Monday, May 20, 2013

May, 2013

Springing Into 2013

Here is the first Bulletin edition of the year.  Sue and I had a good winter in Florida.  Now, it's time to get back to our normal activities here in Ohio.  For me, one of those is putting an edition of this publication online each month.  So, here we go.


Year In Harmony

Since 2013 is a year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of our Society, the Bulletin will feature articles and facts that are related to happenings between 1938 and the present, both inside and outside of the world of music.  Since some of you who are reading this were around in 1938, I encourage you to share memories and events that I could share with the all of our readers.  Just see me at rehearsal or send an email to the Bulletin address, which is


Annual Show Double Header

On April 5 & 6 of this year, The Derbytown Chorus presented it's 66th annual show, "That's My Baby".   Appreciative audiences on both nights were treated to a musical portrayal of the experiences of a first time father awaiting the birth of his first child while thinking back to his relationship with his own parents.

Featured quartets, Max Q and Main Street were outstanding and presented all of those in attendance with an example of the very best in barbershop harmony.

A big pat on the back to Mike Sitter, Rip Wilson and the entire show committee for organizing and producing this year's show.  Congratulations also to all chorus members who sang in the show.  It represents many hours of work for everyone and you should be proud of the final product. (I can say that without it sounding like self-praise since my stay in Florida made me an audience member and not a show participant)

As they used to say in the days of real baseball double-headers, "let's play two".  On May 4th, the show was reprised at the beautiful Medina Performing Arts Center.  Sue and I were in the audience for that one and I can say, for both of us, "Bravo!"


Lock 4 At Canal Park

On Sunday, May 19th, Lock 4 entertained the crowd before the start of the game between the Akron Aeros and the Erie Seawolves.  The quartet was in fine voice and even attracted a groupie in the form of Homer, one of the Aeros' mascots. 

 "Homer, baseball, pigeon, I get it"


Youth in Harmony Marches Forward
By Mike Sitter, Youth in Harmony Chairman

Akron Chapter’s YIH program continues its mission to support vocal music education and help perpetuate barbershop harmony by introducing the art form to young people. Following up on Con Men quartet’s enormously successful visit to area high schools in December, our YIH team visited three more schools this winter.

On February 13, the team made presentations to four of Sharon Risko’s classes—two at Woodridge High School and two at the junior high school. Students from 7th through 12th grades were captivated by consonant chords, and savored the fun songs and tags they heard and sang.
Four days later the team traveled to Coventry High School for another all-day affair. Choral director Julie Strebler afforded access to all four of her choral classes. As with every school we have visited, her students were delightful and delighted, proving again that music appreciation bridges the generation gap.
Having visited Richard Eder’s choir class at North High School last May, the YIH team was pleased to be invited back on March 8. North is Akron’s English-as-a-Second-Language high school. Despite their varying levels of fluency with English, the students clearly enjoyed our visit and the music to which we exposed them. Our videos of Ring Masters and Musical Island Boys bore witness to the fact that barbershop harmony can penetrate cultural, geographic and language barriers.

As reported here previously, while planning Con Men’s school visits, we discovered a promising quartet had already formed at Kent Roosevelt High School. In fact, Con Men treated the foursome, known as Tetrad, to a wonderful coaching session during our visit to their school. Tenor Gordon Wall, lead Luke Schmidt, baritone Clay Magilavy and bass Matt Stiller continued their rapid progress in the ensuing months. So great has been their development that the quartet opened Akron’s 66th annual show in April 5 and 6. They were a huge hit with our show audiences, as well at the cast party and the afterglow.

The following weekend, in their first-ever competition, Tetrad won the Johnny Appleseed District high school quartet contest at Huntington, West Virginia. Their victory earned them a free trip to Harmony Camp this summer. As each of these young men will attend college in Ohio, they plan to keep the quartet together as long as they can. The future is bright for Tetrad as a quartet and as fine individuals.

Likewise, we are optimistic about the future of the chapter’s YIH program. The lines of communication with music educators have been established or, in some cases, restored. In the past year, we have exposed hundreds of students to barbershop harmony. We have identified existing and potential local high school quartets. The program has gained considerable momentum, which the chapter can use to fuel the renaissance of barbershop singing by local students. 


Remembering 1938

Since we have several months to look back at the year of our Society's founding, I will just give a few economic reference points now to set the stage.

What did things cost in 1938?

Average cost of a new house- $3900
Average wages per year- $1730
Cost of a gallon of gasoline- 10 cents
Monthly cost of renting a house- $27
Cost of a new car- $763
Cost of a loaf of bread- 9 cents
Cost of a pound of hamburger meat- 13 cents


Music of 1938


Upcoming Chorus Events
(watch the High Notes and listen for announcements at rehearsals)

June 16, National Anthem at Progressive Field  1:00 pm