Area’s ‘best kept secret’ returns from choral competition seeking members
The 70 women involved with The Woodlands Show Chorus are looking to add more singers and dancers to their risers.
As part of the Sweet Adelines International organization, a group that facilitates choruses in barbershop-style performances, The Woodlands chorus competed in October at the International Competition in St. Louis, Missouri.
They ranked 15th out of the 34 groups at the competition and the more than 500 choruses worldwide.
“It’s like the Olympics of singing. We worked two songs for a long time, one fast and one slow, and we get up there and have six minutes to sing them,” said Sally Ison, who serves as the membership chair for The Woodlands chorus.
The chorus started in Ison’s garage seven years ago, and in the international competition two years ago, they managed to place ninth. Ison said that their slightly lower ranking in this year’s competition wasn’t a bad thing, though.
“We’ll go back again, and improve. That’s what we love to do,” Ison said.
At the competition, she said they identified an issue: they aren’t as large of a group as other choruses.
“Most of the choruses in the top 10 had 100 members or more,” Ison said.
So, the group hopes to grow by 30 members to give them some extra strength in preparation for the international contest two years from now in Louisville, Kentucky.
The chorus has all different kinds of members: women going through life changes, women looking for something fun to do, empty-nesters and mother-daughter pairs.
Ison, who encouraged anyone interested in learning how to sing, dance and emote through the music to join the chorus, said that is what makes the group’s bond so tight.
“We bond over our love of music. We’re all learning new music for the next cycle, so we can all learn it together (with new members),” Ison said.
The group practices in in the gym of the First Presbyterian Church at 2727 N. Loop 336 W., Conroe.
“We still call ourselves the best-kept secret, not many people know about us,” Ison said.
In a press release, member Brenda Anderson wrote that the group believes in the joy of hard work, dedication and education — which is showcased through their director, Betty Clipman.
Clipman wrote, “My vision is to musically educate women of all ages, enabling them to experience the joy of singing four-part harmony a cappella style through improved vocal and performance skills.”
The chorus also performs their music around the area during The Woodlands Waterway Art Festival, at the 359th District Court’s Veterans Treatment Court and at monthly meetings of the Lone Star Honor Flight organization.