Twenty years ago, when academic researcher Julene Johnson wanted to study how music might help the aging process, she couldn’t get funding. Johnson, a professor at the Institute for Health & Aging at the University of California, San Francisco, suspected that music might improve memory, mood and even physical function.

And, she thought, what could be more perfect than choral music? Your instrument is already in your body, and you are bathed in beautiful sound by fellow musicmakers. Singing in a group is fun, so there’s plenty of reason to come back week after week: You get to see your friends and exercise your vocal cords and brain all at once.

When I was a young musician, my parents had to bribe me to practice for lessons. Getting to watch television dangled in front of me like a carrot, only in reach once I had put in my thirty minutes. It worked, but often times my heart (and head) wouldn’t be in the practice session.

Of course, this struggle to stay motivated didn’t end once I became an adult. Practicing is incredibly difficult work. It requires extreme focus and the ability to be simultaneously critical and supportive of oneself. So, it’s no wonder why musicians often struggle with maintaining motivation. Here are five tricks that help me:

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For the fourth year in a row, Pride of Portland Chorus was invited to take part in the annual Portland Women’s Expo, Saturday, March 2nd, 2019. The ensemble opened the event with the national anthem followed by two other songs from our vast repertoire. Pride members also had a booth which featured one of our quartets, Happenstance (pictured, left). Guests enjoyed music from a variety of genres and were encouraged to learn and sing a ‘tag’ (the end of a song). 

6 Healthy Reasons To Sing 

Singing is beneficial in many ways but do you know how important singing is for your brain? Most of you are thinking, really? Well, I'm here to tell you yes - really. Stay with me now as I explain just what singing does to your brain. This could be a life-changer for you and yours.

Do you enjoy singing? If your answer is yes I have some good news for you. When you sing, endorphins (feel-good chemicals) are released in your brain. This brings about positive psychological effects. If you suffer from depression or are temporarily down in the dumps after a bad day, singing will help lift you from your dark place into the light.

Pride of Portland’s third annual Spring Fete Fundraiser, held on June 3, 2017, was another successful event!

At Pride, we define success as good singing, good fun, good food, and great donations to help Pride of Portland continue its mission to “joyfully commit to education and musical excellence primarily in the barbershop style”! Pride of Portland and about 130 chorus friends and sponsors gathered at  Oaks Park in its historical Dance Pavilion for a few hours of entertainment. The chorus sang, the guests purchased wine and restaurant certificates and played the bead necklace game (you’ve got to come and play for yourself), and all enjoyed delicious, catered hors d'oeuvres. Master 700 Director Ryan Heller passionately talked about the chorus, the music, and barbershop. 

Pride of Portland said "Kia Ora" on Sunday, February 19 to new-found friends in New Zealand! A group of over 100 members, guests, and family spent two weeks singing, sightseeing, and meeting the fabulous people of New Zealand!

The idea was hatched back in 2012 when Portland Chorus’ director, Ryan Heller, shared with Kate Veeder, a Kiwi Sweet Adelines, his dream of visiting the shores of New Zealand with the chorus.That dream became reality when New Zealand Sweet Adelines volunteers became a team of can-do people who happily pitched in as volunteers.Galvanized by Kate, they met and got underway to create a tour that would celebrate New Zealand’s best.

Pride of Portland Chorus competed at the Sweet Adlelines International Convention on October 20 and 22, 2016, in Las Vegas, NV. And WOW, what a week! When things were all "said and sung," we came home with a 6th Place International medal; a wonderful reward for many, many months of hard work! 

We want to acknowledge our special coaches, Erin Howden, Sharon Babb, Carole Persinger, and Sandy Marron. Thank you for all your pearls of wisdom and vocal skills you shared with us.

If you are not humming He Touched Me, singing “dolla dolla bill y’all” or dancing around the house to Puttin’ On the Ritz, you missed Pride of Portland’s annual show! Pride hosted some world-class guests - Sweet Adelines International quartet champions Speed of Sound and PSU’s Portland Timbre – and had the great pleasure of retaining Sweet Adelines International President-Elect Paula Davis (pictured above, left of Speed of Sound and Director Ryan Heller) as emcee.

As one. Such a simple phrase. Apply it to a chorus of one hundred Pride of Portland Sweet Adelines – in truth, all Sweet Adelines - and it becomes so much more. Balance. Harmony. Unity. Together, Pride set one goal for the 2014  International Competition in Baltimore: a top five medal. Easy, right? If you call numerous coaching sessions, rep after rep of ambitious choreography, and fearless, single-minded focus easy, then sure.