Update, Feb. 2, 2021

Meet our new director

From Cliff Newman, Chapter President
We are happy to announce that Chad Knipfer has accepted the Director position with our chorus. Many of you are familiar with Chad. Here is some information for those who do not know him.

Chad has been the Director of Iowa City Old Capitol Chorus for 15 odd years (winning small chorus competition) and was in the 2002 CSD Quartet champion Two State Four. He has been in countless performances and competitions since 1997. He has been a two year member of the Iowa City Chamber Singers, the Director of Iowa Harmony Initiative chorus, the Director of 21st Century Vocals chorus (winning small chorus competition) and the Director of the Eastern Iowa Seniors Chorus in 2019. 

Chad wrote in his application, “I get a ton of self-gratification by teaching and hearing great barbershop and a cappella sounds. As most teachers, my greatest thrill is to teach a new concept and have guys have that moment when it clicks and they understand and they can add it to their bag of tricks. My goal is to expose as many people as possible to this wonderful art form, whether it be singing it or enjoying it. I think I have a lot to offer the barbershop community.”

Chad will be an excellent addition to the Harmony Hawks. We look forward to developing a music plan and to begin rehearsing, virtually.

Chad will remain the Director of Old Capitol Chorus, which practices on Thursday evenings. As a result, we will need to change our rehearsal night. The survey that many of you completed shows that Tuesday evening would be the best night for our new night. The survey also indicated that about 1/2 of the people completing the survey said that they would be in favor of starting rehearsals at 6:30, so we will look into this. We have already reached out to the Scottish Rite Temple and they have stated that the facility is available for us to use.

Look for more information in the near future.

Despite pandemic, chorus in good financial position

From Al Huneke, Chapter Treasurer

I just wrapped up the financials for the Harmony Hawks 2020. There is good news and bad. The bad news we all know about – not being able to sing together and having to search for a new director. The good news is that our financial situation over the last year has been quite good.

Our accounts balance actually increased during 2020 from $29,314.67 at the beginning of the year to a year-end balance of $33,700.20. Most of the positive gain was due to our investments at the Greater CR Community Foundation where most of our money is parked. The returns were quite good this year, but there are no guarantees that this will continue for 2021. We also had some revenue from Spring Show Ad Sales for which we will still need to run ads at our next spring show.

At present, we are in good shape. In a normal year, our expenses are about $15K and are almost covered by income from the spring show, valentine performances and donations. Dues cover less than 15% of the expenses. The trend over the past several years is shown in the following:

The bottom line is that we’re is good shape now but need to grow the chorus and figure out how to raise money. Revenue from the spring show and Valentines has fallen in the past several years. Perhaps we need a new model. We are confident that a new director will bring new enthusiasm and new members into our chorus. Let’s all make sure we support the changes that will come with new leadership. We all have a part to play (even the baritones). I miss seeing you guys.

Donations from members play an important part in our financial success. One option we have is called Endow Iowa and operates through the Foundation. You may be able to get an Iowa tax credit of 25% for your contribution. Note that a tax credit comes right off your tax bill. Talk to me (Al Huneke) if you have questions about this.

Singing Valentine effort scrapped for this year

In their last meeting, the board viewed the videos made as a possible Singing Valentines promotion and decided that they were not high enough quality to sell. Several chorus members were part of the effort lead by Larry Hlavacek to create videos of the Valentines Day favorites intended to be offered for sale in lieu of our normal in person deliveries. They used an online app to create the videos. Thanks go to Jack Ray, Cal Birkey, Jim Sjostrom, Ryan Ballentine, Al Huneke, Gary Lindsay, Duane Scott, and Larry Hlavacek for taking part in this experiment.