Show Me Harmony, sweet music

Women and barbershop chorus aren’t often thought of together, but the “American art form” will fill Taylor Auditorium with a mixture of music, from Disney to jazz and showtunes at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“We will even have a couple of puppeteers acting as hecklers in the audience,” said Carol Striegel, publicist for Show-Me Harmony.

Show-Me Harmony is the Heart of America chapter of Sweet Adelines International, a women’s barbershop chorus organization started by Edna Mae Anderson of Tulsa in 1945.

“Men have been doing barbershop forever of course,” Streigel said. “Women weren’t really allowed to join the groups. This [Sweet Adelines] was a chance for women to sing this very American musical style.”

From its start in Anderson’s living room, Sweet Adelines International has grown to include nearly 30,000 members from 15 different countries.

The Show Me Harmony Chorus became a chapter of Sweet Adelines International 35 years ago. Streigel has been a part of the Chorus since 1994.

“Show Me Harmony literally is a four-state chorus,” Streigel said.

“We have women from all over the four-state area. You couldn’t find a better support group.”

“We are just wonderful because we give so much of ourselves to the Chorus. I love every minute of it.”

Glenda Rucker joined Show Me Harmony in the 70s has been director of the chorus since 1988.

“I was invited by a friend who knew I liked to sing,” Rucker said.

“I fell in love with the harmony that the group created.”

While Show Me Harmony has 45 members, both Streigel and Rucker said they encourage younger women who like to sing but have little opportunity to do so in a group to join the Chorus.

“We’re open to all women over the age of 14,” Streigel said. “All you have to do is be able to carry a tune.”

Rucker said for women who love music, Show Me Harmony is the group to join.

“I think music goes to the heart of who we are,” Rucker said. “Look around. T.V. commercials. Radio.

I think music is the fabric of everybody’s life.

When we go to perform, we bring the gift of music to the audience.

Seeing the looks on people’s faces, we get it back.

“Music is a part of me. That’s what we bring to our audiences.”