The chorus was formed in 2015, and is affiliated with Sweet Adelines International, a singing organisation of 25,000 women worldwide, committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance.
HWON currently has 30 members. New members are always welcome, and may join at any time during the year. However, usually a focused member drive is also held annually.
Members do not need to know how to read music. We learn through listening to voice tracks and practice.
There are two requirements before a prospective member is invited to join the chorus: (1) she will pass an audition singing a song learned with the whole chorus over a learning period of approximately 6 weeks, and (2) her attendance will be at least 3 consecutive weeks in any 5 week period while she is a prospective member.
Chorus members pay fees of $10 per week. Fees are paid in advance and may be remitted monthly ($43.33), quarterly ($130), half-yearly ($260) or annually ($520). Fees go towards covering the running costs of our chorus such as paying visiting coaches, subsidising costume costs, rehearsal venue hire, insurance, accessing/purchasing music and buying learning CDs.
The chorus is committed to learning and improving our a cappella singing. To continually develop our skills we invest in an ongoing program of education, drawing on the teaching skills of well-known music coaches. Our coaches are drawn from the ranks of the national and international Sweet Adelines organisation, Barbershop Harmony Australia and other talented music educators in the non-barbershop sector.
What about costumes?
Performance in a key part of being a barbershop chorus. Having a unified costume helps us to present a professional appearance. The cost of costumes, which include earrings and sometimes other accessories, is usually subsidised to a significant degree by chorus funds, and we make every effort to keep these expenses to a minimum.