Monday, November 24, 2008

November, 2008, #2

Happy Thanksgiving

Even though the holiday season can be hectic and world events are, at times, stressful, it is good to take time to think about all the things in our lives for which we are thankful. As barbershoppers, we appreciate the music of this time of year. Songs like Over The River And Through The Woods and We Gather Together bring back many memories of past Thanksgivings. Let's look at some lyrics of two more Thanksgiving songs that express the spirit of this holiday.

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Sir George J. Elvey (1816-1893), organist at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle for nearly fifty years, wrote the music to this hymn about 1844. The lyrics are by Henry Alford (1810-1871)

Come ye thankful people come
Raise the song of h
arvest home
All is safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin
God our maker doth provide
For our wants to be
Come to God's own temple come
Raise the song of harvest home

Now Thank We All Our God

By Martin Rinkart (1586-1649), based on Ecclesiasticus 50:22-24. Translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878), music by Johann Cruger (1598-1662), harmony by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices
Who wondrous things has done

In whom this world rejoices
Who from our
mothers' arms
Has blessed u
s on our way
With countless gi
fts of love
And still is ours today

In conclusion, here with a Thanksgiving message is
Moose A. Moose

Two Important Reminders

#1 We will be singing on Wednesday, November 26, at the John S. Knight Center, as part of the 27th annual Akron Children's Hospital Tree Festival. All Chapter members are invited. Please be there in time to warm up at 11:30. Wear the red chorus shirts (or white Matinee Singers shirts if you don't have the red one). Black pants and shoes, also. We will be singing Christmas songs plus others, so bring your holiday songbook if you have one.

#2 The 2008 December Dinner Meeting will be held at Anthe's At The Lakes on Saturday, December 13. The address is 4315 Manchester Road, Akron. There will be an open bar at 6:00 followed by dinner at 7:00. The cost for guests is $25 (chapter members are paid for by the chapter). Dinner choices are: lemon herb chicken, Swiss steak, or broiled scrod. Your entree choice needs to be made by Tuesday, December 2. Chapter officers will be installed at this meeting and the 2008 BOTY award will be presented.


Since no chapter members are celebrating birthdays between 11/24 and 12/7, we are recognizing composer Scott Joplin, who was born on November 24, 1868. Most people associate Scott Joplin with ragtime music, but much of his early experiences were associated with quartet singing. In 1894, he founded the Texas Medley Quartet, which he took on tour. This was actually a double quartet that included two of Scott's brothers, Will and Robert. A more in depth description of Scott Joplin's quartet connections can be found in the book, Four Parts, No Waiting. A Social History of American Barbershop Harmony. This book was written by Gage Averill and was published in 2003. Maybe you could ask Santa for a copy of this book.

You're As Welcome As The Flowers In May
Guests at our 11/18 meeting
(l to r) Tom Andrjwski and Ben Brown

The Songs We Sing

When You And I Were Young Maggie

George Washington Johnson, a teacher in Ontario in 1859, became enamored with a local young lady named Maggie Clark, one of his students and three years his junior. As part of his courtship, he wrote a poem entitled, When You And I Were Young, in which he told of his hopes for their long life together. The poem was published in Canada in a collection called Maple Leaves. George and Maggie were married in 1864. After a short time in Buffalo, NY, the couple moved to Cleveland, OH. Tragically, on May 12, 1865 after only seven months of marriage, Maggie passed away. George returned to Canada and became a professor of languages at the University of Toronto. He died in Pasadena California in 1917.

James Butterfield had a music publishing business in Indianapolis, IN. He read George's poem, liked it and set it to music in 1866. It is not known if George and James ever met.

The Society's Heritage of Harmony Songbook has a great arrangement of this song.

Here is a video of a quartet from Australia singing "Maggie".

Slightly Off Key

by Bulletin reporter, Bob R. Shoppe. Comments made by Mr. Shoppe are not necessarily those of the chapter or any other human beings on the planet.

Do you notice anything odd about that Australian quartet in the video above? Those guys are way too skinny. I am pretty sure that there is something in the Society bylaws that says that at least one guy in any registered quartet has to weigh more than 200 pounds.

Misunderstood Lyrics

We have all heard about the importance of making sure that your audience can understand what you are singing. Here is an illustration of what can happen, using Joe Cocker's Woodstock performance as an example.

The next bulletin issue will be on Monday, December 8