Sequim quartet brings home silver medal from regional contest
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The Sequim-based Aspire! quartet donned fire-chief costumes for their performance of “Firebug” and “Fire Brigade Four,” for which they won a silver medal at the North by Northwest Sweet Adelines competition earlier this month. The singers are, clockwise from top left, Connie Alward, Linda Muldowney, Alena Menefee and Amy Rose. — Aspire!

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — The women’s barbershop quartet called Aspire!, after just a year of singing together, has brought home a silver medal from the Sweet Adelines International North by Northwest Region 13 competition in Spokane.

“We are thrilled with our second-place medals, which we were actually shooting for,” said Aspire! baritone Linda Muldowney of Sequim.

“We are still developing as a quartet, still growing and improving with every rehearsal and coaching session,” so the singers didn’t feel quite ready to win the gold — this year.

Twenty-six choruses competed in the April 11-12 event, Muldowney said.

She sings in the quartet with her sister, Connie Alward of Port Angeles, and with Amy Rose of Tacoma and Alena Menefee of Silverdale.

The women did a parody package of songs about fire, turning the old song “Firefly” into “Firebug” and performing an original number, “Fire Brigade Four,” by Alena’s father, Mike Menefee.

He’s director of the Grand Olympics Chorus, a Sweet Adelines International group in which the women also sing.

Based in Sequim, the chorus is the North Olympic Peninsula’s Sweet Adelines group.

Regional competitions like the North by Northwest don’t give out cash prizes, but Aspire! did win real money last month when it took third place at the 47th annual Ballad Town Contest in Forest Grove, Ore.

The quartet took home a bronze medal and $500 in cash, Muldowney said.

“We will be performing in barbershop shows around the Northwest. So far, we’ve been invited to headline a show in Snohomish for the Voices Northwest Chorus,” she added.

Later on, Aspire! will join the Grand Olympics Chorus for its fall show at a Clallam County venue to be announced.

To find out more about the chorus and local barbershop singing opportunities, visit


Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at

Last modified: April 28. 2014 6:22PM
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