June 26, 2012 > Harmonize the World with the Bay Area Showcase Chorus
Harmonize the World with the Bay Area Showcase Chorus
By Jessica Noel Flohr
Do you long for days gone by when barbershop quartets serenaded as customers relaxed in their chairs for a shave? A nostalgic experience awaits you at the upcoming show "Harmonize the World" presented by the Bay Area Showcase Chorus. The women's a cappella singing group has been harmonizing since 1956. It is a chapter of the Sweet Adelines International group, founded in 1953. This year, they are competing in the 7th World Choir Games and hope to share their excitement and talents with the local community.
The Sweet Adelines International was formed in response to the many men's groups that led the Barbershop revival movement in the early 1940s. Sweet Adelines' purpose is to educate people in the art of barbershop and a cappella music, as well as to preserve these modes of singing. The Bay Area chapter came along less than ten years after the international group. Says Bay Area Showcase Chorus member, Kevran Day, "They are part of a worldwide organization of women who are committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony."
Barbershop is uniquely American form of singing, initially popular in the United States a century ago. It is this particular form of music that these musical organizations perform and seek to educate others in. One intention of the Barbershop Revival was to preserve this style of music for future generations. It is a valuable piece of our nation's musical history.
Kevran Day has been a member of the Bay Area Showcase Chorus twice: first in 1988 for about three or four years, and then again in the early 2000s. She says, "I really love acapella singing. It's a lot of fun. It's really interesting to be able to form with just the human voice what composers use musical instruments for." Day grew up singing in a church that regularly used a cappella music. Since moving on from the church of her youth, Day loves the sisterhood and camaraderie of the chorus group. "The chorus itself is wonderful! I feel like I have 120 good sisters and friends. It's always fun to be there and laugh and have a good time."
On June 30, the Bay Area Showcase Chorus will be hosting a special preview of the performances they are preparing for the World Choir Games competition. This is the first year that the Games have included a barbershop segment. Accompanying the Chorus will be two guests: the Cantabella Children's Chorus and the Canzonet Quartet. They will also be competing in the July 2012 games in Cincinnati, Ohio. This concert is a chance for the local community to experience the beauty of this traditional and lively music, and to cheer on the singers who will be representing the community in the competition.
In addition to competing, preserving musical heritage, and educating the public about barbershop music, the Bay Area Showcase Chorus also offers singing telegrams over the winter holiday season and Valentine's Day. What a treat to receive a song as a gift from a loved one!
The Chorus is a volunteer membership organization. If you love singing, you may want to check out one of their rehearsals, which are open to the public. Many skill levels are accepted, and there's always room to learn. This group is a treasure for anyone who appreciates music and musical history. Join them on June 30 for their preview performance and cheer them on in their endeavors! Tickets are available at http://www.singharmony.org/events/upcoming-show.html. For more information, visit http://www.singharmony.org or call (408) 973-1555.
Harmonize the World
Saturday, June 30
3 p.m. (doors open at 2:30 p.m.)
Smith Center, Ohlone College
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under