I asked 100 women – all Queens of Harmony and/or current int’l top-ten quartet members – to participate in a survey designed to offer advice to quartets still climbing the regional rankings ladder. The questions address song choice, time management, and coaching strategies as well as interpersonal relationships among quartet members and advice on how to deal with disappointment.
Here are some of their responses.
Today’s Question is:
Q. Would you consider the three other members your friends? If so, was that a bond that formed over time or was it there from the start? How important is friendship to a successful quartet? Would you rather win a crown with 3 non-friends or never place higher than 5th with your best friends?
A. Friends – To me, it’s important. The work, sacrifice, fears to be faced, and souls to be bared require a trust that I can’t imagine existing without friendship. I would not choose the crown or the ‘never higher than 5th’. I would want to sing with 3 other people that are my friends and who are willing to do whatever work is necessary to become our very best! That’s probably going to be good enough if it really is our best!
A. The bond that you have when you win a crown is forever. It does not mean that there are not clashes and differences of opinion. Being best friends was not a requirement, but like a business relationship, if there is mutual respect, the relationships work. I do think that respect for each other and the organization as a whole are more important than being best buddies.
A. Yes, my quartet members are 3 of my best friends in the world! For my lead and I, we have been best friends since kindergarten so that’s a no-brainer. With the other two, we were friends to start from singing in the chorus together and then just became closer. I think friendship is important to the quartet but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be friends first! I can’t imagine singing and competing with people I didn’t like…I wouldn’t do it. There is too much time, energy, money, and emotions involved to compete that if I wasn’t at least friends with the 3 other people I was spending the majority of my time with, I just wouldn’t do it!
A. They are most definitely my friends. The bond with each of them has formed over time through the quartet initially but now life events and trials are shared among each of us. I personally don’t believe that you could win a crown with 3 non-friends. Maybe I’m wrong and there are some queens out there who are good actors, but friendship and mutual respect is an integral part of successful quartetting.
A. Quartetting can form friendships and it can destroy them too. I wouldn’t say that we’re best friends, but…we care for each other and enjoy our limited time together now, but we don’t socialize or get together any other time than Regional contest. I’d say that now, after the years it took to win, the experience would be different for me now. I’d rather sing for fun, with awesome quality and three other ladies who aren’t as competitive as we were.
A. Friendship and getting along is crucial. I used to chase the win to make me happy instead of being happy first which brought me the win.
A. Yes, they are definitely my friends! Although we don’t all live near each other now, when we are back together, we fall right back into that friendship! As for winning with friends, that would be the ultimate gratification! I don’t honestly know how you can win with people you don’t like/respect. They might not be your “besties”, but you MUST be honest and respect each other to work as a team.
A. Luckily, I do consider all of my quartet members my friends. Some of us are closer than others and that’s OK too. We love each other very much and truly enjoy singing together. The second part of this question is tough. Reaching the goal definitely holds more meaning when you reach it with people you care about. At the same time…. A crown has always been a goal for me so until I reach that goal, I would not be satisfied knowing I would never get there singing with my 3 best friends. It would be too frustrating. BUT once I achieve that goal, I imagine singing with my best friends just for fun would be awesome!
A. Yes, the bond formed over time. For me, compatibility is more important than friendship; every experience is unique…winning becomes something that can be learned under the right circumstances, but a good working relationship is a necessity under all conditions.
A. In just a few short years, our quartet has gone from not knowing each other at all to being best friends. We believe that all four people MUST like and care for each other to make the journey worth traveling together. It’s not just about the crown or the medal…it’s about making beautiful music, from the heart, with people that you love. I’d rather win a crown with 3 best friends. 🙂
A. Yes, those girls are my friends. It’s a bond that formed over time. Friendship is important, but I also think a respectful, cordial working relationship is a winning combination. Personally, I’d rather win a crown in a respectful, cordial quartet relationship than never place higher than fifth; but if you’re talking a toxic quartet relationship, let me stay at 5th. Once you win, you’re stuck with those women for life.
A. Absolutely – the best of friends. We started singing together in our 20’s and continued being active together for 30 years. In order to do that, the bond was absolutely there from the beginning. We went through marriages, births, deaths….. all the things you do with normal friends and families. We were a family. I would much rather sing with my best friends and never place higher than 5th. Friends are forever.
A. Absolutely! I immediately felt connected to them because of the musicianship, but I have grown to love each of them like family, and will be friends with them for the rest of my life. I think friendship is essential to a successful quartet even though I’m sure there have been successful groups with problems in that area. I’m pretty competitive, but as important as winning is, if you’re not having fun getting there, how good is it really?
A. These are forever friends for me. I would rather not win a crown than to spend this much effort with people that I didn’t love like I love my girls 🙂
A. Yes, very much so. I would not be able to sing with ladies that were not my friends. Due to my personality that would have been too hard for me. Our bond got stronger over time and they are still my best friends after we retired and value their friendships.
A. Definite friends! I think we started as acquaintances/friends but have formed a much stronger bond throughout the years. I really think it has been a huge part in our success. We know how to work together in so many ways and disagree when necessary while keeping sanity. Tough question – crown with 3 non-friends or never higher than 5th with best friends…I’d say the latter…yet rather win a crown with the besties.
A. We were friends in the same chorus. We grew closer the more we competed. I can’t imagine singing with non-friends, you need that respect to get you through the tough times.
A. We are friends and actually more like sisters now. There is sisterly sniping sometimes because we know we love each other despite the stuff that goes on. I love spending time with these women and working as a team to reach an audience. The fact that we are friends and have fun I think is evident to the audience, which is who this is all for.
A. Yes, we are good friends. We talk often outside of rehearsal, and while it’s not necessary to be “best friends” with your quartet, I think there’s an energy/personality on stage that is evident when everyone is friends that you can’t falsely create.
A. When we begun I would say two of us were best friend, one was someone we admired and the other was a stranger, lol! Our singing is a common interest that brings us together, we are friends and appreciate the experiences and ways in which each other have enriched our lives. It is a little tricky with us because we live very far apart, so you don’t find us hanging out in between rehearsals but I love and appreciate my girls and I think it’s important to have that to get anywhere in a contest setting. Remember the state of the performer is what comes across. You need to trust each other and have positive energy
A. ABSOLUTELY! – The friendship and personality mix is just as important to me as their singing talent. We’ve often described our quartet as a “marriage”, and all the relationship joys and concerns that comes with such a tight bond as that. I would absolutely NOT want to win a crown with three people who are not friends. I have heard of queens who have not gotten along, and I’m always surprised to hear it and kind of sad for them.
A. We were not friends from start but became the best of friends through out the years. I will definitely choose to never place higher than 5th together with my best friends.
A. Yes, we are friends! It formed over time and we planned group/family events on weekends.
A. Mutual respect utmost importance. Love them like family. Trust them with my life.
A. The 3 women I won with were my closest friends. It was there from the start and just got stronger and stronger over the years. I think friendship is pivotal to success. Fortunately, for me, I was able to have both friendship and a championship.
A. Yes, they are my friends. They were even my bridesmaids in my wedding. The bond formed over time (we have been singing together for a long time). Friendship within the quartet is important because you spend a lot of time with the three women in your quartet, so you have to love each other even when you may get annoyed with one another. I would rather sing with my best friends than win a crown with non-friends. It just wouldn’t be the same fulfilling experience if I won with non-friends.