Viva Acappella celebrates 10 glorious years
In March 2019, Viva Acappella is excited to be celebrating a decade of life as a chorus! It seems unbelievable to many members that ten years have already passed; some of our singers were founding members and have seen the chorus move from strength to strength.
Viva began life as a small (Division A) chorus in 2009, with many members who had sung together in former choruses. Directed by (then) Gaynor Dugay, the chorus set out with the aim of competing at Sweet Adelines Region 31’s convention in 2010, and has continued to compete ever since.
None of our members expected to excel so quickly in contest, placing 11th in the first year and achieving the Silver Division A medal. Not only did Viva climb the ranks of Division A, achieving gold the following year, but the chorus did end up making history; in the 2012 regional contest Viva Acappella became “the little chorus that could” and smashed not only their personal best score, but their previous 9th place – beating out the competition to the overall gold medal and coveted regional championship.
This win led Viva to its first international competition, representing Region 31 in Hawaii in 2013. For many it was our first, but not our last, international contest and we’re excited to not only have represented the region in Las Vegas in 2016 but to now be working towards another international trip in September. We’re immensely proud to be among the (many!) faces representing Region 31 in New Orleans, and cannot wait to join our sisters in harmony from around the world.
Viva is not only proud of its own achievements on stage, but also that of its members who compete in other ensembles. We’ve often said one of our biggest strengths lies in how many of our members sing in quartets, and it’s with even more pride that we often see them achieve greatness on the stage! Viva members number among many medal-winning quartets, including Avalon (Ladies Associaion of British Barbershop Singers [LABBS] 2018 champions), Fortuity (Region 31 champions and 13th in the world!), Hot Note (LABBS 2014 and Region 31 2015 champions), Nightfall (Region 31 2017 4th place), Scandal (Barbershop in Harmony [BinH] 2018 Mixed Quartet bronze), Scramble (BinH 2018 Mixed Quartet champion), and Vice Versa (Region 31 2015 5th place).
We have gathered many fun, exciting, tough, elating and hilarious anecdotes over the last decade. During our first international contest in Hawaii in 2013, Gaynor’s thenpartner, Brian Schofield, announced over dinner that this week would be the last time that Gaynor directed Viva Acappella. To the cries of utter dismay from everyone that she could even consider leaving us (our conclusion from such a bold statement!), Brian responded that he’d made a mistake, and he meant to say Gaynor Dugay – because they were married and she’d soon be introduced as Gaynor Schofield! That was a night of celebration – what a tease!
A heartwarming moment happened on our way to Las Vegas in 2016. Our flight coincided with Baby Loss Awareness Week, and we had the pleasure of singing Rule the World to our fellow passengers and crew, one of whom filmed and shared it as a touching tribute to the week’s theme. We were pleased to bring such joy to what is often a painful time for many people.
Never to be phased by small issues at our venue, many of the chorus remember well the time we had no power at the hall and sang by phone and torch light!
This is just a small snapshot of Viva’s incredible ten-year history. On Saturday 16 March, the chorus will host a celebration concert, featuring guest quartets Avalon and Sound Hypothesis. As part of the evening, they’ll be setting up a mini retrospective exhibition, where you can enjoy perusing their history, seeing the progression of everything from outfits to coaches, hear many more stories like these, and look forward to what the next ten years will bring together (full details on our website vivaacappella.com)
Thank you, Region 31, for being so embracing and supportive of our chorus. We are excited for our next decade of achievements, celebrations and singing!