Monday, December 8, 2008

December, 2008, #1

Tree Festival Sing-Out

Many members of The Derbytown Chorus gathered at the John S. Knight Center at noon on Wednesday, November 26. We had been invited to sing as part of the Akron Children's Hospital Annual Tree Festival. Under the direction of Dan Nichols (aka Santa), we sang both Christmas and barbershop songs for an appreciative audience. Thanks to all who helped to make this performance happen.

The Summit Chordsmen In Wadsworth

The Summ
it Chordsmen, a chapter quartet, entertained at the Christmas Candle Walk in downtown Wadsworth on Friday, November 21. Lead, Jim Heaton; Bass, Mike Sitter; Baritone, Jerry Mason; and Tenor, Mike Halter sang for festival patrons in a very appropriate location, a barbershop. The Chordsmen say that there was a steady stream of eager listeners through the shop between the hours of 6 and 8. Shop owner, Melissa Vetter was serenaded when the quartet sang "Little Darlin'", specifically for her.

The Songs We Sing
(Who Was That Reindeer, Anyway?)

At our rehearsal on November 25, as we sang "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer", a question was raised about the correct name for Rudolph's colleague, Donner. The name Donder was mentioned as another possibility. After a little research, it turns out that this question is more complicated than we thought. It's actually not something that could be resolved in this publication, but here is a brief description of the controversy. If you stick to the the period from about 1950 to the present, the name Donner is correct, because that is the name given to the reindeer by the composer of the song. Johnny Marks wrote the song in 1949, using the character that had been developed by his brother-in-law, Robert L. May , for a 1939 Montgomery Ward ad campaign. It became a big hit for Gene Autry, the singing cowboy. The questionable part relates to the time before the song was written. In the song, the list of reindeer relates to those listed in that famous poem, " A Visit From Saint Nicholas". The last two names in the list, Donner and Blitzen, are the German words for thunder and lightning. Since the poem is attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who is of German descent, this makes sense. But in 1823, the poem, published anonymously in a New York newspaper, uses Dunder and Blitzem (Dutch) as the reindeer names. Music historians claim that the poem was actually written by Henry Livingston, Jr. who was Dutch. Moore's association with the poem did not come about until he included it in a publication of his poems in 1844. The name Donder is also found in some copies of the poem. There is still some controversy about the true origin of this poem. Luckily for us, we are dealing with the post 1950 song lyrics and Donner is correct in that case.


Dieckman 12/10
Jerry Mason 12/21
Robert McMillan 12/18
D'Artanyon Stanard 12/20

Recent Visitor

On 11/25, Ron Weaver was a guest at our rehearsal. Many chapter members knew Ron from the past and he contributed much to our meeting. Ron is shown below teaching a tag during the afterglow.

100 Ways To Help Your Chapter

We are starting this feature, listing 10 items each issue for the next 10 issues. It's encouraging to note that many of our members are already doing these activities. This list was collected from the Harmonet by Kim Benner, Singing Buckeyes, Columbus Ohio.

1.) Bring a guest to rehearsal once a year.
2.) Show up early and help set up the risers.
3.) At the end of rehearsal, help take down the section
of risers you are standing on.
Thank the director for all his/her effort.
5.) Thank your chorus administration for all their work.
6. Bring in doughnuts on your "barbershop anniversary" night - bring in a special treat for after rehearsal.
7. Don't talk on the risers; and don't let
others talk on the risers.
8. Smile. Act like you're enjoying your hobby, and s
how it (let the director know you're "really" there).
9. Take your quartet to retirement homes, and share your hobby. Family members are often there visiting and recruiting new members is part of your performance.

10. Volunteer to do a little more than you really want to in fundraising or committee work.

Now It's Official

New member, Cory Hornish, received his official membership materials at our 12/2 meeting. Cory, on the left, is shown below with D'Artanyon Stanard, whose efforts brought Cory into our chapter. Congratulations to both young singers.

The Latest Tag From James Estes

Watch for the next issue of the bulletin on Monday, December 22