Eighth is not enough

Most of you probably know whence I headed off on my recent annual hiatus. For the benefit of the newcomers, however…


I spent the first week of this month with my chorus, Voices in Harmony, at the Barbershop Harmony Society‘s International Convention in Anaheim, California. This marked our third consecutive year of competing in the International Chorus Contest — which is pretty cool in itself, considering that we’re only three years old. (The ensemble. Not the individual members. Although we descend to that level of emotional maturity on rare occasion.)

VIH placed eighth in this year’s contest. Disappointing, seeing that we placed third a year ago with similar scores. But that’s a reflection of the quantum leap that many of our fellow competitors took during the past twelve months. The two choruses that won the gold and silver medals this year both eclipsed the previous record high score for choruses. The chorus that placed sixth scored a 90% average — no chorus had ever before scored a 90 without placing in the top three. (We took third last year with an average score of 89.8.)

So, we have our work cut out for us over the next contest cycle, as we look forward to next July in Philadelphia.

Congratulations to the Ambassadors of Harmony from St. Charles, Missouri, on their record-shattering win. The Ambassadors surpassed a powerful challenge by the Vocal Majority from Dallas, which hadn’t been defeated at International in their last 10 appearances, dating back three decades. (The chorus that wins the International contest is required to sit out for two competition cycles, and thus can only compete every third year.)

Choruses from suburban Minneapolis, Denver, and Toronto rounded out the top five.

For the first time ever, the director of the winning chorus was also a member of the championship quartet. Dr. Jim Henry, best known to barbershop fans as the bass of the legendary Gas House Gang, teamed with three other previous gold medal singers — lead Mike Slamka, baritone Brandon Guyton, and tenor Fred Farrell — to form Crossroads, which edged out a tough slate of foursomes to take home the gold.

As for me… well… I drowned my dashed medalist dreams at Disneyland. And at an Angels baseball game.

I’ll write about my adventures in the Magic Kingdom in my next post.

Explore posts in the same categories: Soundtrack of My Life, SwanStuff

One Comment on “Eighth is not enough”

  1. Janet Says:

    I think I just learned something new about you! I had no idea you did the singing thing. Or at last I don’t remember. Prolonged absences can also do that to a girl:)

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