BQPA/Pioneers Quartet Festival in
Thanks to our incorrigible Chicago Festival
Carroll, and his staff, another fine “do-it-yerself
convention” for barbershop quartetting
in the old style has chordially come and, alas, gone. Nearly
90 singers and guests populated the
Close to two dozen singers had checked in at the
Western hotel in
Thursday morning dawned rather cold and damp, but – after the complimentary breakfast – the golfers drove off for rounds which ended up somewhat soggy, but which included singing at every tee, as usual. Also as usual, nobody would admit to their scores when the golfers returned to join those who preferred just to sing (in QUARTETS) rather than spoiling a good walk by swinging a club. (Many said they had more fun singing than golfing that day…)
Our BQPA/Pioneers Board conducted their usual
Thursday afternoon, after the golfers had returned.
The confab ran a bit long, due to serious discussions
on a number of topics, especially our annual Spring Festival in the
On Thursday evening, our Registration table opened up, staffed by our volunteers. And there was much QUARTET singing. (DUH!!!)
Friday morning came and a few golfers perversely departed again for the links, and got back in time for the pick-up quartet contest draw. Once the pick-up quartets had been drawn, there was – as usual – much confusion, with folks searching for their other voice part singers. Some left, then, for somewhat leisurely dinners (some few at the weekly Friday evening Fish Fry at Charlie’s, in-house), but rehearsals of the die-hards continued until moments before the contest started.
The contest went off very nicely. Raymond Schwarzkopf acted as the MC and presided as the Chairman of Judges, and Lisa, his lady, was on the panel, the remainder of which again consisted – as last year – of various Angells. The winning quartet, Arranger’s Dangers, consisted of Barney Griffin, Adam Kaufman, Tom Larson and Bill Myers. They definitely deserved the blue ribbons with the gold medals inscribed in honor of our dear departed member, Jinny Janis, and the plaques announcing their win in the Bob Leclair & Chuck Oliva memorial contest. Again this year, second and third place quartets were awarded ribbons. For the details of the top three quartets, see the footnotes, below…
Again as usual, there was a bit more singing after
session. (Well, umm, HOURS more…) All four corners of the room were occupied by
quartets, and the
out into the corridors outside the
On Saturday morning, the BQPA/Pioneers annual
meeting was held, and again the major topic was the move from the
The names of Departed Friends were read off, including some who were not members of BQPA/Pioneers. We remembered especially Gerry Carroll’s son, Gerry, and Bobbie Bostick, the tenor of The Cracker Jills. A reverent rendition of The Old Songs was sung, to help them along their way to the Chorus Eternal.
Jim encouraged reserving guest rooms early, even
might have to cancel later if your plans or
calendar change. The hotel has a very
lenient cancellation policy, but late reservations are very difficult
into the group guest room rate. That
rate again is $89.00 per night for a queen or king suite, and that rate
offered to our attendees three days before and three days after our
Festival. It’s just a bit more
out of pocket than
Oh, and remember the spaghetti dinner on Wednesday evening, at the American-Italian Club, where the Arizona Quartet Club meets. Much quartetting occurs after the (excellent and inexpensive) dinner…
As usual, members were encouraged to email the
Western hotel, to thank them for their hospitality in
Something new: we have agreed to cooperate with AHSOW in promoting each other’s events and activities, for the mutual benefit of both organizations and all of our respective members. We’ve collectively realized that AHSOW can be viewed as the “farm team” for BQPA/Pioneers. In particular, we’ll exchange press releases announcing and providing details of our respective activities, without any formal ties or exchange of membership lists.
It was also announced that we had decided to
the rental of sound equipment in
After the membership meeting and into the afternoon and early evening, QUARTET singing abounded. There were quartets at the Registration table, in the bar, in the halls and the lobby, etc. A large contingent – about 25 folks – went out to Stacy’s steak house for a repast together, and – again this year – got back in time for our Quartet Parade.
The Saturday evening Parade, with Raymond as MC, was a rousing success. The pick-up contest champs, ARRANGER’S DANGERS, led off on stage. The other quartets that appeared on our Parade included Implied HARMONY, ABILENE PARADOX, and our headliners from Wisconsin, EASY DAYS. Wonderful to have all of the groups as our Parade entertainment – THANKS!
The Parade ended with our traditional rendition of Keep America Singing.
With the formal elements of the Festival completed, we all adjourned to the corners of our meeting room, as well as areas immediately adjacent, and proceeded to sing some more. Again, it lasted well past . I have to say I was not in the last quartet left on the field of battle this year, but we left the room cleared of sound system, registration materials and banner, due to the help and assistance of a number of folks, especially Maggie and Gary Mathews and Jerry Steffen. THANKS!
It needs to be noted that, over the run of this Festival, at least seventeen new folks signed up for membership in BQPA/Pioneers. Huzzah! It was so heavy a run on the registration table that we ran out of membership pins, and had to borrow from current members who had more than one. (We PROMISE to replace them!!!)
This was a most successful and enjoyable Festival. LOTS of QUARTET singing. (Well, yeah, that’s what we came for, no? That’s the bottom line…) There were a number of gents with medals of one color or another from SPEBSQSA, but just as many and more “Joe Barbershoppers.” Didn’t matter who you were or what your past accomplishments – everyone got a chance to sing some good stuff in QUARTETS.
THANKS – as usual – must go to all the folks who made it all happen! The Chairs of all the committees that DO things. The Board members who remind the Chairs of what the Chairs already know. The registration volunteers who labor but also get to sing with everyone who comes up to the table to register. The folks who helped strike after the Parade. The quartets. Everyone!
Remember the spring Festival, in April, in
Tom Noble, President
Top Placing Quartets:
Win: Contestant #9 – ARRANGER’S DANGERS
Tenor – Barney Griffin Baritone – Tom Larson
Lead – Adam Kaufman Bass – Bill Myers
Song: Sitting On Top Of The World
Place: Contestant #8 – MAGNIFICENT SEVENTH
Tenor – Jim Jarosz Baritone – Jim Fourmont
Lead – Adam Kaufman Bass – Rich Carey
Song: From The First Hello
Show: Contestant #13 – LARSEN’S FOLLY
Tenor – Jim Angell Baritone – Tom Larson
Lead – Jerry Larsen Bass – Gary Baker
Song: Sweet & Lovely