Coaching with Betty Clipman

Lynn Billings-Thomas's picture

On January 20, we brought in Betty Clipman for a top-notch, skill-honing, weekend retreat to prepare for the upcoming 2017 Sweet Adelines Region 4 Competition.

Barbershop four-part a cappella harmony and performance is complex, and although it’s not necessary to be able to read music, the craft behind it requires lots of work. It is, like any art, a never-ending journey toward perfection. At competition we will be judged in four categories:  sound, expression, music and showmanship.

Betty really gets us on the road to our A game—to the place that transcends merely working the craft. As she says, “You want to get to life beyond the vowels.” That’s when the magic starts to happen. Consistently good vocal production is key and you have to learn where that is without using your inner ear. “You have to know the ‘feel’ of when you’re singing well.”

Betty is a past Sweet Adelines International president, master faculty member, certified sound and expression judge, certified master director, past member of an international champion quartet, 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and an internationally-renowned vocal coach.