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The Year in Retrospect

by Linda Arnold

As I mentioned in January everyday is a new opportunity to write a new page in our book of our journey throughout the year. I cannot believe how the year has flown by. It is now time for the final chapter of South Florida’s Book for 2018-2019. In hindsight, we had a great year in so many different ways. And our final chapter is a phenomenal one!

First, we started with our goal setting where we defined the kind of chorus we wanted to be: a group of diverse women, committed to giving our best performance whenever we sing while we have fun and enjoy the camaraderie/friendship of the group. We knew we had to work on our skills as well: concentrating on our intervals, being actively engaged on the risers with voice, body, and spirit, being responsible for learning our music, and especially coming prepared to chorus rehearsals. We seemed to be really committed to being prepared. We are so proud of our new members: Sara, Angela, Reyna, Elke, Priscilla, Christy, Barbara K, and Victoria. They just jumped right in!!

Second, we loved our coaches! Joe Cerutti is so motivating and kind of charms you into doing things you never dreamed were possible. His idea of breaking “Bring Me Sunshine” into 6 different songs made a big difference on how we approached everything. Deanna Kastler and Dayve Gabbard add the perfect touch and nuances to our musicality. All three of them plus the unbelievable commitment that James gives us made us a united group of singers. We have definitely developed a solid unit sound.

Third, we had so many chorus members that helped us on our journey. Celeste putting out those meet up posts that brought great new members. Kimberly kept those new members motivated and eager to learn everything they could. Michele kept posting recordings and information that was easily accessible to all. Arlene always gave us that internal motivation to think about being of one chorus not single members. She kept inspiring us to remember our focus. Visually, Heather put together some really, slick choreo moves that we really got into. We

were moving -using our whole bodies and our faces. And of course, we looked great!! Sally, Marty, and the rest of the visual team made sure we put our best, beautiful selves on that competition stage.

Competition weekend, we rehearsed in the late hours of the night and then the wee hours of the next morning. We ate together, laughed together, and celebrated our new members, our new quartet “Noteable” (Rita, Kim, Kayla, and Victoria), our diversity, and our growth. Then before you knew it, we were on that stage for the fastest 6 minutes ever. We gave it our very best! In our eagerness to make sure we brought the kids to Disney world and not the doctor’s office, we actually let them run a little wild when we got to the gates leading to Minnie and Mickey. Oh well, we showed James we can get that tempo up there! Now we just have to show him we can control it (maybe a new goal for next year)!!! Hearing our names called out as the second place medium chorus, and third place overall was so exciting!! We were so happy for each one of us in our chorus. We are so proud of our accomplishments and will wear our medals proudly for the next year!!

Not only was one of our end goals to sing the best we can, but it was also to have an organized and fiscally responsible management team that insures that are goals are met. We had a great year financially. Brenda was able to get us so many paid performances. Doris ran an unbelievable Fashion show Fundraiser. Carol, Laurie, and I coordinated the show. Carol and her committee wrote an inspiring show based on real, holiday memories of our members. Memories that audience members could relate to. Barbara kept the books going. We have to say goodbye to two of team members. Ginger has worked very hard on the team for 5 years doing a variety of tasks: marketing, and education. Lynn helped coordinate our fundraisers and 50/50 raffle. We thank them for all of their hard work and commitment to South Florida Jubilee.

The whole chorus "bringing sunshine" to everyone!

We are ending this book on a very high note! We are hoping to write an even better sequel for 2019-2020. We are proud of who we have become. We will not let anyone put a damper on everything we have accomplished. We know we will continue to build a chorus of diverse women, who love and respect each other, and come together to purposely promote beautiful harmony not just on chorus nights and but every other night of the year! Looking forward to writing the sequel!!

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