Chorus brings barbershop style to concert series
DENVER – The Alexander Community Concert series will close its season in style with a program of more than 25 male voices, a female quartet, two male quartets and a skit with unconventional elements.
This combination is a production of the Gold Standard Chorus barbershop singers, who will take the stage Sunday, April 22, in the sanctuary at The Episcopal Church of St. Peter By-the-Lake. The Charlotte-based group is a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society and competes locally and within the southeastern Dixie District.
“For this particular show, we are basically adapting the songs to a theme called ‘Chilly Mountain,’ which is a skit that one of our members (Bill Gronning) has written,” said Gold Standard member Chuck Villier. “It has different snippets about a beer festival, the chilly mountain, wooing the girls, and it even has monks involved.”
Get ready for an hour-and-a-half of a good time.
The Gold Standard Chorus will sing as a group for much of the production, but will also feature its groups-within-a-group, the Still Standing and Invoice quartets. They will be joined by Singsation, a Sweet Adelines quartet (the female version of barbershop) also from Charlotte. The program will run about an hour and 15 minutes, with an intermission midway.
Barbershop quartet style is a cappella vocals with four-part chords. Voice parts are lead, tenor, baritone and bass, with the lead singing melody, the tenor harmonizing above, the bass harmonizing with the lowest notes, and the baritone completing the mix either above or below the lead.
The art form can be traced to the late 19th century, when men would gather in barbershops and harmonize while waiting their turn. Singers eventually organized as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, which in 2004 was changed to the Barbershop Harmony Society.
“We perform locally for retirement homes, corporate outings, church functions and other occasions,” said Villier, who sings lead.
Villier has been with Gold Standard for 27 years, but began singing barbershop before that in his hometown of Louisville, Ky. “It’s just one of those fun things that you can do for a long time if you take care of your voice,” he said. “And we’re always looking for new members, young and old, to join us. This is a wonderful hobby.”
This year’s Alexander series began in October with chamber music from the Alan Black Trio, followed by pianist Jeff Perks in November and Latin guitarist Edgar Cruz in February.
It will resume in September with Viva Klezmer, a production of Central European music, a baroque music group, a New Orleans-style brass band and a hand-bell ensemble.
A reception will follow this Sunday’s performance in the church’s fellowship hall.
Want to go?
Gold Standard Chorus concert
Sunday, April 22, 3 p.m.
The Episcopal Church of St. Peter By-the-Lake
8433 Fairfield Forest Road, Denver.
Cost: Adults, $15, Seniors and students, $10, younger than 12, free