We’ve asked our members several questions regarding the Harmonizers and are happy to share their answers with you.
I became involved with the Harmonizers when the VP of the Southern Division asked me to be the Counselor for a new Chapter being formed in Harrisonburg. I was living in Basye at the time and was an active member of the Alexandria Chapter. I agreed to be the Chapter Counselor for Harrisonburg and shortly after that I also became a member. The first thing I did was to work with BHS to get the Chapter formally chartered. We received our Charter at the Division convention and contest in 2009. I also agreed to be the President of the Chapter in 2009.
I joined the Westchester County, NY Chapter of the Society for the Preservation & Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA) in 1970 and have maintained my membership in the Chapter since then. In 1992 I became a member of the Manhattan Chapter . Attached are two bio’s which might give you more of the information you want. One is personal and one is about my barbershop.life.
My three top memories as a Harmonizer are finishing third in the 2015 Division contest, my first performance with Blarney Brothers quartet and our first Christmas show at Bryce Resort.
With a smaller chorus and singing lead in a quartet to you have to be on top of things all the time. As a result you become a better singer. Only wish I was at least ten years younger.
I would tell someone that singing is a very healthy avocation . in addition to the many physical benefits the mental benefits are valuable as well. We are great group of guys who not only enjoy singing together, but also have wonderful fellowship. When you join the BHS you immediately have 25,000 + friends. You are welcome at any Chapter in the country and in other countries as well. If perchance you were in Ft. Worth Texas and went to the Chapter meeting there, anyone of the members of that Chapter would be happy to help you do what you needed to do in that city.
Irish Lullaby (Too-Ra Loo-Ra Loo-Ra), Danny Boy, Wild Irish Rose are three songs I would sing if stuck on a desert island.
An average singer would not only be welcome in the Harrisonburg Chapter but also he would do very well and gradually become a much better singer.
During my career, I was fund raiser (Resource Development).
Tom has served on the board in various capacities and is currently our Vice President for Programs and Operations.
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE HARMONIZERS, AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
I am a charter member of the chapter. I continue to be a member because I love to sing barbershop harmony and because of the social and leadership opportunities the chapter offers me.
WHAT WAS YOUR MUSIC BACKGROUND (IF ANY) PRIOR TO JOINING THE HARMONIZERS?
16 years of singing barbershop harmony in several chapters.
HOW HAS BEING A MEMBER OF THE HARMONIZERS HELPED YOU IMPROVE YOUR SINGING?
My chorus participation gives me unlimited opportunities to learn and apply music skills at chapter meetings and every day in between. My chapter membership gives me unlimited opportunities to sing in quartets with many other men. My Society membership gives me unlimited opportunities to learn music theory and practices through various schools, conventions, and other gatherings.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE MEMORIES OF BEING A HARMONIZER?
1. Singing barbershop harmony as often as I want to
2. Singing barbershop harmony in quartets
3. Social and leadership opportunities
IF YOU COULD TELL SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE HARMONIZERS ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
We have enormous good fun singing barbershop harmony with each other.
IF YOU WERE TRAPPED ON A DESERT ISLAND ONLY ABLE TO LISTEN TO 3 SONGS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Carry Me Back To Old Virginny
On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away
When You and I Were Young, Maggie
IF SOMEONE IS ONLY AN AVERAGE SINGER, WOULD HE FEEL WELCOME WITH THE HARMONIZERS?
WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS OR FORMER BUSINESS?
I am a retired college professor and dean.
HOW DO YOU CARVE OUT THE TIME FOR THE HARMONIZERS?
My chapter participation is a very high priority for me. I don’t have to carve out time for it. It’s a given.
Ron Smith, who is no longer a member, invited me to a meeting, and because I like to sing and I am retired, I was drawn to the Harmonizers not only by singing, but also the obvious commitment of Harmonizer leadership to good singing.
I sang in my youth with school, church, and college choirs. I studied piano, so I can read music. This experience is helpful, but I had never sung acapella. While I was intimidated by memorizing the music, it proved easier than I thought.
There is a lot of emphasis on good vocal production, and I have benefited from that. Although I am not a competitive person, I especially enjoyed the competitive singing we have done and the listening to competitors.
Singing comradeship is the glue, I think, that holds us together. While Harmonizers would like to have all great voices, the organization would not meet its full mission if it didn’t include average singers. We are all trainable, and no one expects members to be exceptional.
I am a retired college professor. While there are a few other college faculty in the Harmonizers, it is the diversity of our backgrounds that makes us interesting as people.
It happens that I am fairly busy as a retired person. Monday is an open night for me, and Harmonizers is something I enjoy.