From the Archives

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logo FWD medThe Far Western District Association of Chapters was authorized by the Society to be organized in a letter dated October 22, 1946 and signed by "International President" Frank H. Thorne and "International Secretary" Carroll P. Adams.

The first District President was Russel C. Stanton of the San Gabriel Chapter, with Vice President Don Grenfell, and Secretary/Treasurer James O. Blethen making of the Board of Directors; Charles M. Merril was the first International Board Member.

The first (quartet) contest was held April 25, 1947 in Long Beach, California, with the Bonanza Four of Reno winning the contest, and the Four Staters from San Diego and the Westernaires from Phoenix taking second and third place, respectively.  The first chorus contest was held October 25, 1952 in San Jose, California, with the Eden-Hayward Chorus taking first place and the Pasadena Chorus coming in second.

Originally the district included the States of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona.  In June 1947, Oregon and Washington were removed to the Evergreen District.  In March 1949, Utah was added to the Far Western District, and in May 1951, the far northern part of California north of the 40th parallel was shifted to the Evergreen District and Hawaii and Guam were added to the FWD. Late in 1977 the Rocky Mountain District was founded, and Utah was removed to that district.  Through the years, other changes were made, and today the Far Western District is comprised of the States of Hawaii, California, Nevada and Arizona, and Washington County in Southwest Utah.

The Far Western District is subdivided into five Divisions: Southwest (Division 1); Southeast (Division 2); Northwest (Division 3); Northeast (Division 4); and Arizona (Division 5).  Each Division holds a convention in the spring, with competitions held for choruses and quartets from the chapters within that Division.  Sometimes neighboring divisions will combine their conventions and contests. Those contestants scoring enough points qualify to compete in the District Contests in the fall.

The Far Western District holds two conventions each year: a Spring Convention which includes a International Preliminary Quartet Contest, where quartets scoring sufficient points will go on to represent the District at the International Contest in the Summer; and a Fall Convention where qualifying choruses and quartets compete for the District Championships. In the case of the Spring Convention, most often it is held in conjunction with one or more of the Division Conventions, and the contests are combined.

The winner of the District Fall Chorus Contest becomes the District Chorus Champion, and goes on to represent the District at the International Chorus Contest. Should they with the International Contest, they must sit out of competition for two years; otherwise they may return again to Division and District competition each year.  The winner of the District Fall Quartet Contest becomes the District (Quartet) Champion, and is retired from further competition at the Division and District levels, although the may continue to compete each year at the International Preliminary Contest in the Spring, and the International Contest in the Summer.  But unlike International Chorus Champions who sit out of competition for two years, once a quartet becomes International (Quartet) Champion they are retired from competition permanently.

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