Dec 13

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Sea Belles Celebrates 45 Years of Harmony!

Sea Belles, Atlantic Canada’s first women’s Barbershop Harmony, Inc. chorus 

In 1968, Ilene Findlay, International 1st Vice- President, Montreal, Quebec, made a trip to the Maritimes to promote Harmony, Inc. She placed an ad in the Saint John daily paper which was seen by Joan (Harley) Buckland. Joan proceeded to organize a chorus by contacting all the people she knew who liked to sing. This group first met at the YMCA and became known as the Sea Belles. Joan became their first President, Carol Henderson their first Director, and Lorraine Haslett, first Secretary.

On April 1, 1969 Sea Belles received their charter from Hannah Zavitz, International President, at the home of Bessie Selby.

The first Harmony Training Program (H.T.P.), precursor to Area Convention and Contests (AC& C) was held in Saint John in the spring of 1970 at the Church of the Good Shepherd. It was a “fun” contest with three chartered choruses present, plus two quartets from the Sea Belles, The Barbie Dolls and the Pitch Folks.The Pitch Folks consisted of : Lead, Lorraine Haslett; Bass, Carol Henderson; Baritone, Barbara Rioux; Tenor, Jean Bishop. The Barbie Dolls, dressed in old fashioned bathing suits, consisted of: Lead, Dona Atcheson; Bass, Bessie Selby; Baritone, Grace Goguen; Tenor, Irene Clark

Since 1969, twenty-two Harmony, Inc. choruses have been chartered in the Atlantic region. Sea Belles is now one of seven Area 1 Harmony, Inc. choruses.

In April, 2009 Sea Belles celebrated their 40th anniversary. Former Sea Belles, Chorus Directors and other Area 1  Choruses were invited to a special Anniversary Dinner and Fashion Show, featuring costumes from yester year and sharing many stories and good laughs.

In 2013, for the first time, Sea Belles’ membership surpassed 50 ladies, ranging in age from 14 to 70 plus years young. This year the chorus was also recognized by Harmony, Inc. for it’s successful marketing and membership recruitment efforts.

Over the years, Sea Belles have achieved recognition as a top performing a cappella chorus, singing and performing at local and community events, and participating in Atlantic and International Harmony, Inc. competitions. In 2012 and 2013, Sea Belles were the top championship chorus in Area 1 Harmony, Inc. Sea Belles have demonstrated improved performance and scoring on the International stage, and now ranks second in Atlantic Canada.

Sea Belles recently received a congratulatory message from Jeanne O’Connor, International President, Harmony, Inc. in celebration of it’s 45 years of a cappella harmony. (Letter of congratulations from Jeanne O’Connor, International President, Harmony, Inc.)

In celebration of Sea Belles 45th Anniversary, chorus members are displaying I Sing A Cappella Harmony magnets on their cars. The public is welcome to support Sea Belles by purchasing a car magnet. Contact inquire@seabelles.ca for details.

Sea Belles is grateful for the support shown by the Saint John community over it’s 45 years. The chorus continues a history of sharing its love of music, during the Christmas season, performing at local nursing homes. seniors’ facilities and community events. For a complete listing of these performances, visit Sea Belles’ website calendar. Sea Belles look forward to many more years of sharing barbershop harmony!

Sea Belles practice every Tuesday evening  at 7:00 p.m. at Forest Hills School. All women who loved to sing are welcome to join the chorus


Sea Belles THEN....

Old Sea Belles Photos 1995 AC&C

1995 AC&C with Director Janet Kidd

Old Sea Belles Photos- 1987 AC&C with Director Irene Goddard

1987 AC&C with Director Irene Goddard


40th anniv video pics (5)

Fun Night Quartet

One of Sea Belles first competing quartets Pitch Folk -Lead, Lorraine Haslett; Bass (far rt), Carol Henderson; Baritone, Barbara Rioux; Tenor, Jean Bishop.

40th anniv video pics (3)

Sea Belles w Director Janet Kidd at Brunswick Square, early 2000’s


Charter members-Carolyn Henderson, Lorraine Haslett, Joan (Harley) Buckland

Charter Members of Sea Belles who attended 2009 40th Anniversary Celebration. Left to right Carol Henderson (Sea Belles’ 1st Director), Lorraine Haslett (1st Secretary), Joan (Harley) Buckland, 1st President Sea Belles.

40th Anniversary

40th anniv Quartets thru yrs (17)

Yesterday Quartet- Linda Oliver Tenor, Ellen Belyea Lead, Bev Daley














Fashion Show

Sea Belles Costumes of yesterday modelled at 40th anniversary Fashion Show by Elaine Boudreau, Ann Connolly, Ruth Button, Brenda, Kim Fulton

Fashion show 2

Sea Belles Costumes of yesterday modelled at 40th anniversary Fashion Show by Joan Clark, Bonnie Murray, Linda Oliver, Lydia Duguay, Berenice Blake-Dibblee













Sea Belles NOW…

2014 Sea Belles -Joseph Robichaud, Tanglewood Studio cropped

Sea Belles 2014 AC&C with Director Janet Kidd, Photgrapher Joseph Robichaud.

Turnbull Nursing Home 001~2~3

Sea Belles 2014 Christmas Turnbull Care Home




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