Monday, December 28, 2009

December 2009, #2

Happy New Year

Hogmanay :
The New Year in Scotland is called Hogmanay. The people in Scotland follow a ritual that appears nutty but actually has a great significance. One can find barrels of tar set afire and gradually rolled down the streets in the villages of Scotland. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and New Year is going to begin.

Jack Kunklier- 1/1

Editor's Note: If your birthday is January 1st, shouldn't you get your name on a bowl game?

Baby New Year Tradition :
The tradition of using a baby to signify the New
Year was started around 600 B.C by the ancient Greeks, who, at the start of a year would carry a baby around in a basket. The purpose of it was to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.

Quartet Activities

The Summit Chord

On November 20th, the Summit Chordsmen made their second annual appearance at Sharkey's Barbershop in Wadsworth as part of the Wadsworth Christmas Candle Walk celebration. Downtown streets were closed and merchants opened their shops for the crowds of early Christmas shoppers. The streets were crowded as families came downtown to see Santa arrive, check out the authentic reindeer and look at the sidewalk candles and light displays, Horse-drawn carriage rides made the scene look like a Norman Rockwell painting. Melissa Vetter, owner of Sharkey's Barbershop, served up Christmas treats and beverages to the many folks who ventured into her shop. They were also treated to the sounds of the Summit Chordsmen. The quartet sang for two hours to the many happy people at this feel good event.

Eating 12 Grapes
In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year's Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual. Now, if only this happened all around the world...


First Night

The Derbytown Chorus will again be part of the First Night Celebration in Akron. This is the 14th year for First Night, and our Chorus has been there every year.

We will sing at 9:00 at Greystone Hall, 103 S. High St., Akron. Be at the hall at 8:15 for warm-up. We will be wearing tux shirts and tux pants, red vests and red ties, tux shoes with black socks. As always, be alert for announcements at rehearsals and in the High Notes and the Bulletin about any changes or requirements.

Eating Noodles
Late on the evening of December 31, people of Japan would eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called "toshikoshisoba" ("year-crossing noodles") and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being.


Bulletin On The Move

This issue of the Bulletin is being sent to you from a section of cyberspace that is in the vicinity of Harmony, NC. Editor Bill, his wife Sue, and Wickett the Wonderdog are on their way to Florida for the winter. The six Bulletin issues for January, February and March will originate in Bonita Springs, FL. Thanks to technology, this isn't as much of a change as it might seem to be.

I do request that any story ideas, chorus information and especially pictures that you think might be good to include in the Bulletin be emailed to

Thank you in advance for your help and I'll see you when the snow has disappeared from Ohio.

Gifts in Shoes
In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year's Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.


Best Song Ever?

The BHS is conducting a vote to pick the best song ever performed at contest. You can participate by clicking on the BHS Home link at the top right of this Bulletin page. Then look in the "Latest News Items" list and click on the one that reads "Vote For The Best Song Ever In A Barbershop Contest". All information and procedures will be explained.

Times Square Celebrations
The first Ball Lowering celebration atop One Times Square was held on December 31, 1907 and is now a worldwide symbol of the turn of the New Year, seen via satellite by more than one billion people each year. The original New Year's Eve Ball weighed 700 pounds and was 5 feet in diameter. It was made of iron and wood and was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs


The 2010 Show Is Getting Closer All The Time

Monday, December 14, 2009

December, 2009, #1

Christmas Issue

- by Del "Abe" Jones

There's music of the holidays
Playing on the radio -
There's Christmas decorations
Almost everywhere you go.

The Salvation Army bells
Ring out for the poor -
The "Ho,ho." of Santa Claus
In the department stores.

Carolers sing Christmas songs -
Going, house to house -
Tales about, where no one stirs
Not even, a mouse.

Hoofbeats in fresh fallen snow
Pulling, an open sleigh -
Children asking Mom and Dad
"Is Santa on his way?"

Cracklin' from the fireplace -
Roasting chestnuts 'neath the coals -
The soft murmur of prayers
Said, for the lost souls.

Friends and family gather
To toast, Christmas cheer -
There's sounds of angels singing
(If, you really want to hear.

The sounds of Christmas, fill the air
As we celebrate His birth -
Wishing joy, to all mankind
And peace to all on earth.

As barbershoppers, we have many opportunities to be part of the "Sounds of Christmas". Whether you are singing with the chorus, a quartet or friends and family, the wonderful songs and the messages that they express make this time of year that much more meaningful. Here is a summary of some recent Chapter performances.

Salvation Army Kettle
Summit Mall

On Saturday, November 28, the chorus and chapter quartets visited Summit Mall to sing our Christmas program and help The Salvation Army with their annual Red Kettle Program. We arrived early to warm up and then moved to one of the atrium areas where we could use the steps as risers and also have a chance to attract more people. We sang from 1:00 until 3:00 to a very appreciative crowd. As is typical at a mall, the audience included youngsters, oldsters and everyone in between. Many could be seen singing along as we performed. Historically, the Red Kettle sing-out is one of our first Holiday performances, and it certainly got our minds looking forward to a musical and busy month of December.

"White Christmas" (1954), starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, was the first movie to be made in Vista Vision, a deep-focus process.

Copley Place Performance

Next, the chorus traveled to Copley Place for a 2:00 pm show on Saturday, December 5. As always, the beautiful building and decorations, combined with an enthusiastic audience brought out the best in our singing. By now our Christmas show was becoming a well-oiled machine, with very few squeaks. Copley Place has been very helpful to the chorus, especially for providing transportation for some of our members to our Cleveland TV performances the last two years.

According to historical accounts, the first Christmas in the Philippines was celebrated 200 years before Ferdinand Magellan discovered the country for the western world, likely between the years 1280 and 1320 AD.

Ringing In The Seaso
n In Norton

On Sunday, December 6, we gathered in Norton to be part of the musical portion of the Norton Baptist Church's "Ring In The Season Festival". Our own Terry Arman is a member of this church and he acted as our MC during the 30 minute show. It was great to add some barbershop to the contributions of other performers who sang or played instruments during the afternoon. In addition to the musical part of the festival, there was a delicious display of Holiday baked goods, provided by the congregation. More than a few Chapter members were observed sampling these treats along with hot chocolate, coffee and hot cider. For the bakers in the crowd, there were stacks of printed recipes next to each item in case anyone wanted to reproduce these goodies at home.

Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday. This tradition began in 1836.

Chorus Performance On Fox8

On Monday, December 7, a hardy group of barbershoppers proved that we can sing before 8:00 am. We accepted the invitation of Cleveland's Fox8 TV station to sing some Christmas songs on their morning show. This is our second visit to Fox 8, having performed last February to promote our annual show and the Singing Valentines program. Some singers came to the studio courtesy of Copley Place transportation, others carpooled from the JoAnn Fabrics parking lot in Hudson, and some traveled on their own. Once we all got through a typical morning rush hour, the performance went very well. We were able to provide five songs as the show transitioned to and from commercial breaks. There was also a live interview with our director, Scott Giles. This provided more opportunity to promote the Chapter and barbershop harmony. Plans are in the works to make another appearance in February. We actually got a request for a chorus performance within 24 hours of the show. That kind of advertising is hard to beat, and it's basically free.

An artificial spider and web are often included in the decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees. A spider web found on Christmas morning is believed to bring good luck.

Quartet News

Clear Choice

Dan, Ray, Jim and Bill have been busy little reindeer this year. There is certainly a dema
nd for live singing groups at this time of year and that can lead to a hectic, but fun schedule. This is what Clear Choice has been up to lately.

November 8- Three pre-recorded video song segments by the quartet were aired as part of the Humane Society of Summit County Telethon on Warner Cable Channel 23. Also included was a live interview with Ray Stone.

November 16- Sang at Woodridge Middle School for Senior Citizen group from Peninsula. The quartet also performed for the school's vocal music class, listened to songs that the students were learning for their Christmas program and held a question and answer session about barbershop and quartet singing. One of the students was the grandaughter of Chapter member, Jim Malley.

November 27- Did a 45 minute show for the Children's Hospital Tree Festival at the John S. Knight Center.

1- Sang at the tree lighting at Rockynol Retirement Community.

December 3- Strolling and singing at St. Joseph's Family Center for the Pregnancy Care of Summit County's Charity Auction.

December 5- Sang a 30 minute show for the residents of Chambrel.

December 13- From 2:00-3:00, entertained at Springhill Historic Home and Farm in Massillon, for the volunteer staff Christmas party.

December 14- Sing at 12:30 in downtown Akron at a Christmas party for Miller Examination Services.

December 17- A 30 minute show for the Lions Club at the Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth.

Before settling on the name of Tiny Tim for his character in "A Christmas Carol," three other alliterative names were considered by Charles Dickens. They were Little Larry, Puny Pete, and Small Sam.

Annual Business Meeting/Christmas Pa

The Chapter's Annual Business Meeting and Christmas Party was held on Saturday, December 12 at St' Joseph's Family Center. In addition to a wonderful meal and plenty of socializing, there was of course singing. Prior to the singing, however, there were two very important items of business that needed to be taken care of.

First, the Chapter officers for 2010 were installed by Darryl Flinn. Congratulations to the following n
ew officers:

President-Wil Veith
Executive VP-Eric Jolly
Secretary-Dan Nichols
Treasurer-Robin Reid
Delegate-Ray Stone
Chapter Development VP-Jim Bishop
Music and Performance VP-Jim Elliott
Program VP-Dan Nichols

PR and Marketing VP-Cliff Crocker
Chorus Manager-Dennis Conrad
Ed Crosley
Charlie Wilson
Vic Estafen
Bill Halter

Then, the Barbershopper of the Year award was presented to Jim Bishop (shown below), by last year's winner, Kirk Roose. Congratulations to Jim on a well-deserved honor.

Featured entertainment for the ev
ening was our JAD Senior Quartet Champions, Lightly Seasoned, whose members are: tenor- Joe Fraley; lead- George Alcorn; baritone- Greg Batchelor; bass- Darryl Flinn

The Derbytown Chorus sang a few Holi
day songs as did Chapter quartets, The Summit Chordsmen and Clear Choice

A big thank-you goes out to Jim Elliot for organizing and coordinating everything to make this event the enjoyable evening that it was.

In an effort to solicit cash to pay for a charity Christmas dinner in 1891, a large crabpot was set down on a San Francisco street, becoming the first Salvation Army collection kettle.

Getting To Know Us
The mystery barbershopper, whose bio was included in the last issue of the Bulletin is Jerry Mason.

In 1907, Oklahoma became the last US state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.



Robert McMillan- 12/18
D'Artanyon Stanard- 12/20
Jerry Mason- 12/21
Ed Crosley- 12/27
Mike Neff- 12/27

In the Thomas Nast cartoon that first depicted Santa Claus with a sleigh and reindeer, he was delivering Christmas gifts to soldiers fighting in the U.S. Civil War. The cartoon, entitled "Santa Claus in Camp," appeared in Harper's Weekly on January 3, 1863.

TV Watch

Tonight, NBC's new show, "The Sing Off", premiers at 8:00pm.


Here's wishing all who read this a joyous Christmas and a happy and healthy 2010. Now, as is often said, always end with a song (or three).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

November, 2009, #2

Giving Thanks

For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought --

Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the "Land of the Fr
ee" --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!


'Tis The Season

Tuesday night rehearsals have begun to take on a definite Holiday feeling. Because of all of the performances that we have scheduled from late November through mid-December, we have begun to polish up our Christmas repertoire. As you can tell from the photo on the right, even the chorus "reindeer" have made an early appearance. The scheduled sing-outs are listed below. All are encouraged to participate, and as always, there are sign-up sheets on the table at rehearsals.

Saturday 11/ 28: Sing at Salvation Army Kettle, Summit Mall, 1-3

Saturday, 12/5: Copley Place, sing at 2:00

Sunday, 12/6: Sing at Terry Arman's church, between 3 and 5 (more details to come)

Monday, 12/7: Fox 8 Ne
ws Morning Show, 7:30-9:00

y, 12/12: Annual Business Meeting and Christmas Party, St. Joseph's Family Center, 7:00-open bar, 8:00-dinner

Tuesday, 12/15, Barberton Moose, sing from 6:45-7:30


Belated Halloween Pictures

At the October 27 rehearsal, two of our Chapter members showed their Halloween spirit (no pun intended) by attending in costume. Their pictures were inadvertently omitted from the last Bulletin issue, so we will now remedy that situation.

(as usual, you can click on the collages to enlarge them)

Robin Reid

Vic Estafen

Maybe next year, we can encourage more men to wear costumes to the rehearsal before Halloween and have a judging of the best ones. Let's keep th
at in mind.

Speaking of Halloween.... Why do many turn-of-the-century Halloween cards show the word as Hallowe'en?

The first correct explanation emailed to will earn the sender a special Halloween prize
__ ______________________________________________________

Getting To Know Us

This mystery chorus member has been a barbershopper for 26 years, having been a member of the Lawton, OK chapter, the Cleveland East Suburbanaires, and for the last 12 years, the Derbytown Chorus.

He was born in Salem, OH and lived in Lisbon, OH through high school. Then came four years at The Ohio State University, two years in the U.S. Army and eight years in the world of work near Chicago, IL. He then m
oved back to Ohio . He is married and has two children.

Music has always been an important part of his life. His grandmother lived with his family and played the piano almost every da
y. His mother played the violin and both parents liked to sing. He took many piano and organ lessons as a young man and sang in the church choir. He also played trombone in his high school band and began playing regularly as a church organist during his junior year.

His main occupations have been Quality Engineer, Reliability Engineer and Software Quality Engineer. During his army service, h
e was a lieutenant in Army Field Artillery at Fort Sill, OK and South Korea. One engineering job with Johnson and Johnson provided his family with free disposable diapers during the year when his first daughter was born.

Hobbies outside of barbershop center on participation in church choirs and being a church organist.

This barbershopper's identity will be revealed in the 12/ 14 Bulletin issue.


Melrose Apples

Thanks to Robin Reid, the Derbytown Board was treated to delicious Melrose apples at our November 9 Board meeting. Watch for a feature on Melrose apples coming soon to a Bulletin near you.


G. Dwight Dieckman-12/10


Barbershop Glossary

Resonators-Any of the parts and cavities of the vocal instrument that acoustically reinforce sound. Principal resonators are the throat and the mouth, with sympathetic vibrations in the upper chest and nasal area. (Alternate definition: The band fronted by Cleveland's own Michael Stanley)

Synchronization-Precision in singing which includes attacks and releases of words, uniformity of word sounds and rhythmic exactness.

Tone-A musical sound having a definite pitch and regularity of vibration rate. Also the interval between two notes comprised of two semi-tones. (ex., C and D are a tone apart)

Tremelo-Excessively wide or fast vibrato that leads to a loss of a distinct sense of central pitch. Usually caused by poor breath support and a faulty control of singing muscles.

Vibrato-A regular, periodic pitch oscillation above and below a tonal center. A natural phenomenon when used with a minute variation in pitch to give warmth and color to the tone quality.

Vowel-A speech sound uttered with voice or whisper characterized by the resonance from the vocal cavities.

Missing Links?

If you have not been regularly using the links listed at the top upper right of the Bulletin page, you should check them out. They are:

The importance of the first two should be obvious, since they deal directly with the activities of our own Chapter. The others are designed to give you access to what is happening in the general world of barbershop. Here is a little tease showing some of the topics available now at these sites.

JAD- Leadership Academy (formerly COTS) in January; scoring summaries from the Fall JAD Contest; report on trends in District membership; District officer job description

BHS Home-Webcast of Champions (Ambassadors of Harmony); Actor and barbershopper Micah Sloat talks about the horror movie Paranormal Activity; Les Weiser, the Master of Harmony; Barbershop sets Guinness World Record for largest singing lesson; Buffalo Bills inducted into Buffalo Hall of Fame

Barbershop HQ Blog- International Seniors Quartet and 2010 International Chorus Competiton Order of Appearance, Success In Using Social Networking Tools, Making Sure Chapters Are Strong On Fundamentals

AHSOW-Woodshedding Defined; Education Programs; Becoming A Member Of AHSOW; Board Of Directors


Memorizing A Song

Maybe your quartet has just started working on a new song. How about all the new songs that the chorus will learn for the 2010 Show? Learning a new song is a necessary part of being a barbershopper. The guide below, which was adapted from an article by Merrill Miller, Minneapolis Commodores, should make this process easier.

Memorization involves three aspects:(1) Commitment, (2) Method and (3)Formula

(1) Commitment-Nothing is memorized until and unless you decide to do it. Until you consciously try to commit it to memory, it won't happen. That's commitment.
Each of us has the same number of hours in the day to spend in some manner. Assign a priority to memorizing and put this activity ahead of something else. Give yourself a reasonable deadline.

(2) Method-here are some good ones (a) put the music down as soon and as often as possible when the song is being taught. (b) write the lyrics over and over until it can be done perfectly three times in a row. (c) record the song, then play it while driving, riding, waiting, etc.

(3) Formula-these should be helpful (a) learn the form first, e.g., intro-verse-chorus-tag; (b) pay particular attention to first words of phrases, ending words or preceding phrases; (c) learn the story line--how does it begin and end and what is the sequence of happenings; (d) identify which significant notes, words, swipes, etc., are repeated exactly in different places in the song and, conversely, what things happen differently in similar places; and finally (e) notice what other voices are doing when they are not using the same rhythm or words that you are


Annual Business Meeting/Christmas Party

The ABM/CP will be held on Saturday, December 12 at St. Joseph's Family Center, 600 West Exchange Street, Akron, OH. Members attendance is paid for by the Chapter. Cost for guests is $23. Open bar begins at 7:00, followed by dinner at 8:00. The dinner will be served and will be from a fixed menu. Watch for additional information online and at rehearsals. There is a sign-up sheet on the table at rehearsals.


Monday, November 9, 2009

November, 2009, #1

(click on the collage to see larger view)
(back browser arrow to return to the Bulletin)

Herb Shreffler Honored By JAD

At the recent JAD Fall Contest and Convention in Lima, Herb Shreffler was recognized for his contributions to our District and to barbershop music by being inducted into the JAD Hall of Fame. Over the years, Herb has been involved in many facets of our Society and is a long-time Akron Chapter member.

At our regular rehearsal on October 27, Herb and his wife Nancy attended so that we might celebrate his induction with both of them. Herb shared some of his thoughts and experiences with us from his early days in barbershop and in our Chapter. He mentioned that the Akron Chapter will always be special to him, and those members in attendance expressed pride in his achievements.

At the conclusion of the celebration, we gathe
red for fellowship, some singing and delicious cake and beverages.


Youth Barbershop Concert This Friday

On Friday, November 13, The Kent State University Men's Chorus will host the 5th Annual KSU All-Ohio Men's Chorus Day. This event will feature over 175 high school and college men singing barbershop music together in a chorus. This group will be co-directed by Dr. Scott MacPherson and Dr. Ben Ayling. Dr. MacPherson is Director of Choral Activities at KSU, Artistic Director of the San Antonio Chamber Choir and the Isthmus Vocal Ensemble. Dr. Ayling is Assistant Professor of Music at KSU, Conductor of the KSU Men's Chorus and sang bass for the 1991 International Quartet Champions, The Ritz.

The concert begins at 7:30 P.M. in the University Auditorium ( Carol A. Cartwright Hall) on Hilltop Drive on the KSU Campus Tickets are $10.00 ($7.00 for seniors) and will be sold at the door. The Bulletin Logistics Coordinator, George Pickens-Sloan, advises all those planning to attend to allow extra time to find parking. The KSU campus has been a parking problem since the advent of the horseless carriage.

This sounds like a great evening of entertainment for those who sing and/or enjoy barbershop harmony. The concert is partially funded by The Barbershop Harmony Society.


(click to enlarge)

Chapter Novice Quartet Night

On Tuesday, November 3, in what has become a popular annual event, 11 quartets gave it their all in the 2009 Derbytown Chorus Novice Quartet Competition. The contest encourages singers to sing with new partners, sing outside their normal sections and above all have fun. This is also a great night for those who have not sung in a quartet to get their vocal chords wet. (Well, we don't sing with our feet, do we?)

As always, the singing was great, the applause was generous, the rules were chisled in mayonnaise and everyone loved it. A huge thank you to Jerry Mason for coordinating this event and to all who sang.


Important Notice!!
Chorus PR Photo To Be Taken
At the 11/10 rehearsal (TOMORROW NIGHT!!), we will be taking a chorus photo. We need this now for the 2010 Show mailer and for other PR items in the future. The new tux shirts are scheduled to be delivered to us that night. You will need to bring your tuxedo (coat, pants, shoes, socks and black bow tie). There will be a place to change into your tux and the picture will be taken in the chancel of Holy Trinity. This is your chance to make sure that your image is included in Chapter mailings for the forseeable future.


Veterans Day

Next Wednesday, November 11, is Veterans Day. We would like to take some time at our rehearsal on 11/10 to give those of our members who are veterans a minute to share with us experiences related to that service.


Birthday Wishes

John Collett- 11/15
Jim Regallis- 11/16
Michael Moore- 11/20
Frank Andrews- 11/22


One Becomes Four

The bulletin has included several split screen videos in earlier issues. Most of those were related to tags. You may have noticed that there are now a plethora (Latin for " a boat load") of these on YouTube. Here are a trio that each take the idea a little further than just a tag. The first one is very traditional barbershop, the other two, not so much.

The last one is kind of an interesting study in vowel sounds and facial expressions, don't you think?


Upcoming Events

Monday, 11/9- Board Meeting: 6:25 at North Hill Library, Cuy. Falls.

Saturday, 11/28- Salvation Army Kettle Sing; Summit Mall Center Court; 1-3, wear red chorus shirt.

Saturday, 12/5- Copley Place performance; 528 Rockroth Road, Copley; sing at 2:00; wear red chorus shirt.

Saturday, 12/12- Annual Business Meeting and Christmas Party; St. Joseph's Family Center, 600 West Exchange St., Akron; members are paid for by the Chapter, guest cost is $23.

(sign-up sheets for the last three events will be on the table at rehearsals)

Monday, October 26, 2009

October, 2009, #2

Special Halloween Edition

You might want to sing "Devil's Ball "
sometime this week
just for old time's sake

Chorus Competes In Lima

Over 30 members of the Derbytown Chorus journeyed to Lima, OH on Saturday, October 17 to attend the 2009 JAD Fall Contest and Convention. After warming up and going over a few performance details, the chorus took the stage just before 1:00pm. Dressed in our tuxedos with black tie, we took the downbeat from Director Scott Giles and began our contest set with "California Here I Come". I think that many of those in the audience enjoyed the thoughts of west coast warmth on a cool, windy day in Ohio.

As the applause died down, we gathered around our "baby" to sing our second number, "Kentucky Babe". Again we accepted the applause from the audience, the curtain closed and another contest performance had come and gone.

After a short visit to another room for the official chorus contest photograph, it was time to become a spectator and watch other chorus performances. Many Akron Chapter members traveled to the nearby Lima Mall at 3:30pm, to join with members of other choruses and do some singing for the mall patrons.

Most of us then made plans for the trip home. By that time we had learned that we finished in sixth place out of eight choruses in the competition. Our overall score was a little higher this year compared to 2008. Having fun and improving in the eye of the judges is a pretty good combination. You can use the JAD link at the top right of the Bulletin page to check all of the chorus and quartet scoring summaries.


Top 10 Signs You Are Too Old to Be Trick or Treating

10. You get winded from knocking on the door.

9. You have to have another person chew the candy for you.

8. You ask for high fiber candy only.

7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag,
you lose your balance and fall over.

6. People say, "
Great Keith Richards mask!" and you're not wearing a mask.

5. When the door opens you yell, "Trick or
..." and can't remember the rest.

4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.

3. You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.

2. You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walk

1. You avoid g
oing to houses where your ex-wives live.

New Chapter Quartet Scores Big In Lima

The newest Chapter quartet, New Clear Energy, competed at the 2009 Fall Contest and Convention in Lima and did an outstanding job. The quartet members are: Scott Giles, tenor; David Breen, bass; Eric Jolly, lead; and Jim Bishop, baritone. New Clear Energy finished 24th out of 32 quartets and finished 2nd among the novice quartets. This group has been together only a short time and represented themselves and our Chapter very well. Congratulations to Scott, David, Eric and Jim.

What kind of street does a ghost like best?
A dead end.

Mark Your Calendars

Some of you may not be aware that The Derbytown Chorus Bulletin has many staff members that contribute to the final product that reaches your computer. One of those is our staff mathematician, Cal Clueless. Cal has crunched some numbers for us and made an important discovery. Taking into account our score of 62.3 at Lima and our 58.3 score from 2008, along with The Alliance's International qualifying score of 88.8, Cal says that we will qualify for the International Contest and Convention in 2016. Let's try to choose our contest set no later than 2012.
Cal Clueless, Bulletin
Math Consultant

What did the baby ghost eat for dinner?
A boo-loney sandwich.

Clear Choice Is Outstanding In Their Field

You can each make up a story to go with this picture.

Chorus Helps To Celebrate Lincoln's 200th Birthday

On Saturday evening, October 24, at Cuyahoga Falls High School, a contingent of singers from our Chapter joined with over 200 other singers and a full orchestra to perform Lincoln: A Symphonic Tribute. This piece was written by New England composer, Dorn Younger, and was commissioned by The Summit Choral Society. In addition to our Chapter members, this event featured Masterworks Choral Summit Children's Touring Choir, The Summit Children's Choirs, guest soloists and narration by WAKR's Ray Horner.

Mr. Younger completed his thirty-minute, six-movement work this year, and Choral Society artistic director, Frank Jacobs, invited the men of our chorus to be a part of it's premier. Also included in the performance was children's choir director Hal Walker's piece, Father Abraham, for children's choir with harmonica. Our contribution to the evening included singing verses from God Bless America and America The Beautiful.

Thank you to all who represented the Derbytown Chorus. There will be a video of the event available for us. Watch for updates on where and when.

How can you tell when windows are scared?
They get shudders.

The Headless Horseman

You may remember Bing Crosby's recording of this song in the late 1940's. It is from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow segment of Disney's Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. The audio here is from a Kay Starr recording that came out a few months after the release of the movie. The backup vocals and music are courtesy of the Billy Butterfield Band.

Monday, October 12, 2009

October, 2009, #1

?? and the winner is ??

Happy Columbus Day


District Chorus

We are less than one week away from the 2009 JAD Fall Convention and Contest in Lima, OH. Final touches will be put on our contest set at rehearsal on Tuesday, October 13. If you are singing with us in Lima, it is very important for you to be there on Tuesday. Let's do our best and have some fun doing it. You can check out contest information by clicking on the JAD link at the top right of the Bulletin page.

Another reason to attend the 10/13 rehearsal is that we will be distributing our new tux shirts and accessories at that time. These shirts are a part of our contest attire. Thanks to Eric Jolly for coordinating this acquisition. We nee
d to make Eric's job easier by having all shirts picked up on Tuesday night. We are not doing a Viking number on Saturday so bare chests will not be permitted on stage.


2010 Officers Slate Has Been Approved

At the business meeting portion of our September 29 rehearsal, the officers for 2010 were approved by vote of the members in attendance. Congratulation to all new officers. Installation of the officers will take place in December at our annual dinner meeting. The new officers are listed below:

President-Wil Veith
Executive VP-Eric Jolly
Secretary-Dan Nichols
Treasurer-Robin Reid
Delegate-Ray Stone
Chapter Development VP-Jim Bishop
Music and Performance VP-Jim Elliott
Program VP-Dan Nichols
PR and Marketing VP-Cliff Crocker

Chorus Manager-Dennis Conrad
Ed Crosley
Charlie Wilson
Vic Estafen
Bill Halter



Jim Bouterse-10/15
Charles (Rip) Wilson-10/21
Gary Young-10/23


The Songs We Sing
(America The Beautiful)

The Bulletin staff thanks Chapter member Larry Andrews for contributing information for the following article.

(from Wikipedia)

"America the Beautiful" is an American patriotic song. The words are written by Katharine Lee Bates and the music composed by church organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward. Bates originally wrote the words as a poem, Pikes Peak, first published in the July 4th edition of the church periodical The Congregationalist in 1895. The poem was titled America for publication. As for the music, Ward had originally written the music Materna, for the old hymn, O Mother Dear, Jerusalem, in 1882. Ward's music combined with the Bates poem was first published in 1910 and titled America the Beautiful. The song is one of the most beloved and popular of the many American patriotic songs.[1] From time to time it has been proposed as a replacement for The Star-Spangled Banner as the National Anthem.


In 1893, at the age of thirty-three Katharine Lee Bates, an English professor at Wellesley College, had taken a train trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to teach a short summer school session at Colorado College. Several of the sights on her trip inspired her, and they found their way into her poem, including the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the "White City" with its promise of the future contained within its alabaster buildings; the wheat fields of America's heartland Kansas, through which her train was riding on July 4; and the majestic view of the Great Plains from high atop Zebulon's Pikes Peak.

On the pinnacle of that mountain, the words of the poem started to come to her, and she wrote them down upon returning to her hotel room at the original Antlers Hotel. The poem was initially published two years later in The Congregationalist, to commemorate the Fourth of July. It quickly caught the public's fancy. Amended versions were published in 1904 and 1913.

Several existing pieces of music were adapted to the poem. A hymn tune composed by Samuel A. Ward was generally considered the best music as early as 1910 and is still the popular tune today. Just as Bates had been inspired to write her poem, Ward too was inspired to compose his tune. The tune came to him while he was on a ferryboat trip from Coney Island back to his home in New York City, after a leisurely summer day in 1882, and he immediately wrote it down. He was so anxious to capture the tune in his head, he asked fellow passenger friend Harry Martin for his shirt cuff to write the tune on, thus perhaps the off the cuff analogy. He composed the tune for the old hymn "O Mother Dear, Jerusalem", retitling the work "Materna". Ward's music combined with Bates' poem were first published together in 1910 and titled, America the Beautiful.[2]

Ward died in 1903, not knowing the national stature his music would attain, as the music was only first applied to the song in 1904. Miss Bates was more fortunate, as the song's popularity was well-established by her death in 1929.

At various times in the more than 100 years that have elapsed since the song as we know it was born, particularly during the John F. Kennedy administration, there have been efforts to give "America the Beautiful" legal status either as a national hymn, or as a national anthem equal to, or in place of, "The Star-Spangled Banner", but so far this has not succeeded. Proponents prefer "America the Beautiful" for various reasons, saying it is easier to sing, more melodic, and more adaptable to new orchestrations while still remaining as easily recognizable as "The Star-Spangled Banner." Some prefer "America the Beautiful" over "The Star-Spangled Banner" due to the latter's war-oriented imagery. (Others prefer "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the same reason.) While that national dichotomy has stymied any effort at changing the tradition of the national anthem, "America the Beautiful" continues to be held in high esteem by a large number of Americans.

Popularity of the song increased greatly following the September 11, 2001 attacks; at some sporting events it was sung in addition to the traditional singing of the national anthem. During the first taping of the Late Show with David Letterman following the attacks, CBS newsman Dan Rather cried briefly as he quoted the fourth verse.[3]

Ray Charles is credited with the song's most well known rendition in current times (although Elvis Presley had good success with it in the 1970s). His recording is very commonly played at major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl; Charles gave a live performance of the song prior to Super Bowl XXXV, the last Super Bowl played before the September 11 terrorist attacks. His unique take on it places the third verse first, after which he sings the usual first verse. In the third verse (see below), the author scolds the materialistic and self-serving robber barons of her day, and urges America to live up to its noble ideals and to honor, with both word and deed, the memory of those who died for their country. Symbolically, Marian Anderson (a noted opera singer of her day) sang a rendition of America on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 after being refused use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution because of her skin color.

An all-star version of "America the Beautiful" performed by country music singers Trace Adkins, Billy Dean, Vince Gill, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Toby Keith, Brenda Lee, Lonestar, Martina McBride, Jamie O'Neal, Kenny Rogers and Keith Urban reached #58 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in July 2001. The song re-entered the chart following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

When Richard Nixon visited the People's Republic of China in 1972, this song was played by Chinese as the welcome music. Interestingly, the Chinese characters for United States literally mean "Beautiful Country."[4]

The song is often included in songbooks in a wide variety of religious congregations in the United States.


Conan O'Brien Does Barbershop

If you missed it, (the long awaited?) Conan O'Brien segment showing some of his experiences at the Anaheim Convention finally aired on Friday, October 2. A special "Livewire" came from Nashville that day saying that they were 95% sure that the piece would be appearing on The Tonight Show that evening.

You can see the video, as well as the Society commentary about it, by clicking on the BHS link at the top right of the Bulletin page.


Upcoming Events

Monday, 10/12-Board Meeting, 6:25-8:30, North Hill Library, Cuy. Falls

Saturday, 10/17-JAD Chorus Contest, Lima, OH. We need to be in the warm-up room by 12:25. We take the stage at 12:50.

Saturday, 10/24-Sing with Summit Choral Society for Lincoln's 200th Birthday Celebration. 7:30 Cuy. Falls HS Auditorium.