Resident celebrates 50 years of music

HARRISTON – Local resident Dorothy Harrison is celebrating 50 years of music, memories and harmony.

This year marks Harrison’s milestone with the Sweet Adelines International, a global music organization of women singers focused on the musical art form of barbershop harmony.

Her melodious journey began with the Mapletone Chorus in Listowel, where her passion and confidence flourished.

“I was not a performer,” said Harrison.

Her love for singing eventually surpassed her nerves and, after a gentle push from friends in the chorus, she decided to give it a try.

Eventually the Mapletones disbanded, and she transitioned to the Kitchener Waterloo Sweet Adelines, Grand Harmony Women’s Chorus.

“It is wonderful to think I’ve belonged to that organization for that many years,” Harrison told the Community News.

“It’s just such an honour.”

She performed as a tenor, lead and in bass sections, but drew the line at singing baritone.

“The music has changed so much through the years, it’s been a real learning curve musically,” said Harrison.

She also competed at the Sweet Adeline’s International competition in the states, and won first place with her chorus. 

Through the decades she was an inspiration to many members in the chorus, as she was more than a singer, she was a mentor.

“A lover of music, she knows the words to just about every song up to the 90s,” said Harriston native Judy Tuck. “She is a very kind and compassionate person.”

Harrison has always been a firm believer in barbershop style music and wanted the group exposed to high quality music, stated Tuck.

She adored singing at nursing homes, and watching the music lift others as it does herself.

“I have so much to be thankful for, and so many people to thank,” said Harrison.

Four years ago, she retired from the chorus, but her impact of uniting women in harmony and friendship remains.