Ten years ago, Jill Reid first stepped onto the risers at the ScotianAires women’s barbershop chorus rehearsal clutching a guest book and wondering if she really belonged. After all, she hadn’t sung in a choir since grade school, and it wasn’t like she was looking for something else to cram into her busy, fulfilling life. But when she joined in the harmony, Jill found a piece of herself she “didn’t even know was missing”. And so did the organization to which the ScotianAires belong, Harmony, Incorporated! Fast forward those ten years and Jill is now a certified Performance Judge with Harmony, Inc., ready to share her new skills with the organization where she has found so much fulfillment.
Jill was introduced to the ScotianAires through her good friend and director of the group, Sue Kember, and has sung lead with the chorus since that first rehearsal. Not one to sit back and let others do the heavy lifting, Jill dug in to help wherever she could in the organization. She worked in many capacities for the chorus including historian and photographer for a number of years, co-chaired show committees and served as the chapter president from 2013 to 2015. When the Area 1 (Atlantic) competition was hosted by the ScotianAires, Jill stepped forward as Co-Chair.
All those contributions would create an impressive resume for someone involved in Harmony Inc. for less than ten years. But there were new goals to reach. In 2014 Jill felt a desire for a further challenge and an opportunity to give back to the organization that had become part of her. She applied to Harmony Incorporated’s Judging Program and went to Harmony University (HU) in Nashville that same year, determined to increase her knowledge of this cherished "hobby". In the fall of 2014 Jill was ecstatic to receive her invitation to attend Category Training School the following January. After three years of training, with opportunities to hone her skills as a practice judge at area and international competitions and as a performance coach with various quartets and choruses, Jill received her official certification as a Harmony, Incorporated Performance Judge in January 2018 at her fourth Category School in New Hampshire.
Harmony, Incorporated members know it to be a very supportive organization and Jill is very thankful for all her mentors who have accompanied her on this journey. Starting right at home, Jill felt the overwhelming presence of support from the chorus and Area 1. “Everyone contributed to my feeling that this was doable.” Good friends like directors and coaches Sue Kember, Judy Robichaud and Theresa Weatherbee provided encouragement and expertise even when Jill doubted the way forward. Constructive critique and encouragement came from other sources such as judging panels, HU instructors and the expert teams at Category School.
And in the future? Jill looks forward to helping performers strive for a higher level of audience entertainment. Jill explains “Every performance is a gift, and if I can assist someone in putting on an extra bow, then that makes me happy. I thoroughly enjoy coaching, and look forward to the opportunities this new title may bring.”
The ScotianAires, Harmony Incorporated and the wider Barbershop community all look forward to the gift of this new Performance Judge in our midst! Congratulations, Jill!