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«Sweet Adelines International P.O. Box 470168, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74147-0168 U.S.A. 9110 S. Toledo, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74137 U.S.A. 918-622-1444 • ...»

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Sweet Adelines International

P.O. Box 470168, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74147-0168 U.S.A.

9110 S. Toledo, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74137 U.S.A.

918-622-1444 • 800-992-7464 • Fax 918-665-0894

Internet: www.sweetadelineintl.org

e-mail: commdept@sweetadelineintl.org

Revised 05/07


Sweet Adelines International


Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance.

GOALS Sweet Adelines International will be the primary provider and resource for education, training and coaching in the development of women's four-part barbershop harmony.

Sweet Adelines International will be financially stable and secure.

Sweet Adelines International will be recognized throughout the world as the leading organization for women's four-part barbershop harmony.


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Your prospective chapter has successfully completed Step One. Now we'd like to help you study details and develop procedures that will enable you to handle your administrative duties quickly, efficiently and effectively, so that your chorus can spend its time singing!

The total time allowed to complete Step Two Toward Chartering is two years. Your chorus should have no problem meeting this deadline.

Jot down any questions that come to mind as you read. If you don't find the answers as you read on, discuss your questions with your fellow members or ask your Membership Coordinator or Education Coordinator. You may also contact the Communications Assistant at international headquarters.

Answers are as close as your phone.

Rev. 5-07


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The purpose for which this corporation is formed is to perpetuate and enhance the barbershop music art form through education, thereby benefiting local communities by furthering their artistic

enrichment. The corporation will accomplish this purpose by:

1. Providing education and training for its members in singing four-part harmony, barbershop style, without instrumental accompaniment, the parts being tenor, lead, baritone and bass; this to be accomplished by organizing and maintaining choruses and quartets; and

2. Giving public and private performances to promote an interest in the development and general appreciation of all things pertaining to the art form of barbershop harmony; and

3. Awarding grants and scholarships to individuals and organizations in their pursuit of study and activities in the field of vocal music in order to encourage the development, application, and appreciation of musical talent; and

4. Doing any and all things necessary to accomplish said purpose, including the owning and disposition of real and personal property.


In Step One, your chorus received one complimentary copy of the Chapter Guide, which provides information essential to the proper functioning and development of your chorus. The president (team coordinator) or a person designated by the president (team coordinator) is responsible for keeping the materials current and in good condition. Revisions are provided by international headquarters at regular intervals. A complimentary copy of revisions is provided to the chapter president (team coordinator); replacement pages should be added to the original copy upon receipt. The updated Chapter Guide is a part of the permanent files and is passed on to the new president (team coordinator).

Additional copies may be purchased from the sales department at international headquarters. Choruses are encouraged to purchase additional guides for their officers (coordinators).


The Standard Form Chapter Bylaws have been developed by the International Board of Directors. A copy of the bylaws is included in this Step.


As you read through the bylaws, you will notice that they offer only broad guidelines for chapter operation. Many organizational details are not included because the needs of chapters vary considerably. The standing rules provide that each chapter shall adopt a workable set of rules to cover matters of a changeable nature such as dues, time and place of meetings, and special membership requirements.

The above rules are called standing rules. Look for the Guide for Chapter Standing Rules in your Chapter Guide. Carefully follow the procedures outlined in the booklet.

–  –  –


There must be at least 15 (plus director) women in every applying group. The international organization has no age limit — minimum or maximum. It is advisable that you consider for membership only those women who are willing to take an active part in a Sweet Adelines International chorus. A member of Sweet Adelines International may transfer from one chapter to another and retain continuous affiliation with the international organization. (See the Chapter Guide for more information.) A member may also be a member of an already existing chapter while participating in a prospective chapter; this member holds a “dual membership status” within in Sweet Adelines International.

Naturally, you want women with singing ability, however, prior formal musical training is not a prerequisite. A Sweet Adelines chapter's purpose includes the teaching and training of its members in singing four-part harmony, barbershop style; so you will want women with the desire to learn and who enjoy this type of music!

Although the requirement is for 15 members (plus director), the international organization STRONGLY suggests you maintain a minimum of 20 active members at all time.


As outlined in Step One, when your group applies for chapter membership, you are required to pay international dues (per capita fees) for each member as well as the chartering fee. Start to plan for this now so the money will be there when you're ready to apply for chapter membership. An escrow account should be established for the purpose of collecting international dues. These funds may be spent only for the purpose designated. The money belongs to the paying members until the expenditure is made. If a member should leave the chapter prior to the time the funds are to be spent, her deposits must be refunded to her unless it was previously stated and understood that the funds would not be refunded. The occasions for this happening would be rare and should be covered in your prospective chapter's standing rules or by a signed statement from the member.

When ready to charter, take the escrowed International dues and make one check for the total amount payable to Sweet Adelines International. Remember that all payments to Sweet Adelines International must be in U.S. funds. Your chorus may use Visa, MasterCard or Discover when paying dues. Only one credit card number will be accepted for the whole chorus. It is recommended that a chorus obtain a credit card in the chorus name. Individual credit cards should not be used. Chapters are also required to be current on their regional dues in order to charter. Ask your Education Coordinator or Membership Coordinator for the amount the chorus owes.


Members of Sweet Adelines International are encouraged to assume positions of leadership in their own chapters, then perhaps regionally and internationally. There is a continuing need for the contributions of talented women in chapter government as well as in regional and international government. Members with a special flair in journalism, art, drama, education, public speaking, composing, arranging and special administrative fields are urged to offer their services to the chorus, the region and the international organization. Encourage members to develop in all areas of activity.


Sweet Adelines International has two forms of chapter government: board of directors or management team. The two forms of government are thoroughly explained in the Chapter Guide.

Now is the time to decide which form of government to implement. Sweet Adelines International choruses hold elections early in the year each year. Although the board of directors/management team you elect upon establishment of your prospective chorus may not hold office for a full fiscal year, we

–  –  –

suggest that you follow Sweet Adelines International procedures for elections. Your current board/team would, of course, be eligible for reelection to serve during the upcoming fiscal year.

For detailed information on nominating committees and the election of officers consult the Chapter Guide.

The Standard Form Chapter Bylaws give an outline of the duties of the officers. The first item on the list for each officer should be a review of the bylaws. In order to build a strong chapter, familiarity with these is important.


The Standard Form Chapter Bylaws specify that there shall be a bylaws & rules committee and membership committee in each Sweet Adelines International chapter. The bylaws do not specify that these be the only standing committees because the needs of each chorus may differ. Additional committees should be established as needed and included in your standing rules.

Each chapter is free to set out the responsibilities of any committee in its standing rules or job description book. Listed below are suggested functions for some committees that your chorus might have. When your group becomes a chartered chapter, the detailed functions of these committees may be altered somewhat, but during their terms all committee chairs are urged to keep files with accurate records of their committees' activities. All records should be turned over to their successors at the end of the year. (See Guide for Maintenance of Chapter Records and Files in the Help Section.) Bylaws and Rules Committee The bylaws and rules chair acts as an advisor of parliamentary procedure when consulted by the president/team leader. The bylaws & rules chair is responsible for an annual review of the chapter standing rules. Copies of proposed revisions must be sent to the regional team coordinator (or the regional bylaws and rules chair if one has been appointed) for approval.

The bylaws and rules chair should familiarize herself with the bylaws of the organization and the Chapter Guide. She should be a member of the committee that drafts the chapter standing rules to be subsequently adopted by the membership. Guidelines for writing chapter standing rules are included in the Chapter Guide.

Membership Committee

One of the prime interests of your chorus will be building membership so that you can give a first-rate performance, and so that your chorus can apply for a Sweet Adelines International charter. Even after you charter, membership growth should always be one of your main chorus goals.

At the time of application it is necessary to have a minimum of 15 (plus director) members. However, we strongly urge that you have a minimum of 20 active members plus a director. This way you'll be assured of continued affiliation with the organization in the event that one or two members must resign due to circumstances beyond their control.

The membership committee needs the assistance of each member, particularly in your organizational

period. The future of your chorus depends on the success of this committee. Its chair should:

1. Spearhead membership drives by holding guest nights and contests and by generally encouraging members to bring guests. (Refer to the section Planning for Guests located in Step One.) Keep in mind, however, that the quality of your singing will depend a great deal on the musical ability of the members you accept.

2. Maintain enthusiasm among current members by promoting communication and friendliness so that everyone feels comfortable within the group.

–  –  –

3. See that all visitors are welcomed and provide them with information about Sweet Adelines International.

Newsletter Committee The newsletter editor is responsible for publication of the chapter newsletter at the frequency established by the board/team or membership. This is usually monthly, but some chapters find it advantageous to have a more comprehensive publication every other month. Many chapters also send e-mail updates to their members on a regular basis.

Education Committee

We all need to know more about the organization to which we belong, and this committee is responsible for a planned educational program. This can include newsletter articles or brief educational sessions at regular meetings. As your chorus progresses and new members come in, don't neglect their education. A most successful plan is to schedule a special educational session for new people on a separate night or several times a year, as necessary.

Music Committee The music committee serves as a resource to the chorus director. The committee may include section leaders, an assistant director, choreographer or others appointed by the chorus director.

Public Relations Committee This committee has a very important responsibility: that of maintaining good relations and contact with all available sources of publicity, such as television, radio and newspapers.

Keep your chorus' name before the public. Make them aware of you. Publicize regular meetings, membership and extension drives, items of interest relating to Sweet Adelines International and special events such as shows, interchapter nights and competitions. Copies of all printed articles should be supplied to the historian for inclusion in the chorus' history book.

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