Hello to all,
As the new year opens with an infusion of new hope and energy for all, I too am looking forward to a “Devine 09”. Over the active years of my Barbershop life, through all the chorus and quartet singing, performances in several countries, committee meetings and board meetings, I always did so with great enthusiasm. Making costumes, learning music, attending conventions to compete or just as a spectator, or teaching a “tag” to 3 people I had never met before were just some of the wonderful times in my life.
I truly believe that the active years I spent in Barbershop helped to define who I have become as a person. My personality has grown, I have matured, I have become more intelligent, tolerant, appreciative, aware and all in all in my humble opinion a better overall person. Music does wonderful and magical transformations to people who perform it… and hopefully to those who hear it. I truly believe that it is the responsibility of the performer to take the audience down a “musical pathway” during the performance bringing them into an emotional experience that takes them for the moment to a mystical place in their mind.
Most of my initial 25 years were spent with the Riverside Citrus Belters (Riverside, California), then to Redlands Harmony Heritage (Redlands, California) and then to the International Champions… The Masters of Harmony (Santa Fe Springs, California… Los Angeles County). In 1996 I was diagnosed as an “adult onset diabetic” which caused me to take a leave of absence from the Masters of Harmony after the 1999 International Convention in Anaheim, California (which we hosted and won!). Being 6’6” tall I think helped to compound the problems I was experiencing with my feet gradually loosing feeling and hurting much more intently the day or two following rehearsal night.
After several years of not enduring the intensity of the rehearsals of the Masters, I began to realize that the feelings in my feet were as bad if not worse than when I was active with the Masters, and that I needed to make the unfortunate decision to not return to active singing with the chorus. I still support them by attending performances and purchasing CD’s so I can listen to them even thought I am not present there.
I now enjoy my barbershop through this blog… bringing back memories and learning new facts that I can relate to the world, and through the experiences of my wife Elaine who is active in Sweet Adelines both in the Harborlites Chorus and now having joined a quartet called Orange Crush.
Thanks for reading