HARMONYCATZ would love to entertain you. They will customize their program to give you the “purr-fect” “purr-formance” for your function and tickle your funny bone at the same time. Phyllis, Leigh, Cathy & Fran combine many years of quartet experience to bring you a great balance of humor and close four part barbershop harmony.
Leigh was born in Hanna Alberta and attended Bonnie Doon Composite High School in Edmonton. She took classical piano lessons from the age of five and has extensive music knowledge.
She is married to Gary and together they have three grown children and two grown grandchildren. She lives on an acreage just outside Calgary and through sleet, snow and and storms, strives to attend every rehearsal or meeting.
Music has been an integral part of her life since she was born, and she enjoys singing along with her sister, Rae Armour, a singer/songwriter living in Vancouver.
From the moment Leigh walked into the rehearsal hall, she was “hooked”. This is what she was looking for and she has had no regrets joining this wonderful hobby of a cappella singing.
Leigh joined Chinook Winds Show Chorus in 1993 and fast became the baritone section leader and retains that position today – WOW 18 years and still going strong! She takes on all duties with optimism, grace, and humour and is the editor, organizer, and distributor for the weekly newsletter. Her other duties have included script writing, Casino Manager for chorus fund raising, show committee co-chair, membership roster……..the list goes on of the jobs she has had a hand in (are we exhausted yet?)
She has also held posts on the Management Team as Treasurer, Installation Coordinator, and currently sits on the Music Team as Baritone Section Leader..
Leigh has sung in various quartets such as Tapestry, Aquila, and Impromptu!, She has sung baritone with Harmonycatz for the past ten years. Harmonycatz is a comedic quartet that has entertained audiences from Regina to Vancouver.
Leigh feels as if she has “hit the jackpot” with respect to the other members of the quartet. They are a fun and talented group of women….but they are most of all….friends.
I have enjoyed singing all my life, but never as much as I do singing with my fellow catz!
As long as I can remember, there has usually been one tune or another running around in my head. I started singing with choirs when I was young, as an alto. In my teens, I was a member and soloist with the Calgary Lutheran Youth Choir, performing during Lent and Easter throughout Calgary, Southern Alberta and BC.
Once I got married and became a Mom, there were many more things to occupy my time, so singing took a backseat for a while. In 2011 I joined Chinook Winds Show Chorus, as a baritone, which was my introduction to a capella and barbershop singing. What a strange and wonderful experience that has been, with the highlight being a member of Harmonycatz Quartet since October of 2014.
I am currently the Choreographer and Script Chair for CWSC, but my favourite activity by far is singing Lead with Harmonycatz. I have had many exciting adventures with both the chorus and the quartet which I hope will continue for a long time to come!
When not performing, rehearsing, or working for the chorus or quartet, I like to check out what my family is up to, and spend time with my husband Scott, either at home or, if I’m really lucky, at our cabin in Montana, relaxing at the lake and puttering.
It is hard to remember a time when I wasn’t singing – from entertaining Uncles and Aunts at family get togethers - to harmonizing with my brother George, or friends Lynn, Pat or Marg. I did a lot of “singing for my supper” at weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties and along with my guitar, took part in many jam sessions and played for numerous country dances.
I love to Harmonize and when I discovered the Sweet Adeline world of 4 part barbershop harmony – I was “hooked”. There is nothing like the resonant feeling of ringing a chord with 3 other parts. I joined Chinook Winds Show Chorus in 1979 and sang in zany quartets – Sound Idea, then Sass ‘n’ Class for 25 wonderful years.
Over the years, I took a turn at serving as Bass Section leader, Chapter Board member, Muaic Team Member, Regional Board member, historian, script writer, show chairman, M C and many other jobs. It was a lot of work – a lot of fun and definitely a learning and growth experience.
After a couple of years break from quartetting, Harmonycatz evolved. What an amazing time we’ve had since 2007, entertaining and making folks laugh. And yes, if you do the math, I am definitely the senior member of the quartet. But what I lack in youth, I make up for with experience. And yes again, we do have a good time together.
In my other life, I have my husband, Willard, 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law, 1 granddaughter, 3 grandsons, a granddaughter-in-law and 3 great grandsons. I love to garden and have grown a zillion flowers over the years. I like to golf and travel – but most of all, I love to spend time with family and friends.
My dad always sang, and my family was musical. When I was growing up, the most important thing to my parents was learning to read music – and so each of us (5 girls in total) took piano lessons. And from that, we each settled on an instrument of choice. I think my parents thought we would be the next Partridge Family.
I started singing in church choirs, and sang my first solo when I was 10. From that day on, I knew I wanted to perform.
In my 11th year of high school, I auditioned successfully to sing in an A Cappella ensemble, of which there were only 10 members. I was excited as this group performed throughout the eastern part of the US and then came the bad news …… we were moving overseas and I would spend the last year of my high school education in Beirut, Lebanon.
Once settled in this new country and new school, music became my link to new friendships. The music teacher was channelling performers to showcase in to smaller groups - jazz bands and vocal groups. I was lucky enough to land a spot with 5 other girls in a “show” group, singing show tunes with the jazz band, harmonizing all genres of music to entertain the school, embassies and any local group that welcomed us to perform. It was then that my parents knew I was serious about singing and signed me up for vocal instruction.
Having graduated from high school, I started college near Heidelberg Germany to further my voice training in opera. It was in my third year of university that singing took a back seat to “life”. I had transferred to U of C in Alberta and acceptance hinged on teaching music rather than performance, so I changed my major – it only took a year to realize I wasn’t interested in teaching.
When the opportunities presented themselves, I sang at weddings, school functions, parties and in musical plays.
A career in retail, management and travel followed – as well as marriage, family, and then DIVORCE. Years later, one of my singing friends from high school sent me the Sweet Adeline’s link, and music was back in my life ....... I joined Chinook Winds Show Chorus in 2005.
A year later, HARMONYCATZ asked me as their Tenor and we have all been singing 4 part harmony “harmoniously” ever since. I cannot imagine singing with anyone other than Phyllis, Leigh and Fran – these ladies keep my heart warm.
As well as the quartet representing Chinook Winds, I have served on the Management Team – Special Events Chair, Team Lead – and served on the Music Team as Performance Chair and assistant Tenor Section “go to” person. I participate on the Scripting Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, and step in when a small job needs to be done.
Outside of Sweet Adeline’s, I am proud to have 3 sons that grew to be very fine gentlemen and are the loves of my life. I travel as much as I can as well as play a little golf here and there. I can sew, am quite crafty and an overall handy kinda gal.