I was introduced to the East York Barbershoppers back in 2018 via the Holiday Party. Since then, I got to learn more about barbershop singing, and make friends with the eclectic group of performers that makes up the East York chorus.
Harmony was floating from the hills of Baldwin, Ontario on Saturday Aug.10, 2019 as approximately 100 quarteters and quarteter wannabes gathered for the 2019 OQE at Harmony Ranch. It was a beautiful day in a very special setting, filled with meeting new friends, coaching, honing quartet skills, and just having great fun. Five East York Barbershoppers acquitted themselves very well as they finished in the top quartets.
One first-timer Chris, said "it was a wonderful experience, meeting lots of new people, loads of energy and was very positive". When asked what was the best takeaway he got out of the experience, he replied "engaging with top quartet coaches, focusing on different areas of stage presence, performance and emoting the story behind the music".
He concluded with the statement, "I will be back next year for sure".
Sounds like a plan!!
Exciting Public Performance!
The weather was threatening, but the spirits high as the East York Barbershoppers made their way down to the Distillery District in downtown Toronto this past Saturday to take part in the Sing!Toronto festival. As Ontario District Chorus Champions, we were invited to perform on stage in the main square. Earlier in the morning most of the singers attended a music workshop which proved to be most informative. At 1:00 pm. the sky was clear and sunny, and inspite of a cool breeze off Lake Ontario, we gathered onstage and sang to an enthusiastic audience for about a half hour.
A great time was had by the performers and from the standing ovation (there were limited chairs), our audience enjoyed the presentation.
We are all looking forward to our next performance at the Pep Rally Tuesday June 11th at the Capitol Banquet Centre in Mississauga.
Mike Green, V.P. Communications
WOW! We Won!!!
The Barbershop Harmony Society Ontario District 2019 Spring Convention was held in Belleville Ontario on the weekend of April 12-13.
This Convention is where Choruses and Quartets from across Ontario gather in the spirt of friendship and competition for various championships. Barbershopping is truly unique, in that while we are competitors, we really encourage all participants to excel at our hobby.
Traditionally our chorus competes in the Fall Competition, but we made a change to the Spring Competition this year so we could focus this Fall on getting ready for our planned Holiday Show/Party in November, and East York Barbershoppers took to the stage after many months of rehearsing and refining our music and presentation.
Last week we lost a member of our chorus. Terry Aylsworth was larger than life. His booming bass voice reverberated through the Hall for many years, and was only superceded by his warm and welcoming personality towards anyone with whom he interacted. While the time we had with him was much too short, we are grateful for his guidance, leadership and friendship.
Unfortunately due to expected severe weather, the East York Barbershoppers are cancelling our Weekly Practice scheduled for Tuesday, February 12, 2019. Stay safe, and we look forward to seeing our Members and Guests back out next Tuesday (Feb. 19).
It's always great to see one of our East York Barbershoppers in the news, and that was doubly the case in this week's Beach Metro News. For the full article, see here.
P.S. You will see that the headline picture in the article has Gordon Lightfoot in it. Gord was not involved with this particular situation, but the paper had the photo in stock, and it had Barry and George in it, so they went with it. In the original hard copy article Gordon Lightfoot was incorrectly identified as George's son-in-law. It has since been corrected in the on-line version, but not before George's family and friends had a good chuckle about it!
The holidays may have come and gone, but the music and harmony of the East York Barbershoppers from last month’s party still lingers on! If you were able to join us, you’ll know what we mean. If you weren’t there… here are some of the highlights from the night.
Our Christmas party was held at Harmony Hall, 2 Gower Street in Scarborough on December 18th, and we had just under 100 revelers in attendance. Everyone was in the Christmas spirit, none more so than our amazing MC, Matt Penstone, who kept the audience laughing all night.
Last weekend, the Ontario District of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) hosted a successful Fall Convention at the beautiful Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts in Brantford, Ontario. Over the course of the weekend, almost 400 singers competed in several contests. Congratulations to the following winners:
For some time, now, BHS has been talking to stakeholders and gathering data on what people see as its role in today's society. After reviewing the data and many discussions, they have released a statement their new strategic vision - Everyone in Harmony - and you can see it at http://www.barbershop.org/everyoneinharmony/.