Barbershop Quartet Preservation Association
2014 Spring Festival Report
Noble Apr 29
another fine Festival of "do-it-yerself" quartetting in the old
style has chordially come and gone. Nearly 90 singers and guests
populated the BQPA/Pioneers' room at the Embassy Suites in Tempe,
AZ, for our traditional "pick-up" quartet contest Friday evening,
the 11th of April, and more than 130 were on hand for our Saturday
evening parade of quartets. But we were ALL there, really, to SING!
In QUARTETS! For HOURS!
the 9th, saw the arrival of die-hard quartet singers and the golfing
barbershoppers who would be leaving for the links REALLY early
Thursday morning. (Barbershopping addicts of the golfing persuasion
said, when they returned from their Thursday rounds, that they had
sung on every tee.)
opened Thursday afternoon, and quartetting really got underway, with
folks also putting their names in the voice-part bags for the draw
for the pick-up quartet contest held Friday evening. Friday dawned
and the golfers perversely decided to go out and do it again, and
then professed to have had good rounds when they returned late in
the day, although nobody would admit their scores. They all got back
in time for the draw for the pick-up quartet contest, so golfers and
everyone else scrambled about, trying to find their other three
voice-parts. Rehearsals for the competition then continued until
moments before the contest started.
competition was fierce and well-fought, resulting in the
presentation of medals to the champs, “The Haymakers”, named for
their tenor, Stan, and which also included lead Bill Freck, bari
Chuck Guthrie, and bass Bill Myers. They were very well-received as
being by far the loudest competing group. Second was “The Next
Quartet” (who sang first and whose name therefore provided a great
deal of material for the emcee), and third place went to “The
Association” (whose name perhaps infringed on another famous
group’s, but only for the life of the competing quartet, which broke
up immediately after the competition.) After the announcement
of the top three quartets and presentation of ribbons and medals,
woodshedding and other informal QUARTET singing resumed and went on
into the wee hours.
Saturday evening, after we all had a full day of singing, in
QUARTETS, seven guest quartets appeared in a parade which featured
“Audacity”, the 2009 BHS Seniors Champs, as our headliners. Four
other men’s quartets: “2 Under Par”, “Crook’s Trail”, “Broadcast”
and “Joint Venture” sang for us; and we were honored to have TWO
great quartets from Sweet Adelines International: “Havin’ A Blast”
and “ConTempo”. Once the parade had concluded, quartetting resumed
and lasted well past midnight, as usual.
all had a BLAST, like a four-day afterglo! Joe Barbershopper was
very well represented, and we also had quite a number of folks who
sported medals of one color or another from as far back as 1948. We
weren’t really there to listen – we were there to SING! In QUARTETS!
And we DID! For HOURS and HOURS and HOURS!
next BQPA/Pioneers Festival was announced for the Fall of 2014. It
will be held at the Hillside Best Western hotel, near Chicago’s
O’Hare airport, the weekend AFTER Labor Day, September 3rd through
the 6th. If you enjoy singing in barbershop quartets – men’s,
women’s, mixed or whatever – with no pressure or assigned music,
please join us in Chicago. You can find details on the BQPA/Pioneers
website, www.BQPA.com. Come sing with us in September!
Noble, President BQPA/Pioneers