Fall 2021 District Convention Cancelled!

Hello Sunshine District,
This email/communication is to inform you that the SUN Board of Directors, along with input from the House of Delegates, have voted that the 2021 Sunshine District Fall Convention has been cancelled. Many factors led to this decision, which is not taken lightly. Indulge me, if you will…
We had a scheduled House of Delegates Meeting a little over a month ago, and only two (2) choruses indicated that they would participate in the contest. And of those two, only one said that they would formally compete. For very obvious reasons, most of our SUN Chapters have not been rehearsing and would not have a show package ready in time for the first week in October. Along with that, the majority of our Chapters doubted that their members would even attend a convention if we were to hold it.
The International representatives from SUN for 2022 have already been selected as carry-overs from Los Angeles and Cleveland, so it is not necessary to re-qualify for Charlotte. We also have a good number of choruses that are missing their Snowbirds. In many SUN choruses, the Snowbird population can make up 50% or more of the performing chorus!
In addition to this, we have a certain number of contracted rooms at the hotel that we MUST fill, or we pay the cost of those rooms. We have a brand new venue in St. Augustine that was going to “hold our feet to the fire”…but as luck would have it, the property had another large group was wanting to book dates during our Fall 2022 weekend. So, in exchange for moving Fall 2022 to a later weekend in October (will now be Oct 21-22), the hotel released us from any and all financial liability for cancelling Fall 2021. This could have been financially disastrous, but it worked out in our favor.
I want to assure each of you that we explored several other options for allowing quartets to compete. An idea was floated to have a “festival” and invite SAI Region 9 and Harmony, Inc. to join us, but even with their commitments, we’d have not come close to filling our hotel block – and we’d still be on the hook.
Also, an idea was presented to have a one-set, single panel quartet competition at Labor Day Jamboree. But this would have been held in a glorified afterglow room with no stage, lights, or sound. Personally, I want all of the “pomp and circumstance” of not only crowning a new District Champion, but also allowing our outgoing Champs (Bourbon Brothers Quartet) to have a proper send-off/Swan Song with a large audience.
Lastly, holding a District Convention 30 days after what will probably be the largest Labor Day Jamboree in history would not be palatable to most district wallets.
We fully plan on holding our Spring 2022 Convention March 25-27, and the C&J and Events Teams are deciding now if we will roll all contests into that convention, or if we will wait until Fall 2022 to crown a new quartet champ. (For those that don’t know, Choruses compete in Fall to qualify for International, and Quartets compete for the SUN District Championship…and then in Spring, it is reversed; Quartets qualify for International, and Choruses compete for the District crown).
We are ready to get back to in-person singing just as much as you are! But most of you aren’t ready quite yet, and that’s okay! We will be ready when you are, so start looking at BHS’ recommendations for safely re-opening and start to sing again. Get those show packages ready. SUN is a very unique District- we only have 18 active Chapters (MAD has 100+ choruses within their Chapters) . This makes it SUPER important for participation in our Conventions. Even if your Chapter does not usually “compete”, please make a commitment now to come to Spring 2022 (and as often as possible) for scoring, judging, and improvement opportunities. Good, quality singing is what drives membership. And guess what? Because of the year-long (+) pandemic and lockdown, artists of all types are looking for new outlets. BE THEIR OUTLET! But be a quality, excellence-oriented outlet. You get that by coaching and constant improvement!
We hope to see as many of our SUN Members at Labor Day Jamboree (www.sunldj.com) for some truly awesome shows – seriously, look at the lineups each night! We are blessed to have so much talent in our District, and extra blessed this year to have the opportunity to partner with the Association of International Champions (AIC) for what would have been their AIC Show in Cleveland! Both nights will fill every crevice of your barbershop bodies, and if you cannot attend in person, a webcast will be available. We are excited to welcome our friends from Harmony Foundation, who has, and will play a huge roll in funding this huge Labor Day Jamboree event.
Thanks for reading this much so far. The SUN Board feels it is important for you, our members, to understand what goes on behind the scenes to arrive at these types of tough decisions. It’s not all about the money. It’s also about the quality of the event and the honor that comes from competing on the SUN stage. We’ll be back strong to our Convention schedule in 2022. For now, we will concentrate on LDJ, then LeadAC in January 2022, and then on into Spring 2022.
Again, thank you for reading, and for allowing me the honor of being your President for the past five years; 2020 & 2021 were the hardest, by far! As we all emerge from this extraordinary time in history at our own pace, if there is anything that the SUN Board can assist you with, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Yours In Harmony,
President, Sunshine District

Spring 2021 Convention Cancelled

Regrettably, SUN will not be holding a Spring 2021 Convention in St. Augustine. After a discussion with the Board and House of Delegates, we feel that since quartets are qualifying for Cleveland via video submission, and the choruses from Los Angeles as well as those that had a high score will be automatically invited, there is no reason to hold an in-person convention that would most likely be sparsely attended. This is disappointing, but we cannot risk the expenses it costs to hold a convention if we have no chance of even breaking even. This is trending among most Districts. We look forward to when we can meet and sing in person again!!

Sunshine District Labor Day Jamboree has been cancelled.

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we must announce the cancellation of Labor Day Jamboree (LDJ) which was to take place September 4-7, 2020 in Orlando, FL. We know this will come as a great disappointment not only to our membership but also to our brothers and sisters in harmony from outside the Sunshine District that travel to join us year after year.

Please understand this is not a decision that we have taken lightly. As one of the Sunshine District’s cornerstone events, LDJ is known for being a fun-filled family weekend that brings people together from many different locations, and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has been a major factor in the decision to cancel. Our primary concern is for the health and safety of our attendees and performers who make this event possible. We sincerely appreciate your continued support of Labor Day Jamboree and look forward to sharing our updated plans for LDJ 2021 later this year.

In harmony,

Chad Bennett, LDJ Chairman

New Chapter in Sunshine District!

We have FANTASTIC news: the Jacksonville, FL chapter has fulfilled all the requirements to become a chapter. They are fully active as of 5/01/2020.

The Jacksonville, FL chapter currently has 20 members and performs as a mixed chorus known as Bold City Sound.  Bold City Sound’s values are family, community, musical excellence, and fun!

Below are the new Jacksonville, FL chapter leader titles and contact information – please pass along this awesome news, and help welcome our newest chapter to the BHS and SUN family!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/boldcitysound

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/boldcitysound/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/boldcitysound

We are  currently holding virtual rehearsals on Monday evenings @ 7:00 pm. Join us! Check our our Facebook page for instructions!

A Suggestion from Lee Frayer, Director Venice Gondoliers Mixed Chorus, Venice FL

One thing I am enjoying during this virus down time is keeping my Barbershop mind sharp by going on YouTube and calling up Barbershop, Barbershop quartets, Barbershop Choruses, and words of that kind. You can find hours of entertainment and education.

Why did I say education? Because you should not only be listening to the great harmony sounds but studying body language and facial sell. Check out what a difference good choreography makes to a song’s production. This is something most choruses could use improvement on.

It’s the same as your director asking you to attend the district conventions, even if you don’t compete in the contests, just to see what the other choruses are working on. Judge in your mind what you think about the other directors. Are they easy to follow, are they over or under working their arms and hand motions? Are the choruses as good or better than what you think your chorus is doing currently?

My theory is this. How do you know your director is teaching the right stuff if you don’t see other choruses doing the same thing your chorus director is pitching at your chorus rehearsals?

Remember. This organization that you have joined is an “educational and charitable” society. Not just a bunch of local yokels singing some songs. So you should take advantage of any and all Barbershop education that you can get. Also are you aware that the district and international have classes available for Barbershop education? Some just weekends, some a full week long. Check with your Chapter President or secretary. Or simply go on-line to your district or international and get the facts.

Lee Frayer
Director Venice Gondoliers mixed chorus. Venice, Fl.
directorfrayer@gmail.com

SPRING CONVENTION REFUND POLICY

As you know, the difficult but correct decision was made to cancel the Spring Convention due to the rapid news, spread, and “unknowns” concerning the COVID-19 virus. We know that some are disappointed, some grateful, but most all of us are both of those.

PATRONS/Non-competitors:

The options for your registrations are as follows:

  1. Full refund

  2. Transfer to Fall 2020 Convention

If you would like a refund, please send an email with the ticket purchaser’s name, and order number (if you have it) to events@sunshinedistrict.org

If you would like a transfer to Fall, please email

events@sunshinedistrict.org with your name, and all of the names in your order to be transferred to Fall. (We thought that you could do this yourself, but we were incorrect; we are happy to complete this transfer for you) You may also reply to this email with the required information and we will make the transfer happen.

CHORUS MEMBERS via your CHORUS MANAGERS (or Leadership): Exact same options as above…But it would help us tremendously if you would please send a single list of each of your members’ preference as one collective group. One chorus already took the initiative to do this and it made the process so much easier. Name of Member, and one preference: Refund or Transfer.

EITHER A REFUND REQUEST OR A TRANSFER REQUEST MUST BE SUBMITTED WITHIN 7 DAYS (SAT MARCH 21ST) OF THE CANCELLATION

For any questions, please send an email to: events@sunshinedistrict.org

As for the hotel- the individual property is sticking to its 24 hour cancellation rule, although they are still working through it with us. This does not mean that Marriott Corporate cannot override them and do the right thing, so we are asking that you PLEASE contact Marriott Customer Service directly at 1(800) 535-4028 to request a refund or open a case.

The state of Florida was under a state of emergency at the time of the convention cancellation, and the Governor had just recommended that groups of 250+ not gather, hence the convention cancellation. Marriott should do the right thing and refund that night for those of you that did not cancel in time.

UPDATE: All hope is not lost; we are still working with the hotel as our contract language supersedes Marriott’s corporate “24 hour cancellation” policy.

Again, thank you all for your patience while we sort through this. And thanks to those that have already quickly responded with their choice!

The kind words and understanding actions of our membership has carried the Events Team through this; we are here to assist you, our Sunshine Family.

Stay safe, all!

Events Team

Sunshine District Events Team

UPDATE FROM SUNSHINE DISTRICT

After further consideration, the Sunshine District Convention will not take place.

Our ballroom is set up, and we are ready to go; but after an extremely restless night of sleep, the right thing to do is cancel. The timing is terrible; many of our competitors and patrons are on the road or already here.
SUN ATTENDEES: Refund policy will be forthcoming (or we will roll your registration to the Fall Convention). Please give us time to sort this out as this is obviously an extreme situation to deal with. Further communication will come out within a few days.
Chuck Steiner, President (on behalf of the SUN Board of Directors)

UPDATE FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

As it stands right now, we will be continuing on with our Spring Convention, with an abundance of caution. We encourage anyone who does not feel comfortable attending to stay home and enjoy the Livestream, directly from the SUN Facebook Page. We will work with anyone opting not to attend, to rebook you for Fall Convention, or make your ticket into a donation for the Livestream. If you are sick or have any symptoms of the flu, please make alternate arrangements. 
***AGAIN, THIS IS A PERSONAL CHOICE FOR YOU TO MAKE, AND WE WILL SUPPORT WHATEVER YOU DECIDE IS RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES.***
We are not making this decision lightly, or being tone deaf to the world around us. Many calls and discussions have taken place with Headquarters in Nashville, as well as the District C&J Chairman & BHS C&J Chairmen, as well as the District Board.
The amplified news of the last 36 hours gave us no time to cancel vendors, hotels, or support staff. We have “boots on the ground” as I type this- setting up our audio-visual, stage, lighting, and ballroom seating. We also have the distinction of being the first and only prelim contest this weekend, so time (or timing) was not kind to us at all.
Please, please stay home if you do not want to come to Orlando. Watch & enjoy the Livestream, and we’ll see you next time.
For those still coming, we are taking as many precautionary measures as we can, and advising to have a “no touch/handshake/hug” convention. The hotel has placed extra sanitizing stations at key points throughout, as well.
We know that we will get some blowback- either way. Thank you for respecting our decision.
Sunshine District President (on behalf of the SUN Board of Directors)

COVID -19 and Spring Convention!

Your Sunshine District leadership and event team are closely monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and considering the impact it may have on our Spring Convention and Contest and other district and Society sponsored events.

Please be aware that the 2020 Sunshine District Spring Convention will take place as planned March 13 – 15, 2020.

We, along with other district leadership, are seeking guidance from Society headquarters and professional health care organizations. Our goal is to develop an appropriate response to the situation that both preserves our opportunities to sing together with as little disruption as possible while protecting your health, safety and well-being.

Top in public tips to avoid getting flu or COVID-19 by using common sense:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Here are some songs to sing while washing your hands People Share 53 Songs To Sing Instead Of “Happy Birthday” While Washing Your Hands To Scare Away The Coronavirus
  • Try not to shake hands, if you do use hand sanitizer afterwards.
  • Don’t share pitch pipes or water bottles!
  • If you do not feel well please stay home!
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people frequently touch.
  • There will be hand sanitizer available in public areas and backstage, but bring your own hand sanitizer, please! Remember it needs to be at least 60% alcohol based. Many options are available in sprays, gels, or wipes.
  • According to the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC), The World Health Organization (WHO), John Hopkins, The Department of State and State Departments of Health:For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.

  • People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low risk of exposure.
  • It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine.
  • The CDC does not recommend wearing masks or respirators for the general public.
  • People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with everyday preventive actions:Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Hydrogen peroxide based cleaners www.amazon.com/slp/hydrogen-peroxide-cleaner/dw3k52uvbbmn363
  • Maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
We look forward to seeing you this weekend!!
Sunshine District President