This has been an interesting week. I was able to visit three different choruses this week. On Monday I drove to Tampa and visited with The Heralds of Harmony chorus that is directed by Tony De Rosa. Lots of interesting stuff going on there. On Tuesday I drove back to Ft. Myers and was able to visit with The Spirit of the Gulf Sweet Adeline’s chorus which is directed by Mike Slamka. What an impressive chorus! Those ladies put so much into their performance and sing so well that you can’t help but be impressed. Wow!
On Thursday I drove to Naples and was able to have lunch with a friend from Indiana who was in Naples on vacation. I persuaded him to come to the Everglades chorus rehearsal with me that night. Some choruses are all about improving the level of singing and preparing for the next contest. Other choruses are focused more on the social connection and singing for the community. The Everglades chorus does not compete but they enjoy each other’s company and have a great time singing. They were preparing for their annual show which is coming up next week.
I was able to persuade my brother Mike and my sister-in-law Linda to watch the movie “American Harmony” with me on Wednesday. They liked it and said that it was very well done. If you are reading this and haven’t seen it yet be sure to ask a Barbershopper about how to find it and watch it with some friends very soon. At the very end, as the credits are rolling, there is a boy who is reciting from memory all the quartets who have won 1st place gold medals at the International Conventions beginning from 1939 up through the date the movie was filmed. His name is Patrick McAlexander and he was the tenor in my first quartet, Timeless. Patrick was 13 when we first formed. He is a student at Vanderbilt today, still singing barbershop and . . . an amazing young man! If you would like to see a video of Timeless performing just type in “timelessquartet2009” on YouTube and a video of us in our black suites with different colored shirts and ties should come up. It begins pretty dark but then shows us taking the stage. I would love your feed back.
After visiting only eight different chapters so far this year I am beginning to see a pattern within the BHS. It seems to me that there are two distinct types of choruses, one that is interested in competing and one that has no interest in competing. There are many differences between the two. I am reserving judgement because frankly I haven’t decided which is better. Both have good points and bad. In future blogs I may talk more about that topic.