(Toronto’s) North Metro Chorus Wins Gold at International Competition!!!

Type of post: News item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Joanne Southam
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, 18 Oct 2017
North Metro Chorus Wins Gold at International Competition

The North Metro Chorus from Toronto competed in the Sweet Adelines International Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada last week, placing first overall, becoming the 2018 International Champions. Thirty-three choruses from several countries were involved including Australia, Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Scotland and Sweden. 

North Metro is one of the largest Sweet Adelines International choruses in the world, made up of 140 women who hail from all over Ontario.  The chorus has had several breakthroughs during their illustrious history, including the first chorus outside of the U.S. to win “gold” and the first chorus to present character-driven “packages” at the international level that tell a story in song and dance. Their most well-known are Newsies, Toy Soldier, Anchors Aweigh, Mary Poppins, Oliver, the Irish set, and Paint Your Wagon.

Certified Director Erin Howden, a renowned choreographer with the organization, led the chorus to their gold medal win through two competitions.  In the first round semi-finals on Thursday, North Metro performed two songs against 32 other choruses who each qualified to compete by being top scorers in their own region.  North Metro was Region 16’s highest scoring chorus, (an area which comprises choruses from Ontario and New York State). 

North Metro qualified from their semi-final performance with one of the top ten highest scores, thereby putting them into the final competition.  On Saturday, each top ten chorus presented a performance package of up to 15 minutes in length.  North Metro emerged with the highest score, winning their gold medal.  Choruses are judged by 8 judges in 4 different categories including Sound, Music, Expression and Showmanship. 

Amazingly, this was Howden’s first international competition as director, having taken over from her mother, esteemed Master Director June Dale last year when Dale injured her leg and was unable to direct.  Howden upset other choruses in this division who are long-time gold medalists.  There were 120 members on stage, each participant singing  in one of four parts, tenor, lead baritone or bass. 

Previously under the direction of June Dale, North Metro was gold medal champions for the years 2013, 2003, 2000, 1997.

Also happening during the week in Las Vegas were other competitions including the quartet competition and Harmony Classic Division A and AA for smaller choruses. North Metro’s own quartet Spritzer, with 3 of their members in our chorus, won fourth place in the Quartet contest.