The Sweet Adelines International organization was established in Tulsa, OK, in 1945 to teach and train members in music and to create and promote barbershop quartets for women. The organizers had husbands who had been singing for fun since before WWII, starting the Society for Preservation and Education of Barbershop Singing in America. The women had helped in the organizational end of the Society, and finally decided that they could run their own group and share in the joy of chord ringing, fun-filled harmony that so delighted the men. Calling themselves the Sweet Adelines in America, they began holding conventions in 1947 as a group forum for education and encouragement of women's quartets, and held the first contest for the best foursome. With the motto "Harmonize the World," the organization became international in 1953, the first international competition being held in Washington DC in 1973.
Today SAI is the world's largest women's singing group, with 600 choruses over five continents, over 1200 registered quartets, and 30,000 members, all singing in barbershop harmony in English. The mission statement states:
"Sweet Adelines is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education, competition and performance. The competitions encourage excellence in the craft, and present opportunities for members to travel, perform, and learn more about this joyful musical experience."