by Mel Knight, Evergreen Education Operations Team

Most of you probably know that QCED stands for “Quartet Champions of Evergreen District.” I suspect there are those who think it’s just about a bunch of ex-district quartet champions hanging out together. In a way that’s true, but QCED is so much more. Let me tell you a bit about the organization.

Back in the 1970’s several District Champion quartets got together at the Islander Resort on Lopez Island for a weekend of fun, camaraderie and to put on a show for those at the resort. This went on throughout the ‘70s with each new district champion invited to the event where they were initiated into the group.

In 1985 QCED moved its annual meeting to Seaside, Oregon where the late, great Bob Swanson worked out an agreement with the Seaside Chamber of Commerce to co-sponsor the event and put on a show. At this point the direction and goals of QCED changed. It was decided that any funds from the show, along with additional funds earned at a similar show at each Evergreen District Convention be used to support coaching opportunities for other quartets throughout the district and to generally help upgrade the caliber of performance of Evergreen District quartets.

Here are some things I’ll bet you don’t know:

  • Because the district has no funds to support our quartets competing at International, QCED has provided thousands of dollars over the years to help underwrite the expenses of competing Evergreen quartets.
  • A QCED Endowment Fund (QEF) was established which has provided financial support (without any District funds) to support coaching weekends for aspiring quartets throughout the district. These coaching sessions use QCED member-coaches who volunteer their time and talents without any financial remuneration.
  • Over the last several years, QCED has sponsored an a cappella contest in conjunction with its annual concert in Seaside to provide encouragement and yes, prize money for young college and high school groups that participate.
  • QCED produced two recordings and all the money generated by the sale of these has been used by the QCED Endowment Fund for the education and coaching of District quartets.
  • The Aliens Quartet donated all sales of their now-famous “Saturday Night Special” DVD to the QEF for the benefit of quartet education and coaching.

So, what has this got to do with you? Well, QCED could use your support. First of all, by spreading the word about the good things the organization has done in the past and will continue to do in the future supporting District quartets at all levels. Secondly, through your financial assistance. QCED, for one reason or another is not involved in an Afterglow/Show at the District Convention, so part of that financial base is now missing. Your donations to the QEF or QCED are encouraged if they are to continue their good work for the Evergreen District. These can be made through any of the QEF Board Members: [email protected], [email protected] or any QCED member. You could purchase one of the QCED recordings as well.

Finally, you should check out the quartet coaching available, which provides weekend coaching at no expense to the chapter or quartets. Ask Boise or Spokane or Anchorage or Calgary or any number of chapters who have used this service if it wasn’t one of the best things they ever did for their quartets. Applications are available on the QCED website. For more information, contact the 3rd QEF Board Member Steve Barclay at [email protected]. I’ve been on the QEF Board for 6 years now, and it’s time for me to rotate off and leave the work to the next group. I truly hope you will support QCED and the good work they have done and will continue to do for the Evergreen District. It’s been a wonderful experience for me to work with chapters, quartets and the fine coaches we have provided.

Happy singing! -Mel Knight, Evergreen Education Operations Team