Monday, August 23, 2010

August, 2010, #2

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Middle Bass Barbershop Weekend

The 63rd annual Barbershop Weekend was held this year on August 13-15. More than a dozen quartets entertained crowds near the Perry Monument on Friday night and again at the Middle Bass Town Hall on Saturday night. As always, there were many opportunities to sing, greet old friends and meet new ones. The cook shack was a busy place. The grill was always ready if you wanted to fry up a tasting meal and there was a great pancake and sausage breakfast there on Saturday morning.

After the quartet entertainment on Saturday night, all barbershoppers (I estimate around 100) took the stage for the mass sing. Just bein
g up there with that group, being directed by barbershop legends like Burt Szabo, is enough reason to make the trip each August. If you have not attended Middle Bass recently (or ever) make a note on your calendar for next year. Many of the men who have kept this tradition going have passed on or are unable to make the trip due to health issues. There was a noticeable infusion of younger singers this year and we need to continue and build on that trend. As many of us shouted after we closed Saturday's program with KTWWS, "It's Great To Be A Barbershopper".

Editor's Note: Do you think that the "Fresh Corn" on the grocery store welcome sign might have a double meaning? After hearing some of the jokes during quartet performances, I think that they have a valid point.


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August 17-Open House And Visitation

We know that every Tuesday rehearsal is an open house, but last Tuesday was a special night indeed. The Akron Derbytown Chorus hosted members from The Hall Of Fame Chorus from Canton and The Salem Jubilee Chorus. Each chorus as well as chapter quartets entertained throughout the evening. Then it was time for socializing. Once again, Cliff Crocker provided his now famous chili in addition to hot dogs. A big thanks to Cliff and also to other Akron Chapter members who supplied food items.

Here are some videos from Tuesday night.


First The Quartets


And Now The Choruses


Mike Halter- 8/27
Eric Jolly-8/28
Mike Hoover- 8/29


What O.C. Cash Forgot To Tell Us

  1. Refuse to go on stage when the audience consists of a group of villagers holding torches and pitchforks.

  2. At the last COTS school for lyricists I submitted a portfolio of limericks from my Nantucket series. They were rejected, but never returned.

  3. Have you ever tried to teach a lead three measures of music in which he is asked to give up the melody line.

  4. I sang lead in a high school quartet. After our first public performance my mother suggested that I find three other kids who didn't sharp so often. Mothers are wonderful.

  5. I make a point of taking a tape recorder to every chorus rehearsal. My section leader thumps my back and the chorus director beams his approval.. The batteries died three months ago.

  6. Accept that every lead has his own "comfort zone." You've got two choices: (a) pitch the song within his zone or (b) be prepared for a downhill sleigh ride while he steers you home.

  7. A judge who sings bass is like an auto mechanic who never owned a car.

  8. Bring me a guy with absolute pitch and I'll cure him for you.

  9. COTS schools make quiet simple people feel they're complex.

  10. A T-shirt seen at a recent convention:

    • Front: "Just say no to singing flat."

    • Back: "Will harmonize 4 food."


Performance In Green (but wearing red)

At 4:00 on the afternoon of August 22, about 30 Akron Chapter members entertained the crowd at the annual Queen of Heaven Family Funfest. The chorus plus quartets, Gear Shiftin', Clea
r Choice, and Keyed Up provided barbershop music for approximately 45 minutes as part of the festival's entertainment program. Director, Scott Giles, and assistant directors Dan Nichols and Terry Arman ably guided us through a variety of songs from our show and performance repertoire.


Bulletin Hiatus

This will be the last Bulletin issue for the near future. I have been producing The Bulletin for two years (60 issues) and feel that I need a break. Also, I want to take some time to look over the many other publications that I receive online from other Bulletin and Newsletter editors to look for ways to make our publication better serve our readers.

When I started the Bulletin, one of my goals was to introduce audio and video capabilities to Chapter communications. I hope that I have succeeded in that. Keep in mind that, during The Bulletin's absence, you still have the High Notes, so well done by Robin Reid, and the email Newsletter capably authored by Jim Bishop. Remember to read these publications so that you stay up-to-date on Chapter activities.

All of the archived editions of The Bulletin will remain online, so feel free to browse through them whenever you choose. Also the links to our Chapter webpage, JAD, BHS etc. will still be active.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who provided encouragement and support during these past 24 months. It has been fun for me and hopefully The Bulletin will be back in the future.


For The Good Of The Order

Of course, you wouldn't expect me to close this issue with anything but a little humor. So here is a voice lesson that concentrates on the two very important techniques of holding a pitch and correct vowel sounds.

Monday, August 9, 2010

August, 2010, #1

Philly Phlashback

I usually don't start a Bulletin issue with videos, but let's mix things up a little today. After all, this is 8-9-10. That alone is a reason to do something unusual.
The BHS has provided us with the following videos on the Society YouT
ube site. Since many of you are busy and may not have discovered them on your own, this will make them a little more accessible.

First, we'll watch the 2010 International Chorus Champions.

The Westminster Chorus

Now, from our own JAD, the International Silver Medal Collegiate Quartet.


finally, the 2010 International Gold Medal Quartet.

Storm Front

(Editors note: This performance is representative of each one that Storm Front did during the competition. I was amazed at the way they could entertain the audience with hilarious comedy while still showcasing their tight harmonies for the judges. Watch for the volume, pitch and tempo changes and how effortless they seem to be. We can only imagine the work that it took to make it appear that way.)



Mark Nedel 8/11
Jim Mally 8/12
Mark Purdy 8/12


Clear Choice Sings For Browns Fans
Last Saturday, August 7, the Cleveland Browns held their annual Family Day at Cleveland Brown's Stadium. It's an opportunity for families to enjoy food, games and entertainment around the outside of the stadium and later watch a team scrimmage followed by a team autograph session.
This year, Clear Choice was asked to sing The National Anthem before the start of the scrimmage. After meeting for breakfast, we traveled to the stadium for a rehearsal before the gates opened to the public at 11:00. Since our tenor, Dan Nichols, was in Kansas City at Directors Camp, Mike Halter ably provided
the high notes.. Like I always say, "If you want a good tenor, available on short notice, grow your own."

It was a great experience and definitely the largest audience ever for us. We stayed for the first half of the scrimmage and then traveled to The Solon Recreation Center to do a 45 minute show as part of a 90th birthday celebration. It was a long, but enjoyable day.

Things That O. C. Cash Forgot To Tell Us

  1. The problem for people who don't understand barbershopping is that after they've heard the show's opening quartet, that's as good as they're gonna feel all night.

  2. I sang lead in my last quartet. The tenor was a squeaker and the bari always sang the octave to the tenor. The bass, a boomer, was an ex-military sergeant who reveled in bellowing "incoming artillery." We never entered any contests because we believed that it would be a sell-out to the structured-singing crowd.

  3. The many hours of televised criminal trials has even invaded our hobby. The Music VP issued a gag order on our quartet.

  4. If there is a nit to be picked, bet on the baritone to do it.

  5. Why is it that too many quartets, having earned their medals, stop singing the songs and arrangements that got them there?

  6. Want Ad: Baritone for a top-20 quartet. Must have International experience and a relatively new large van. Send photo of van.

  7. I've read that 'the fewer the number of intellectuals, the more popular is the hobby.' If true, I've sung with a few of the most popular quartets our Society has ever had.

  8. You all sing with deep emotion about Mandy Lee, Evaline, aura Lee, Daisy, Yona and Lulu. Plus, the queen of them all, Adeline. Get real. In your entire life you've never known any woman with any of these names.

  9. Refuse to sing anywhere that has hot air hand-dryers in the men's room.

  10. I always believed that if I could find three similarly talented guys we would be a shoo-in at International-until I noticed an eighteen inch hair growing out of my left ear. Check your shaving mirror.


Mitch Miller
July 4, 1911-July 31, 2010
I'm sure that most of you are aware of the passing of Mitch Miller from either a TV or
newspaper report. The older members of the Chapter are more likely to recall the "Sing Along With Mitch" albums and his TV show. Since we promote a spirit of singing for fun, I can't think of a person that did more to encourage people in that respect than Mitch Miller. Although he had a long and successful music career as an instrumentalist, arranger and director, his sing along concept made him famous in this country and abroad.

On a personal level, when my brother and I would take too long to get out of bed and get ready for church on Sunday mornings, we could expect to hear Mitch Miller and the gang coming from our "hi-fi" at maximum volume. I'm sure that many of those vibrations are etched permanently in my brain and may have been partly responsible for my love of singing. I still have all the 33 1/3 records of Mitch Miller t
hat my Dad played on those Sunday mornings long ago. I think I may crank them up sometime soon as a tribute my Dad and Mitch Miller.

Here is a sample of what I'm talking about.

If you want to learn more about Mitch Miller, there is a link in the Hot Links section at the top right of this Bulletin page.



On Tuesday, August 17, in additional to our normal open house for men who like to sing, we are going to be visited by barbershoppers from the Canton and Salem chapters. Cliff Crocker has offered to provide his world famous chili and hot dogs. Other Derbytowners are asked to bring a food item to compliment Cliff's masterpiece.

This would also be a great time to invite a guest (or 10) of your own. See you there.


Chapter Calendar

Speaking of upcoming chorus activities, you may have noticed a link to The Chapter Calendar has been added to the Hot Links of the Bulletin. You can still find the calendar on the Chorus website and of course Robin Reid and Jim Bishop do a great job of listing activities in the High Notes and email newsletter respectively. I just thought that one more avenue to use if you want to check on upcoming events couldn't hurt.