Children “get harmony” at Sweet Adelines Day Camp and Benefit Show

Stephanie Sokol for The Oakland Press

Davison High School Auditorium will fill with the sounds of barbershop harmonies as Sweet Adelines Border Lakes Region 2 hosts the sixth annual Got Harmony Day Camp and Benefit Show on June 22.

Got Harmony Camp and Concert takes place June 22. The show will be at 7 p.m., following the day of rehearsals and vocal clinics.
Got Harmony Camp and Concert takes place June 22. The show will be at 7 p.m., following the day of rehearsals and vocal clinics.           Photo Courtesy/ Sweet Adelines







With schools cutting music programs, this event provides an opportunity for young people ages 11 to 25 to explore music through a day of training and performance, said program marketing coordinator Carole Essenmacher of Vassar.

“Music is a universal language, and for kids who are musical, it’s good for them to be able to express it and have avenues where they can use their music,” Essenmacher said.

FYI: Davison High School Auditorium is at 1250 N. Oak Road, in Davison. Tickets are $12; tickets for seniors, students and groups are $10. Camp costs $22, due by June 11, and provides children with instruction, lunch, dinner, a T-shirt, CDs and performance in the show. For registration or tickets, call 989-823-2036 or 810-240-5947,; or visit for more information.

Sweet Adelines formed in 1945 as a national women’s barbershop quartet society.

Joan Kientz, one of the Got Harmony coordinators, has three generations involved in the camp — her three grandchildren, daughter and herself. After she married the director of a chorus, Kientz, who didn’t see herself as a vocalist, realized her talent and joined as baritone.

Since then, she has worked in administration and marketing for the chapter, in addition to hosting the Got Harmony camp and show for the past three years.

“The music is beautiful and (kids) enjoy barbershop harmony,” she said. “(The audience) loves to see what the campers have learned during the day. We’ve always had wonderful things that have been said about the performances and the concert. ”

Got Harmony was created six years ago by members of a Marine City chorus of Sweet Adelines. Though no vocal experience is required, campers receive music and a recording in the mail beforehand, to learn the songs.

The day starts at 8:30 a.m., with registration and ice-breaker activities. After, the quartet groups warm up and begin rehearsal sessions, working in sectionals with vocal coaches, choreographers and directors until 5:30 p.m. to perfect the performance.

MSU men’s Pioneer District Quartet the G-Fours and YWIH award-winning quartet Artistically Inclined Quartet will work with the children in addition to other Sweet Adeline Faculty.

The benefit starts at the end of that day, 7 p.m. All ticket proceeds go toward the camp.

Maria Christian of Oak Park is the new director of Song of the Lakes Sweet Adelines Chorus of Davison. Christian, an 11-year member of Sweet Adelines, certified director and bass in the Champion Quartet, says barbershop style music is an art itself, making it different from other music.

She said music brings joy to her life, and that all children should be exposed to it. She will direct a song at the concert and work with the kids on their technique.

“(The children) bring such energy to the music — it’s fun to be around that, it’s contagious,” Christian said. “You can’t help but smile, can’t help but be upbeat and want to give back the energy they are giving you.”

Camp clinician Nan Wardin was part of the teaching faculty for two years. A member of Sweet Adelines for 23 years, this year her role at the camp is making sure the day runs smoothly, scheduling and communicating between groups.

She said children are happy at the camp and enjoy the experience, and many have returned multiple times.

“There’s a wide variety of talent that crosses the stage,” Wardin said. “It gives the kids a chance to perform what they’ve learned all day and practiced beforehand with the recordings. Being a performer myself, there’s nothing like getting onstage and performing for family, friends, neighbors and community. It’s just a great way to support the kids — it’s a great show.”

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