Type of post: Special Announcements
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Anne Bureau
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, May 15 2024

There are many reasons why people donate and just as many ways to donate. 

One way is through the donation of arrangements and learning tracks. Think about the impact of this gift!  Every member of Harmony, Inc. benefits from that individual’s generosity.  Read on to find out why Jay Dougherty, Director of Choral Activities at Marietta College, became one of those unique donors.

What was your first experience with Harmony, Inc.? 
My first experience was being invited to judge the 2023 Area 5 contest. I’m a Musicality Judge for BHS and for many years have heard how wonderful HI events are. I’ve always wanted to judge one of the events to see for myself. My opportunity came in 2023 at Harmony’s Area 5 AC&C. It was beyond my expectations. I could write an essay about the reasons I loved it so much, but it really boils down to how welcome I felt and how much fun everyone seemed to be having. It had a “family reunion” feel, where everyone was there for the sheer joy of harmony rather than for the rigor of contest itself. It was refreshing! 

What stands out for you as your most memorable moment while attending a Harmony, Inc. event? 
Most memorable was the Saturday gala/dinner. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. To have the entire Area there enjoying dinner and music together, dancing, dressing up as characters of the theme for the weekend… I have never seen anything like it before or since. My jaw was to the floor for two hours! I took videos so I could show my SAI chorus. Watching this spectacle happen reminded me what singing harmony is really about: the people. The love of Harmony. My biggest takeaway from that weekend was to fully understand that an Area convention is just a big gathering of harmony enthusiasts who love to spend time together and sing… Oh yeah, and there’s a contest happening somewhere, too. Contest took kind of a back seat in a special way and I loved that about it!

You have been generous to Harmony, Inc. with a donation of an arrangement and learning tracks. What are your reasons for contributing in this meaningful way?
My experience in Area 5 reinvigorated my love of harmony and conventions. I came away from that weekend completely blown away, enlightened, and empowered to know what a truly welcoming and enjoyable convention experience should look like. So, in that way, I felt like Harmony, Inc. had given me a gift, and I immediately knew that I had to give back. The best way I knew how was to write an accessible, contestable arrangement that would be free for any chorus or quartet to use. I wrote Charley My Boy, from a public domain melody so that there would be no copyright issues. I generated my own learning tracks, made them freely available to anyone, and I dedicated it to Harmony, Inc. I know there are many small choruses out there that don’t have a big budget for music, so this was my way to provide something for them to use, whether for shows or contest.

What impact do you hope to see as a result of your donation of music?
I expect nothing in return. That said, it sure would make my heart overflow if I ever heard a chorus or quartet singing the chart in contest somewhere.  The PDF and learning tracks can be found freely accessible on the HI Members website