Hitting the high notes: Bella Voce Show Chorus retains unique arrangement to win regional contest
July 5, 2017
The sounds come from many sources, but when they all sing as one, it makes a beautiful harmony worthy of a name like Bella Voce.
Bella Voce Show Chorus recently received high marks at Region 8 competition for Sweet Adelines International.
The event, which took place in mid-May in Cheyenne, Wyoming, saw the Northwest Colorado women's group take a first-place, A1 ranking among small ensembles.
The group also placed third in the overall competition, according to sweetadelines.com, which included the women of Denver's Skyline Chorus with 124 singers onstage compared to Bella Voce's 16-member crew.
Director Jeana Womble said her group barely made it to the competition due to massive spring storm conditions.
"Just horrible, awful sleet and snow the whole way," she laughed.
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Despite not having a full group for an initial rehearsal, singers showed up ready to go.
Bella Voce consists of women from Craig, Hayden, Steamboat Springs, Fort Collins, Denver, Boulder and Salt Lake City.
Only four weekend rehearsals in their entirety took place before regionals, which Womble said was a testament to members' dedication to improving individually — with video and audio recordings — to bring their best to the group even with limited time together.
Other chorus groups in the region have also taken notice, she added.
"We've had a lot of people excited about maybe joining us and how we're making it work even though we all live so far away and yet for the second year in a row in this format, we've been able to win our division," she said.
Bella Voce performed the same songs in competition as in 2016 in order to continue to grow in proficiency — "If You Love Me, Really Love Me" and the medley "Let's Talk About My Sweetie/Yes Sir, That's My Baby."
The goal of international competition is one which Womble said remains in sight, though hitting the high notes of the highest echelon takes some doing, especially since the total of small choruses is limited to the best five in the world.
"We're not there yet with our score, but we have plans to continue to progress, and I need to figure out how to work with people outside of our coaching weekends so that we can get better and be able to do it in this format, which has never been done before," she said. "When we get together for this, it's really fun because we know we only have so many times to meet."
Womble is always on the lookout for local voices to bolster the ranks, namely women who can commit to practicing solo as well as in a group setting even if meeting face to face is rare.
"I will work with people over the phone or Skype, I will travel to work with you, but anyone who has this desire to sing and compete at a high level is welcome, we haven't turned anybody away yet," she said. "We just have to have people who are motivated to work. It's not about talent — it's about drive and desire."
For more information on joining Bella Voce, costs and expectations, contact Womble at 970-629-9244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.