Minnesota Farmer


It’s a brand new day.
April 11, 2010, 9:59 am
Filed under: A Cappella Harmony, Barbershop Harmony, Barbershop music, BHS, Minnesota, Music

It’s now the Sunday after our barbershop chorus show, “It’s a Brand New Day.”  The show went well, we sang as good or better than we ever have.  The guest quartet was great, three guys in their 50’s and a kid about to finish college from ND, who liked to sing songs from the 60’s.  I’m tired but happy.

Barbershop music is a great hobby where you get to work with great people and learn how to be musically excellent.  It’s just that to do it right, you have to spend the time to work at it, and then you get to party.

In our chapter we put on two shows on a Springtime Saturday afternoon, then an afterglow.  That means a lot of singing.

We spend at least one third of the year working toward show day.  Then, on Friday night we set up the auditorium and afterglow area and practice.  After practice we make sandwiches for the afterglow.

Saturday singing started at noon.  We practice, put on our tuxes (with new shirts and ties) and head off to perform our 2:30 show.  We sing six songs, take a break while two quartets do their sets, sing four more songs, have lunch and do it again at 7:00.  We take down and put away the things we used in the auditorium as soon as people clear out of the way.

Then comes the afterglow.  At the afterglow, we munch on pickles, chips and the sandwiches we made Friday, and listen to the quartets do a few more songs, and our guests head home.  We clean up the tables, chairs and trash from the afterglow.  Now it’s time for the diehards to party.

The after-afterglow is a place to kick back with an adult beverage, ring a few chords with the out of town quartet, teach each other some new music and talk about barbershop.  When it all broke up, it was 2:15 in the morning.  An early end to the affair.

Our chapter is, more or less, a social chapter.  We like to sing, we sing well, and we like to talk to our friends.  Some chapters are interested in competition.  Everything they do is aimed at competition.  That is too much work for us.  We do our chapter show, sing in churches in the summer, do a benefit show or other paid performance when we can and a funeral or two for members when we must.

We’re lucky two members of our chapter are also members of a competition chorus.  They bring back ideas from the other chorus that really help us grow musically.  We use what we can, and we live without the rest.

We enjoy our chorus.  We enjoy singing for our friends.  We do our best not to look foolish on stage.  Above all we make good friends with men who we otherwise might not know.  Oh yes, and our wives know where we are on Monday nights.

Michael

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