History

Our Directors

Directors

During the long history of the Village Vocal Chords, the chorus has only had three directors.

G. Ruth Geils was the very first director of the Village Vocal Chords.  She started her tenure in August of 1960 though the Village Vocal Chords would not become an official chapter of Harmony, Inc. until August 11, 1961.  She directed the chorus for 14 years, until 1976.  During this time the Village Vocal Chords competed in nine international contests, placing 7th or higher in every competition.  Ruth was also crowned quartet champion twice during this time, in 1961 with the Key Chords and in 1964 with the Scale Blazers.  She also created the Harmony Creed and was very active on the international level of Harmony, Inc.

In 1976 Jeanne O’Connor became the new director of the Village Vocal Chords.  She led the chorus to its first International Championship in that same year.  In 1978 she led the chorus to a second place finish and in 1979 she led the chorus to its second International Championship.  In 1979 Jeanne and her family relocated to the Quad-Cities area and after the international competition that year, Jeanne left the Village Vocal Chords.
In 1980 Jay Giallombardo became the new director of the Village Vocal Chords.  While director he lead the chorus to two more International Championships, in 1981 and again in 1983.

In 1984 Jeanne and her family returned to the Chicago area and Jeanne returned to the chorus as a member of the base section.  That same year Jay left the Village Vocal Chords to direct a new chorus within the Barbershop Harmony Society (SPEBSQSA) and Jeanne naturally transitioned back into the role of director.

Under Jeanne’s direction the Village Vocal Chords continued a winning streak on the international level, coming in first place in the international contest in 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2001, 2013, and 2015.  In 2017 the chorus placed 2nd in the international contest.

Jeanne has also served as International President for Harmony, Inc.  She was elected International President in 1986 and 1987.  She was again elected International President in 2000 and 2001.  And she served as International President yet again in 2011 and 2012.