Ruston's Piney Hills Harmony Chorus was presented the Membership Growth Award at its regional competition held in Houston during the spring of 2016, along with a citation for its marketing achievements.
The singers also improved their competition score by 25 points over last year's results.
Piney Hills Harmony is a women's a cappella group that's part of the world's largest singing organization for women, Sweet Adelines International.
During 2015-2016 the chorus added 13 new members, and with attrition factored in, the increase came to approximately 25 percent. Six of those new members were from North Louisiana, and seven were from the Texarkana, Texas, area. Those seven joined as dual members.
The duals also belong to TexArmonix, a Sweet Adelines chorus in Texarkana, which lies in a different region from Piney Hills Harmony.
PHH reciprocated, and eight Piney Hills members joined TexArmonix as duals. All the duals competed in both regional competitions – Region 10's in Houston and Region 25's in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"This is the first time we ever did a 'dual swap,'" said Judy Sisson, Piney Hills Harmony vice president and membership chair. "It turned out to be so much fun we're thinking of doing it again next year. This just shows how much fun singing in an a cappella group can be."
The choruses sang the same songs at both competitions, complete with the same interpretation and same choreography. As they were preparing for the contest, the duals met on certain Saturdays in Shreveport and also attended each other's coaching sessions.
The Marketing Award that Piney Hills Harmony received resulted from the chorus marketing team's fulfilling a list of 13 criteria required by the regional marketing coordinator. Carol Ogle and Sallie Rose Hollis serve as local marketing co-chairs.
Women interested in joining the Ruston group will soon have an excellent opportunity. The chorus is planning guest nights and free group vocal lessons in June, July and August. Additional details will be announced in the near future.