Spirit of the Lakes Chorus is a proud member of Sweet Adelines International . Here's how we came to be and what we're all about.

In the spring of 2002, Joe and Kay Liles, well-known in both men’s and women’s barbershop harmony organizations, were in the process of forming a women's chorus in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, with 11 interested singers. At the same time, a nearby chorus, Chain-O-Lakes in Crystal Lake, Illinois, was in need of a director and visited the yet-to-be named group in Lake Geneva. It was a perfect match. And, since it would take many months to acquire a charter from Sweet Adelines International, the new little chorus picked up the already established charter of Chain-O-Lakes. This made it possible for the combined singers to compete in 2003 at the Region 22 spring competition. The newly-formed group, now named "Spirit of the Lakes Chorus", won the honor of most improved by 70 points. It has been an award-winning chorus ever since. After 13 wonderful years, Joe and Kay decided it was time to hang up their costumes, and they officially resigned after our Regional Competition performance in May 2015. The chorus went through an intense search to find a new director. We were successful! Tessa August accepted the job in July 2015, and we have continued to learn and grow as we face new challenges under Tessa's guidance.

Spirit of the Lakes Chorus is an ever-evolving, ever-improving, cohesive unit, and we strive to live up to our "spirit" name. We are welcoming to prospective and new members. Chorus rehearsals in SOTL are very productive, fun, and positive, with an emphasis on personal musical improvement and chorus sound unity. Our chorus is akin to a marriage, because members of SOTL support one another in sickness and in health, in good times and bad in our personal lives. We always end our rehearsal by joining in a circle, making eye contact with one another, holding hands, and singing "One More Song". This promotes a wonderful sense of unity, joy in singing, and friendship.

SOTL has a history of learning lots of music. We love working on new songs/arrangements. We also like to bring in outside coaching to help us grow musically. To name a few, we’ve been blessed to have Jean Barford, Dale Syverson, Jim and Marcia Massey, Darlene Rogers, Joan Boutilier, Vicki Dennis, Lori Lyford, Tori Postma, and Sharon Babb as coaches.

Sweet Adelines International

Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide organization of nearly 27,000 women who love to sing 4-part a capella harmony, barbershop style. Sweet Adelines has more than 600 chapters (choruses) and 1,200 registered quartets. There are chapters in most of the 50 United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The organization has been divided into more than 30 regions. Each region acts as a liaison between the international headquarters of Sweet Adelines and the chapters within its boundaries. In addition, the region acts as the support structure and center of information for all chapters, quartets, and individual members in its geographical area.

Spirit of the Lakes is now a member of
Region 3, which covers southern Wisconsin, northern and central Illinois, and a small portion of northwestern Indiana.

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