Director's 7th Annual Tunawards - 2016

" 80% of success is just showing up"

Woody Allen

Started as an annual event just prior to Thanksgiving of 2010, these awards were initiated by Music Director Bob Shami after receiving a suggestion from Chapter member Bryan Schmidt that delivering actual fish might be a way for Bob to show his appreciation of chorus member's efforts, as opposed to a Director's normal role of finding errors and trying to fix them. His choice to distribute these awards just prior to the Canadian Thanksgiving is a deliberate one.


Why tuna?


We often say that on those occasions when the Director gives out compliments to the chorus, it is like distributing fish to trained seals. Bob took Bryan up on his suggestion and so was born the Tunawards, (pronounced Tune-Awards): the tradition of giving an actual can of tuna to those deserving special recognition.


Woody Allen was right!


The single most important thing a singer can do to improve his own success as a singer and the success also of the whole group, is to simply attend as many rehearsals as possible. And to attend with "purpose". That way, the improvements we make each week as a group are carried forward by the maximum number of singers. We don't have to spend as much time reteaching the ones who missed last week.


If we see ourselves as musicians, taking seriously our responsibility to the music and to one another, it begins by being a regular attendee at rehearsal to the best of our ability.  Tunawards are therefore mostly based on attendance-related achievements.






Given annually to the first-year member who, in his first season, attends the highest percentage of the 45 scheduled chorus events, with a minimum attendance of 75%. 

  • GERALD GUZZO - with 89% attendance in his rookie year, starting April 2015!

  • JEFFREY SLINGSBY - with 75% attendance in his rookie year, starting Sept. 2015!


Given annually to any member who, in the past year, achieved 100% attendance at all 45 scheduled chorus events:




Given annually to members who achieved the greatest improvement in their attendance compared to the previous year.  This usually means those whose attendance improved by 15% or more.

  • AL CARSCADDEN - attended 73% of chorus events this year, an increase of 15%

  • TED MCKINNEY - attended 93% of chorus events this year, an increase of 18%

  • AL MURRAY - attended 55% of chorus events this year, an increase of 35%!


Given annually to any member who, in the past year, achieved his personal-best (PB) attendance of any year since record-keeping began in 2002

  • GARY DEUMAN - with attendance of 93%!
  • LAYNE HILL - with attendance of 91%!

  • PAULI VALLI - with attendance of 95%!

  • DON WHITE - with attendance of 98%!



2011 - 50th Anniversary Show rehearsal - Doug Iles    DOUG ILES - 2016   Big Kahuna-Tuna

A special award, given at the Director's discretion, to a member who has displayed extraordinary faithfulness and dedication to the chorus over many years.


The 2015 winner of the Big Kahuna-Tuna Tunaward:


A 39-year member, Doug has averaged 82% attendance since 2002 and continues to take on the difficult task of managing ticket sales.  He is the kind of solid chapter member at the core of any successful chapter.


Previous Big Kahuna-Tuna's:

  • 2015 - DANNY RAE

  • 2014 - LAYNE HILL

  • 2013 - JIM TOWNSEND

  • 2012 - AL BROWN

  • 2011 - DON WHITE

  • 2010 - MIKE LUTHER


Awarded to a member whose extraordinary faithfulness and dedication often occurs mainly behind the scenes and whose contributions therefore may otherwise go unnoticed by the membership of the chorus at large. This award may not necessarily be awarded in any given year but in any year when a member steps up and makes a special contribution, such effort should be recognized.


The 2016 winner of the UNSUNG "GREATER-TUNA" TUNAWARD:


2016 Ladies Night 14 - Rita and Art Fink - Feb. 13 2016Art (and Rita) Fink - 2016 Unsung "Greater-Tuna"
Art has been an inspiration to the chorus and exemplifies the best qualities of chorus brotherhood, particularly as we faced the challenges of the past year, including the passing of last year's Unsung Greater Tuna Winner, Al Toivonen.  Not only does Art have a solid 75% average attendance record since 2002, this 36 year member also serves as bass section leader and has taken on teaching responsibilities with the teaching quartet, requiring him to give up many evenings to rehearse with the teaching quartet members in advance of chorus teaching nights. Congrats to Arthur and a big thank you from all of us for your extraordinary service and commitment to the Chapter!


 Previous Unsung "Greater-Tuna's":


  • KEVIN COLLAR - 2014

  • DON MYERS - 2013

Congratulations to all of this year's TUNAWARD winners!


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