Watch excerpts from Pat Luebbers' 50th Anniversary Celebration and Acknowledgement at the San Diego Chorus Recharge Event
“The San Diego Chorus won that year, Marvin Yerkey was their director,” Pat says warmly. “At the end of the night he led the audience in singing "Harmonize the World." The whole ballroom was singing, and I just about levitated. I was in heaven!”
That evening, Marvin invited anyone who wanted to sing to visit the chorus. The next week Pat was sitting in her car outside of the rehearsal space, 20 minutes early, anxiously waiting for someone to open the doors.
“They welcomed me with open arms,” recalls Pat of her first visit. “It was as though we were a long-lost family. I knew right away it was for me. But soon after my first visit, my youngest child became very ill and was hospitalized. When I was finally able to return to chorus - and trust me, I was counting the days - I remember several of the members cried, they were so happy to see me return!”
Pat remembers that within a few months of joining the chorus, Chuck noticed a change. “‘You are a totally different person to live with,’ he told me. He said it changed how I saw the world and that joy made a difference that was palpable in all areas of life.”
Over her 50 years of membership, Pat has served in almost every leadership position for the San Diego Chorus, including Chorus President. She was serving in this capacity when the organization received the devastating news that their celebrated director, Marvin Yerkey, was diagnosed with cancer. Yerkey passed away just a few short months later.
“Marv was determined that our chorus would not only continue, but would thrive and grow after he was gone,” said Pat. “He would call from the hospital and I would take endless pages of notes as we talked about the things he had learned during his tenure, his vision for the future and his thoughts on how to find our next director.”
“It made me realize that not only is this chorus something that I want to do right now, but I look at Pat and I think, this is a lifelong journey, a family. I just know that in 50 years, I want to be like her!” Barker beams at the realization.
Pat has no intention of fading away. “Singing with the San Diego Chorus has been a such an important part of my life. I cannot imagine my world without singing! I know there may come a time - and I will fight it like hell - because I won’t be ready to leave this earth until I can’t come to chorus anymore.”
Pat Luebbers' 50 year milestone was celebrated at a surprise luncheon in early 2023. She received her 50 Year pin from Sweet Adelines International and was gifted an art glass treble clef from the San Diego Chorus in recognition of her many contributions. Pat was officially recognized by the San Diego Chorus at their Winter Recharge event, as well as at the Region 21 Golden West Contest and Competition in March of 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
ABOUT THE SAN DIEGO CHORUS
Founded in 1951, the San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines International performs award-winning, four-part a cappella 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 online at SweetAdelines.com.
The San Diego Chorus of Sweet Adelines International is an award-winning chorus performing 4-part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style.