Northern Blend in Saint John, New Brunswich, shortly after being named
Harmony Inc. 2010 International Chorus Champions!
Katie and Mary Ann, pictured at right, each being presented with the Skidge Heath Memorial Award as Directors of the 2010 Championship Chorus, by Barbara Ann MacIntosh of Harmony Heritage.
The award is named after Skidge Heath, who was a Past International President and founding member of both Harmony, Inc. and the Harmony Heritage chapter
In 1959, she designed the official Harmony, Inc. emblem/logo, which is our membership pin, and then five decades later created the design of our 50th Anniversary pin as well.
Skidge passed away in 2009.
Mary Ann Wert began singing wtih Northern Blend in 1985. In 1995 we were fortunate to have her step forward and become our director. She has a wealth of musical talent and can always be found humming a barbershop tune!
Mary Ann's life is filled with barbershop! She and her husband Chuck own a restaurant that is extremely barbershop friendly. Why you ask? Well, she is not the only barbershopper in her family. Her husband sang bass for over 20 years in Cornerstone, a well-known Society comedy quartet, and their daughters Katie Taylor and Lorie Autote, both joined Northern Blend Chorus when they turned 12. Their family combination sings together whenever possible as "Compound W"!
As if that weren't enough for one person, Mary Ann, along with her two daughters and her best friend, Laurie Shepherd, were thrilled to become the 1996 International Quartet Champions of Harmony, Inc. For Heaven's Sake has traveled extensively, sharing their love of each other and barbershop with everyone they meet.
In addition to performing, Mary Ann also dabbles in arranging and coaches quartets and choruses throughout Harmony Inc. and the Barbershop Harmony Society. She also teaches several music related classes at Area and International Education events. She recieved the "Kay DeLong Award" at Area 3's AC&C in 2010 for her service to her chapter, her Area, and to Harmony, Inc.
Katie Taylor became a Co-Director with her mother in April of 2003. This made Mary Ann very happy because she missed singing IN the chorus, and now she can! The chorus is thrilled to be on the receiving end of the vast wealth of musical knowledge and talents that Katie has to offer. Her talents are surpassed (only slightly) by the way she teaches her craft and her zestful personality!
Katie is a K-12 Vocal Music Teacher and also directs the annual musicals at her school. In 2007 she was awarded "Music Teacher of the Year" by the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra with nominations by her principal, peers, and students of past and present. Katie also recieved the "Kay DeLong Award" at Area 3's AC&C in 2008 for her service to Northern Blend, Area 3, and to Harmony, Inc. Katie acts as Youth Coordinator for Area 3 and loves to work with young ladies who may become members of our organization in the future!
In 2008, Katie competed in her new quartet, U4X, on the International stage and took her 2nd gold - only this time in tenor instead of bass! She continues to sing with both For Heaven's Sake and U4X and is thrilled to once again be representing HI as a queen! Katie, like her mother, loves to coach quartets and choruses in both HI and the BHS. She also makes learning trax - www.TaylorTrax.homestead.com - that she happily uses to help quartets and choruses learn their new music!
Northern Blend feels blessed to have such wonderful women leading them forward!
* * * * * * * * * * *