Love—and music—were in the air this Valentines Day as barbershop singers across the province took part in sharing the joy of barbershop for the annual Singing Valentines. In Holland Landing, a class at Park Avenue Elementary School got a treat as Dino Kotsikas joined Shenanigans Quartet to surprise his daughter with a song and a rose. Dino has only been a barbershopper for one week, having just become the newest member of the Upper Canada Chordsmen in Newmarket. Check out the video below, taken by Dino's wife, Anna.
The Ontario District is one of the seventeen districts of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the world's largest all-male a cappella singing organization, and is the only all-Canadian district. It is committed to serving and supporting its 31 barbershop chapters, over 60 quartets, and over 1200 members throughout Ontario, and it is committed to promoting the Society's mission of bringing men together in fellowship and harmony to enrich lives through singing. Member choruses and quartets are encouraged to perform throughout their communities in support of worthwhile civic, cultural, educational, and charitable endeavors.
At 91 years young, Mansfield Rogers still gets a thrill when he takes the stage to sing. Conquering the jitters, well, that never really goes away.
Singing has always been his thing, and it always will be. Mansfield found his voice when he was a small boy, probably before he was six years old. He remembers gathering around the fire every Sunday to sing with his family while his mother played the piano. He also recalls taking the stage for a Christmas concert and being totally nervous. Those long-ago memories still surface every now and then and they are ones he will cherish forever. They were just the beginning of a lifetime of memories built by doing what he loves to do.
It’s a unique way to say “I love you” on Valentine's Day. Don’t just say it; have someone sing it.
The Royal City Ambassadors men’s barbershop chorus is offering people the chance to do just that this Feb. 14, with its singing valentines.
“Just call the Ambassadors to arrange for a barbershop quartet to visit your sweetheart on Feb. 14 to sing a couple of songs and present chocolates and a rose,” a chorus news release said.
Leaders of barbershop organizations from around the province met in Scarborough, Ontario this past weekend to learn about leadership skills and their positions. 83 members representing choruses in the Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adelines, and Harmony, Inc. were led by a faculty of 14 district leaders over the two days of the event. Attendees took classes and workshops related to membership, web presence, directing, improving vocal inefficiencies, district-supported charities, and other topics relevant to a barbershop chapter.
With Canada's 150th coming up, there has probably been no better time to add some Cancon to our chorus repertoires. Searching through the BHS catalogue to find arrangements of Canadian songs is like looking for a needle in a haystack - there are so few. Having rearranged The Maple Leaf Forever, I realized that there was no good medium through which I could communicate its existence to Canadian chapters and that would be true for other composers and arrangers.
By Shaun Gregory, Huron Expositor
The sweet sound of December music filled the air inside the Northside United Church in Seaforth last week as the Western Division Barbershop Christmas Show occupied the bottom pews as well as the better part of the upper level.
The theme focused on November 27-Harmony at Christmas.
This rearrangement is the outgrowth of a search for a song to honour the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation in 1867. The Music Committee of the Northumberland Hills Ontario Chapter of SPEBSQSA, Inc. wanted a well-known, quintessentially Canadian song in barbershop style for the Ganaraska Chordsmen to perform through 2017 and maybe beyond. This Land Is Your Land was popular but it is really an American song with relocated geographical references.
Northern Lights focusing on revamping show formats, giving back to the community.
The Toronto Northern Lights (TNL) are known internationally for wild and crazy contest packages. Convention goers would never know what the chorus is going to do, but expect that it will be done at a high level and be very entertaining. The work required to meet those expectations can consume a lot of time. Other things through the year can become afterthoughts. Some of those “afterthoughts” have included two major shows produced annually – TNL’s spring and Christmas shows. “It’s not that we haven’t worked hard on them,” says Show Chairman Patrick Brown, “but it was always a ‘just-in-time’ approach, preventing us from being innovative and creative.”
By Aileen House, Middlesex Banner
In an age where everything seems to cost so much, there are still a few joys that come pretty freely and singing is one of them. The Vocal Federations Barbershop Chorus is helping the community raise its voice in perfect harmony every Wednesday evening at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Albert Street at 7:30pm.
The Kitchener Waterloo Chapter is proud to once again host Dawg Haus at the Cambridge Knights of Columbus Hall on November 4, 2016 at 7:30pm. The annual event, now in its 48th year, helps support Harmonize 4 Speech, a charity that provides funds for numerous speech-related projects and equipment at hospitals, clinics and treatment centres throughout Ontario. Quartets and choruses from around the province perform at this stag event. Admission is $15, and food will be offered for sale by Schmuck Truck, a local food truck. This year's emcee will be P.A.G.E. 4 quartet's Andy Dennett.