~ AC&C 2023 ~

Education Classes

For those of you interested in attending education classes, they will be held on Thursday from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. and on Friday starting at 9:00 a.m. They will be held in the conference rooms of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

To download the schedule, descriptions, or instructor biographies, please click the following links:

Class Schedule   Class Descriptions
Instructor Biographies

Class Schedule

(click here to download)

Thursday, April 20, 2023

7:30 - 9:20 p.m.



Captain's Room


7:30 p.m. – 8:20 p.m.

Wendy McCoole

What does the STORY behind the song have to do with SINGING!


Kathy Greason

What Shall We Sing in Contest?

8:30 p.m. – 9:20 p.m.

Angie Morton-Locke

Better Alignment for Singing w/Yoga

Lynn Blakeney

Productive Rehearsals

Amy Patterson

Vocal Freedom – Release Your Natural Voice

Friday, April 21, 2023

9:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.


Captain's Room




9:00 a.m. –
9:50 a.m.

Julie Schwingbeck

Energize Your Chapters / Membership

Fatima Whelan

“Oh My Nerves!” Conquering Performance Anxiety

Steve Tramack

More Than Notes and Words

Ashley Lang

Quartetting 101

10:00 a.m. –
10:50 a.m.

Michelle Dionne

Youth Outreach

Amy Patterson

PVIs Under Glass

Steve Tramack

Look Inside the Music

Lynn Blakeney

The Poets, The
Dreamers, and Me

11:00 a.m. –
11:50 a.m.

Susan Wood

Special Delivery

Fatima Whelan

Authenticity in Performance

Jen Wheaton

Vocal Anatomy for Singers


Class Descriptions

(click here to download)

THURSDAY, April 20, 2023

What does the STORY behind the song have to do with SINGING! – Wendy McCoole

7:30 - 8:20 p.m., Jonathan

In this hands-on class you will learn how important it is to understand WHAT we are singing about as it will have a significant impact on how you sing, your ability to sing as a unit, and with good vocal quality.  We will listen to past quartet champions to understand the evolution of artistic singing, and experiment with different vocal exercises that accentuate Vocal Expression – a key element of the Singing Category.

What Shall We Sing in Contest??? – Kathy Greason

7:30 - 8:20 p.m., Kendall

Just as the title suggests, this class addresses things that must, should, or might be considered in deciding what to sing in contest… 

Better Alignment for Singing With Yoga – Angie Morton-Locke

8:30 - 9:20 p.m., Jonathan

Alignment based yoga applies very well to singers.  Singers’ yoga will help to warm up the body, releasing tight spots helping you create a better singer’s posture and create more space in the body.  If you have a mat you want to bring to this class, feel free, but it’s not required.

Productive Rehearsals – Lynn Blakeney

8:30 - 9:20 p.m., Captain's Room

We will discuss issues and fixes for rehearsals.  We will also discuss all the ins and outs of having a productive rehearsal for your group.

Vocal Freedom – Release Your Natural Voice – Amy Patterson

8:30 - 9:20 p.m., Kendall

We all want to sing freely, naturally, and with ease, right?  How often have you heard a director or coach say "just release the tension" or "stop pushing the sound"?  In this experiential class, we'll delve into the concept of primal sounds and natural breathing to help you find your best—and most natural—voice.

FRIDAY, April 21, 2023

Energize Your Chapters and Gain Members – Julie Schwingbeck

9:00 - 9:50 a.m., Captain's Room

We will discuss ways to invigorate your members and grow your membership.  Some techniques to achieve this will be presented, but expect the format to have a great deal of audience participation in round-table discussions.  Tips for appreciating and utilizing the varied talents of your members to create a stronger chapter/chorus will be shared.  Additionally, membership-drive resources and social-media strategies will be shared.

“Oh My Nerves!” – Conquering Performance Anxiety – Fatima Whelan

9:00 - 9:50 a.m., Jonathan

Amateur and professional performers alike have felt it at some point.  Why and what happens to us when we do experience it?  And what tools can we use to help us conquer it so we can have a successful performance on stage!

More than Notes and Words – Steve Tramack

9:00 - 9:50 a.m., York

Music is the language of emotion.  It has the power to move, to heal, to inspire – both for the listener and performer.  One of the keys enabling a performer to unlock the power of music is the knowledge of and sensitivity to what the composer and lyricist were trying to say.  In this session, we'll take a closer look and listen to the various elements of melody (e.g., contour, movement, range, patterns), and how to interpret melody in conveying emotion.  We'll look beyond the text into the subtext of lyrics, and aspects of storytelling in delivering your vision for the song.

Quartetting 101 – Ashley Lang

9:00 - 9:50 a.m., Empire

Have you thought about being in a quartet?  Having trouble figuring out where to start or who to start with?  This session goes over the basics of forming and building a quartet.  Whether you are wanting to compete, or just perform.  This is a great chance to bump into other people who are interested in quartetting and making some connections, as well as get information on where to start and great resources to use. 

Youth Outreach – Michelle Dionne

10:00 - 10:50 a.m., Captain's Room

We will discuss how to open doors to the community and youth near your chapter.  We will discuss options and brainstorm ideas to give your chapter a chance to involve youth members in the amazing barbershop style.  We will talk about how to overcome issues we face, use social media to create a positive image, and help find the right direction for your chapter to keep moving forward.

PVIs Under Glass / SEVIs – Amy Patterson

10:00 - 10:50 a.m., Jonathan

PVI = “personalized vocal instruction,” SEVI = “small ensemble vocal instruction.”  Step out of your comfort zone and onto the “stage,” or at least, the front of the classroom.  You'll be asked to sing just a few lines of a song a couple of times, and we'll go from there.  Depending on the number of attendees, we may ask 6-8 people to help demonstrate small ensemble vocal instruction.  This technique is helpful for working towards section unity.  Requires a minimum of 2-3 volunteers during the class.

Look Inside the Music – Steve Tramack

10:00 - 10:50 a.m., York

A piece of sheet music is really a treasure map: one filled with clues to creating a living, breathing work of art.  Presented with the gift of lyrics which convey emotional subtext; a melody that conveys a range of emotions through its sweeping grandeur, it's pacing and shape, the impact of intervals; harmony that creates a fabric, creates drama through tension and resolution, and provides the landscape for the journey.  Rhythm provides the heartbeat; embellishments propel the music, serve as bridges that tie the song together, and help to highlight the most important thoughts.  When all of these elements work together, in the hands of a sensitive performer, magic ensues.  This course looks deeper into an arrangement with which almost every barbershopper is familiar, and looks at how we can find more music inside this music. 

The Poets, The Dreamers, and Me – Lynn Blakeney

10:00 - 10:50 a.m., Empire

We will discuss how to choose music that speaks to you.

Where can I find these songs?

What do we do with it once we get it?

How can we really bring it to life and make it believable?

Special Delivery – Susan Wood

11:00 - 11:50 a.m., Captain's Room

Are you bored with songs in your repertoire?  Do you wish they scored even better and/or were just plain more fun to sing?  If so, this class is for you!  Join me to learn MUS “pearls” that will not only give you a fresh take on any arrangement, but will instantly transform your musical delivery from merely “enjoyable” to compelling.  You won’t believe how easy it is! 

Authenticity In Performance – Fatima Whelan

11:00 - 11:50 a.m., Jonathan

Authenticity requires creativity and courage to bring out our own uniqueness as performers.  We will explore how when we are freed to live in the music, the impact can be powerful! 

Vocal Anatomy for Singers – Jen Wheaton

11:00 - 11:50 a.m., York

Ever wonder where our voice comes from?  What is this vibration that we feel when we sing?  Why do I need “more air” when I sing higher?  And what is singing higher?  Does the anatomy change or do things differently when I sing higher or lower?  What about louder and softer?!?…….So many questions!!!  If you’ve ever asked yourself or a friend any of these questions, or others, come to this class!  We will learn about the structure of the voice and breathing mechanism, and we will talk about things that can go askew!


Instructor Biographies

(click here to download)

Lynn Blakeney
Lynn is a 34-year member of Harmony, Inc., as well as a Certified Performance Judge.  She is bass section leader of Northern Blend Chorus and has been fortunate to win two quartet championships as both a lead and tenor, as well as two chorus gold medals.  She lives in Evans Mills, NY with her husband Jim and has a son, Joshua, who lives in Bloomington, IL.  She is excited to be here!

Michelle Dionne
Michelle is an almost 10-year Harmony, Inc. member and joined Sounds of the Seacoast with her mom when she was only 15 years old. She has practically grown up with barbershop and joined the Area Council as the Youth Outreach Coordinator a year ago. She has a passion for gaining/retaining youth membership within the Area and would love to see the Area continue to expand.

Kathy Greason
Kathy is a 34-year member of Harmony, Inc. and Area 2; Maine-ly Harmony's musical director; a past quartetter (Maine Magic, Musicality, Sound Connection, Chantez); a Certified Music Judge; and Harmony, Inc.’s current International Contest & Judging Chair (ICJC).  Kathy is also a retired lawyer who dealt with public utility law, welfare law, elder law, and mental health law.  Singing is more fun!

Ashley Lang
Ashley is the current Area 2 Quartet Promotions Coordinator and has been an active member of Harmony, Inc. for over 13 years singing with Women of Note.  Eleven years ago at a Women of Note holiday party, she started chatting with three other members and they decided to form a quartet to deliver singing Valentines that spring. Life's A Pitch registered as a quartet on February 11, 2012 and has been a very active quartet ever since, competing in Area contests, as well as performing in the community. Ashley has held many positions within her chapter, such as Performance Team Chair, Quartet Development Chair, President, Vice President, Music Team Chair, and Show Chair.

Wendy McCoole
Wendy grew up in a barbershop family and has been a member of Harmony, Inc. for 36 years.  She is a Certified Singing Judge, the director of Sounds of the Seacoast (NH) and has won three International Quartet Championships singing with eXhilaration (2005), Limited Edition (1995) and Heart's Delight (1989).  She is currently singing baritone in the quartet SweetLife.  Wendy lives in Eliot, ME with her husband Kevin.  She is the Manager of Corporate and Community Engagement at a local museum, LOVES being a Nana, and enjoys getting filthy in her gardens.

Angie Morton-Locke
Using her yoga training (250 hour Certified Hatha Yoga Instructor trained in the Iyengar style), love of singing (as bass of A Cappella Showcase and other groups) and what she has learnt from coaches, teachers and fellow yogis and singers over the last 10 years of teaching, Angie started teaching Singer's Yoga.  The more she taught the more she realized the connections between yoga and singing especially with alignment-based yoga.  Not just for warm-ups, which are great, but also for better use of your instrument and your breathing.  Anyone can practice these poses and exercises.  Oh, and she's also an Administrative Judge Candidate in the Harmony, Inc. Judging program.

Amy Patterson
Amy is the Assistant Director of A Cappella Showcase, the 2019 Harmony, Inc. International Chorus Champions, and is a Co-Lead Section Leader of Harbourtown Sound.  She is a Certified Singing Judge and active coach. Amy has served on the faculties for Harmony College West (ON), HIVE (Harmony, Inc. Virtual Education), and Harmony University.  She sings Baritone in the Generations quartet with three youth members, including her daughter. Generations is the 2022 Area 5 Quartet Champion, and is the 2019 Ontario District Women’s Quartet Champion. When not singing or coaching, Amy is an educator specializing in French Language Instruction.

Julie Schwingbeck
Julie is the Area 2 Director. She has been a member of Harmony, Inc. for over 30 years and is a charter member of Women of Note (1990). During her Women of Note membership, she has held several administrative and musical leadership positions – President, Vice President, Member-At-Large, Section Leader, Music Team Chair, etc.  Prior to taking on the Area 2 Director position, she served on the Area 2 Council in the newsletter editor, PR Coordinator, and Development Coordinator positions.  She is currently the Women of Note Baritone Section Leader, Chorus Manager, and serves on the Performance Team.

Steve Tramack
Steve is a 40-year member of the Barbershop Harmony Society, who proves the adage that barbershopping runs in the blood.  Great-grandfather Frank Barker started a chapter in 1946; his father, Dave was a 40+-year member, and his son, Joshua is a BHS member.  His wife, Renée, is a 40-year member of Harmony Inc. who directs New England Voices in Harmony (2014 and 2018 International Chorus Champs).  Their daughters, Christina and Samantha also sing with Renée in Taken 4 Granite, 2016 Harmony, Inc. International Quartet Champions.  Steve is actively involved in several facets of barbershopping, including:

  • 10-time International chorus director
  • 5-time International quartet competitor
  • Certified Music Judge (2010), and current BHS Music Category Specialist
  • Over 300 commissioned arrangements, ranging from International champions (BHS, Harmony, Inc. and SAI) to chapter quartets and choruses
  • Active coach of men’s, women’s and mixed ensembles worldwide
  • 19-year Harmony University faculty member and chair of the Arranging Track

During the day, Steve works for Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a Director of Engineering.

Fatima Whelan
Fatima is a Certified Performance Judge and coach with Harmony, Inc. She has always had a love of music whether it was in choirs, orchestra or theatre.  Fatima is a current member of the Valley Voices chorus as a baritone and Co-Performance Chair. She sings lead in a quartet and you can also hear her having fun hosting a barbershop program called “Shoptalk” on Acaville radio once a month!

Susan Wood
Susan is a 4th generation barbershopper and has been a Certified Music Judge since 2015. She studied voice performance at Indiana University, but for the last 35 years has served her greater Atlanta community, along with her husband, as your friendly neighborhood optometrist.  Susan sings bass with the new Area 6 chorus, Vocal Moxie.  Outside of barbershop, Susan is an active church musician, a recently retired Band Mom, and now a devoted grandmother…the best job in town!  She looks forward to sharing her MUS insights with her Harmony, Inc. sisters.

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