Barbershop Quartet Preservation Association

BQPA Quartet Festival, Tempe AZ 7-10 April 2010.

The chords are still echoing around the halls and corners of the Embassy Suites in Tempe, AZ. And the 2010 Spring Festival for the BQPA is now history. Judging from the unanimous positive comments that I received from the attendees, I think the weekend can safely be declared a success. That’s not to say that some things could not have been better and some changes not needed.

Everyone agreed that this hotel with the upgraded 2 room suites, the extensive and complimentary hot breakfast and the open bar Manager’s Reception makes this a far superior venue for us than last year. So we have contracted with Embassy Suites again for 2011. Same dates as this year, the second weekend in April.

We had an estimated 150 attendees over the three days with the biggest increase being in Thursday attendance. A nice increase was in the attendance of many more of the ladies. I would guess that the blue Arizona skies and the pleasant temperatures could be an appeal.

Several BQPAers arrived on Wednesday to attend the regular meeting of the Arizona Quartet Chapter who hosted a special kick-off evening of quartet singing, following a spaghetti dinner. The same plan will be in place for 2011. Come on and join us !! It’s a great way to begin our weekend together.

Thursday and Friday mornings saw the golfers leaving early to play pasture pool. Jim Milner set up the golfing times. There was singing on every tee and not one complaint came in from the neighboring houses. That we heard about anyway. A few dogs were howling, but no complaints.

Friday was the beginning of the serious quarteting (well, not really that serious ) The traditional ‘out of the bag’ pickup quartets were drawn and the random foursomes had a few hours to refine their sound and polish the stage presence. The tongue-in-cheek ?contest ?? was MC’d by Pioneers/BQPA founder Tom Neal, as only Tom can do it.

Saturday was a continuation of the quartet singing with every corner and the outside pool area ringing with Barbershop chords. The Saturday night show, produced by Paul Ludwig, had 15 quartets come across the stage to entertain a nice crowd that included many from the public. The show was MC’d by Past International President Terry Aramian.

It was a great weekend and could not have been possible without the hard work and support of many members such as :

Jim Milner - Golf
Shel and Rosie Rosenthal - Registrations and pickup quartet contest management
Stu Willcox - Sound System
Tom Neal - Friday Night MC
Frank Fliszar - Name tags and membership roster.
Joe Salz - Chairman of Judges
Barney Griffin - Sound System transportation
Paul Ludwig - Saturday Night Parade of Quartets show.
Rick Ives - photographer
My most sincere thanks to all of these ‘can do’ folks and any that I may have inadvertently missed.

See you in Chicago ??

Rex Touslee
Spring Festival Chairman