Shining Star

2021 Shining Star - Judy Weipert


Judy Weipert is the Director of Spirit of Harmony Chorus. A member since 1976 and achieving 45 years of membership. Her experience as a director and singer, life-long learner and educator, faculty member and coach prove her dedication to our region and to Sweet Adelines International. Her nurturing, warm and passionate nature proves her embodiment as a Shining Star! Most importantly Judy is and has been the inspiring and energetic chorus director of the Spirit of Harmony Chorus since 1999. With her emphasis on musicality, artistry, education and coaching she has helped the chorus earn many regional medals. Under her direction the Spirit of Harmony Chorus has had the distinction of being invited to compete at the International level ‘Harmony Classic’ five times and accepting four invitations. We believe that under her distinctive leadership the activities and achievements of her chorus are an exceptional example to other choruses in our region that you do not have to be a large chorus to excel musically. She shows a willingness to share with other directors in our region as a coach and faculty member. Her enthusiasm for learning and teaching is a great asset for our region. Recently she has been involved in a Facebook group of barbershop directors around the world to feed her passion for continued learning, in not only gathering tools to help her chorus and our region, but to share her extensive experience and passion with others. Judy is all about sharing what she knows and encouraging others to achieve! To our benefit Judy is currently and has been an active faculty member since 2002. She has held the role of Education Coordinator for 4 years from 2009 to 2013 where she had a major impact on designing and coordinating educational events for our members, directors, RMT and faculty. She has brought in many International level coaches to broaden our education and to address areas of growth set forth by the judging panel during regional contest. Judy’s creativity has been helpful in co-writing many scripts for the faculty visit program. One example is that she came up with including the book, The Energy Bus, and helped to design a script and to turn it into one of our most well-liked and engaging faculty visits! Some of her peers on the faculty describe her as a ‘team player’, ‘having a delightful sense of humor’ and ‘great tact in working with people’. They see her as being ‘supportive of everyone on the faculty’ and having a ‘high ethical standard’. She is passionate about meeting the needs of our region and has dedicated her time as Education Coordinator and as faculty member meeting those needs. She has a willingness to be available for choruses as a coach and before the pandemic has traveled all over our region to help in this capacity. Judy values people and her warmth and sprit in promoting harmony is felt wherever she goes, among our members and at the grocery store in her community! You will find Judy 100% involved in all the activities of her chorus as well as all regional events planned by our region! Her dependability and dedication can always be counted on!  Judy exemplifies the Sweet Adelines motto, Harmonize the World, by her 25 year affiliation with Northern Lights quartet and her current place in Affinity quartet. These quartets have entertained and promoted our art form in the community at large, at musical festivals for young people and within our region as excellent role models. We believe Judy Weipert definitely fulfills the criteria for our Region 6 Shining Star Award 

Judy is an inspiration and a very positive influence in Region 6. She embodies the leadership, creativity and positivity that inspires all.

She joined the chorus in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and discovered the Spirit of Harmony Chorus four years later when she moved to Northwest Iowa with her husband, Jim.  She was hired as director of the chorus in 1999. 

Judy has achieved Certified 500 Director. She is grateful for the strong musical leadership of the Spirit of Harmony Chorus who are committed to creating a positive environment where its members grow musically and personally.  She invites all women who love to sing and entertain to come to a rehearsal so they can enjoy firsthand the magic of harmony.

 Prior to the chorus being transferred to Region 6, she was the DMA in Region 20 for two years.

Judy is always learning and seeking new ways of teaching and direct.  She has attended numerous International Conventions: as an attendee and competitor, IES Seminars, and Director Seminars.  She is a member of a frontline directors Facebook and Zoom group where discussion is held monthly on how to grow and teach singing skills in many ways.

Judy has guided the Spirit of Harmony Chorus to 20+ First Place Small Chorus wins and six second place overall wins, eight Third Place overall wins and several 4th Place Overall wins.  Five of those wins have garnered five invitations to compete in the Harmony Classic; plus, one more that had been rescheduled in 2021 in St. Louis.  Also accomplished Most Improved chorus three times. and under her direction, the Spirit of Harmony Chorus has consistently been regional medalists as well as earning a coveted spot in the Harmony Classic, an International Sweet Adeline competition, five times.  They competed in South Carolina in 2005, San Antonio, TX in 2008, Houston, TX in 2011 and Baltimore, MD in 2014 and will compete again in Louisville, KY in 2020 (Cancelled and rescheduled to St Louis in 2021.)  

Judy is currently the Baritone of Affinity Quartet and was the baritone for Northern Lights Quartet who sang together for 25 years in Region 20 and Region 6.  Northern Lights Quartet won Quartet Champion four times in Region 20 and competed at the International level.  

She also facilitated YIH events in Jackson, MN with her quartet, Northern Lights beginning in 2007 and several years after.

She organizes and plans her chorus zoom meetings each week during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a variety of activities to keep our members interested and involved in the chorus even though we have not been able to sing together. 

Judy is a kind and caring person and reaches out to all members. She is always looking for potential new members and helps get them started in singing barbershop. Teaching the skills and techniques of barbershop singing are her strengths. She is always doing research, working with other coaches, and international faculty to learn more so she can share with her chorus and anyone she may coach.  

She is always working toward harmony and guiding members toward working together.  If there are conflicts, she finds ways for conversation and resolution all for the benefit of the members.  She listens and evaluates for the best result. She understands the values of the SAI organization.

Shining Star - Connie Miller

Connie Miller was nominated for the 2020 Northern Lights Shining Star Award by unanimous choice of the Twin Cities Show Chorus Board of Directors.

Connie is the TCSC assigned mentor from the Region 6 faculty program. Her visits to our Chorus are upbeat and energizing. She has a way of helping everyone around her sing to the best of their ability and leave rehearsal with a desire to go home and practice and improve.  Her singing and teaching are well grounded in the excellent principles of the master teachings of the Sweet Adeline Barbershop tradition. Her positive attitude is infectious and her welcoming countenance gives everyone in the chorus the freedom to sing and learn in a safe and loving environment. Her suggestions for vocal production and interpretation make the music come alive in each member of the chorus. Her ability to listen, understand, suggest correction and praise success is a gift of joy to all she coaches.

Connie has served the Sweet Adelines for many years. Her quartet accomplishments are as legendary as the stories told at many afterglow gatherings. Connie has had many roles in Sweet Adelines including directing, chorus singing, quartet singing, International Quartet Champion, RMT Director Coordinator, faculty, coach and performing across the the United States and Ireland.

Connie Miller’s resume highlights include:
  • Directed the Eau Claire, Wis Chapter for 7 years
  • Directed SAI Chorus in Black River Falls--Reg 22—Interim and contest director
  • Member of City of Lakes Chorus--36 years
  • Associate Director of City of Lakes Chorus with Mary Dick
  • Interim Director City of Lakes Chorus
  • Member of Collage quartet (Region 22)
  • Member of Espresso quartet (Region 6)
  • Tenor of 4-Star Collection - 1997 International Quartet Champions - Queens of Harmony
  • RMT Director Coordinator - two terms
  • Region 6 Faculty
  • Served on Faculty at Harmony College East (BHS) in Salisbury. MD
  • Served as Faculty at Land O' Lakes Leadership Academy (BHS)
  • Active Chorus and quartet coach
  • Founding Member of Friends-- a mixed harmony group that performed across the US and Ireland (21 years).

Connie’s love of Barbershop and her sisters is inspiring to all who know her. Her very presence motivates singers to do their best and join in the excellence she demonstrates. Connie is a Sweet Adelines treasure and is truly a stunning example of “I am Sweet Adelines”.

…… And, did you know, she carries a pitch pipe in her crown! Yes! Really!