Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Chorus gauntlet has been thrown down!

In 1998, about a dozen men were hungry for more in the elite barbershop arena. They did something about it and formed the Greater Central Ohio Chapter better know for their performing arm THE ALLIANCE.

A couple of years and much success later, a different group of men had similar thoughts to the guys from Columbus, and started a chapter focused on good singing and quartet ideals in the Cleveland area called The Independence Chapter.

The Independence Chapter gave it's guys what they wanted. A place to sing better than they had before, learn even more, and get involved in quartetting. Their scores never threatened to displace any of the Johnny Appleseed District big three, but they were planted firmly behind them as the best of non-international competitors from the district.

A couple more years later, a third group of men once again had similar thoughts and decided to do something about it. Enter the Northwest Ohio Chapter. Formed with an accomplished choral director, and a goal to be among, and eventually THE best, The Voices of Harmony were quickly regarded as a possible threat by outsiders before they even took the stage.

Now is the time to live up to that public perception. The Men of Independence Chorus aren't going to go quietly into the night. As the scores show, they have taken the threat of being displaced seriously and have worked harder and performed the better than they ever have in the past. Their 2006 division scores are 5.5% higher than any division score they have ever posted and 6-7 points higher than their
chorus division competition average. Credit must be given to these men as they ask the question "So you think you are gonna just come in and knock us out?"

Answer? The Voices of Harmony has to step up. Beating Independence is a nice thing, but it is not THE thing. THE thing is the score. The group was formed with the intention (the expectation?) of becoming an A Level performing chorus. That means 100% effort and 100% participation from 100% of the members 100% of the time, including rehearsals.

Does The Voices of Harmony have a realistic shot at qualifying for the International Chorus Championship in Denver, Co next summer? No one knows. In fact, no one has any control over that.

What The Voices of Harmony DOES have a shot at is:

1. Each man completely giving himself over to the plan

2. Each man doing anything and everything he is asked to do by the musical leadership without question or comment

3. Each man stepping up and doing his part to make the chapter as strong as it possibly can be including volunteering for any required tasks both musical and administrative.

I worked my tail off to get this thing started and I am both ecstatic and continually surprised and elated that we are where we are. I am NOT, however content with where we have progressed to, and I see (as others do) the ability to be among the best in a hurry. We have 5 schuduled rehearsals before the District Competition. Can the group be focused, attentive and do everything we can to become disciples of the "plan"?

I can't wait to try, and I am confident in success.

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