Mary Hager - founding Director retires

We were so happy to celebrate Mary’s retirement along with our 20th Anniversary. Truth be told, we planned to honour her back in 2020, but you know what happened that year...

Such a big part of our success in the last 20 years is owed to Mary Hager. It was so fitting to have her as our honoured guest at the celebration because she was our founding director! Our creative front-line director had a vision to grow our chorus with out of the box thinking and focussed determination. Under her guidance, we learned to stretch our barbershop style repertoire and skills as she encouraged us to learn jazz, rock, folk music, and even a bit of rap – all a cappella and all 4-part. Mary ran a caring, fun, and a tight ship. It paid off – there have been many awards and medals won over the years and lots of travel opportunities from Saskatoon to Hawaii. She created an environment where we felt the true sisterhood/humanhood within our chorus. There were so many people at the celebration, in person and over video, who, in very creative ways, wished her all the best.

So many wonderful memories were created with Mary at the helm – singing at Zoolights as little ones stopped in their tracks to listen, performing on the grand staircase in the new public library, supporting the great folks at Fresh Start Recovery, blitzing Calgary neighbourhoods with musical shows to celebrate the Junos, bringing Christmas cheer to the staff and families in Calgary hospitals, singing to “The Boss” (Mr Springsteen), as he took a seat on the lawn at Spruce Meadows and stayed to listen, hosting a cappella shows at so many wonderful locations in the city and competing in International competitions in Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Hawaii.

Not only was Mary our “Master 600” Director, she also coached many other choruses in western Canada. And, she has been directing and singing with Sweet Adelines' choruses since the 1980s. During this time, she has been a choreographer, assistant director, director, board member, wardrobe creator and guest speaker at competitions. In 2019, she received the Paul Tamblyn award for making a significant impact on the development, promotion and improvement of choral directing and performance in Canada, with preference given to those involved with a cappella choral groups.

Mary is an admired pillar in our barbershop lives. Above all, she is a caring and talented person. Thank you, Mary, for all you’ve done for us and with us. We will truly miss you. All the best in your retirement. 


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