The society is to be an ever-growing fraternity of Barbershop-style singers leading the cause of encouraging vocal music in our schools and communities.

—The Society's Vision Statement

The above quotation is very specific about the intentions and objectives of the society leadership. The charity project we have selected appears to be right on target with these goals. I think most of us are aware that school budgets for the arts are frequently being cut back due to an emphasis that is placed on other priorities. Vocal and instrumental music programs are among those very often affected. For many years some of our society's most influential music educators have been supporting efforts to maintain vocal music programs in our schools.

In 1995, the Music Educators National Conference invited representatives from other organizations -- The Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines International, American Choral Directors Association, and Chorus America to meet to discuss singing In America. The result was a campaign to "Get America Singing … Again". After a year of sifting through lots of great songs this group, in concert (no pun intended) with Hal Leonard Corporation, published a book of songs representing traditional, ethnic, patriotic, campfire, and gospel music. It Contains forty-seven songs Americans of all ages know, and can sing.

In 2002, the Apple Valley Chapter conducted a poll among local schools to determine if there was an interest in using these books. Indeed, there were schools that had a need for this book. However, our Chapter treasury had fallen on hard times and we were unable to complete the project at that time. Today, however, the treasury has recovered and we are actively pursuing our main Youth Outreach charity project.

The ten elementary schools in Apple Valley have been contacted regarding their current interest in receiving the books. Three responded positively and two signed on immediately. Fifty of the books "Get America Singing … Again", will be delivered in January, 2007, to each of these two schools. Our plan is to invite one of the schools to appear on our spring show. We hope this will get the word out to our Community and other schools about our project. We can use this as a stepping-stone to include schools in the other High Desert Area Communities.

—Buford Strange
Apple Valley Chapter
Music and Performance V/P

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