The San Diego Chorus is delighted to welcome coach Ryan Heller to their Fall 2023 Recharge event. Ryan recently assumed the role of Director of Alamo Metro Chorus in San Antonio, Texas, a chapter of Sweet Adelines International. With his trademark exuberance, Ryan is as energy-driven as the sound and performances that he inspires from each musician!
A "barbershop brat," Ryan joined the Barbershop Harmony Society as a high school freshman, singing with then Evergreen District champs, Vocal Gentry. Under Ryan's past leadership, the Pride of Portland Chorus won regional championships each cycle of competitions, making six appearances on the international stage with five top ten finishes. In April of 2013, Ryan received his Master Director 700 award when Pride of Portland Chorus took first place at our regional contest, with a record-breaking score of 701 points.
Heller also holds the title of the Artistic Director and Conductor of Chorus Austin in Austin, TX. Chorus Austin has been honored with numerous awards, including the 2018 Austin Critic’s Table Award for Best Classical Performance, and the 2017 Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America. Past positions include Music Director / Conductor of the Southwest Washington Symphony, and Co-founder / Conductor of Portland Vocal Consort and the Columbia Chorale of Oregon.
Ryan's vibrant career also includes frequent engagements as Musical Director / Chorusmaster of musical theater productions throughout the West Coast, including Sweeney Todd, Annie, Brigadoon, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, The Magic Flute and La Cenerentola. In 2016 Heller served as Conductor for the world premiere opera The Canticle of the Black Madonna; He has appeared or recorded with numerous groups, including the Austin Symphony, Portland Opera, Rose City Chamber Orchestra, William Hall Master Chorale, Capella Romana, Astoria Music Festival, and Broadway Rose Theater Company. He has had the pleasure of touring with several ensembles throughout the USA, Europe, New Zealand, and China.
The San Diego Chorus hosts Recharge weekends for Chorus Members bi-annually. The 3-day events are coaching intensives, featuring Guest coaches from across the U.S. and internationally. The San Diego Chorus is currently ranked 5th Internationally and recently accepted a Wild Card invitation from parent organization Sweet Adelines International. The Chorus will take the stage as contestant #1 in the Quartet and Chorus Semi Finals in Kansas City in October of 2024.
The San Diego Chorus will be one of 32 competitors performing in the International Semi Finals, presenting a barbershop ballad and up tune. Contests are adjudicated by four judges, each of whom intensively evaluate one of the four categories that comprise the overall score: Sound, Music, Expression and Visual Communication. Every competing organization has the potential to earn 100 points per category per song. The total possible points available for a performance is 800.
Choruses that rank within the top 10 earn a chance to present a second entertainment package in the finals for the championship title. The 15 minute finals package blends a barbershop number with contemporary a cappella numbers.
Heller is one of several world-class coaches the San Diego Chorus will work over the next year as they prepare for competition. Master Director Kathleen Hansen expects big things from the Chorus, and is looking forward to competing.
"The singers of the San Diego Chorus bring a high level of musical excellence to our organization," Hansen says. "Working with individuals with our unique blend of talent and dedication is a rare opportunity. We're already leaning into the heavy lifting of preparing for competition and I see us as being well positioned for international advancement."
ABOUT THE SAN DIEGO CHORUS
Founded in 1951, the San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines International performs award-winning, four-part harmony in the barbershop style. Twice named International Chorus Champion of Women’s Barbershop Harmony, the nonprofit performing arts organization entertains in many musical genres along with its signature vibrant choreography. Led by Master Director and Sweet Adelines International Faculty, Kathleen Hansen, the San Diego Chorus is dedicated to local education, entertainment and competition. The Chorus welcomes women and non-binary treble singers who share a love of music and dedication to personal and musical growth regardless of age, race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender expression. Rehearsals are held weekly on Wednesday evenings in Room 207 of the Casa del Prado building in Balboa Park. Additional information can be found on their website at SanDiegoChorus.org.
ABOUT SWEET ADELINES INTERNATIONAL
Sweet Adelines International is a musical force in the United States and around the world. The organization is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma where it was founded in 1945. This nonprofit music education organization is one of the world's largest singing organizations for women, encompassing more than 25,000 members, 1,200 registered quartets, and 600 choruses in the United States, Australia, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, Sweden, The Netherlands, and Wales. More information is available on the International Web site by visiting, http://www.sweetadelineintl.org.
The San Diego Chorus welcomes interested women and non-binary singers to visit and participate in our open weekly rehearsals anytime, year-round. Several times a year, we host a Singer Open House, which is a special evening designed to help prospective members experience the joy of singing 4-part a cappella harmony and learn more about our vocal assessment and self-paced, "soft" audition and membership pathway.
If you plan to visit during a Singer Open House or any other rehearsal, please RSVP to let our team know so we can be standing by to greet you.
Here are some helpful answers to frequently asked questions from guests and prospective members. Our goal is to provide a welcoming, inclusive experience that makes you feel right at home from start to finish.
If you have any special needs in regards to accessibility, please reach out so we can ensure you visit is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
ENJOY A SHORT PERFORMANCE
If you visit during a Guest Open House, we'll invite you to take a seat in the audience so that our singers may perform a few of our favorite numbers for you to enjoy. This is a great way to get a sense of our overall sound and how music and movement work together for our chorus.
The San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines International is an award-winning chorus performing 4-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style.