Dressy Blues Quartet: Why Sweet Adelines International and the Military Should be Friends

Once in a blue moon, the stars align, and you’re blessed with an opportunity like no other, so you throw caution (and doubt, and fear, and logic…) to the wind and dive right in.

May 1, 2023 marks the first official performance by the brand new quartet, Dressy Blues, all of whom are members of the Olympia Chorus, and all of whom are military spouses. All four women are new to the barbershop a cappella style of singing, and all became official members of Sweet Adelines International (SAI) between April 2022 and January 2023. They all have spouses stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which is just a short jaunt down I-5 from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, where the Olympia Chorus practices weekly. 

What started as a lark during a chorus Christmas party, “Wouldn’t it be fun to start a milspo [military spouse] quartet?” quickly became a serious endeavor, “Why don’t we compete at Regionals in May?” One husband has been in Korea since July 2022, and the other three were continually gone for days and weeks at a time, but these four managed to finagle windows of time each week to practice. The unending love and support from their chorus director, Margaret, section leaders Jan, Sally, Patty, and really every member of the chorus fueled the ladies’ drive to persevere through odd schedules, time away from family, and the additional costs of everything that comes with competing as a quartet. These ladies are SO ready to show everyone at the Region 13 Convention in May, what the indefatigable energy of military spouses is capable of achieving.

Members of Dressy Blues: Tenor- Miranda Kufs, Lead- Melissa Fowler, Baritone- Joni Lynn Aevermann, Bass- Jodie Viall

As with all sweet friendships cultivated amongst spouses within the military – the Dressy Blues knew their time together could be short lived: both the lead and tenor’s spouses received orders to the East Coast, so they will be leaving Washington state mere weeks after Region 13’s Convention.

That’s where SAI and the military lifestyle seem to work hand in hand. Scrolling through these side-by-side images of SAI choruses and US Military duty stations, there appears to be quite a bit of similarity. Dressy Blues’ lead and tenor have already found what SAI chorus they’ll be joining once they relocate. Military spouses know that forming connections when they first move to a new duty station benefits their family’s support system and their overall mental health. For spouses (and active duty!) who are passionate about singing, SAI offers an accessible outlet for these connections to be made. Once you are a member of SAI, you will find a family ready to welcome you almost wherever the military may take you!

Singing spouses and active duty women based at JBLM are highly encouraged to come check out the Olympia Chorus, and find the comfort and warmth of this extended family.

Retreat 2023

Olympia Sweet Adelines Retreat March 2023


Retreat 2023 infused our chorus with positivity, unity, and confidence. We may have had a rocky start, (car accidents, deer collisions, clogged toilets, rogue herding dogs, and more) but the dedication and resilience of our members triumphed over all the presented challenges.

We were so lucky to have Charlene O’Connor as our coach. Her knowledge and experience truly pulled out the best in us. She packed so much great information into the time we had with her, such as the importance of alignment, preparing to sing with an open mouth when the pitch is blown, and letting our emotions guide our movement while singing. We witnessed in awe as she voice-placed us within our sections, the chorus as a whole, and then strategically placed us on the risers. We’re still not quite sure what sort of wizardry she worked, but we all recall the absolute magic that took place the first time we sang in our new riser placements. 

Our chorus got the chance to soar at grand new heights during this retreat; and will continue to use this inspiration and motivation to blaze a path right to Region 13 Convention in May.

BB&B 2023 Roundup

Our second annual Besties, Bags, & Bingo fundraiser exceeded our expectations in every way!

We sold more tickets, raised more money, and had a ton more fun than our inaugural BB&B event in 2022. Technical difficulties, last minute table set-ups, and a low snack inventory couldn’t bring us down. We are a group of energetic and intelligent women, who demonstrated our abilities to work well under pressure and creatively solve any issues that arose.

The chorus awarded 16 fantastic designer handbags along with loads of stellar door prizes (all of which were meticulously hand crafted and donated by chorus members).

At this pace, we plan on blowing BB&B 2024 out of the water, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for ticket sales and have your daubers at the ready!

This event would not be possible without the indefatigable efforts of Sally and Jan!