Monday, September 11, 2006

JAD Western Division Champions ... The Voices of Harmony!!

What's that? Oh, I guess I did forget to mention that I am a member of a barbershop chorus called The Voices of Harmony. Given the fact that I'm the webmaster for the site, I don't know why I haven't mentioned it sooner.

Anyway, this past weekend was a tremendous first time performing on stage in almost 9 years and my very first competitive barbershop event. We've put in a great deal of hard work over the past nine months and to win our very first competition was a wonderful reward. But we also have a lot of work ahead of us to take things to that next level, and I'm looking forward to making as much of a positive contribution as I can.

I'm relatively new to barbershop. I had a small exposure to it during my year with America's Finest Singing Machine, the Bowling Green State University Men's Chorus, which has a reputation for churning out numerous collegiate and international medalists over the years. My first real exposure came with the seven months I spent with the Alliance Chorus in Columbus while working on a contract there and making preparations to move to the area. Though it was ultimately God's will that my family and I remain in Northwest Ohio (which I count a tremendous blessing), the time I spent was very rewarding and it was very difficult to depart from a chorus with the quality level and dedication they have. That experience gave me "the bug"...that addiction to barbershop that once gotten will never go away. So when a good friend of mine called to inform me that my former director at BGSU, RD Mathey, was going to be the director of a new barbershop chorus being formed in Northwest Ohio, I was ecstatic. While events surrounding the construction of our new home prevented me from joining the launch chorus, there was no doubt in my mind that I was definitely going to be joining the chorus, whose stated purpose is to sing at an "A level" and be competitive on the world stage.

In the months since I've begun to develop some great friendships with my brothers in song and have even joined with a few of them to start a new quartet (my first ever!). This weekend was a great time...from hanging out before the competition, to performing, to impromptu singing at the hotel afterwards. I am very much looking forward to sharing time and the stage with my VofH brothers for years to come!

Oh, and I absolutely must thank my wife for supporting me in my new hobby. She was one of Rick Roberts' students in high school and as such had exposure to barbershop (and RD!) long before I did, so she understood the draw this has. Thank you, sweetheart!


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