As the COVID pandemic dwindled, the Heart of America Chorus returned to face-to-face Barbershopping at the March 18-19, 2022, Central States District Convention in Wichita. While HOA was spoiling for its first chorus contest since 2019, no other chorus, except host Smorgaschorus, wanted to come out and face us. While we'd like to think we scared off the spring small chorus competition, the lack of chorus registrations was blamed on the remaining pandemic fears and perhaps the thought that some of CSD's far-flung chapters weren't up for a trip out to Kansas after being dormant for so long. So, convention organizers reorganized, bumping the spring small chorus contest to the fall contest Oct. 7-8 in Lawrence. Stay tuned for more on that.
In the meantime, HOA and Smorgaschorus were invited to turn that unused contest time into full-blown chorus "coaching under glass" sessions with the assembled contest judges and any spectators welcome. Then each chorus got featured performance spots on the convention agenda. Meanwhile, chapter members got to meet with other Barbershoppers, singing tags and songs and comparing experiences. With the usual choruses missing, the hallways and meeting rooms at the Hyatt Regency were not as crowded as usual and were dominated by competing quartet members -- a boon for young tag singers. HOA's two competing quartets, Swing Shift and On the Rocks, walked into an International qualifying contest with former district champs; former International qualifiers; a Sweet Adelines Region 10 winner from the BHS Southwestern District, The Ladies; and fifth-place International medalist Midtown from the Mid-Atlantic District. Suffice it to say, Swing Shift and On the Rocks were happy to entertain a sympathetic and enthusiastic Barbershopper audience for the first time in a long while.