BQPA Convention Activities
Chicago Il. September 4-6 2008
Penned by Rex Touslee

Quartet singing of the traditional style songs in an atmosphere of camaraderie and fellowship is alive and well. This is exactly what happened at the annual fall gathering of the Barbershop Pioneers-BQPA in Chicago, September 4-7, 2008. The Chicago West Hotel continues to be the location because it offers reasonable room rates, a nice auditorium, a no cost banquet room for singing and, best of all, allows us to bring
in our coolers with 'adult beverages'.

The weekend ran very smoothly under the guidance of Gerry Carroll and Lynn Hauldren who have handled this event for so many years now that they seem to have it down to a fine science. Thanks Gerry and Lynn.  Well done !!   There were 72 registrants for the weekend, (plus another 40 who attended our Sat night show and after-glow)
which allowed for plenty of quartet combinations. And the quartet singing was nearly non-stop. The singing room often overflowed into the hallways. In addition to quartets singing endless traditional Barbershop arrangements, there was often some pure woodshedding going on in the corner or in the hallways. Preservation of the Barbershop style was evident all weekend.

The long time tradition of the 'draw from the hat ' quartet contest continued with 13 foursomes braving the 'encouragement' from the masses and singing a song for the judges who, as always, had their hands behind their backs expecting some beer money. Pioneer founder Tom Neal took his usual role as MC and added his humor to the light hearted evening. This is definitely a 'no loser' contest. Everybody has a good time vying for the coveted 1st Place Gold Award named in honor of Jinny Janis of Chordette fame
and a supporter of the Barbershop Pioneers. A new, additional award for 1st. place was
inaugurated this year which is a plaque named in honor of long time Chicago area quartet promoters Chuck Oliva and Bob LeClair.

On Saturday morning a little official business was squeezed in between the singing. The reorganization plan was presented by the Steering Committee and approved by the membership. An election of a Board of Directors was held with the following results:
Jack Martin , President
Rex Touslee, VP
Lee Ischinger, Sec
Herb Langthorp Treas

The proposed ByLaws and Standing Rules were approved and shown elsewhere on the website.

The Saturday night show at the Chicago Convention has a long history of featuring outstanding Chicago area quartets and 2008 followed in that style. Appearing for no fee for the BQPA attendees and many patrons from the public were:
A great quartet made up of long time Chicago quartet men. Tenor Ray
Henders also MC'd the show as only Ray can do it.

A Chicago area mixed quartet that really gave a nice performance.

Another local foursome that entertained the audience in style.

A newly organized quartet of very experienced singers who created
their name as a tribute to their personal, and every body's hero,
'Buzz' Haeger, a charter member of the Barbershop Pioneers-BQPA.
'Buzz' would have been proud of them.

Longtime favorite of Chicago area Barbershop fans and a many time
participant of the Saturday night show.

This quartet was recently crowned the 2008 Senior Champions of the
Illinois District. Their excellent performance showed why.
Convention co-chairman Lynn Hauldren is the Baritone.

3 HITS and a MISS
This fine show quartet is from the San Antonio, TX area and all are
members of the BQPA. They have appeared on the Saturday night show
several times.

“Out of the Hat” Quartet Contest
First Place
What Are We Singing For
T Ed Simmons
L Rex Touslee
Ba Jim Gallagher
B Pete Tyree

Second Place
Satisfaction Guaranteed
T John Olson
L Don Richmond
Ba Rex Touslee
B Dave Brady

Third Place
Ramada Roaches
T Tom Noble
L Ken Woodring
Ba Richard Jenkins
B Bob Biallas