The Azalea Chorus of Charleston was chartered in 1976 under the direction of Jean Strickland. The chorus later changed it's name to Rainbow Row Chorus. In 1995, Rainbow Row Chorus merged with The Singing Pines of Summerville who were directed by Deborah Collins. Our current director, Tom Nawrocki, took over the musical leadership in 2000. We travel from several surrounding areas of Charleston, South Carolina: Johns Island, James Island, Ladson, Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville, and West Ashley for our weekly rehearsals.
We are a diverse group of women whose paths in life are as unique as our personalities. We are wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts…married and single...professionals and non-professionals from every sector of the work force. We range in age from early 20s to early 70s. Most of us have had no formal background in music, simply a love of barbershop singing and performing. Together we enjoy performing, competing, and singing songs from traditional barbershop tunes, gospel, pop, show tunes, old ballads that tug at your heartstrings, as well as toe-tapping tunes to lift your spirits – all sung in beautiful a cappella four-part harmony. All paths come together as we share our love of music with one another.
The foremost objective of the chorus is to sing and perform, but in doing that we also develop friendships and acquire musical education and training in a supportive and vital environment. The chorus offers fun and friendship as well as many opportunities to learn and grow. You can learn and/or increase your knowledge about staging, costuming, choreography, and makeup. If leadership, finance, public relations, or marketing is your niche, you can learn all these and more through workshops and classes that are given at the chorus, regional, and international levels. There are many ways to get involved, with variety enough for everyone’s taste. You are encouraged to participate at your own level of enthusiasm, desire, and availability.
Southern Harmony Chorus is a member of the Blue Ridge Region #14 of Sweet Adelines International. Every spring between 15 and 20 choruses in the region compete for the opportunity to advance to the international level competition and to check their progress towards excellence in singing. The first place chorus goes on to represent the region at the International Competition one year later. Quartets also compete and the winner competes again in the fall at the International Competition.
Most choruses have a number of members who form their own vocal quartets in addition to singing with the chorus. Southern Harmony Chorus currently does not have any active quartets, but we have pick up quartets for shows and special occasions.
Southern Harmony Chorus is a chapter of Sweet Adelines, International, a non-profit organization of approximately 30,000 members in choruses and quartets, worldwide. The Headquarters is in Tulsa, Oklahoma.