Somerset Hills Harmony Inducts 15 New Members, Names First Female President

Somerset Hills Harmony Inducts 15 New Members, Names First Female President
Type of post: Choral A Cappella news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Don Staffin
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, Jan 26 2022
Pluckemin, NJ - Somerset Hills Harmony (SHH), a mixed a cappella chorus based in Central NJ, is pleased to announce that in the last four months the chorus has added 15 official members. Thirteen of these are first time Barbershop Harmony Society members, plus one reconnection and one who added SHH as a second ensemble. Some of these members had begun to sing with SHH prior to the pandemic, some while the chorus was virtual/drive-in, and some started attending in the latter part of the year with the resumption of live rehearsals. Two new members have come through the SHH youth/college outreach program.

The chorus has also installed its new executive team for 2022, which includes Chris Staffin as President (pictured center), Craig Barth as Chapter Secretary, Deb Schleiff as Treasurer, and Don Staffin as VP Public Experience. The Chorus Director is Nicholas Seifert, and the Associate Director is Colleen Grzywacz (pictured above with Chris Staffin).

Chris becomes the first female president of the organization since its charter in 1949. A member of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 2019 and the chorus’ first female member, Chris previously served as chapter EVP. She commented, “I’m very excited to be taking on this challenge. As the singing world emerges from the pandemic, there is a lot of work to do. Fortunately, we have a very strong and close family in Somerset Hills Harmony. We also have a unique mission in this chorus where we are building excellence through a commitment to music education, both for our members as well as through our youth outreach efforts. We will have a forthcoming announcement about our advances in this area soon.”

Chris has been an involved in choral music for more than 50 years, and currently coaches a cappella at Bridgewater-Raritan High School. She is also a member of Parkside Melody. When not singing, Chris serves as the Director of Child and Family Ministries at Pluckemin Presbyterian Church and also manages a consulting company.

Katie Macdonald, Relationship Manager for the Barbershop Harmony Society and Director of Parkside Melody, says, “It has been gratifying to watch this chorus re-invent itself and grow through Everyone in Harmony. I’m also personally excited for Chris Staffin. She leads every chorus she’s in with grace, kindness, and unconditional love that most ensembles never know, while pushing the limits of what is possible with out-of-the-box ideas. I’m really grateful to work with her, and it’s an honor watching her make waves in the choral world!” 

Looking for a choral home or thinking of adding an SATB a cappella chorus to your music experience? For more information about Somerset Hills Harmony, visit www.shhchorus.org or email info@shhchorus.org.