Stepping Out

A 'New York State of Mind' on Long Island

Sweet Adelines’ Greater Nassau Chorus shares festive harmonies

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The harmonious sounds of the award-winning Sweet Adelines’ Greater Nassau Chorus will fill the auditorium at Mineola High School on Dec. 10 when these ladies entertain their audience with “New York State of Mind.”

The concert includes performances by the Mineola High School Treble Chorus, the Mineola High School Acappella Singers, and the Greater Nassau Chapter Quartets.

The Baldwin-based Greater Nassau Chorus (GNC) is a chapter of Sweet Adelines International (SAI), a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education, competition and performance. Since 1960, GNC has been bringing four-part acapella music to Long Island. Its member include women from throughout Nassau County, representing both the South and North Shore communities.

Under the leadership of Master Director 700 Harriette Walters, GNC is an award-winning international competitor, with 12 regional first-place finishes and nine top 10 international finishes.

Walters, of Baldwin, has directed the chorus since 1984, helping to guide them from a small, regional chorus into a powerful, award-winning nternational competitor. (The “700” identifies that the director’s chorus has scored 700 points out of a possible 800 at a regional competition.) Walters received that distinction when GNC scored an 710 at the 2013 Region 15 competition in Albany, becoming the first mid-size chorus ever to score over 700 in a competition.)

Music and barbershop are Walters’ lifelong passions. As a singer in the acclaimed quartet “a.k.a.” (third place finish SAI Internationals 2014) and as a director, she brings the finesse and vision of a true artist to her ensemble..

Through her guidance, Greater Nassau Chorus members are treated to a Master Class in vocal production and artistic performance on a weekly basis. She helps chorus members achieve new levels of technical perfection and artistic prowess.

Her talent and leadership skills have brought Walters well-deserved recognition in the SAI world. In demand both in the United States and abroad, she brings her coaching skills to a wide variety of choruses and quartets. Her abilities have also been honored by Region 15; through the establishment of the Harriette Walters Leadership Award.

Her many titles include membership on the International SAI Teaching Faculty and Editorial Review Board, as well as sitting on the International Education Direction Committee. She also serves as Regional Education Coordinator.

“This journey is a lifelong passion for me,” says Walters. “I look forward to making beautiful music; helping each chorus member grow and learn, seeing that incredible energy flowing at rehearsal and hearing those ringing chords — it’s truly sublime.”

As regional champions once again this past year, GNC was awarded the honor of representing the New York/New Jersey Region at the Sweet Adelines International Competition held in Las Vegas in October. Against competition from choruses as far away as Sweden and Canada, GNC took home a 7th Place International medal.

The chorus’s repertoire includes popular standards, Broadway show tunes, contemporary music and rock. They have performed at Radio City Music Hall, were featured on CBS Sunday Morning News, FIOS 1 News and Hofstra’s “For Your Island TV,” and frequently appear at charitable events, weddings, anniversaries, parties and street festivals.

“We are so excited to bring our barbershop harmonies and award- winning performance from Las Vegas Internationals to our friends and family here on Long Island,” adds Events Coordinator Nicole Ferrara, who has been with the GNC since 2014. “Audience members will be treated to songs ranging from standards to Broadway to pop and of course, some holiday cheer.” This is Ferrara’s second year chairing the event.

New York State of Mind

When: Sunday, Dec. 10, 3 p.m.$20, $15 students 18 and under. To purchase tickets, email Kathy at kzssing4@optonline.net.

Where: Mineola High School, 10 Armstrong Rd., Garden City Park.