Linda was overjoyed when she received the 2023 Spirit Award from Tori. Those mega-watt smiles say it all!
From Roberta Barens, Feb 2015
The spirit award is intended to recognize a member of the chorus that quietly works behind the scenes to better the overall experience for the chorus members. She usually prefers to go about her business without looking for or wanting recognition.
Dolphins were chosen to symbolize this as they work together for the betterment of the whole pod. They play together, travel together, and work together for food. They look out for each other to stay safe and to assist each other.
This was established so that it can only be won once. (As we know, the same people tend to be the ones that could win it every year. I hoped the award could be a little incentive for a little more involvement by everyone for the chorus)
While everyone can nominate a fellow member, it is the previous winners that decide the winner. It is not decided by the number of nominations, but by the deed itself. I did it that way as only a few people may know what a member did behind the scenes to improve the overall experience for the chorus members.
2002 - Cathy Evanoff (former member)
2003 - Julie Rushton (former member)
2004 - Donna Mortimer (former member)
2005 - Anna Carr (former member)
2006 - Ann-Marie Dube (former member)
2007 - Lynne Crellin (former member)
2008 - Janine Williams (former member)
2009 - Marleen van Baars (former member)
2010 - Samantha King
2011 - Val Magi (former member)
2012 – Mary Lew Montague
2013 - Wendy Pegg (former member)
2014 – Julia McGregor
2015 – Sherry McCarroll
2016 – Hilary Flynn
2017 – Bonnie Morton
2018 – Susanne Hasulo
2019 – Deanna Rimmer
2020 - Sandy McCreary
2021 - Kelly Thomas
2022 - Tori Amendola
2023 - Linda Hartnell
Warmest and heartfelt congratulations to Linda Hartnell, the 2023 recipient of the Spirit Award!
As mentioned by Tori Amendola, last year’s winner of this distinguished award, there are so many deserving members in our chorus who embody the qualities of this meaningful dolphin representation that it is always a very difficult decision to make. For example, members who set up or put away chairs at rehearsals, who buy products sold at our fundraisers or who sell show tickets, who offer rides or give something to a chorus friend just because they thought it would be a nice gesture, who organize a quartet rehearsal at their house, who offer treats as a surprise at any given rehearsal or who bring a guest to attend one, who play ACS virtual bingo and those who perform so many other random acts of kindness are all eligible to win this prestigious award. Although all of members contribute so much toward making our chorus such an amazing place, Linda’s positive attitude and incredible generosity touched of all our hearts and because she also performed all of the above, she is our 2023 deserving Spirit Award recipient.
This year, the following members were nominated by their peers: Sue Boere, Peggy Budd, Debbie Glenn, Angie Morton- Locke, Chris Mudge, Michelle Odendahl, Liz Travis, Dianne Wagstaff and our T&T Team which consists of Tracey Lynn Beatty and Theresa Major. Congratulations to each and every one of the nominees for being so inspirational and for making our chorus work like a beautifully oiled harmony machine!
After receiving the Spirit Award at our Board Installation Dinner on May 31st, Linda delighted the chorus with her enthusiastic acceptance speech. She began her a cappella singing adventure when she returned to work from her first maternity leave, in 1988. One of the teachers on her staff invited her to come listen to The Tempo Tones, now known as Classic Blend, as they were preparing for AC&C. She absolutely loved it and was hooked from the get-go. She joined them in September of 1988 and performed as a tenor at her first concert two months later, in November. In fact, 2023 marks her 35th Anniversary with Harmony, Incorporated.
In the course of those 35 years, Linda has sung both tenor and lead. She made the switch in her part when she became the lead singer of “Miscellaneous”, a quartet that competed for many years and that was once chosen as mic testers at IC&C. Miscellaneous was the first non-harmony queen quartet to win the Chris Scott Memorial Trophy presented in 1999, at IC&C, for their service to their communities, to the chorus and to Harmony, Inc.
Linda has joined A Cappella Showcase a little over 15 years ago and has since served as President and Fundraising Chair on our Board, has helped with the SP and Choreography teams and has been a Lead Co-section Leader for many years.
Linda is the mother of three wonderful sons who were always exposed to the Barbershop style of singing. She would host quartet practices at her home once a week and would bring them to chorus rehearsals because she was nursing at the time. All of her boys are now young adults who can sing and she credits that blessing to all three of them being introduced to this form of music in utero.
Her family, especially her husband Phil, and friends have been incredibly supportive of her hobby and she is grateful to all of them for their unwavering encouragement. She is also very thankful for all her sisters in harmony and having performed with her own sister Gisele, her niece Elizabeth and on a lesser scale, her other niece Emillie, she has been given the chance to share with them the gift of song.
Linda ended her acceptance speech by stating that she has weaved very special and lifelong friendships through this organization, both locally and internationally. The wonderful memories, the laughter and the songs she has shared throughout the years are too many to mention, but in her words, there is nothing like singing and belonging to a chorus!
Among the nominations she received from the members who took the time to write a few words about her dedication, her hard work and her love for our chorus, here a few that stand out: “She is a fundraising dynamo”; “She is a wonderful ambassador for our chorus”; “She is cheerful and kind”; “She has a big heart”; “She is so enthusiastic”; “She organized Bingo nights and has donated many prizes”; “She always has a smile and a big hug for everyone”.
In a nutshell, Linda is positive, supportive, encouraging and incredibly generous. She always wears the most radiant smile, even when she is going through rough times, and never fails to lift her peers up when they are feeling under the weather. She also proposes wonderful ideas for fundraising events and always applauds other suggestions that may be different from her own. She is a warm and lovely lady who never hesitates to lend a hand when the chorus needs help and always welcomes everyone with open arms. At the end of every rehearsal or important event, she yells out: "It's great to be a Barbershopper!" and that's when we know that a wonderful time has been had by all!
For all the many reasons mentioned above, Tori was thrilled to present the 2023 Spirit Award to our awesome Linda Hartnell!