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Battlefords chorus member wins barbershop spirit award

Sandra Halseth drives an hour and a half each way to attend rehearsals with a women's barbershop chorus in the Battlefords on Tuesday nights.

THE BATTLEFORDS — Sandra Halseth of Livelong has received the Sweet Adelines International Region 26 Carol Poole Spirit of 26 Award for 2022.

Halseth has been a member of Battlefords Blend Chorus since 2007 after she and her husband moved from Saskatoon to Turtle Lake. Prior to that time, she was a devoted member of Magic City, the Saskatoon chorus of Sweet Adelines International, which she joined in 1973.

With 49 years on the risers, Halseth continues to enjoy the music, the travel and especially the camaraderie in the chorus. That’s why she continues to drive an hour and a half each way to attend rehearsals in the Battlefords on Tuesday nights.

When Battlefords Blend first got their charter, Halseth was singing with Magic City Chorus in Saskatoon.

“Our chorus travelled to North Battleford on a bitterly cold winter night in 1982 to ‘sing them in’, officially welcoming our new ‘sisters in song’.”

That’s where she formed a friendship with two of the Blend’s charter members that grew when they met at various regional events for training or competition.

Travelling is not unusual for Halseth as she has made several trips to various locations for Region 26 competitions. She’s been with her chorus to Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Burnaby and Victoria and even attended the International Competitions in Indianapolis and Calgary.

When it comes to the competition weekends, she says, “My favourite part has always been the mass sing – a public performance of 500 to 800 singers!”

In addition to that and actually singing with her chorus, Halseth attends the classes that are presented on a certain aspect of performances and coaching sessions by area directors. Whenever possible, she invites family members living in the host city to attend the Saturday evening show of champions.

In addition to the competitions, choruses also put on shows of their own and Halseth has been a part of those shows in many capacities, beyond singing as a lead. She has held various positions as a member of the board of directors and been involved in show planning and fundraising.

With all of her experience, she is the one in the chorus who can answer most questions regarding Sweet Adelines protocol and routines. She is also one who typically welcomes new or potential members whole-heartedly, knowing how much they can learn, do and enjoy with this group of women.

Although the travel and shows are a lot of hard work and fun, she says, “I find it very rewarding to entertain for seniors in nursing homes.”

Like many community-minded people, Halseth loves to give back to the community. And sometimes her community gives back to her.

“My sisters in the chorus brought me to tears with a show they brought to Livelong to support me during a three year health struggle I had,” Halseth claims. “It was so appreciated.”

Even through her health struggles, she attended rehearsals when she could and continued to keep up with learning her music.

It sometimes takes a family to be a Sweet Adelines singer.

“My older daughter was less than a year old when I joined Sweet Adelines,” said Halseth. “My husband has always been supportive, to the point of trying to curl her uncurl-able hair the night before school pictures!”

Halseth's husband, Alden, and her children attended every show and Alden helped with whatever he could. Her two daughters were even angels in one Christmas show and sang in “The Hills Are Alive” show with a group of Sweet Adelines kids.

With her experience and dedication to Battlefords Blend Chorus, Sandra Halseth is a worthy recipient of the Sweet Adelines International, Region 26 Spirit Award.