Monday, January 25, 2010

January, 2010, #2

A Visit To The Paradise Coastmen

On Thursday, January 21, your chapter bulletin editor, a snowbird resident of Bonita Springs, FL visited a rehearsal of the barbershop chorus in nearby Naples. Another resident of the RV park where my wife Sue and I are spending the winter is a member of this chorus and invited me to go with him to the rehearsal.

The chorus is in the process of preparing for their show, titled "Red, White and Green". It features a great selection of Irish songs by American composers. Many of you may be familiar with the chorus director, Steve Jamison. He is a long time barbershopper, as well as a well known arranger, coach and judge at all levels including International. I picked up a few warmup techniques and some other singing tips that I will share when I get back to Akron. With the show scheduled for a 7:00 pm evening performance on March 5 and a 2:00 matinee and another evening performance on March 6, the chorus is rehearsing Thursday evenings as well as Saturday afternoons.

I found that this chorus, although a bit larger
than ours and , as with many groups in Florida, a bit older on the average, they were quite similar to us in song selection and the general way that rehearsals are conducted. There were three men, who happened to be absent for this rehearsal, that were mentioned for their 53 year renewal.

I have added a link to the Paradise Coastmen's website to the "Hot Links" section at the top right of the bulletin page. If you check the
information about the show, you will notice that the featured quartet for this show is "Our Town". Small world, isn't it?

Sue and I will be attending the show, so we'll get to see at least a portion of the Akron show when "Our Town" does their segment.


The Bung-Bung System

Has A Place In History

Fred Hinesley, editor, Macon, Georgia, "Sharptalk"

(provided by P.R.O.B.E)

Those of us who have been in the chapter for a few years remember when the guy directing craft sessions or warm-ups would sometimes say, "Sing that phrase saying 'bung, bung, bung.'" I figured that somebody, somewhere, who taught vocal techniques had recently decided that use of this syllable would expedite musical learning. Personally, I didn't think singing the word "bung" would help me to sing better, or hear the chords better, or do whatever else better that it was supposed to do. While reviewing some material I picked up at Harmony College last summer, however, I ran across the following story from the life of our founding father, O. C. Cash.

Cash, who was born in 1892, was raised in a part of Oklahoma described as a rather wild area. His father was a leading citizen in the community and was president of the school board. One day two hoboes who had been kicked off a train by a railroad detective wandered into the general store and overheard Mr. Cash remark that the community needed a schoolmaster.

One of them, a man named Jim Wiley, said, "I can teach."

Mr. Cash, who was understandably skeptical, asked him if the world was flat or round. The hobo replied, "I can teach it either way."

"You've got a job," said Mr. Cash.

Wiley became the local school master and also organized a night school in which he taught mathematics one evening and music another. Young O.C. Cash attended the music classes and later recalled that Wiley taught his pupils to harmonize familiar chords on the syllable "bung." Wiley called this the bung-bung system, and it made a permanent impression on Cash.

One day some law enforcement officers appeared at the school and told all of the children to go home. Mr. Wiley, they explained, had to go away for a while. He never returned.

Forty years later, after Cash had become a lawyer, he decided to try to find out what had happened to this man. He discovered the Jim Wiley had died in an Illinois penitentiary, after being convicted of forgery. Cash always believed that he was framed.

Despite my original impression, singing "bung, bung, bung" has a place in barbershop history. I guess that it wasn't as dumb as I thought.

Source: Notes provided by Dr. David Wright to his barbershop harmony history class at Harmony College, August 1998.



Wil Veith- 2/5

(Doesn't everyone get the day off when the President has a birthday?)


Next Generation Chorus

This is a class for under 25 year olds from last Fall's Harmony University. What a great example of how we can keep barbershop alive and well in the future.


Tag Time

We haven't featured tags recently in the Bulletin, so let's catch up.

This tag has been heard in various forms at our rehearsals. Check out this version.

Number 2


The Songs We Sing

There has been a flood of requests lately for more songs by Eddie Condon And His Footwarmers, so here you are. Enjoy.


Upcoming Events

Mon., 2/1.

Show Committee Meeting. 6:30 at North Hill Library - 183 E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave., Cuyahoga Falls.