Featured Member in the Spotlight!
This page is dedicated to featuring beloved members of Perfect Harmony.
JANICE LAPORTE TENOR
Janice is one of the original Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus. She joined when rehearsal was in the beauty shop. After a leave of absence, she returned to PHWBC in 2021. She has had a long and rewarding career in music. Read on about this talented lady!
I’m Janice Watson La Porte. I was born in Hennessey, Oklahoma. It was a joy to grow up in this small town of 1,200 people. I had so many friends and we played from morning to night building “club” houses and finding new and secret places. Our mothers never worried about us. My folks lived right on Main Street and could see everything going on.
My father was a Chevrolet car dealer. My mother was a housewife caring for me and my four-year older brother, Larry. We were a musical family. My dad’s mother taught piano; she had a Steinway grand piano. We kids never knew Grandmother Watson who died of a heart attack in her forties. My grandpa decided to sell the Steinway and bought two spinets, one for me and one for my cousin. I started taking lessons on my wonderful piano in the third grade. Teachers in that era believed third grade was the best time to read music and be able to coordinate your hands. I took lessons until I graduated from college.
During high school, I played the clarinet, sang in the girls’ glee club, a girl’s trio and accompanied singing groups. I loved band and became the Drum Majorette in my senior year. After high school I got a scholarship to Oklahoma College for Women. My high school “hunk” of a boyfriend was happy to see me go to OCW because he didn’t think there would be enough guys for me to date there. That “hunk” dated me all through college and finally Curt LaPorte and I got married. I majored in music at OCW. I was active in plays, dramas, music productions and singing in arias every so often.
In my senior year of college my “hunk” was going to Phillips University, he got an interview to teach in Wichita, Kansas. The man who hired him went south to Chickasha and hired me to teach music that same day as he hired Curt, what a blessing!
We were married the summer right out of college and headed to Wichita to teach. Wichita was a great city to teach in, and we stayed there for 35 years! I taught in many different elementary schools as Wichita has 85 elementary schools. I had a school choir in every school. Some of my choirs sang for the Governor, and we also sang for the Kansas State Music Teachers Association. We had to audition for that and they even made a recording of us. My greatest joy was directing several all-school choirs of 400 voices at Century II concert hall.
Besides school functions, I also taught piano after school. A lot of these students were kids I taught at school.
In the midst of these years our daughter, Sarah, was born. She, too, loved music and went on to college to become a music teacher. By now, my husband was a school principal. We kept so busy I never had much free time to sing in a Barbershop group, although Wichita had a great one.
I finished my career the last few years as a music supervisor. This was a fun job ad I got to visit every teacher and help them. However, I preferred teaching to the job of supervisor even though I knew every music teacher in the system.
We retired in 1995 and had a house built in beautiful Bella Vista. We never looked back, and have loved our life here. I have kept active by singing, crafting, and collecting cookbooks (of which I have over 500!). I love to cook, but as I get older, I really like eating out! Other crafts I have done are China painting, working with pottery and I love to shop antique malls.
My husband golfs, rides the neighborhood on his golf cart and keeps track of everyone. We go to the Bella Vista Church of Christ and are very active there. Our daughter and her husband moved to Bella Vista in May 2022. We are so blessed to have them here! Sarah is a bagpipe player and past elementary music teacher as well as a high school teacher. I have sung in many choruses and directed a few of them—I love singing and hope to keep singing as long as I can! Janice
Thank you, Janice,
for sharing about your full- filling life. PHWBC is so glad to have you in our
tenor section. “Sing! Sing a Song” and
keep going on!
NANCY JOHNSON, LEAD
Nancy has been singing all her life. Her experience includes, Barbershop singing, singing in her church choir and as a soloist. Nancy’s talent and beautiful lead voice have added so much to our Lead Section. Not to mention the happiness she brings when she enters any room. Her smiling face has an impact on anyone she comes in contact with. Nancy’s experience and happy disposition has been a great addition to our group of “Sisters in Song”. Enjoy her story as she tells some of her special experiences over the years.
I was born and raised in the windy city of Chicago, Illinois. I was my parent’s only child for 7 years until 3 more sisters joined our family. Taking care of my sisters became one of the many responsibilities of being the oldest child. Presently, just one of my sisters and I are the only ones left in our family. I met my first husband in Chicago and we were married in Key West, Florida. The Viet Nam was still raging, so he joined the Marine Corp and we moved to San Diego, California and then to Cherry Point, North Carolina where he was sent to Viet Nam. I went back to Chicago and stayed with my mom and sisters (my dad recently had died) until my husband was honorably discharged from the service. We had two children together, a son and a daughter. My mom had been born and raised in Eureka Springs and wanting to get her daughters away from the big city life had moved back to Eureka Springs a few years earlier. Life’s ups and downs finally took its toll on our 11-year marriage and my children and I relocated to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. My second husband and I met and later were married in Eureka Springs. We moved to Rogers, Arkansas where he worked at the Beaver Lake Army Corp of Engineers until his retirement. We were married for 42 years until his death on February 14, 2018 (Valentine’s Day) from a sudden heart attack. I sold our house in Garfield, Arkansas and bought a house in Pea Ridge, Arkansas after his death. My second husband and I did not have any children together. I have three grandsons, three granddaughters, a great-grandson and great-granddaughter. I retired 9 years ago from the Office of Human Concern, Inc., a non-profit Community Action Agency. I worked as Director of Senior Services for 35 years, managing and doing government contracts for 7 senior activity centers in Benton, Carroll and Madison counties.
Over the years we had vacationed in most of the Western states seeing many of the tourist sites and scenic areas in our beautiful country. One of the memorable things I had participated in was going with high school students as a chaperone. I went to London, England; Paris, France; Lucerne, Switzerland and Heidelberg, Germany. Awesome trips! Then I went again the next year as a chaperone to New York City. This was before 9/11 and as one of the many tourists’ sites we went up to the observation deck in one of the Twin Towers. After 9/11, I thought about how horrible it was to have been trapped in the tower! I have been on two Caribbean Cruises to Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Cozumel.
I have always been involved in the music program at whatever church I belonged to at the time, singing in the choir and doing solo’s, etc. Sometime in 1980 I joined Sweet Adeline’s International. I was a member of a chorus but due to work/family issues, I sang in and out of a chorus several times over many years, i.e. Beaver Lake Chapter, Toast of the Ozarks, ArkAppella, and Dazzling Diamonds, all in NW Arkansas. I also sang with Show Me Harmony in Joplin, Missouri over the years and am presently a member of Show Me Harmony Chorus in Joplin, Missouri. I am also a member of NWA Women’s Chorus in Bella Vista.
I started singing with Perfect Harmony Chorus a few years ago after a couple friends and I started talking about attending a practice and checking them out. Well, needless to say, we all joined! -Nancy
Seems like Nancy has been a very busy lady! Perfect Harmony is so happy to have her as a member. We look forward to many years of singing together in harmony.
SHIRLEY STEWART, TENOR
Shirley came to Perfect Harmony just in the nick of
time. Our tenor section was down to 1 or
2 tenors. She joined right in to fill
out our tenor section. She has proven to
be a positive, helpful member of Perfect Harmony. And kudos to her husband Ron, who attends our
sing outs and has become our designated “purse holder”. -Barb
I was born in San Angelo, Texas (west Texas) in 1950. Since my dad was a Petroleum Engineer, we moved around…..to Abilene, Tx to Healdton, Ok, Guymon, Ok and finally Edmond, Ok where I graduated from high school. I was a bit of a tom-boy, loved playing in the dirt with my little brothers’ cars, building with Lincoln logs and Tinker Toys and still have a fascination with horned toads. I’m not particularly a lover of reptiles but I do love those little guys! I would catch them, keep them for a while and then let them go.
After I graduated from Dallas Fashion Merchandising College in 1969, I married my first husband in 1970 and moved to Stillwater, Ok where he was going to school at OSU. I started working at Moore Business Forms. My son was born in 1977 and I lived there until 1985 when we divorced. My son and I moved to the Houston area where I married Ron, my soulmate and the love of my life, in 1986. We have been married 36 years and it seems like it was only yesterday.
Ron’s job took us to Maple Shade, NJ and Cleveland, OH. During that time, I worked a series of part-time temp jobs. When his job was phased out, we returned to Houston where we both went to work for Unocal, me as an administrative assistant and he in the IT department. Both of those jobs were phased out so we both went to work for Mustang Engineering, again, me as an administrative assistant in the Pipeline department and he in the IT department, where we stayed for 12 years until we retired in 2017.
We have been on 3 cruises, 2 to Alaska and 1 to the Mediterranean.
Since my son and his family have lived in Bentonville for 20+ years we had been coming up here from Houston frequently to visit. When we started riding motorcycles in 2011, we discovered how much fun riding the hills are in this area and decided this was where we wanted to retire. Along with how beautiful it is here and the weather is so much more pleasant than the heat and humidity of Houston. Of course, having 2 granddaughters here also helped with that decision! We sold our house in Houston, moved here January 2018 and haven’t regretted it at all.
I heard of Perfect Harmony from Barb
Compton and Jane Davis who I sing with in the Bella Vista Community Church
Choir. They urged me to come and sing. And that’s the rest of the story.
Shirley’s hobbies include reading and crafts. A personal accomplishment for her is “learning to ride my motorcycle and not having and accident”. Blue, green and pink are her favorite colors. In her spare time, she will read or go shopping. The most rewarding event in her lifetime was “marrying my soulmate”. She and Ron have been to the Mediterranean but she would like to go back to Italy and Spain. On her bucket list is a trip to Scotland and Ireland. The chorus is fortunate that Barb and Jane kept encouraging Shirley to join PHWBC. The chorus has nicked name her “Short Shirley”, so that we know if we are addressing Shirley Stewart, or Shirley Moore (Tall Shirley). “Thank you, dear Lord, for friendship.”
JENNIFER GOODMAN, LEAD
Jennifer walked into the rehearsal room not knowing
what part she should try to sing. Karen started her as a bass, but then decided
to move her to the lead section. Jennifer’s “song bird” voice was accustomed to
singing melody, but learned quickly singing the lead part in a barbershop
chorus was not just melody. She persevered. By recording the lead part during
rehearsals and the help of two great mentors (Dee Fitzgerald and Sally Benson)
she was ready to sing with the chorus at the first Sing Out of 2022. Jennifer
is one of our quiet members of the chorus, but she occasionally adds a humorous
comment during rehearsal, as if on cue. There’s
more to learn about Jennifer, here’s her story.
I was born in 1947, Jennifer Barker, a baby boomer in Trona, California. A desert town where 20 Mule Team Borox was made. Trona is surrounded by mountains and dry lakes of salt. My dearest sister, Jeanette, was more “tea parties, aprons, a girlie girl” and I was skinned knees, hunter of tortoises, lizards and horned toads.
My fantastic Aunt Blanche, taught me to cherish Jesus Christ always and that all of life was better with music and song! She was a God send, truly, always. And Wow! Could she sing.
I attended San Bernardino Valley College majoring in electronic data processing (the future). We moved to Rogers, Arkansas with two young sons, my husband was from Rogers. Years later my husband needed a dryer climate so we moved to southern California, the desert. I was hired as a Civilian Department of Defense employee, Marine Corp Combat Center, Administrative Operations Assistant.
My husband was a former Marine and served in Viet Nam. I learned a deep respect for our service men and women. I was truly inspired by the bond they have. I don’t have words to describe being on base during the 911 attack.
My husband and I both loved music and singing, camping, driving, and riding our horses. It was our “Happy”. He had a lovely, deep voice. He passed away four years ago and he will be loved, always. I yearned to return to Arkansas with my two little dogs, Pip and Willow, my best friends, who’s unconditional love kept me going.
So, here I was three years later, beginning to try to get my “Happy” back. I began to sing again with the radio, outdoors, while driving and when I couldn’t sleep. “Those who wish to sing will always find a song.” I saw an article in the weekly Vista last fall about the Bella Vista Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus. I cut it out and kept it in the kitchen, trying to muster the courage to call. Weeks later, I did. Karen Frankenfeld, the leader, who began the chorus years ago, was telling a story, during my first visit to rehearsals, of a bus trip vacation that was hilarious! The whole room was full of laughing, lovely, women. When they sang, yes! It was “Perfect Harmony”.
The article was of such happy looking women it pulled at me. Perfect Harmony has given me my “Happy” back. Who knew they were just waiting for me to come find it!
Honestly, if I’ve learned one thing in this life it’s that anything I’ve accomplished I was able to do so with the support of my husband, family, friends and co-workers. I especially learned from the Corp: it’s a group effort,” love, God, Country”. Singular.
My hobbies now are fishing, kayaking, walking, gardening and building bird houses. I really enjoy visiting old towns with character. I repurpose used items, enjoying cooking and visiting Crystal Bridges. Jennifer
Jennifer also worked as Softline’s Manager at Walmart for 19 years. She would like to visit Colorado and Utah. Her favorite color is sage green. The most rewarding event in her live is being married to the” love of my life”, Allen Goodman. Make time to visit with Jennifer and learn more about her creative talents.
JANE DAVIS, LEAD
Quick quips and a sharp
sense of humor are just two of the talents that Jane brings to our chorus
group. Her smile shines first in her dark
brown eyes, then you are taken by the warmth of that smile on her entire
face. She is a delight to have as a
friend and a sister in song. As you read
her story, you will be amazed at the many interests and accomplishments she has
made throughout her life.
It has been a major challenge putting together a “member spotlight” and share only pertinent personal information relative to the task. I have had a fulfilling life and found it difficult to separate some chaff from the grain. Bear with me, please. The majority of my life was lovingly lived in Kansas until retiring to beautiful northwest Arkansas almost 30years ago.
I had the good fortune to grow up in an idyllic midsize northeast Kansas, small college town. There were many similar communities with an array of similar four-year colleges throughout the state. Times were good for families in that post war WWII period. My formative years were all about school and I loved it. Summers were always way too long between the grade school years. Many, many of those classmates were with me all through junior and senior high where we gained even more lifelong friends. We keep well connected with frequent reunions.
It was during that same war period that women became inspired to pursue professional careers such as teaching and nursing. After graduating high school, at least eight of my classmates went to various nursing programs. There were numerous hospital nursing programs across the state in those days. They were all what were called certified R.N. diploma programs. In my late forties, I was certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner through studies at a nearby state university. That led me into employment with a state, federally approved, organization evaluating recent hospital admissions looking at medical necessity of the admission, length of stay and quality of care of Medicare and Medicaid patients.
I met a really funny guy named “Pete” on a blind date while in nursing school and we married shortly after. He was the love of my life and father of our daughter and son. Pete was a very good dad. He was so amazing in that he could build, remake and repair anything from the kids’ cars to building fence to contain our ponies. He attended our local college and earned a teaching degree in industrial arts at the same time our little girl started kindergarten. One summer we bought a small storm-damaged pontoon houseboat. He set it up in our backyard and completely rebuilt it, inside and out; we spent many summer weekends with the kids enjoying fun times on the water.
Pete and I enjoyed most of the same activities together throughout our marriage. We could regularly be found dancing and dining at the local Elks lodge. We loved to go dancing and even took lessons in line dancing and disco. We took up archery together and became involved with indoor target archery and outdoor field archery in related clubs and events across the state. We collaborated on stained glass projects with me choosing the patterns, kinds and colors of glass. He did all the technical, physical work. We were pleased to have made a pair of large, beautiful windows for each of our homes.
We did take time out to encourage and enjoy our children’s interests such as Little League baseball and the ponies. Having a horse was always our daughter’s passion from the moment she could talk. We got her into English style riding lessons and bought a Welsh pony, both were from a nearby stable whose owners taught the girls how to ride and care for this precious breed. Needless to say, we parents knew NOTHING about horses, but we were all better for having had the experience. Our son developed skills in photography and graphic arts while he was in college and worked on the side for a local newspaper. He just got better and better on his own working his way up in the newspaper business, for over thirty years, ending up as Creative Director at a large newspaper in Florida.
After the children left the nest, Pete and I got hooked on golfing. He had a passion for fishing (I did not). We retired to Bella Vista with our golf clubs and his bass boat after seeing all the amazing golf courses and lakes.
Living in Bella Vista provided all kinds of fun challenges besides golfing and fishing. I found golf began to take up too much time and devotion to maintain skills. I then committed to a “bucket list” of new challenges. I pursued quilting, crocheting, painting, decorative art and pottery making. I joined all the related clubs and studied with some acclaimed area artists and achieved a modicum of proficiency along the way.
I became drawn to the concept of music when I found I had an ear to pick out notes of popular tunes on my aunt’s piano. She influenced my parents to get me into lessons. I enjoyed doing that for almost two years and had to stop when we moved. Those few lessons kept my right-hand memory strong enough so that later in life I would be able to enjoy playing electronic organs. My most upgraded one has more “stops and whistles” than I need but it has been truly fun to play. I also have a nice keyboard used to practice singing.
My first real singing experience was in high school and church choir. It was fun to harmonize
with my peers. I later became more informed on vocal training and what it takes to commit to a
singing career through our daughter and future husband’s beautiful voices and college
experience. I enjoyed singing over the
years in our large church choir directed by my son-in-law. Karen Frankenfeld and her husband were fun and skilled members of this same choir years back. She has continued to help with our alto’s. Karen regularly invited women to sing with the Perfect Harmony group
under her direction. Always looking for a new challenge, I joined the group three years ago after much
encouragement from my daughter. I was
soon hooked on the great camaraderie, good fun and purpose. Thank you, Karen! Jane
Jane’s favorite color is red. She wears it well! Bella Vista has become her happy place for 25 years and counting. In her spare time, she sings in her church choir, volunteers, learns new skills and enjoys working with her art projects. One of her goals has been to read the Bible completely through by the years end. Thank you, Jane, for sharing your story and the joy you bring the Perfect Harmony’s Women’s Barbershop Chorus.
REMEMBERING BOB BENSON, ARRANGER AND HONORARY MEMBER OF PERFECT HARMONY
Bob Benson has been an important part of Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus’ history for many years. As a talented musical artist, he contributed many special arrangements to our repertoire. Over the years Bob has re-arranged many of our selections to accommodate four-part harmony, add a special tag or an introduction to a song per our director’s request. The members of Perfect Harmony will miss his creativity and willingness to work with us. We would like to honor him with our tribute of gratitude, respect and a promise to preserve his legacy in the songs we sing.
Robert “Bob” Norman Benson was born Oct. 10, 1932, in New York City, N.Y., to Robert Austen Benson and Clara Thomas Benson. He graduated from the New York School of Music and Art in 1949 and Hope College, Holland, Mich., in 1953 with a BA in Music. He was drafted into the Army, served at Fort Dix and performed with the Soldiers Chorus. He received a MA in music from Indiana State University in 1957 and taught junior and high school music for seven years. In 1964 he became a professor of music at Miami-Dade Community College where he taught musical classes, directed the college choir, directed student operas and was chorus master with the Miami Philharmonic as well as singing barbershop chorus. He retired in 1994. He was married to Sally Ream Benson, for over 40 years. They moved to Bella Vista in 1995 where he sang with the Bella Vista Men's Chorus. He also enjoyed carpentry, camping, canoeing and any boat or train ride he could get on.
Bob’s wife, Sally Benson, is an active and long-time member of Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus. Many times, Sally would encourage Bob to “keep on” when he would have a writer’s block or hesitant to tackle a new song. She and Bob have gifted our chorus musically and philanthropically many times over the years.
Memorials may be made to the Bella Vista Men's Chorus, 73 Cullen Hills Dr., Bella Vista, AR 72715 or to the Norma Baughman Scholarship at Hope College -- Development, PO Box 9000, Holland, MI 49422-9000.
Online condolences may be made at www.funeralmation.com.
BONNIE L. HOLEMAN, LEAD
Bonnie joined Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus in the middle of the COVID pandemic. The chorus suspended all rehearsals and sing outs in 2020. When we were able to begin rehearsals with restrictive guidelines, Bonnie jumped right back in. She had a lot of songs to learn that many of us had been singing for a few years. Now she can sing our songs from memory and confidently perform in our Sing Outs. Bonnie is a trained musician and a vocalist. Enjoy her story and learn what a talented woman she is.
I have been a member of Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus for about two years. Sally Benson was very helpful in helping me get acquainted with the members of Perfect Harmony. Singing with the group has been very rewarding and enjoyable.
I was born in Missouri and lived most of my life in the Mid-West. Before starting to kindergarten I took piano and organ lessons and in 4th grade I learned violin. In High School I played in our 100 piece orchestra and sang in the a'cappella choir. At the University of Missouri I received a B.S and M.A. degree. After marrying my high school sweetheart we had two sons. Since we moved around I taught various subjects and grades in three different states.
We traveled extensively in the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. We moved to Bella Vista in 2019 to be near our son, Jeff. My husband, Dr. W.D. Holeman, School Administrator for 38 years, passed away in April, 2019.
My hobbies include cross stitching, reading, computer and crossword puzzles.
I have one sister who lives in Illinois and many cousins.
The most rewarding events in her lifetime are being married 62 years and having two sons. Her favorite color is aqua and she would like to visit Canada and more of the United States. Bonnie’s musical talent is much appreciated in the chorus, as well as her dedication.
CHERYL GIEFER, LEAD
Cheryl could be considered the anchor of Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus. She received an award at the Chorus’s 20th Anniversary Celebration for having the longest term as a member of the group. Cheryl is a dependable Lead singer, only missing rehearsals or Sing Outs because of health issues or going on a trip. She has shared her story of learning to sing in a group and gain confidence in her talent with the help of our Director, Karen. Below is Cheryl’s story.
I attended my first Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus practice in November, 1999. My neighbor, Joanne invited me to visit the chorus. The group had started using the Bella Vista United Church as a practice venue. I hadn’t sang publicly (except at church services) since High School. I was in B Choir then. I had a wonderful, funny teacher that went by the name “Pete”-don’t know what her given name was!
Joanne also brought Carol A. Tomlinson into Perfect Harmony a year or so after I came in.
I didn’t fee comfortable singing in public for a few months, so I would go to Sing Outs and keep an eye on our purses. Karen told me I had to join and sing or quit! Believe me, I was not the best voice in the leads. I couldn’t believe the patience Karen had with me. I learned “God Bless the U.S.A.” for a program we did with the Men’s Barbershop Chorus-a highlight in my time with Perfect Harmony. Karen is the best!
I’ve had wonderful
support from the group when I had a knee replacement in 2007. In 2012 I had
breast cancer. I took a leave of absence, as I had chemo and radiation. I was
out for a month and a half. I felt the support from the group-- prayers and
good wishes. So grateful for the group. Cheryl
Cheryl had a career as a Clerk II for the State of Minnesota for 23 years. She now volunteers at the Bella Vista Animal Shelter and often pet sits for her friends and acquaintances. Her love of animals stops with rodents and snakes! In her spare time she reads, tries new recipes and plays Samba.
The most rewarding events in her lifetime have been her travels. “My husband, Ray and I were able to visit all the Alps, go to Austria, three times to Germany, Switzerland and some of France. We belonged to a travel group from Minnesota.” She would like to visit their best friends in Bryce Canyon, Utah.
From her information sheet for the chorus she tells us her favorite color is blue. Cheryl is well loved by the chorus members, and we are glad that she has gone from being the “purse holder” to a valued lead singer for the chorus.
BRENDA FLEMING, TENOR
What a great addition to Perfect Harmony! A beautiful Tenor voice and a beautiful, spirited woman in one package. Brenda enjoys “putting on the GLITZ” at times, and it is hard to feature her in a chicken house. You will be surprised by her story, enjoy.
I’m supposed to tell my story so here goes: I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. You could look out my parent’s French doors, and there was the Golden Gate Bridge. Out of their kitchen window you could see San Francisco….Fisherman’s Warf, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, etc. At night with all the lights it was beautiful!! And, yes. I was a child of the ‘60’s.
I married my husband, Tom, in 1967. In 1970 our daughter, Stephanie, was born. In 1974, along came our son, Aaron. We have 3 grandchildren, Lydia and Will who belong to Stephanie; and Thomas who is Aaron’s. Unfortunately, no great grandchildren yet. Which is not acceptable. I keep telling Lydia – who will be 22 – to get a husband and give me some! She is not listening to her Meme! Tom and I will have been married 55 years this year. (I had to look it up because I couldn’t believe it’s been that long! I am NOT that old!!)
I’m not going to bore you with all the jobs I’ve had. That would be – like I said – boring.
Anyway, you could say my life has been several songs strung together. My dad could play any instrument he picked up. (That talent passed me by!) Practically every Saturday we would have several musicians come over to the house, and they would play and sing country music usually ending with hymns from old country church hymnals.
I have sung in church choirs and have done solo work all my life. I can play the piano a little bit, just enough to practice what I’m supposed to sing.
In 1974, during the first Energy Crisis, Tom lost his job. We had been coming back to Northwest Arkansas on vacation to visit my sister and husband several times. They had a chicken farm and wanted to sell it. We got the bright idea of buying it. So We bought a big blue van-type truck, packed all our stuff in it, along with a 4 year old and a 2 month old baby, (they were in the car – not the truck) and away we went. They should have been playing the theme song from “Green Acres” all the way to Arkansas. Did we know what we were doing? No. At one time, we were raising 45,000 chickens. I can raise them. Butcher them. Dress them out. Cook and eat them. But we have several “adventures” during that time on the farm. Time and space do not allow me to go into them; but they were hilarious, and it is a wonder we all survived.
Now this chicken farm was out where XNA is now, but in 1974….Ladies, I’m telling you there was NOTHING hardly in Bentonville or Rogers. There were fields between Bentonville and Rogers on Hwy 71 and 102. Coming from a BIG metropolitan area like the Bay Area it was total Culture Shock!! For six weeks I thought I was going to lose my mind. Having a two-month-old infant didn’t help. I survived.
During the time on the farm, I directed the Mason Valley Baptist Church choir, taught the Primary kiddies on Sundays and the teenagers in Vacation Bible School. Most importantly, I was introduced to Barbershop and Sweet Adelines in 1978. Never heard of them before.
Also – we got rid of the chickens, and moved to Bentonville!!! Where my sister talked me into directing the Chancel Choir of The First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ along with the Primary Choir. That lasted for a few years.
Back to Sweet Adelines. I became a member in 1978 and that love affair lasted 43 years. During that adventure, every time a director left, guess who the directing responsibility fell upon…..me. All I wanted to do was SING. So I and the Board had to find other directors. We really lucked out with my first replacement. She lasted 10 years. During that time, we won First Place in the Small Chorus Division four times. I wrote scripts for our annual shows and acted in them. We really had fun. Then she left. I was once again “The Director”. This time I took all the training and passed all the tests, and in 1994 became a Certified Front-Line Director (under protest). Time passed. Health got bad. So I totally retired from directing – and anything else chorus related. Been there. Done that. Several times. I started going to the chorus in Joplin, Mo. And BOOM!! Enter the Pandemic!! Nothing for three years until one day I got a call from Linda Denny saying she was going “stir crazy” and let’s try the choruses in Bella Vista. The clouds parted, and you could hear the Hallelujah Chorus. I’m having a blast. Love all you ladies, and Karen is the best. Brenda
Brenda has such a vocal range that she has not only sings Tenor, but she can also sing Baritone and Bass. Her favorite color is red. Her hobbies are singing, singing, singing! She likes to read and watch baseball. She would like to visit Prince Edward Island, Canada. She noted “being married to the same person 54 years as her top personal accomplishment.” The PHWBC members welcome Brenda with open arms. She is a joy to watch perform and listen to her sing.
SIMONE HOWE, TENOR
Perfect Harmony welcomed Simone with open arms the first day she attended rehearsal. She has been a great addition to the Tenor section. She is always happy, smiling and quick to offer her nursing skills if needed. Simone is loved by the chorus members not only for her talented voice but also for her friendship.
Here is her story.
I moved from Charleston, SC, to Bella Vista in 2018. Wanting to make community connections, I searched the list of Bella Vista clubs for one that spoke to me. I enjoyed singing in high school choirs, church choirs, community musical theater, and one season of the May Festival Chorus in Cincinnati. I wanted to keep my singing skills sharp and meet some amazing people. Perfect Harmony has been a perfect fit!
I was born and raised in Kentucky, attended college at Brigham Young University, then worked as a registered nurse at the Christ Hospital and Saint Luke’s Hospital in Cincinnati. I married Steve and had three children - 2 girls and a boy - in 4 years. Busy, happy, life!
Steve’s career took our family from Cincinnati to NW Arkansas, Charlotte, NC, Charleston, SC, and finally back to NW Arkansas. The family’s longest stint was in Charleston; the kids all call that home. Two of our children served church missions - one in the Netherlands (Dutch speaking) and one in France (French speaking). Currently, one daughter is in graduate school at the University of Arkansas, and the other two children attend Brigham Young University.
I home schooled my children through 8th grade - and loved every minute of it. When my son entered high school, I returned to study nursing in graduate school and received a doctorate in nursing - all while excelling as lacrosse mom! Feeding 30 boys a tasty team dinner every week is no joke!
Now I work part time as a family nurse practitioner in a rural family medicine clinic in Oklahoma. I love connecting with people, one on one, and helping them make life changes for health and wellness. In my spare time I also enjoy playing piano, running (I’m now training for my 8th marathon), reading, doing puzzles, and any outdoor adventure - with my loving hubby. Simone
SALLY BENSON, LEAD, BARITONE
Sally has been a mentor to several of our Baritones and Leads. She is able to fill in for either section when needed, currently singing Lead. She has also served on the board several years as President, worked on various committees and performed as our Master of Ceremonies. She and her husband have generously contributed to the success of the chorus. From buying ads, to donating her tax preparation earnings and underwriting our 20th anniversary reception. Bob Benson has arranged several of our songs for Women’s Barbershop parts. You can see by her story what a talented and gifted woman she is, a definite asset to Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Song.
I am a daughter of this country. So far, my research has found about 120 direct ancestors that were born the British American Colonies before the American Revolution. My mother’s line started in the Connecticut Colony and stayed there. I, my mother, my grandmother, etc. were born in the Fairfield area where two of my ancestors helped found the town around 1639. My sixth great grandfather was Aaron Burr’s grandfather.
On my father’s side I have found connections from colonies in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Tennessee. After the westward expansion started in the mid-19th century, they went to Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri (where my dad was born) and, I was surprised to learn, Northeastern Arkansas.
Being born in the middle of the second World War meant we were living with my mother’s family in Connecticut. They had to have blackout drapes and top half of a car’s headlights blacked out because of the enemy submarines. After the war we moved to the Cleveland, Ohio area. I lived in a small town on a hilly dirt road. I remember clambering around in the woods and riding my bike. I loved school but always hoped to have a day to play when it snowed. The principal lived on our road so, no luck, we always got plowed. We went to a small church with a white steeple and I started singing in the junior choir. I started piano lessons there.
We moved to SE Florida when I was 12 and I was there for about 40 years until moving to Bella Vista. I was a good student, but I think I loved school best because I got to sing in the choruses—junior and senior high. Before my senior year, I went to band camp to learn the flute. That was because I wanted to march and wear a uniform—silly me. I even marched in the Orange Bowl Parade.
I went on to Florida State University straight through to my Master’s in Library and Information Science. I also sang in the University Singers almost the whole way. My first professional job was at Miami-Dade Community College and I stayed there for 28 ½ years through several positions including director of a campus library. I was singing with a community chorus when choral music professor Bob Benson came looking for singers to help the college chorus with a big orchestra performance. He and I got together about 10 years later. What a blessing.
When Bob wanted to join the Miamians Barbershop Chorus, he made sure to introduce me to the local Sweet Adeline Chapter. I went to Sweet Adeline International competition twice with Suncoast chorus. I sang with them for about 8 years until they were more interested in me being a stage manager for their shows and I preferred to sing and wear costumes. Bob and I created and put on several shows for the barbershoppers in Miami.
My parents moved up here from Delray Beach in 1978. We loved the area and finally got retired and moved by 1995 to an unfinished house. I got to be retired for about 6 months when a new library position with NWACC opened up. My mother was a volunteer so I got to know the staff when I subbed for her. I became the second librarian at NWACC and stayed for over 10 years before retiring again. Bob kept busy finishing the house.
A month after moving to Arkansas both Bob and I started singing with the Northwest Arkansas Chorale. Bob was also singing with the Men’s Chorus as was my Dad. We both were in Village Players summer musicals and Hootenannies. We continued to put on shows for the local barbershoppers here in Arkansas. I started with Perfect Harmony about 2000. I also sang with the Women’s Chorus for several years.
Besides singing--being smart, and being tall are essential parts of my self-image. That also has meant being a smarty-pants and too tall to be asked to dance, to get the role in a play or to stand in the front row.
I have loved to travel including several trips to Europe. I have done a lot of sewing including making most of my college clothes and doing costuming for plays and musicals. I have no children but I have given many rescued dogs and cats a good home over the years.
Love and harmony to all my singing friends. Sally
“Songs sung in any style, always make me smile” Thank you Sally for all you have done, and always with a beautiful smile.
SARAH JEAN FISHER - BASS
When Sarah Jean joined Perfect Harmony, she was already a seasoned Barber-shopper. Her rich bass voice and beautiful smile enhance every performance. When we perform, you can count on Sarah Jean to be perfectly groomed, her snappy white hairdo is perfection, and her makeup looks as though it was done by a professional. Now, getting past the superficial portion, there lies a warm, loving individual who is anxious to work on whatever project is thrown at her. She stepped up for our Concert last fall and made sure every member had their items identified so there would be no mix-ups in the changing room. Sadly she leaves us for a few months every year, but we always welcome her return. Sarah Jean, we are delighted to have you as a member of Perfect Harmony. – Sue Barrett
I was born the first of three children. My parents were Canadian from Newfoundland who emigrated to PA, Mom first, just after her 20th birthday. My father was a construction worker and Mom stayed at home. I was always singing at home, so when singing in the school glee club started in fourth grade for 10 cents a week, I begged for the money. I was hooked on group singing. In high school, I got a job babysitting every day after school for spending money and to pay my prom expenses, so that eliminated high school glee club and all other after school activities. I married my high school sweetheart the summer after graduation, getting pregnant right away. I had a girl, Sally, and three more children, (one boy, Brian, and two more girls Kelly and Jennifer) followed in the next 5 and a half years.
When my youngest child was three, I joined our church choir (17 years) and found Sweet Adelines. I was a barbershop member for the next 7 years. During that time, I was also part of an octet, The Moonlighters. My husband left us in 1976, and there was no extra money for singing when trying to pay tuition for the children, so I had to leave the chorus. I met another man whom I fell in love with, but unfortunately, he suffered the same weaknesses as my children’s father. He left us in 1987.
I had worked as a daycare teacher, executive secretary, bookkeeper, receptionist, and hostess at a health club. In 1987, my second daughter encouraged me to attend college to become a nurse, a dream I had as a child. I went to Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) and graduated in 1992 as a registered nurse. During my time in CCP, I won a scholarship to Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. I accepted and became a 42-year-old coed, graduating from Bucknell in 1994 with a BA in English, as writing was my second love. After graduation, I worked as a charge nurse in nursing homes for 2.5 years and realized that nursing homes needed overall change desperately. I could not bring about the needed change from behind a med cart, I needed to be behind a podium, teaching or auditing care-giving. By this time 3 of my children were married and had given me 7 grandchildren. I was helping each of them with their tuitions and paying my own towards a master’s degree in nursing. I asked the Lord for guidance and received an answer. My employer offered a scholarship program with a requirement of 2 years pay back in employment after your degree. I won a full scholarship and graduated from Thomas Jefferson University in 2005 with a master’s degree in nursing. Coincidentally, my youngest child graduated from Holy Family University the same year with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. What a celebration that was!
Three years later, I was offered a job to work as an expert consultant for geriatric cases, reading medical records to determine if I could support an attorney’s suit claim for reasons like abuse, neglect, denial of appropriate rights/care. I loved it. Though it was only part-time, it was quite lucrative, paying 3 figures/hour. That first year, I purchased 2 computers and took my whole family to the Outer Banks for a week. I did this work until my credential expired in 2018.
During most of this time I only sang in the shower. While attending a men’s barbershop show, I rekindled acquaintance with 3 former Sweet Adelines and we formed a fun quartet, Together Again. We have been meeting for 8 years and still sing when I am in PA. A senior center in PA that I visit has a chorus of seniors who go out to sing each week to a different senior center, adult day-care, or nursing home, giving a one-hour performance. These sing-outs were rewarding. One winter while in Bella Vista, I heard about and joined Arkansas Show Chorus of Sweet Adelines, and later found Perfect Harmony, joining it too.
I had always wanted to travel but could not because of children or school. Now that my children were married, and school was finished I could go. I have done 2 New England Coast cruises; one Southwest States, Alaska, Ireland twice, China for 10 days, the Western Caribbean, the Eastern Caribbean and a Mediterranean Cruise including Greece, Sicily, Turkey, four stops in Italy, Marseilles, France and Barcelona, Spain.
When it was time for me to retire, two of my children were buying new homes and invited me to choose a room as my own, since I funded their children’s tuitions instead of my retirement. I spend Christmas of odd years here in AR, and Christmas of even years in PA. This way I get to see my now 11 grandchildren and 3 great grands each year. I am truly blessed! Sarah Jean
Sarah Jean’s hobbies include jigsaw & word puzzles, movies, trivia and making throws. Chocolate and purple are her favorite colors. A trip to Japan is on her wish list. She is a great addition to the chorus. Thank you for sharing the incredible experiences of your life-- so far!
SUSAN WILDMAN, LEAD
was an extremely lucky day when an attractive and enthusiastic Susan Wildman
decided to join Perfect Harmony. She never meets a stranger, just a new friend
to be made. Susan tackled the daunting job of membership chairman with the same
flair and dedication exerted in every aspect of her life. She helped develop
the mentoring program for new members, and perfected forms to help ease new
members into the chorus. We have all grown to love her Who Am I? quiz.
It is my privilege to serve with her on the Board of Directors and, more
importantly, to call her a dear friend. Here is her story. --- Sue Barrett
I was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. My mother was a stay at home Mom and my father was an accountant at United Gas Corporation. I have an older brother and younger sister. As a child I loved to play jacks, jump rope, Ring around the Rosy, Hide and Go Seek, Pick up Sticks, Monopoly and Clue. My girlfriends and I had lots of slumber parties and we also liked to go roller skating together. I was a Brownie and Girl Scout and always had fun going to camp. I sang in our church choir as a young girl and later in junior high, I was a member of the Glee Club. I took violin lessons for several years in music class. I was a cheerleader and loved the enthusiasm at our pep rallies. I was involved in various activities in high school, I was inducted into the National Honor Society my senior year. Throughout high school I dated my future husband, Jerry. After graduation, I attended Northwestern State College for one semester and after that, Jerry and I got married. We lived in Shreveport and I attended Centenary College. Within months he was drafted and joined the Navy. The following year, our daughter, Kennon was born. We were so excited and life was good! At this time Jerry was stationed at the US Naval Base in Annapolis, Maryland and we lived there for 18 months. We returned to Shreveport and our son, Jonathan was born 3 years later. Now we had our girl and boy!
My first job the summer after high school was with Headstart Program for early childhood education. I thought I wanted to be a teacher but later decided to pursue a career in finance and accounting. I have held positions as a bookkeeper, medical secretary, receptionist, material control supervisor, payroll accountant, vice president of operations and financial accountant.
18 years of marriage, we divorced. Four years later, I moved to Arkansas. I had
visited friends that lived in Rogers on several occasions, so I was familiar
with the area. I loved the beautiful lakes, the nearby Ozark Mountains and the
cooler temperatures. I have been blessed with five wonderful grandchildren,
ranging in age from 9 to 26, Sara, Jacob, Leah, Jon David and Avery. I was at
the hospital when each one was born and what a joy it was to see their sweet
face within the hour after their birth.
I have been fortunate to have traveled to many beautiful and historic places over the years. I flew to Honolulu and took a cruise to all the islands. I caught a glimpse of history seeing Pearl Harbor & took a stroll on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu.Went down on the Nautilus Submarine in Maui and was never so happy when that sub went back up to the surface! I had a severe case of motion sickness! Ugh!! Kauai (called the Garden Island) was the most beautiful of the islands with dramatic mountains. Attended my first luau and dined on a lavish buffet while keeping my eyes on graceful hulas and traditional fire dances that were spectacular. One of my favorite trips was to New York City with my daughter and two granddaughters. We saw two Broadway shows - the Phantom of the Opera and The Little Mermaid. Took a carriage ride through Central Park, saw Times Square and Ground Zero.
In 2015 I met the love of my life, Bill at our church singles group. The following year we were married and along with Bill came his dog, Daisy. Our life together has been a real blessing with lots of love and laughter. Since both of us are retired, we have had time to travel. Our most recent trip was last year when we flew to Los Angeles, California, rented a car and drove north on Hwy 1 along the Pacific Ocean, to Big Sur, Rockaway Beach, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Our last stop was in Las Vegas and we flew home from there. We drove over 2200 miles and we saw many beautiful sights along the way.
I like working jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing Words with Friends. My two favorite football teams are the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints and we watch their games every season.
I found out about Perfect Harmony when I attended a performance that was held at my church in September, 2017. The ladies that were singing were having such a good time and sounded beautiful! I talked with Karen F. about attending a practice and not long after that, I joined. What a joy to be a part of this wonderful group of ladies! We truly love and care about each other. And we have fun, too!
Her favorite color is pink or purple and she would like to visit Australia. Susan is a volunteer at Helping Hands and with Meals on Wheels. Currently, she serves on the PH Board of Directors as Membership Chairman. Thank you Susan for all you contribute to the success and unity of the PH Women’s Barbershop Chorus.
MARTY SHREVE, BARITONE
In quiet beauty she enters the room, smiling and friendly. Marty Shreve is one of the most dedicated, hard-working members of Perfect Harmony. This accomplished singer exhibits a flair for publicity and works with the Glovers on keeping our website relevant. Additionally, her history books can capture your attention for long periods of time. She is now in her fifth year as a member of the Board of Directors and also served on the Anniversary Committee. Thank you, Marty, for becoming a part of our group and so willing to do whatever needs to be done. Sue Barrett
I was born in California; I consider myself a “California girl” even though my family left the state when I was five. My father was a Railroad man and a part time Preacher. We moved a lot when I was young, making me both a gypsy and Preacher’s Daughter! But when the Railroads started consolidating the smaller stations, my father decided it was time to move his family from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Arkansas, a better environment to raise his five kids. I vowed at 14 years old, to leave Arkansas ASAP. I was hired after High School graduation to work a summer at Glorieta Baptist Assembly near Santa Fe, New Mexico (my escape plan). But as fate would have it, I accepted an engagement ring just before leaving town. After 25 years and two fantastic sons, we divorced…and I was still in Arkansas! My sons and their wives continue to be the joy of my life and have blessed me with four beautiful grandchildren. Besides being with my family, I enjoy singing, playing the piano, cooking, reading and photography.
My career was exclusively 40 years in Banking, retiring from Arvest in 2011. The bank moved me around to several positions during these years including Teller, Middle Management, Operations, and International Wire Manager. Participating in volunteer work was always fun, beginning with the Prairie Grove Chamber of Commerce (I was one of the founding organizers and Secretary for years), very active in the Prairie Grove Junior Civic League, and worked on some committees within the Springdale Chamber of Commerce. I currently volunteer at Crystal Bridges, an education in itself for me.
My father introduced me to music when I was 10, in Leadville, Colorado. He was a natural musician with the keyboard and accordion: he bought a piano and taught me the fundamentals, but I didn’t have his ear. Over the years, I have played piano and organ in any church we belonged to and sang in the choirs, singing alto. I sang in the acapella choir in high school, joined various community choirs as an adult and played piano for a Gospel quartet for several years, making 2 LP Albums with them. Also branched out one summer and played for a Country Western Band. The Arts Center of the Ozarks Chorale in Springdale was a great learning experience for me. The Director introduced me to songs from Broadway Musicals, some songs in Latin and some classics. I was fortunate to perform in two ACO Musicals, so much fun. I learned so much. While living on Grand Lake in 2006 I joined the Grove Community Theater group and performed in the Christmas production of “The Man with the Bag”. We had a sold out crowd every performance, maybe a maximum of 30 seats! But it was fun. That was quite a different experience from the Musicals and Theater of the ACO, to say the least!
In 2000, through a mutual friend, Jim and I started dating. We married in 2002. We enjoy life to its fullest! After we both retired, we made several road trips including all the lower states in the US from East to West coasts, visiting the wine country in California twice, the wine country in Oregon and the wine country in Washington State. We tried being Snowbirds a couple of winters, but decided home was just as good.
In 2009, Jim and I moved from Grove, Oklahoma, to Bella Vista. I soon realized I was in need of an outlet for my music and singing interest. There was an article in The Vista for a Christmas Concert by Perfect Harmony, I went to that and loved the chorus. I asked Sally, the MC, how I could join, she said “just come to rehearsal!” So, I did and joined in 2010. Perfect Harmony is the best thing I have done for myself. Karen’s directing, the music selections, the harmony is everything I was looking for. I value the friendship of all the wonderful, loving women of the chorus. Getting to know each other better through our Web Spotlight strengthens the bond and sisterhood that is the core of our chorus.
I feel fortunate to have lived in or visited many US States and Cities, but I’ve learned it’s good to be home…in Arkansas! Marty
CARLA BROYLES, LEAD
arla is a dependable Lead Singer for the chorus. At one point she volunteered to help the Tenors out, learning their parts to the songs she sang as a Lead, a difficult task. Currently she serves the chorus as our telephone contact person, calling the members that do not use email to alert them of cancellations and/or information needed before our next rehearsal or Sing Out. She is a friend to all with a warm smile and instant welcome. Here is her story:
I am A Child of The King, a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend!
I was born September 29, 1955 in Quanah, Texas to Ray and Thelma Hall. At the age of two, I moved to the panhandle of Texas. I lived and went to school in Perryton, Texas through ninth grade. Moved to Chickasha, Oklahoma for two years and then back to Perryton to graduate with my class of my first nine years. I married in 1976 there in Perryton and my daughter was born in 1978. We moved to Enid with my husband’s job in 1980. Later we divorced and I remained in Enid. My parents lived there. I lived there for twenty-four years. I met Gordon in 1986 and dated for about a year. Went our separate ways for about four years. I moved and then returned to Enid the end of 1990. Gordon and I began dating again. We married in October of 1995. With our marriage I gained three amazing children. Our children are Cameron (Florida), Amy & Anthony (Bentonville), Philip (Washington DC; USAF) and Elizabeth & Kent (Alaska). We have three beautiful grandchildren and another one due in June. Our grands are in Alaska! Gordon and I will be married twenty-five years this October. We have been so Blessed!
During my working years I did many things. I first worked for Sears in a catalog store then worked as a receptionist/secretary for a mental health outpatient clinic until I had my daughter. After having Amy, moving to Oklahoma and divorcing, I went to work for United Supermarket. I checked, stocked and managed the dairy department for several years. Moved to Chickasha, Oklahoma where I started my career as a medical receptionist, working for a medical clinic. After moving back to Enid, I worked a short time as a receptionist for a Home Health Agency. From there I worked for NW Orthopedic Clinic for six Orthopedic surgeons for seven years. Went from there to a Cardiology Clinic for very short time. Joined a Family Practice and Pulmonary Practice and worked eleven years. Was really burned out with the medical field. I then joined a group and audited for an independent company, Jiffy Trip Convenience Store. Worked there the two years before we move to Bella Vista in 2014. After moving to Bella Vista I have worked part time as a caregiver. Care-giving has been the most rewarding of my working career. My clients have been such a joy and a true blessing to me.
I sang in choir in Jr High thru High School. Sang in church choirs through the years also. I have always loved to sing. I have been a Beta Sigma Phi (women’s social sorority) for 40 years. Held many most offices with them over the years. I participated as a Casa in Oklahoma.
Some of the things I enjoy are reading, cooking, baking pies mostly, but just love to bake, fishing, sewing, embroidery. Cookbooks are one of my favorite things!!
When I moved to Bella Vista and began wondering what I would enjoy since I wasn’t working full time I thought “I love to sing”! One day I saw in the paper that there were two ladies choirs. I had intentions of visiting both. I visited Perfect Harmony first. All the ladies were so friendly and welcoming. I loved the barbershop harmony. I started in late fall of 2015 but was working quite a lot so I postponed joining until January of 2016, when I had more time. I love the wonderful group of ladies and the music we make. Thank you for including me in this wonder group. I love you Everyone! Carla
“Mary Did You Know” a crowd favorite, is also her favorite song to sing. “I love this song, the harmony is so beautiful”. She would like to visit Nantucket and Ireland. Her favorite color is pink. Carla’s has a positive and caring attitude towards life and the people around her, including Perfect Harmony. It is a joy to have her as a member of Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus.
BARB COMPTON, BARITONE
Barb currently serves as Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus’s Program Director, scheduling our Sing Outs. She has also served on the Perfect Harmony Board. While serving on the board she initiated the guidelines and procedures for New Members Joining the Chorus and Members resigning. Her open and friendly personality is freely bestowed on guests and members of the Chorus. She has shared her story below:
I was born in 1942 in Wichita, KS. My dad worked at Beech Aircraft. My folks were from Western Kansas and grew up on farms, but they moved to the city to get jobs, and my 2 sisters and I grew up city girls. My nickname was Bobby Jo.
My dad got a vasectomy after his third girl was born, and knowing he’d never have a son, he often called me “Robert”. My mom saw to it that we had tap and ballet lessons, she taught us all how to play a ukulele, I was elected to take the piano lessons, one sister was the tap dancer, and the other sister did acrobatics.
My middle sis and I discovered we could harmonize, so we sang at church and some local programs when we were teenagers. I graduated High School in 1960 and sang in the chorus. I attended Wichita Univ. and Kansas State Univ. While there, I ran into a High School friend, we dated and married in 1963. We moved to the San Francisco Bay Area as his folks lived there. That was a massive move for me, a real adventure. We lived in Daly City for 2 years while hubby finished college and I worked in the city at the Merchandise Mart building. We then moved to San Luis Obispo, CA where he worked for Montgomery Ward for a few years. We had 2 sons during that time. We moved back to Wichita and had our daughter, Sara. He went to insurance school and 5 years later we moved to Great Bend, KS where he remained in the insurance business. I worked as a teacher’s aide and later was a secretary for him, and also was a secretary in the Lab department of Fuller Brush. I typed formulas for cleaners, waxes, and other products. It was interesting work, but I never sold door to door. As an adult, I sang in church choirs and in a church trio. I coached my kids to sing and play instruments and made them entertain when guests were over. They all like to perform now, and we always have jam sessions when we’re together. Grandchildren are musical as well.
We had visited Bella Vista and bought a lot for vacationing purposes. When business was good we bought a townhouse here and rented it out. When the oil market crashed and wrecked his insurance business, we left Great Bend after 10 years and moved to Bella Vista in 1986 to our townhouse. My sons were out of the house by then, but my daughter was 14 and she graduated from Bentonville High. I got a job at Simmons Bank in 1986 and worked in the Bella Vista branch in Town Center for 15 years. We divorced in 1991, enough said.
I met a man through a golf group and we became friends first, then serious friends and married. He played music, dobra, banjo, guitar, harmonica and we started going to bluegrass festivals in the area. He got me a tenor guitar and I started playing with him. He developed lung cancer and died in Feb, 2003.
At Christmastime that year, I attended the English Tea at BV Comm. Church. Perfect Harmony was the entertainment. I recognized Janeen Anderson in the chorus as she was a bank customer of mine. I ran into her a week or so later and told her how much I enjoyed their program. She invited me to come sing, but to wait until after their Holiday party in January. So I did, that was Jan. of 2004, 16 years ago. It was a Godsend for me as I had been through a very tough year after losing my husband and I needed something uplifting to do. Perfect Harmony filled that bill.
About that time I met Ron through our church at a grief support meeting. He had just lost his wife to pancreatic cancer. Ron sang in the church choir and invited me to join. We’re still singing there. We married in 2006. We were in a Bible study and a few people played instruments, so we decided to get together and sing some old gospel songs. This was the beginning of the Friday Night Gospel Sing Alongs at BVCC. We started out in a classroom in the basement and within a month, we had moved into the sanctuary as so many people were coming to sing those old songs. It was my job to plan the playlist and type all the lyrics into the computer to put on the big screens so people wouldn’t have to use books. We did this for 10 years and due to some band members moving, and others having health problems, we stopped doing the sing alongs. We still will do sing alongs at Concordia or elsewhere if invited. I played my tenor guitar and later the electric bass, and on occasion a small old accordion. Ron plays the juice harp. Actually it’s an instrument imported from Europe to trade with the Indians in early America called a “Jews Harp”. Jews in German is Jaw, and became known as a juice harp.
Now I play my tenor guitar and sing with a little 3-4 people band called “Skunk Hollow Band”. We do an hour program every Tuesday, either at Concordia Nursing Home or Brookfield Assisted Living. I’m the joke teller in the group.
In 2011 I saw an ad for line dance lessons at Riordan. Needing a fun way to exercise and loving to dance, I went. I had to take off for knee replacement in 2012, and the other one in 2013, and since recovering I’ve been dancing ever since. Line dancing and Perfect Harmony are my 2 favorite pastimes. I have wonderful friends in both groups for which I am ever so grateful. Barb
Her favorite color is yellow and in her free time she reads, knits, cooks and keeps up with Facebook. She does get the best jokes, and often shares them with the chorus for a hearty laugh. She has such musical talent, her accurate pitch in singing is what we listen for. Hawaii is a place she would like to visit again. Barb wrote on her profile for her Personal Accomplishment is “quitting smoking 45 years ago!” Thank you Barb for your dedication to the chorus by your regular attendance, your service and attaining Sing Outs for us.
Sue Barrett, Baritone
Current PH Board President, Sue Barrett is noted for her organization and leadership skills. She shares with us how she developed a knack for these skills through her various careers and activities. Her drive for perfection and the work ethic instilled by her Mother, enabled her to advance and be rewarded in both her career life and community service. Sue was named Legal Secretary of the Year in Oklahoma and Missouri, received the Diana Award (for outstanding community service) from the Lambda Chi Chapter of ESA and was Chairman of the Centennial Committee for Noel, Missouri’s 100th Celebration, to name a few.
I grew up on a farm in Noel, Missouri, in a family of one boy and seven girls. I, next to the youngest, was born when my brother (the oldest) was 18. My sisters and I sang harmony together for entertainment. This has proven to be good training for my participation in church choirs and barbershop.
My mother, her twin brother and an older brother, were placed in an orphanage when they were very young. Later they were part of the Orphan Train project and shipped to the Midwest to find homes. They were never adopted but were kept together. I’ve always loved telling her story.
I moved to Tulsa, OK after graduating high school. I took a job in an insurance adjuster’s office and attended Draughon’s Business College in the evening. After marrying and having two children, we lived in Phoenix AZ for a short while. Upon returning to Tulsa, I began working in a small law office where I was introduced to my first electric typewriter, but no copy machines were yet in sight. All legal briefs had to be filed in duplicate original copies, with no errors. I became an expert with a razor blade carefully scraping the ink off the paper so you could not detect an error! My job included doing legal research and running an office efficiently. I joined the Tulsa County Legal Secretaries Association. Served as president of the local chapter, the State organization and later was elected to officer positions of the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS). After seven years my Cinderella-syndrome was burst as I sadly went through a divorce.
I spent nine rewarding years traveling around the country to NALS meetings and organizing/supporting state and local chapters. I was next in line as President. During this time, I had remarried and moved to Kansas City, MO. When I discovered I was pregnant with twins, I had to face reality. I knew I could not do justice to the demanding job of National President, so I reluctantly stepped aside. At this time, I was working for a law firm of 75 lawyers as assistant to the Managing Partner, and eventually became the Supervisor of all non-legal personnel. I resigned my job after my two older children became self-supporting and the twins had started first grade. A period of avid volunteer work began, working with schools, churches, civic groups, children’s sports teams, Cub Scouts, Campfire.
After my husband retired, we moved to southwest Missouri and I became involved in local volunteer work. Most notable was chairman of the Centennial activities for our little town, which was a two-year commitment. This celebration spawned a job offer at a new weekly newspaper. I eventually became co-owner and editor. After five years, my partner and I were totally exhausted and broke. We always met payroll and expenses, but there was nothing left for salaries for either of us. I spent the next seven years as office manager at the local medical clinic.
When my twins were through college and settled in their careers, my husband of 30 years and I divorced. I sold my farm, moved to Bella Vista, and began working for Cooper Communities. Within a short time Cooper moved their headquarters to Rogers and, drat, I was back in commute mode. After seven years I resigned from Cooper and began doing electronic contract administration for a consulting firm, working from home. I no longer do a lot of volunteer work, but love being able to spend quality time with my four children, their spouses, my nine grandchildren (three of whom are married), and I now have five great-grands. What a lovely bunch of people…I am truly blessed! However, they all love to play practical jokes, so they keep my life interesting.
Terri Ross, whom I sang with in St. Bernard’s choir, invited me to go with her to a Perfect Harmony practice. I had never sung barbershop but loved singing harmony. I wanted to be in the Lead section, but Director Karen said, “No, you are going to be a Baritone.” Helen Smiley, who sang baritone at the time, became my mentor and great friend. I was hooked and still am, getting ready to enter my 17th year with the Chorus! It has been a wonderful experience and I love the camaraderie of our ladies, both past and present.
Sue’s hobbies include, playing cards, dominoes, board games and working puzzles. She has aspirations of someday becoming an author (and she should pursue this dream!). Her most rewarding event is not her stellar career but “being with her growing family, being the child of an Orphan Train rider and having twins born on different days.” She would like to visit the “Orphan’s Train Museum in Kansas and be at the San Antonio Riverwalk at Christmastime.” In her spare time is likes to “cook for a group, play on the computer and NAP”. There is a lot more to tell about Sue and her life experiences, ask her to tell you! Her dedication and contributions to ensure the success of Perfect Harmony is valued by the chorus. Her smooth Baritone voice blends well with the Sisters in Song of the chorus, a tribute to her being raised singing harmony with her six sisters.
Shirley Moore, Lead Singer
Shirley is yet another member of Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus with a very interesting and special life story. Since she has been a member of the Chorus she has rarely missed a rehearsal or Sing Out. Shirley is one of our quieter members, but her presence is known through her musical voice. You will learn more about Shirley as she shares her Life Story.
“My life began in St. Louis, Missouri. At age 9, my parents moved me to Austin, Texas where I lived most of my life. I married at 17, wasn’t a happy marriage so I won’t go into that. Divorced after 22 years, but the marriage did bless me with 2 sons. Since I did not go to college, nor did my husband, and a baby was on the way, I had to go to work. I spent my whole career, 34 years, working in various offices for the State of Texas. First I worked at the Bureau of Vital Statistics with birth and death certificates. Then I moved to the Department of Mental Health and Retardation as a statistical clerk working with mental health records. The next 25 years I spent working at the University of Texas at Austin at the Institute of Latin American Studies as an Accounting Clerk, where I paid all their bills. During this time I received a Presidential Award (University of Texas, Presidential award) for good work. I received a plaque and $500.00.
Since my early 20’s I have been a dedicated Christian, so after my divorce I prayed for my soul mate to come along. He did, after 12 years of being single. We married after only 6 weeks of knowing each other because we were both positive God had put us together.
I was a city girl and he was a country boy, so we moved to the country just north of Austin in Georgetown. He built homes for a living. During our 20 year marriage he pastored a Baptist Church as bi-vocational for most of that time. We then retired and moved to Burnet County where we bought a ranch. He left in 2014 to go to heaven to see his first wife and to wait for me. We had no biological children together as I was in my 50’s when we married, but he had 4 children. So, I now have 6 children, 15 grandchildren, and 3.5 great-grand children. Two of the children live up here with their families and the rest are still in Texas. After visiting up here many times and much prayer, I decided to move to Bella Vista January 4, 2018. I love it here.
My husband and I loved to take short trips around the country. We also went to Mexico and the Bahamas. While I was single I went on two mission trips to Brazil and one to the Holy Land (Israel and Jordan). They were amazing trips.
My favorite pastimes, besides Perfect Harmony, are watching Hallmark movies and water walking in the Branchwood swimming pool. For those of us who can’t walk much, it is a good exercise and relieves pain. I do it 3 times a week, then I relax in the hot tub.
I have always loved to sing. I have sung in church choirs all my life. In my 40’s a co-worker talked me into taking a singing class with her, so I did. In addition, for almost 18 months, I also took voice lessons. Thus, I improved my voice and gave me the confidence to sing solos, which I did in church (small churches). I led the music for 12 years in the church my husband pastored. I also belonged to a Sweet Adeline chorus in Austin for almost a year until I got married and moved away. Currently, I sing with a couple others in Concordia Care Center on Wednesday afternoons. And I have sung in nursing homes for years. As soon as I moved to Bella Vista my daughter was looking for activities for me and found Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus. I joined the chorus the 1st week of February, 2018. Besides the beauty of the harmony, I love the support we give each other and the fun we have.” Shirley
Shirley wrote in her profile that her personal accomplishments are “Being a dedicated Christian and a Prayer Warrior”. She also enjoys working Crossword Puzzles in her spare time and her favorite color is purple. As you have read, she has traveled extensively and has no desire to travel any more. “I’ve traveled enough, I’m satisfied to stay home. I am a happy, contented person.”
Thank you Shirley for letting us get to know you better.
Dee Fitzgerald, Lead
Dee was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Park Ridge a NW suburb of Chicago. She has a passion for singing and helping others, that’s why Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus is a “perfect” fit for her. This is what she has to say.
“After getting my Masters degree in Social Work, my career began establishing School Social Work Programs in three Catholic Elementary Schools in Chicago. Then I moved on to work with people who had chemical addictions. Later I was Director of Counseling in an all boys Catholic High School, and then Asst. Principal and Director of Counseling in an all girls Catholic High School. I worked for 40 years as a Social Worker. I also worked in Community Mental Health in Bentonville, Arkansas.
After retiring I began working at Helping Hands in Bentonville, managing the Book Department. Helping Hands is a re-sale store that was started by 21 churches in NW Ark. The money that comes in from purchases is given out to people in need that live in Benton County.”
St. Benedict’s calling is to prayer and work, Dee obviously has answered this calling for over 40 years. She has retired from Social Work but continues to help others. She organizes the Perfect Harmony charity drive for Restoration Village at least twice a year, staying in contact with the Staff for current needs, concerns and immediate help.
“I began singing in choruses when I was in high school. After I had entered the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago in 1965 I sang in the community’s Schola. We sang Gregorian Chant and other music. After I moved to Bella Vista I sang in St. Bernard’s choir for a brief time.” Dee found Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus after “going to a concert, I enjoyed watching Karen direct. I knew she would make singing fun!” Dee joined the Chorus as a Lead soon after. “I enjoy singing with the great women of Perfect Harmony”.
“I used to come to Bella Vista to visit my sister and brother in law who lived here. I fell in love with the beauty and peace of the area. After I had left my religious community, I knew that I could financially afford to live in this area and that my need for beauty and quiet would be met as well. I have not regretted that decision for one minute.
Getting my Masters of Social Work degree and then my Licenses was my Best Personal Accomplishment. Entering “The Benedictine Sisters of Chicago” a monastic community, has been the most rewarding event in my lifetime. I lived in the Community for 32 years.”
Reading, camping and creating crafts of various types are her interests or hobbies. In her spare time, (which is not much) she reads, reads, reads! And walks her dog. On her wish list is a visit to Ireland someday. That may be why her favorite color is green.
Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus appreciates her dedication to the chorus. Her genuine smile and the joy she shares at our rehearsals, our Sing Outs, and throughout our communities is a testament to her life’s story of helping others.
Sharon Krumrei, Bass Singer
Sharon joined Perfect Harmony in 2009. When we need a fill in for a section of the chorus, delivering the Shepherd’s Pantry items or serving on the board Sharon is our girl. She is quick with a smile for you and enjoys a good laugh. Here is her life story.
“I was born in California and when I was five years old my parents moved back to their home town in the north woods of Wisconsin. Around that time, my Father became my primary care giver. The main industries in town were logging, farming, or working in the big lumber mill in the neighboring town. My Father was a logger. He also was the seventh of twelve children, most of them still living in the area. So, I had many surrogate "Mothers". Since in those days, loggers bought sections(640 acres) of land to work, camp was made there and for many years I was under the care of a Native American woman in the summer. I learned so much from her, and it's sad that their culture was lost. My Father decided that I needed "culture"!! A woman came to town during the school year to give piano lessons and he signed me up. From the time I was eight until about twelve. Practice was a good excuse to get out of evening chores and then I began to actually like playing and began appreciating Bach, Mozart, Chopin, etc.
High school brought a retired music teacher in my life who decided that I could sing. She was a precursor of our Karen, she expected great and pushed and prodded until you produced!! The first place starred medals that I received at the state festivals really taught me that if you wanted something bad enough you could achieve it.
In my senior year of high school, I met this guy who was dating a friend of mine. His name was Chuck Krumrei and from the first day I met him, I just knew we were meant to be together. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam had other ideas. I went off to college and sang in their choral group, but when Chuck got out of the Army, we got married. His parents owned this small general store and decided to turn it over to us. For the next twenty-five years, we worked on building that business up to a destination store, and had four wonderful children. The years now are kind of a blur of being a 4H Leader, Cub Scout Den Mother, Rescue Squad member, church organist, school piano accompanist, and for nine years an elected member of the school board. In the years before massive ATV and Gator and snowmobiles, our business was quiet enough from Dec-April that we could slow down and enjoy life. In the late 1980s that changed and we were burnt out, so we sold. That lasted for almost five years, until my darling husband got the bright idea to take over this failing hardware store. We were in a good sized recreational area with a lot of building going on, so we had to figure out how to get these "shackers" to buy locally instead of hauling up from the big box stores. We did it! Then our love of golf and the times we had spent in Bella Vista made us decide to retire and move here. I got bored and applied at Wal-Mart and spent the next six years in their ISD division, retiring at sixty-five. I joined the Women’s Chorus and one day, the director wasn't there and this wonderful woman got up to direct. The first thing she said was "get your nose out of your music and look at me!" I asked someone who that was and was told it was Karen Frankenfeld and she directed a barbershop group. My next thought was "I want to sing in that group." Never having any experience with barbershop singing, there was definitely a learning curve. This group is the best thing that happened to Bella Vista! My husband and I both love living here, our children visit often and one son has moved here. We have one daughter and three sons of whom we are so proud! They gave us eight grandchildren who are equally awesome.” - Sharon
In addition to her talent in music she likes to have a vegetable garden each summer and in the winter she looks forward to reading a good book. “I was a golfer, but back troubles ended that sport!” Her favorite color is Navy Blue. The most rewarding event in her lifetime was “marrying the love of my life, Chuck, fifty-seven years ago.” Best personal accomplishments were “raising her four children, who are also wonderful parents.” On her bucket list is a “visit to the coast of Maine and have lobster fresh off the boat!” She must also be a fantastic cook because her chocolate chip cookies are "to die for"!
Sherrie (Shari) Crawford Brooks, Lead
Sherrie Crawford was born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota, she calls herself a “Mayo Clinic baby”.
Her life moved on from Minnesota and gave her several homes in locations all over the mid-south and southern cities. She has given us a short version of her life so far and has more stories to tell. Here is what she has given us today.
“I left Rochester in 1965, why you ask? I was a run-away bride! I ran to Kansas City, found work, an apartment and roommates! I worked two jobs, one for an Insurance Company and one for a Home Decorator, she even used some of my smaller paintings, never dreamed I could make any money with my paintings.
I met Jon Allen Brooks, my husband of 48 years, what a blessing he was to me. He kept calling me for a date and I said No Thanks, until February 14th, when he called to take me to lunch I said OK. (I was broke and hungry!) He gave me a rose, nice! When I got to my apartment that night I found 12 more roses waiting, two years later, we were married. Jon’s work sent us to live in a lot of great places. Atlanta, New Orleans, Detroit, Birmingham, Mobile, Houston, St. Louis and back to Kansas City. His work also sent us on lots of trips. Key West, San Francisco, Washington DC, Denver, Chicago, Mexico, Omaha, Nashville, St. Paul and I’m sure I have forgotten a few. No matter what place we lived, I was busy with PTA, Garden Club, card clubs and church. We got “Garden of the Month” in every city and one place gave us three awards and also the “Award of the Year”.
When our daughter went away to school, I found a job with Clinique. Clinique was great to work for. When we moved, my job went with me. Clinique was a very fun job. I love problem solving and showing people how to look great with just a bit of color. I received lots of awards and gifts and they sent me to classes in great place like Dallas, Kansas City, St. Louis and Little Rock. My story of working for Clinique for 35 years and being Master Sales for 10 years in a row, was featured in the Clinique paper.
As the oldest girl of five, by the time I was 12 my mother (Irish) worked 2 jobs. I took over the job of running the family. They tell me I was tough on them with my Work You Must Do List. But they still love me, Thank You, God! One of my sisters was a Girl Scout and sold cookies. When my dates showed up she would ask me to give her a bit of time to sell them cookies, and they always ordered.
When I was 3 years old I was singing in the back seat of the car. My father (Scot-Irish), said to Mama, tell her to sit down and stop singing. So I did, but I cried very loud! Dad said "Tell her to sing, it’s better than the crying!" I really started my singing in school and at church at 12 years old. When we lived in New Orleans and Detroit I joined a Sweet Adeline group. I joined Perfect Harmony in 2004.
Dancing started in High School when a friend offered me free classes. Painting also started in High School and advanced to classes in Kansas City. Sewing was revived when I was 8 months pregnant in Atlanta. When I picked Jon up at the airport I was wearing a dress I made with my new machine, he didn’t know I could sew. My daughter, years later, said “we” could make some black out curtains for the Fayetteville High School football locker room by the next week, her “we” was actually me, and I did it!
Our daughter and family (my 3 grand kids) moved to Fayetteville in the late 90’s. I talked Jon into retiring by telling him he could golf every day for the rest of his life. His blue eyes started to shine, Bella Vista! Let’s Go. “Good” I said, “because I have a Real Estate agent coming in 30 minutes.”
I have more stories to tell, but that would be more like a book. Thanks to all of you for your friendship and I will say THE END.” Shari
Pink is her favorite color. She would like to visit Ireland, In her spare time she likes to read. Some of Shari’s hobbies are painting, dancing and sewing. You can appreciate Shari’s artistic touch when you are at her house where she has a few of her paintings displayed and her decorating experience shows inside and outside her home. Shari is dedicated to Perfect Harmony because she loves the chorus and singing. She also promised Jon she would not quit the chorus. Shari has been an inspiration to our chorus with her fun loving and energetic personality. Next time you sit next to her ask her to tell you more about her interesting life in our Southern cities. Shari says “Bella Vista is a good place to live”. She may be through moving.
Zanetta Bedwell, Tenor
You can depend on Zanetta being at the Monday afternoon
rehearsals, and all the Sing Outs she can, given her busy schedule. Her clear, high Tenor voice is what we all
need to hear to balance our four parts out. She has a spontaneous sense of
humor that often surprises Karen and the rest of the chorus, and results in
Here is her story.
“I have been with Perfect Harmony for 16 years. I began singing in the choir at church as a teenager. My father was the choir director and to keep my mouth shut, he put me in the choir where he could control my talking. I sang in a women's choir in college and have been singing in church choirs ever since.
I went to college in Conway and Joplin, earning a business degree in Conway and an Elementary degree in Joplin. I taught business one year and the rest was spent in the Jr. High Level and the Library in four schools.
After teaching business one year we moved to Columbia, Missouri, where my husband was working on his masters degree. I was secretary to the Assistant Surgeon at the Ellis Fischell Cancer Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. While living in Little Rock I worked at Baptist Hospital as secretary to the head of interns.
I retired after 32 years of teaching, 11 years ago. It was time. The first three years I did a lot of substitute teaching.
The next year I was asked to go to Africa to help set up a library in Tanzania. Missionaries that had been here in Gravette for several years were my contact people. I was gone for 3 weeks. While there I spent 2 days seeing all the animals and sites, enjoyed the Safari very much. What an experience!
After I retired, I began working at Care and Share in Gravette. just part time at first since I was still busy at school. I am in charge of the books, magazines, DVDs, etc. This work I really enjoy. There is no one there to talk back to me or talk too much and I do not have to discipline or do lesson plans. Oh, and I go home when I get tired.
I had two daughters. Sarah passed away 16 years ago from a seizure. Melanie lives in Springdale. She’s a busy woman getting ready for her daughter's wedding.
On Wednesday nights I cook at the church for the 50 children they bus in from Sulphur Springs. Well the adults get to eat also.
Some of my hobbies I enjoy are reading and cooking.
Everywhere I have worked or sang I had a good time Laughs are important in our everyday life.” Zanetta
Zanetta’s favorite color is blue. She would like to visit Ireland. In her spare time she plays solitaire. On her Member Spotlight form she mentioned she is a painter, we should find out more about that talent!. Zanetta’s key to happiness is Laughter, the chorus is glad she shares that with us.
Karen Frankenfeld, Director
We feel fortunate to have a Director with the experience and dedication of Karen Frankenfeld. Perfect Harmony was started in 1999 by Karen when she was asked to start a women’s barbershop chorus in Bella Vista after the Sweet Adeline chorus lost its director. She will celebrate 20 years of directing our chorus this fall, 2019. Barbershop singing has been a part of Karen’s life for many years giving her a resource of tunes that account for the variety of songs we have in our portfolio. These songs may include classics from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, modern pop, seasonal songs, patriotic, gospel and novelty numbers. Some songs give her an opportunity to add a special touch to the arrangement and to let the women have a little fun with it for audience appeal. Arrangements in Barbershop style are four part harmony. Karen researches a wide variety of music before selecting a song for the chorus to sing. Her vision of our Perfect Harmony Barbershop Women’s Chorus was to have a group of women that would have fun singing and entertaining others. And she has done just that, as well as encouraging a sisterhood relationship within the chorus.
Before coming to Bella Vista Karen retired from 38 years of teaching in Missouri and Iowa where she taught high school Vocal and Band music. She received her Master’s Degree in 1968 and was recognized as Outstanding Alumni at Park University in 1983. Her directing experience also includes Sweet Adeline choruses and church choirs. However, her most rewarding events in her lifetime were “marrying my husband Bob, now deceased, having two wonderful children and hosting 8 exchange students from all over the world”. Another rewarding event for Karen is “having four grandchildren all in their 20’s who are busy with their lives but make time to visit grandma 2 to 3 times a year.” She credits their parents for having done a great job with them. (No doubt those parents learned their parenting skills from Karen and Bob.)
In her spare time she enjoys reading magazines, watching sports and game shows. For 16 years she has found time to volunteer at NW Medical Hospital and currently sings in the BV Women’s Chorus.
A train trip across the NW United States and returning by way of LA and KC, is on her bucket list. If you visit Karen in her home you will see that she has an interest in antiques and amazing South West décor.
Purple is our Director’s favorite color, she looks good in our purple outfit!
Thank you Karen for your dedication to Perfect Harmony and the love of Barbershop music that you share with us.