Monday, March 23, 2009

March, 2009, #2

Spring Issue

After an Ohio winter with lots of snow and cold temperatures, it's nice to reach Spring, at least on the calendar. As with Mother Nature, we enjoy a new, fresh start with many exciting events on the schedule. It's as welcome as the flowers in May.

Who's That Up Front?

Welcome to our new director, Scott Giles. Scott is not new to the chorus, and has been an assistant director and held many offices within our group. We congratulate Scott on this new position and send best wishes as he prepares to direct the chorus in our upcoming show and other appearances.

A large thank you goes out to Kirk Roose for his great job as our director. Kirk had asked to step back a little due to his very busy schedule. His hard work, inspiration and sense of humor have been a huge factor in the success of our chorus. We look forward to his continuing involvement and contributions.

It's Almost Show Time

Our 62nd annual show is just around the corner. If you don't have all the facts and details, just click on the chorus website link in the upper right corner of the bulletin. We look forward to having you there, either as a participant or as a member of the audience. And don't forget to tell your friends and relatives about the show. It's a great chance to enjoy some real family-oriented entertainment and introduce people to our wonderful hobby.

Play Ball

After the robins show up, another sure sign of Spring is the start of baseball season. For the chorus, that includes a date to sing The National Anthem at Progressive Field on May 31 before the game between the Indians and the Yankees. We would like to have as many chapter members as possible be part of this special performance. Watch for announcements at rehearsals and in future bulletin issues relating to our big day at the ballpark.


Oscar (Buzz) Fraley April 12
Scott Giles April 12

100 Ways To Help Your Chapter
(a continuing series)

71. Find a new member and let him "fifth-wheel" with you (Note: Fifth-wheeling is by invitation ONLY).

72. Greet a guest by name when it's obvious that you haven't read his name tag.

73. Try to refrain from joking, carping or otherwise interrupting while on the risers.

74. Realize that learning your part means learning all the interpretive planning, not just words and notes.

75. Take voice lessons or a voice class.

76. Perform every time you sing, even if the only audience is the wall. This will help the director and coaches to correct problems and give everyone around you a burst of energy.

77. Bring back as many handouts as possible from educational weekends/functions for the chorus administration/music team to go over.

78. Offer to help a member of your chapter with his dues or give a monetary gift to your treasurer to be used for a member who needs some help.

79. Encourage local youth to start a "harmony club." Form a high school boy's barbershop chorus. Assist local high school music directors with education of barbershop harmony.

  1. Send a picture and article to your local newspaper.

Getting To Know Us

The mystery chorus member from the March 9th issue of the bulletin was Jim Wolfe. Thanks to Jim for sharing his bio with us and watch for a new chorus member to identify in the first April issue.

Quiz Answers

In the last bulletin issue, chorus members were challenged to find the answers to the following questions: What was the name of the first quartet to record a barbershop song and where and when was it done? A prize of a year's subscription to the Derbytown Chorus Bulletin was offered for the first correct answers. Since there were no correct answers submitted, the prize will roll over to the next quiz. Here are the correct answers.

The Manhannsett Quartet at Thomas Edison's studio in Orange, NJ on September 27, 1891

The Songs We Sing

( Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring)

This song embodies that bittersweet feeling that comes in the Spring, when we leave some things behind while looking forward to new, sometimes unknown experiences in the future. It was written by Robert (Bobby) Troup, Jr. He was an American pianist, actor and songwriter. He is probably most famous for writing the song "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" and for playing Dr. Joe Early on the 70's TV show, "Emergency".

Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring was recorded by The Four Freshmen and many others. Their version is included below. As you listen, you can imagine a young Brian Wilson listening to Four Freshmen recordings over and over while forming the sound that would become the signature of The Beach Boys. Actually, The Beach Boys used this song as the melody for "A Young Man Is Gone". The lyrics for "A Young Man Is Gone" were written by group member Mike Love, as a tribute to actor James Dean, who died in a car accident.

In concerts, The Beach Boys used Love's lyrics and Troup's original ones to demonstrate their vocal patterns to audiences.

Monday, March 9, 2009

March, 2009, #1

St. Patrick's Edition

Since St. Patrick's Day will have come and gone before the next bulletin issue comes out, we are giving this issue a bit of an Irish theme. Watch for songs, humor and more that relate to The Emerald Isle. Let's get the ball rolling with this one.

Note: Brian Boru (940 to 1014) managed the rare feat of uniting Ireland. In a turning point in the war with the Vikings, Brian Boru defeated the Viking leader Ivar in single combat. Not only was Brian successful in battle, but he also had at least 4 wives and founded the O' Brien clan.

An American tourist travelling in County Clare, Ireland came across a little antique shop in which he was lucky enough to pick up, for a mere 200 Irish punts ($350), the skull of Brian Boru.

Included in the price was a certificate of the skull's authenticity, signed by Brian Boru himself.

Fifteen years later the tourist returned to Ireland and asked the man from Clare, who owned the antique shop, if he had any more bargains.

'I've got the very thing for you, 'said the shopkeeper, 'It's the genuine skull of Brian Boru.'

'You cheat, 'exploded the American, 'You sold me that fifteen years ago, 'and producing the skull added loudly, 'Look, they're not even the same size.'

'You have got it wrong, 'opined the seller, '' This is the skull of Brian Boru when he was a lad.'

Happy Birthday

Tom Duplaga 3/14

Scott Foltz 3/15

Vic Estafen 3/16

Jack Huggins 3/16

Terry Arman 3/17

100 Ways To Help Your Chapter

(a continuing series)

61. Without fail, use the director's signal for the pitch as your cue to mentally and physically prepare to sing.

62. Mark music manuscript changes/presentation notes in pencil on your own music, these things are generally not cast in stone.

63. Show the person up front that you're paying attention by your face and body language.

64. Rehearse your songs at least once a week at home.

65. Wear your name badge.

66. Organize a picnic, golf outing, card game, etc., for the chapter.

67. Bring a gift to rehearsal to raffle off as a quickie fundraiser for the chapter.

68. Review the music to your old songs periodically, to make sure you're still singing all the notes correctly.

69. Sell one or more ads to businesses you patronize.

70. Offer to lead physical warm-ups.

What's wrong with Murphy?' asked Father Green. 'I don't know, Father. Yesterday he swallowed a spoon and he hasn't stirred since,' said Mrs Murphy.

Would You Have Made It 27?

Suppose O. C. Cash and Rupert Hall sent this letter to YOU. Would you have been among the 26 men to attend the first meeting of the Society?

April 6, 1938


In this age of dictators and government control of everything, about the only privilege guaranteed by the Bill of Rights not in some way supervised and directed, is the art of Barber Shop Quartet singing. Without doubt we still have the right of "peaceable assembly" which I am advised by competent legal authority includes quartet singing. The writers of this letter have for a long time thought that something should be done to encourage the enjoyment of this last remaining source of human liberty. Therefore, we have decided to hold a songfest on the Roof Garden of the Tulsa Club on Monday, April 11, at 6:30 p. m.

A Dutch lunch will be served.

After several months of research and investigation, we are convinced that your record warrants our tendering you the honor of joining this group. We sincerely trust you will not fail us.

As evidence of the work that your Committee has done in this connection, we inclose a compilation of most of the good old fashioned Barber Shop Quartet songs which we trust you will look over and familiarize yourself with. Bring this list with you. It is our purpose to start right in at the first, sing every song, in numerical order, plow right down the middle, and let the chips fall where they will. What could be sweeter than ten or twelve perfectly synchronized male voices singing "Dear Old Girl!" Just thinking about it brought back to your Committee fond memories of a moonlight night, a hay ride and the soft young blonde visitor from Kansas City we dated on that occasion years ago.

Do not forget the date, and make every effort to be present, telephone us if convenient. We will have a private room and so will not be embarrassed by the curiosity of the vulgar public. You may bring a fellow singer if you desire.

Harmoniously yours,

Rupert Hall, Royal Keeper of the Minor Keys

O. C. Cash, Third Assistant Temporary Vice Chairman


Barbershop Quiz

See if you can find the answers to these questions before the next bulletin issue on 3/23. The first email with all answers correct will win a year's subscription to The Derbytown Chorus Bulletin.

Which quartet first recorded a barbershop song; where and when was the recording made?

Getting To Know Us

This chorus member has only been with us for a short time but has been singing barbershop songs throughout high school and college. He was born in Barberton, OH
but also lived in Lancaster, OH. He and his mother lived with his grandparents while his father was in Korea. At the age of 3, he could identify all American made cars by make and model.

He has four children and six grandchildren.

This man was a Staff Sgt. in the USMC for 6 years, was a meat cutter at Acme for 25 years and an over-the-road driver for Roadway Express for 12 years. At Roadway, he logged 2 million accident and ticket free miles. For this, he was awarded a ring, a plaque and a jacket.

In addition to golf, his hobbies include c
ars(Chevys only) and art work. His cars and art have resulted in many trophies and awards.

This barbershoppe
r also earned a degree in Christian Education from Malone University.

(the identity of this chorus member will be revealed in the 3/23 issue of the bulletin)

I'd like some nails,' Mick requested of the travelling tinker. 'How long would you like them?' asked the man. 'Forever, if that's all right with you,' said Mick.

Danny Boy

"Danny Boy" is an Irish song whose lyrics are set to the Irish tune Londonderry Air . The lyrics were originally written for a different tune in 1910 by an English lawyer, Frederick Weatherly, and were modified to fit Londonderry Air in 1913 when Weatherly was sent a copy of that tune by his sister.

Though the song is supposed to be a message from a woman to a man (Weatherly provided the alternative "Eily dear" for male singers in his 1918 authorized lyrics), the song is actually sung by men as much as, or possibly more often than, by women. The song has been interpreted by some listeners as a message from a parent to a son going off to war or leaving as part of the Irish diaspora.

Although many view the above interpretation of Danny Boy as the true meaning, some interpret it differently. The lyrics were supposedly written by a father to his leaving Danny with the knowledge the father-figure will die. The phrase, "the pipes, the pipes are calling" refers to the tradition funeral instrument.

'The baby is just like his father,' said Mary Quinn. 'But at least he's got his health!'

Chapter Visitation

On Monday, March 3, temporary Florida resident and chapter member Bill Halter made a visit to The Cape Chorale chorus in Cape Coral, FL. The chorus was busy polishing their songs and choreography for their upcoming show on 3/14. Bill and wife, Sue, are looking forward to attending the afternoon performance of the show. The pictures below were taken at the rehearsal. There was even time for a wandering Derbytowner to sing a couple of songs with one of the Florida quartets. You can check out their website at

Speaking Of Shows..........

Our 62nd annual show is coming up soon. (April 3 and 4). We hope that you will be joining us. If you need more information, just click the chorus website link at the top of the bulletin.