold an extra meeting during Harmony Roundup weekend, May 15-17 at MSU, to discuss these and other concerns raised this spring.

    Chapter presidents' meetings will be resumed on Saturday mornings during conventions held the next three years in Battle Creek, said Battle Creek Chapter President Dick Campbell. Roger Lewis, convention chairman, said the meetings could begin at this fall's convention in Lansing; district President Dave Cole said he would attend that meeting this fall to hear presidents' ideas and concerns.

    The district, effective immediately, is covering the cost for each quartet and chorus for videotapes of their competition performances.

    The board approved renaming the Boyne City Chapter as the Petoskey Chapter, with the chorus to be called the Gaslight Chorus. Society approval is anticipated. The Cadillac Chapter has merged into the Traverse City Chapter.

    Host chapters for conventions in Battle Creek will be:

        Spring 1999  Battle Creek         Fall 1999 -------------
        Spring 2000  ------------         Fall 2000 Traverse City
        Spring 2001  Lansing              Fall 2001 -------------
    Chapters are encouraged to bid for the remaining three slots; two smaller chapters can combine as hosts for a convention.

    The board is seeking candidates for board positions, which will be filled by board election next fall. Potential candidates may express interest through their chapter secretaries or to President Dave Cole .

    Chuck Watson, Society VP:

  • Encouraged all chapters to devise ways to celebrate the Society's 60th anniversary this year.
  • Reported that COTS will include separate programs for new and for continuing officers, and will add a section for directors and their music teams.
  • Encouraged all chapters to register in the Society's "Chapter Challenge" membership program. The program includes a chance for a coaching session by Greg Lyne (Masters of Harmony, now Society director of music education) or front-row seats with the big-wigs at an international convention. No Pioneer chapters have yet registered.

    Patrick Tucker-Kelley, Society World Harmony Liaison, reported the possibility of new Society affiliates in Uganda (Africa), Japan and Russia. Russia will sponsor a barbershop harmony festival July 17-27, 1999, in Moscow with participants from Russia, Europe and North America. Involvement will include Society, Sweet Adeline and Harmony International groups. Alexander Demchenko, deputy minister of culture, is encouraging affiliation; the overseer of 600 military bands is encouraging formation of barbershop chapters within the military.

    Two additions to the spring convention could become regular events:

  • The audience Saturday night was invited to learn and sing "Irish Blessing."
  • The Great Lakes Chorus of Grand Rapids presented its spring show, "The Mystery of Harmony Gulch," at the hotel after the quartet semifinals, with proceeds going toward cost of the chorus' international competition trip to Atlanta.

    Kindred Spirits -- the a cappella group comprised of Ken, Vicki and Kendra Gibson, Marv Moran and his wife, and Dave Drouillard -- entertained Saturday evening in the lobby and in hospitality rooms at the headquarters hotel. Several Holt High School singers accepted their invitation to visit the hotel that evening and hear Pioneer quartets perform. (Tell us more, Kenny!)

    Jamie Carey, director of the Lansing chorus and member of Firepower! quartet, was caught singing in the lobby with a youthful female trio. (Tell us more, Jamie!)

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