Jacque Gray (1978-2010) developed a love for barbershop at a very young age (the true “barbershop brat”), and in her short life embodied all of the characteristics of the “extreme” Sweet Adeline. She died at the age of 31 after an 8-year fight against breast cancer. Jacque was highly regarded for her passion and enthusiasm for barbershop, and was loved by her friends for her warmth and compassion. We all drew inspiration from the strength she showed during her fight against cancer. Throughout her life she set high standards for herself, and provided unwavering support and enthusiasm for her friends and family.
Jacque was an aspiring arranger and judge, and attended dozens of SAI and BHS conventions and competitions. In the last year of her short life, Jacque was eager to pursue her dream of directing a Sweet Adelines’ chorus. She worked with her quartet mates, Melissa Bomben and Heather McCue, to begin to network the idea for a new kind of chorus – one for the “extreme” Sweet Adeline. She even went so far as to select repertoire.
As a result of her inspiration and early work, the Philadelphia Freedom Chorus is now singing the songs she selected, and her memory is kept alive at every rehearsal, for we know she is present with us. As a testament to Jacque - her vision for this ensemble, and all of her input in the planning and design stages – we recognize Jacque Gray, posthumously, as a founding member.