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/.
Hello Barbershop Families, there is a great write-up and pictures in Snapd BeachDanforth. https://beachdanforth.snapd.com/events/view/1039410
The East York Barbershoppers’ 49th annual auction and sale was held on Friday, May 5th at Harmony Hall, 2 Gower St. All money raised will be donated to the not for profit EYBS chapter which will allow them to continue supporting Harmonize for Speech as well as the Harmony Hall Centre for seniors in East York.
The auction featured household goods, theatre and sports tickets, golf foursomes, frozen meats, hanging baskets and plants and was conducted under the watchful eye of the eminently esteemed, funny and handsome (I was asked to say) auctioneer, Mike Penstone.
The Barbershoppers’ whose motto is ‘We sing so that they shall speak’ have raised well over $5 million for their charity, Harmonize for Speech, started by George Shields back in 1977 and who, at age 91 is still singing and was honoured with the Order of Canada back in 1987.
All the money - no board member is paid or takes so much as a penny - is used to help children who have issues with speech and stuttering. It has made an incredible difference to the lives of literally hundreds of children who have successfully overcome this often debilitating impediment which, if not dealt with in a timely manner, can cause a myriad of issues including extreme shyness, lack of confidence and ability to learn and interact with others.
Another great benefit of being a Barbershop Harmony Society Member. Take a look at the full week curriculum and the Faculty members (including some of our very own, here in Ontario) in store for those who are able to attend this year at Belmont University in Nashville Tennessee, where our society headquarters is based.
Membership & Chapter Development
Still Lots to Hear This Week!!
Sing! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, featuring some of the world’s great a cappella performers, is winding down its two-week-long run this weekend and, although the first week is finished, there’s still a lot of amazing music to enjoy.
On Thursday, May 25, O Canada! The Golden Age of Canadian Pop reflects back on Canadian music from the 60s, 70s and 80s with Retrocity and this year’s Sing! Legacy Award is presented to Elaine Overholt. On Friday, Micah Barnes and FreePlay Duo host New York Voices and special guests Blue Jupiter in Sing! Loves New York at the Jane Mallett Theatre. The Grand Finale is Art Battle on Saturday night featuring 12 artists and 3 Toronto a cappella groups, Element Choir, Beatsync and Countermeasure.
This is just a sampling. For a complete listing of the remaining events click here.
Fellow East York Barbershoppers & Guests:
For me, last night was by far the most rewarding rehearsal experience, since I joined East York Barbershoppers many years ago. The "building blocks" that Pat and Jesse have been teaching us, are finally paying big dividends, by laying a strong foundation from which our vocal craft, performance quality and story telling will be based.
Showing up ready to sing at 7:30pm and generating multiple, positive response reactions from Pat were by far the most rewarding for me personally. "Do that everytime you come to rehearsals!" are his words we need to live by.
The intensity, velocity and the cadence of the rehearsal was a first for me. No wheel spinning. Plenty of vocal & performance traction. And we did this with our most welcomed Guests present throughout the evening and on into the practice afterglow downstairs. Amazing.
The quartet program led by Dr. Morrison has been way overdue in my view. Your eager participation in this program is appreciated. The Ontario Quartet Event (OQE) showcase and VLQ (Very Large Quartet) performance were impressive. Your investment in extra curricular practices clearly showed the positive results. I am convinced that East York will be better represented than any other chapter in Ontario District at this OQE event at Harmony Ranch on August 12.
So, it is all starting to (finally!) happen. As our vocal craft is perfected and we perform at our very best for each and every minute of our rehearsal, our Guests we bring to the risers each week will witness and experience this. Guest attendance will continue each week feeding our chapter growth through new membership. Do your homework each week. Come to practice on time and ready to perform for our team and our Guests.
Congratulations To All Of You!
Barry Tripp / Membership and Chapter Development
Remember to mark your calendars for East York's Annual Live Auction Sale on May 5th. This is always a great evening of amazing bargains. And, with Matt Penstone as the auctioneer, you know there will be plenty of laughs too.
The weather outside was frightful, but the choir was so delightful. Actually, the weather was a bit cold and breezy but it was the perfect night for a tree lighting. The only thing that could have added to the atmosphere would have been a gentle snow, but we didn't get that. And the East York Barbershoppers who attended had a great time drinking hot chocolate, eating cookies and singing Christmas songs at Councillor Janet Davis' tree lighting at Dawes Crossing (Victoria Park and Dawes Road).