Posts Tagged ‘Far Western’

Masterpiece of Sheer Beauty… revisited…

February 10, 2009
Once again from the Masters of Harmony comes the formation of a championship quality and caliber quartet – Masterpiece! 
Here is Masterpiece competing in the SoCal West Divisional in 2008.  They are getting better all the time!  Their next challenge is the International Preliminary Competition in Las Vegas in March 2009, to be eligible to compete at the Internation Competition to be held in Anaheim, California in late June 2009.
I read Mike’s blog piece on the quartet and realized I couldn’t do any better… so here is a reprint…
Have you heard of this new quartet coming into the limelight? The 5th Wheel has. Maybe not the name, but certainly the members. Yes, it is another quartet made up entirely of previous gold medalists. You may not think it’s fair to those who have never won an international contest to compete against another “power” quartet? I disagree. Masterpiece has the potential to be something very special for this Society and the art form. I’ll tell you why.

The members of Masterpiece are Rob Menaker (Nightlife, 1996), Mark Hale (Michigan Jake, 2001), Alan Gordon (Gotcha!, 2004) and Brett Littlefield (Nightlife, 1996). OK, pick your jaw off the ground and keep reading. Yes, this quartet has some very impressive singers in the group. Rob is a strong and accurate Tenor, Mark sings with musicality that is unmatched, Alan is, in my opinion being a fellow baritone, probably the best baritone in our Society. Alan can fill and sing like a Bass and yet match the musicality and sensitivity of the Lead. Brett… well, Brett is Brett. I believe Brett’s former life was one of the trumpets that took down the walls of Jericho. His resonance and deep voice is tremendous. OK, but we already know this about them. Yeah, they’re good. But what makes them so special?

Masterpiece represents all that is right about our Society and why we sing together. First off, they are all friends.  Read more…

Thanks for reading and listening
Stay “tuned”
Jerry Braack 
California USA

Competitions help make the Barbershop Art Form even better…

December 13, 2008

Within the Barbershop Harmony Society BHS, there are Divisional competitions within each District.  The Divisional qualifiers move on to the District competitions. There are 16 Districts across the United States with some extending up into Canada.  Cardinal, Central States, Dixie, Evergreen, Far Western, Illinois, Jonny Appleseed, Land-O-Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, Ontario, Pioneer, Rocky Mountain and Seneca Land


BHS Districts

BHS Districts


The District Champions and other qualifiers who attained the required scores then move on to the International Competition.  All of these competitions are held to encourage excellence in the craft, and often times the winning groups from competitions within other countries around the world are invited to the International Competition which is held for the most part within the boundaries of the United States of America.  At this competition, one of the requirements is that all contestants must sing in English.

It is exciting to attend a competition at the International level and listen to the competitors sing.  It can be very difficult for people who speak languages other than English, to create the proper vowel sound and then have everyone in the group, be it a quartet or chorus, match that sound in order to structure the chord properly. This is only the beginning as then the challenge is to do that same thing on all the following chords in that song… or both songs… or even 4 (6 if it’s a quartet), should the group make the final elimination of the competition.



Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

Caifornia  USA