2018-02-14 / Front Page

Covered Bridge Harmony is much more than singing

Members of Covered Bridge Harmony are shown above presenting their donation to the Putnam County Non-Food Pantry. The proceeds from their Christmas show are always donated to a local charity. (Courtesy Photo) Members of Covered Bridge Harmony are shown above presenting their donation to the Putnam County Non-Food Pantry. The proceeds from their Christmas show are always donated to a local charity. (Courtesy Photo) Harmony, Inc., founded in 1959, is an international organization whose purpose is to empower all women through education, friendship and a cappella singing in barbershop style. Harmony, Inc. offers opportunity for personal growth and through the “Find Your Voice” program, it can help women of all ages discover and share their musical talents.

Currently there are over 60 chapters and approximately 2,000 members. Harmony, Incorporated’s motto is “A Blend with Friendship” because many members develop lifelong friendships.

Barbershop style singing is four part a cappella (without any instruments) harmony which consists of bass, baritone, lead and tenor parts.

Covered Bridge Harmony (CBH) is one of nine chapters in the Area 4 region and is located in Greencastle, Indiana. Roseanne Jensen, Kathy Custis, and her daughter Holly, started Covered Bridge Harmony (formerly known as Covered Bridge Country Chorus) in late 2002 and chartered with Harmony, Inc. in September 2003.

Covered Bridge Harmony performs at several nursing homes and local events. CBH has also performed at the Putnam County Fair, the U.S.S. Indianapolis Survivors Banquet, an Indianapolis Colts game, the Greencastle Farmers Market, and a Bainbridge Alumni High School Reunion.

We have also performed along with the Brazil Concert Band at Forest Park, at “Celebration You” at the Hendricks County fairgrounds, at the Greencastle Retired Teachers Banquet, the Clothe-A-Child Cloverdale Craft Show, at the DAR Log Cabin Caroling at Robe Ann Park, and we enjoyed Christmas caroling uptown for the arrival of Santa.

These are just a few of our many performances. This past year we put on a cabaret show in the fall and our Christmas show in December.

Our Christmas show is a favorite that we always enjoy putting on for our community. The proceeds from our Christmas show are donated to help a local charity every year. This year we donated to the Putnam County Non-Food Pantry.

CBH also travels to Illinois every June to compete in the area contest where we perform two songs. If we qualify, we travel to compete in the international contest in November. The international contest is located somewhere different every year. This year it will be in Orlando, Fla. Going to contest is a very exciting, fun time where “sisters in song” come together.

Now that you know a little bit of the history of Harmony, Incorporated and Covered Bridge Harmony, I would like to tell you my personal experience as a new member joining CBH back in 2013.

My name is Suzanne Griffith. I live in Greencastle and have always been a resident of Putnam County. Joining CBH was, and still is, a very positive experience. CBH is a great group of ladies of all ages. The year I joined I had went to see a friend and member of CBH, Glenda Edwards of Coatesville, perform in their show. I was immediately hooked on barbershop style singing.

After the show they invited the guests to sing “tags.” I simply loved it! I had never sang in a choir before, but did have a music background playing the clarinet in band in high school and college. I had also started out in college with a minor in music appreciation.

It was also exciting to me because one of my former music and band directors, Kathryn Dory of Greencastle, was a member of CBH. So, I knew immediately that I would have the support and help I would need to learn barbershop singing. Everyone was so nice and welcomed me into their chorus family. This is exactly what I needed and was looking for to fulfill my love for music, the extra added benefit was that I now have 28 other members that I call my “sisters” and family.

When I have a stressful day at work and I’m tired, I know that after an evening of singing with my chorus sisters I will have all the weight of the stressful day lifted off my shoulders. I definitely agree with Harmony, Incorporated’s motto “A Blend with Friendship.”

I not only found friendship, but a great group of ladies that will always be considered my family.

Brenda Bowman from Cloverdale said, “My experience with Covered Bridge Harmony has been wonderful. Singing has always been a passion of mine and the girls have made me feel extremely welcome. It is a wonderful experience learning how to sing as a group and I look forward to each practice.”

Our youngest, and one of our newest members, Natalie Hayden from Coatesville said, “I just joined the Covered Bridge Harmony. I wanted to join because I love to sing and I wanted to be in all kinds of programs and competitions. I’m having a bunch of fun and I’m learning a lot about music.”

I think I can speak on behalf of all my chorus “sisters” in Covered Bridge Harmony. We greatly enjoy singing for our community and appreciate everyone’s support. Thank you so much!

If you would like to see what all Covered Bridge Harmony is about, please come join us on Monday evenings at the Greencastle Middle School at 7 p.m. in the band room. All women welcome!

(by Suzanne Griffith, Covered Bridge Harmony)

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