Archive for the ‘Balance’ Category

American Harmony, The Movie… Revisited

April 20, 2009

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American Harmony

Barbershop singing like you’ve never imagined

By MEG DOWNEY • The Tennessean • April 14, 2009

Start humming…
Gonna take a sentimental journey.
Yes, sentimental, fiercely competitive, charming and obsessive. American Harmony, a music documentary about barbershop singing, exposes the passion and friendship of the men drawn to this peculiarly American style of a cappella singing.
Influenced by African-American gospel and European hymn chorales, the music, for some, may seem stuck in the early 20th century. We think of men with sleeve garters, handlebar mustaches and straw skimmers on heads bent together in harmony on “Sweet Adeline.”

Get past that. Today, many may dress more like dons and sing 1960s pop. The film sets up four gladiator quartets seeking to be No. 1 in the international competition held by the eminent Barbershop Harmony Society, which is based in Nashville.
Max Q is the revered dream team of older singers who’ve won before with other groups but can’t seem to get the gold; the OC Times (for Orange County, Calif.) are attractive young turks who could easily wow American Idol fans; Reveille is a group of middle-aged friends with a comedic bent; and Vocal Spectrum is a foursome of upstarts just out of college.

These musical Olympics attract 10,000 fans, and the singers practice with the intensity of Lance Armstrong, while mowing the lawn, playing poker and for hours in front of a coach. The blissful ringing chords they produce are only half of it. Watch their faces contort with emotion — eyes popping for surprise, eyebrows bent up in sincerity, half-closed eyes and crooning lips oozing love. They are all hams, and that’s the kick.
Shawn York, the tenor with the OC Times, works as a manager in a Chick-fil-A, then suits up and becomes a rock star on stage or enchants a waitress when his quartet spontaneously erupts with “So In Love” in a luncheonette. No wonder these guys have groupies following them.

As Joe Hunter, a baritone with Reveille, said: “It’s you, your voice and the audience, and when it’s done right, it moves people.”
While winning may drive the singers, it’s the camaraderie that binds them. American Harmony shows that effectively. The teams deal with challenges from rookie nerves to brain cancer. The 86-minute film, written, produced and directed by Aengus James, is a rose in the lapel for these songsters.

Stay “Tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA

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Orange Crush… On The Move…

April 10, 2009

orange-crush

Elaine                 Sally                  Tracey                  Anna

My wife Elaine’s Sweet Adeline quartet “Orange Crush” is moving strongly towards the first “Official” Competition since they put this combination together. (the addition of Elaine to replace their lost Tenor). Their performances are getting powerful, magical, inviting and most of all pleasurable.

They have been getting specific quartet coaching for the quartet as well as going to visit various chapters, both men’s and women’s and singing a “set” of songs which will be their contest performance on stage in Pasadena, CA on April 24 & 25.

Last night I had the privilege of video recording a session where a small group of very capable people in the “know” (judges and the like) had Orange Crush run sets, and then critique them on what could be made better.  It was a great session and the quartet (who sounded GREAT at the begining) learned a few more little tips that will make their performance on stage (and therefore their scores) all that much better.

We all look forward to hearing them on stage and seeing how happy they are with the high scores they attain after doing the superb job we know they will do.

Stay “Tuned”

Jerry Braack

California USA

Good Friends Gone…

April 3, 2009

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I am sad to hear of several of my long time friends passing away from cancer.  Both friends I have known for many decades, and it hurts me to know I am at the age where  the people I know are leaving this world.  I do have health issues, but I am still “above ground”… and that’s a good day.

To attend the services for my friends means reliving old memories, seeing old friends and remembering all the good times shared with their families and all who knew them.

One man, Stan Lang,  gave me my first job after my tour of duty in the Air Force, and was keen on getting an education, so it was mandated to me… go to school, do your homework and tell me when you can work and we will make it all work.

Another man, Jim McKee, I have known also throughout my Barbershop career as a teacher, director, quartet enthusiast, official BHS judge and friend.

Both were men of good character, both loved the Barbershop music and both loved family.

They will be missed!

Thanks for reading

Stay “Tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA

Balance & Harmony with Math…

March 31, 2009

sunset

How about creating some balance and harmony in your life from a strictly  mathematical viewpoint:

What  Equals 100%?

What does it mean to give MORE than  100%? 

Ever wonder about those  people who say they are giving more than 100%?

 

We have all been in  situations where someone wants you to GIVE OVER 100% .

 

How about ACHIEVING  101%?

 

What equals 100% in life?

 

Here’s a little  mathematical formula that might help answer these

questions:

 

 

If: 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M

N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

 

Is represented as: 

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23  24 25 26.

 

 

If:

H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K

 

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11  = 98%

 

And:

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E 

 

11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5  = 96%

 

But: 

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E

 

1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5  = 100%

 

Thanks for reading

 

Stay “Tuned”

 

Jerry Braack

 

California  USA

Life is not a Coincidence, it’s a Reflection

March 30, 2009

Previously published by a good friend of mine, I had to include this since it “reflects” an Eagle and a balance and harmony with vision for your life!

eagle_reflection_preview

A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”
To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”
Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” He receives the answer: “Who are you?”
Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” He receives the answer: “Coward!”
He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?”
The father smiles and says: “My son, pay attention.”
And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!” The voice answers: “I admire you!”
Again the man screams: “You are a champion!” The voice answers: “You are a champion!”
The boy is surprised, but does not understand.
Then the father explains:   read more

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA

American Harmony, The Movie…

March 2, 2009

 American Harmony

 What a boost to the Barbershop Art Form! Here is a reprint from the official BHS website. 

American HarmonyThe Single Biggest Public Relations & Membership Recruitment Opportunity Ever Presented To Chapters of the Barbershop Harmony Society

American Harmony, the documentary, had a very exciting and  successful  screening at the Barbershop Harmony Society’s 2008   International Convention in Nashville. Now the producers, Aengus James (who is also the writer/director) and Colin Miller, want to take it beyond the barbershop devotees. The film, which is a tribute to the  human musical spirit, is more than three years in the making and was edited by Kate Amend, the editor of two Oscar-winning documentaries. 

The movie is an in-depth look at the amazingly rich subculture of a true American art form. It follows the lives of some of the biggest names to emerge from international competition in the Society’s history, as well as interviews with rank-and-file members, called “Joe Barbershoppers.” The film features four prominent Society quartets – OC Times, Max Q, Vocal Spectrum, and Reveille – over a span of years, on stage and at home, in their personal quests for international recognition as they experience the thrill of victory, and the agony of not quite making it. American Harmony received an enthusiastic reception from film distributors and other non-Society audiences.

“The film is a mixture of obsession, singing, zany comedy and nail-biting competition,” says James on the website. “This is the story of several dreamers who journey from their ‘ordinary’ lives to the world stage in the hopes of winning the gold.”

 

American Harmony was filmed by James and his camera crews during the Society’s last three international conventions and is interspersed with footage and other graphic elements provided by the Barbershop Harmony Society. These elements combine to tell a very compelling story:

 

Watch the trailer

 

Thanks for reading

 

barber-pole2Stay “tuned”

 

Jerry Braack

 

California  USA

Harmony Creating Balance…

February 25, 2009

tranquility1

spebsqsa-logo-colorOne of the ways I choose to harmonize and balance my life is through the medium of Barbershop Harmony.  It helps generate feelings of excitement, contentment, cooperation, teamwork, excellence and of course… Balance!

When you have harmony in your life, there is a natural balance that emerges.  You may or may not feel it, but those around you can definitely feel its presence.  That feeling is subconsciously attracting people to you.  The universe acts in a multitude of ways no one understands, never the less, the “laws” of attraction (or repulsion if that is the feeling being eminated) are very strong and very effective.

Have you ever noticed that you feel better being around a certain someone, yet you don’t know why… well it often times is that underlying feeling being acted upon by one or both parties that creates a friendship or business relationship and yes even a better life partner relationship. 

This is all being accomplished by forces we don’t understand, but never the less, it happens.  It is similar to a “feeding frenzy” only in a positive way, in that the reaction isn’t to devour something or someone, it is just to make a situation better, more productive or more beneficial to a special someone, or the a group depending on the situation.

We should all strive to define, create, enhance and maintain harmony in all aspects of our lives.

I hope this helps all who read it to do just that… define, create, enhance and maintain.

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry  Braack

California  USA

Keep Time & Money in Balance…

February 19, 2009

time-is-money

As we go through life there are certain necessities we must have to sustain ourselves.  Because our society(s) are based on the “exchange” concept, money becomes that which we exchange for whatever we need… to give to someone else providing a product or service either to the public in general… or to us specifically.

Over the past many months, our economy is becoming more and more out of balance with regard to money and time.  As a consequence, many people the world over are feeling the effects of that… being a loss of income, job, home, automobile, security and/or not the least of which is a “secure”, “well funded”,” let me live in my current lifestyle” retirement.

It is in my opinion that especially during these trying times, people must maintain their own balance with regard to time and money, since unfortunately, these kinds of situations tend to bring out the dishonesty in some people who want to capitalize on the misfortunes of others.  Be very aware of those you deal with… do your “due diligence” very thoroughly in these recessionary times.

People, companies, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers… basically everyone across the board are cutting back, in an effort to wait out the storm.  Hopefully the new stimulus package will instill a sense of hope to regain the balance needed for us all.

Here is to regaining the balance SOOOOOOON!

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA

Balance…

February 18, 2009

 

balance

Balance comes in many forms… often times life is like riding a bicycle, in order to maintain balance, you must keep moving, other times you must remain absolutely still to maintain balance. Stationary or moving balance is very important in all aspects of our lives.

Yes we all can achieve balance and the decisions we make every day cause that movement to be either in or out of balance.  We should strive to check and double check our daily actions to make sure they are in balance.  This will transfer over to the “big picture”… our life.

Here are some questions to constantly ask yourself…

What did I do today to maintain my balance?

What could I have done today to create more balance?

What can I do today to start tomorrow balanced?

What can I do tomorrow to build on today’s balance?

What can I do to help others create, build and maintain balance?

My hope for all is the harmonious balance in personal and business aspects of your life.

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA

Happy Valentines Day to all…

February 14, 2009

I am having a wonderful day with my wife.  It is also our Anniversary, so it is a very special day.

This will be a short post for the reasons listed above.  Don’t forget to tell everyone in your life that you love… “I Love You”.  Life is not a rehearsal, so don’t let a day go by without accomplishing something that enhances your life.

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA