1990 was another banner year for the VVC quartets. FIRST CLASS brought home the crowns as champions, Quarter Sounders placed 2nd, and Starflight placed 4th in the quartet contest. The Vignette also received Honorable mention in the bulletin contest and the History Book received 1st place in its contest.
A history-making event happened in London, ON in 1995 when the VVC became the only chorus to win ten International Championships. The history book also received 1st place at that convention.
In 1997 the chorus added their 11th championship in Hamilton, ON. 1999 was another banner year as the VVC swept the contests in Springfield, MA -- 1st for the chorus, 1st for the CHANGE OF HEART quartet, and 1st for the history book. This was the 12th such championship and the host city had a special meaning for the chorus as it was in that very concert hall where the VVC had won their first championship in 1976.
In 1988, the VVC hosted the international convention in St. Charles, IL while sitting out the requisite year as champions. Hard work in 1989 brought another championship home from Ottawa, ON, along with 1st place entries in the bulletin and history book contests. CAMEO PERFORMANCE also received the Chris Scott Memorial Trophy.
The search was on to find a new director for the VVC. In 1980, Jay Giallombardo stood before the chorus as their new director, and under Jay's tutelage the VVC won two more championships, 1981 in Boston and 1983 in Chicago. The latter was accomplished even as they hosted the convention! During Jay's tenure, the chorus also fostered several quartets. One quartet, CHICAGO CHORD COMPANY, topped all others in the quartet contest in 1983, walking away with the sparkling crowns due a queen!
Entering the new century as International Champions, the VVCs cheered on their director, Jeanne O'Connor, as she was again elected International President. She continued in this position through 2001, a year that brought the chorus their 13th gold medal -- this time on the stage in London, Ontario.
The year 2002 gave the chorus the opportunity to again cheer on its competing quartets, and cheer they did, as their own quartet, VOICES, was named 2002 Harmony Queens. The year 2003 was another celebration year as the VVCs took home their 14th gold medals. Though it may seem like "more of the same", each championship has brought its own special memories...and number 14 in Halifax, Nova Scotia was no exception. The international 2005 contest came and the VVCs faced a huge challenge. As illnesses swept through the chorus, many voices were left less than adequate. We were cheered on by our wonderful sisters in Harmony and were blessed to bring home our 15th gold medals.
1985 was a banner year for the VVC. Not only did they win the chorus championship, but one of their quartets, CAMEO PERFORMANCE, won the quartet championship, and their bulletin, VILLAGE VIGNETTE, received Honorable Mention in the bulletin contest. Jacquie Jensen was re-elected International President and the VILLAGERS received the Chris Scott Memorial Trophy. In 1986, the chorus once again had to sit out of competition as reigning champs but still managed some "firsts". Their History Book and the Vignette each took first place in their respective contests, and Jeanne O'Connor was elected International President, succeeding Jacquie.
In 1984, Jeanne and her family moved back to the Chicago area where she returned to the VVC as a member of the bass section. Around the same time Jay resigned from his directing duties to form a new SPEBSQSA chapter, The New Tradition, so it seemed natural that Jeanne pick up where she left off when she had to move! Also during 1984, the VVCs could count among their members the newly elected International President of Harmony, Inc., Jacquie Jensen.
In 2007, the VVCs won their 16th International Championship in London, Ontario with new members Cindy and Sandy winning their first.
During a VVC "off year", 2008, the quartet U4X (containing 3 VVC members) took 1st place honors.
2009 brought another International Championship for the VVC on the very special 50th anniversary of Harmony Inc. held in Providence, Rhode Island, the birth place of this amazing organization. Our 17th!
On to 2011, where the VVC won a very sweet victory in Hershey, PA, the chocolate capital of the US! Four new VVC members were on the stage with the chorus for our 18th championship. At that convention, it was also announced that Jeanne O'Connor was the new International President.
We hit the jackpot at Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino when we won our 19th (yes, 19th!) championship, in Windsor, Ontario, CA. Five new members shared the risers with us for our winning performance on November 16, 2013. One of our newest chorus members was also the lead in the championship quartet, Spot On!
We made history in Verona, New York by winning our 20th championship on November 7th, 2015. We sang a "Wizard of Oz" package which included backdrops, props, and custom costumes made by one of our members. The package also included a color change, going from black-and-white to color between songs. Also a first in Harmony!
The VVC hope to continue to build onto their rich history for many years to come.
Halifax, NS in 1991, and St. Charles, IL in 1993, each brought an additional championship for the chorus, tying them with the HARMONETTES for the most HI championships won by a chorus. The year 1994 saw the third VVC elected to the highest office in Harmony, Inc. as Lauren Lindeman was installed as International President. She served in this position until 1996.
In Rochester, NY, in 1987, the chorus again swept the awards by winning their 6th international chorus contest and their quartet, KALEIDOSCOPE, winning the quartet contest. Jeanne was also re-elected to the position of International President.
As is the rule, as International Champions the VVC were required to sit out of the contest in 1977, but that didn't deter The VILLAGERS from making a run for, and winning, the coveted quartet crowns themselves! When returning to the contest stage in 1978, the VVC placed 2nd. 1979 was a bittersweet year for the VVC, as Jeanne and her family relocated to the Quad-Cities area. Jeanne returned to direct the chorus at competition in Lake Placid, NY, where the VVC captured their second international championship.
Ruth was the first director, guiding the young chapter through the process of learning the barbershop technique. Over the next 14 years while under Ruth's guidance, the chorus competed in nine international contests, never placing lower than 7th place. During this time she also encouraged and coached new quartets and was herself crowned a quartet champion in 1961 with the Key Chords, and again in 1964, when the SCALE BLAZERS won the top spot. Ruth also was the author of the HARMONY CREED and was very active on the international level as well.
Ruth retired from directing the VVC in 1976 and handed the reins over to the capable hands of Jeanne O'Connor, who was also a quartet champion, having sung with Ruth in the SCALE BLAZERS. Jeanne had joined the VVC while a teenager and had grown into the role of directing. In 1976 for her very first contest as director, she led the VVC to their first international championship in Springfield, MA. As part of the choreography for that set, the VVC actually sang while sitting on the risers. Another first that has not been repeated!
As the VVC celebrate each successive anniversary as a Harmony, Inc. chapter, a quick look over the past years might make one think this chorus has led a charmed life. In reality, it is a chorus that has simply applied what they have learned from coaches, teachers, directors, and themselves.
On a hot August night in 1960, a human dynamo by the name of G. Ruth Geils gathered a handful of women wanting to sing barbershop music. Although small in number, their enthusiasm was big. This was the start of the VILLAGE VOCAL BELLE CHORDS, a chorus which became a chapter of the international organization, Harmony, Inc. on April 11, 1961.