Seattle Shores Chorus was officially chartered in 1953. According to Opal Hicks, a charter member with the chorus, in March 1951 Opal and her husband attended a barbershop show put on by the Seattle Men’s Chapter of SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America).
During intermission, a woman named Grace Doyle announced from the stage that a local chapter of a women’s singing group called Sweet Adelines was forming, and all women were invited to attend. Opal’s husband told her to write down the phone number. She called and subsequently attended a Tuesday evening rehearsal attended by a half dozen women. She decided to try the baritone part.
It took the group a year and a half to meet the requirements to charter with Sweet Adelines International. The charter was presented on May 4, 1953, by Dr. Sigmund Spaeth of New York City, noted musicologist and arranger of “Sweet Adeline,” which was the organization's official theme song for several years. At that time they officially became known as the Seattle Chapter of Sweet Adelines.
The chorus, which started with about 21 members, kept busy with rehearsals, performances, and competitions from 1953 to 1980. Seattle Chapter was also instrumental in helping several other choruses become established in the Seattle area. Opal served as president during this time.
In 1980, the leaders of the Seattle Chorus and the Northshore Chorus decided to combine forces and become Seattle Shores Chorus. Today we have members from both of the original choruses singing with us.
Seattle Shores won the Sweet Adelines regional competition in 1988, going to Miami for the international competition. In 2007, the chorus sang for audiences including heads of state in Jamestown, Virginia, for the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.
Today we still celebrate our anniversary on May 4, and we still rehearse on Tuesday nights. We lost Opal in 2016, but she was singing baritone with us right up to the end!
When Opal and Lois posed for this picture at our 62nd anniversary celebration, they had 118 years of Sweet Adelines experience between them. Opal started with Seattle Chorus and Lois with Northshore Chorus.