One Minute With: After Hours

With humble beginnings in college, over a decade of dedication (and many more years in barbershop and music!), and a couple membership changes, After Hours reached the pinnacle of barbershop in Orlando last summer: they became the 2018 International Quartet Champions. They not only won, they earned the highest score in Society history.

This honor comes with far more than a set of gold medals and a trophy. Tim Beutel, Dan Wessler, Drew Ochoa, and Bryan Ziegler now find their place among the greats, honored with a permanent place in Harmony Hall. Their talent will be heard around the globe in coming years, but we got to catch up with them backstage at the Grand Ole Opry during #BHSOpry.

Here is One Minute With: After Hours –

One Minute With: St. Croix Crossing

The last day of #BHSOpry was spent in contest with the world’s best senior quartets before the Midwinter Convention closed with a blockbuster Saturday Night Show.

Before DoubleDouble was named the new Senior Quartet International Champions, we heard a swan song from the 2018 Senior Quartet International Champions: St. Croix Crossing. This foursome out of Wisconsin and Minnesota and comes with talent, personality, and a lot of charm.

Here is One Minute With: St. Croix Crossing –

After Hours Visits Harmony Hall

A visit to Harmony Hall is high on anyone’s barbershop bucket list, but when you are the newly instated International Quartet Champions it holds an even more special significance.

During #BHSOpry, After Hours got a special tour and got to see their physical mark on barbershop history. Here’s a little inside peek at their visit, with footage courtesy of Bryan Lynch, BHS Public Relations/Brand Manager.

Intergenerational Showcase at the Grand Ole Opry

Day 2 at #BHSOpry in Nashville was dedicated to the youngest and oldest members of the barbershop community with the day-long Junior and Senior Chorus Invitationals.

23 choruses with singers ranging in age from 9 to 94 crossed the hallowed stage at the Grand Ole Opry, treating the audience to three songs each. The shine of the costumes were only outdone by the smiles of the performers, with eight choruses earning the top rating of Superior including:

A CAPPELLA! (James Hubert Blake High School, Silver Spring, MD)
Chandler High School Treblemakers (Chandler High School, Chandler, AZ)
Harmony Explosion Chorus (Columbus High School, Columbus, NE)
Hurricane of Harmony (Gaither High School, Tampa, FL)
Provo High School Combined Choirs (Provo High School, Provo, UT)
Rowdy Rhythm (Peters Township High School, McMurray, PA)
Dixie District Seniors Chorus (Dixie District)
Carolina Statesmen (Carolinas District)

Hurricane of Harmony directed by Debbie Cleveland earned the Plateau AAA Award, A CAPPELLA! directed by Sandra Zinkievich the Plateau AA Award, and Upbeat! from Lopez Early College High School in Brownsville, TX earned the Plateau A Award. Hurricane of Harmony also won the Audience Favorite Award, meaning we’ll get to see a reprise of their set during the Saturday Night Show.

The special Presenter’s Award was given to the Wildcat Chord Ringers, a group of nine elementary and middle school students from Quinton Township School in New Jersey. The youngest performers of the day not only pulled off some great chords, but also several wardrobe changes and full theatrics that kept the audience laughing.

The day also included honoring NAfME Music Educator of the Year Lori Lyford who led both her women’s chorus, Chandler High School Treblemakers and the Chandler High School Men’s Choir onto the Opry Stage.

In a field of accomplished singers and longtime members, the Dixie District Seniors Chorus was named the International Seniors Chorus Festival Champion. They are led by director Jimmy Tompkins.

A Win For Youth and Heritage at #BHSOpry

The first day of contest and shows at the 2019 BHS Midwinter Convention was especially significant. It started with the first-ever Next Generation Junior Quartet Contest and ended with a barn-burning Heritage of Harmony Show on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry.

The significance of both events is the demonstration of the Barbershop Harmony Society’s ongoing mission of “Everyone in Harmony” with a focus on youth and the roots of barbershop in African-American music tradition.

15 young quartets, all singers under the age of 18, took the stage in front of a rowdy crowd in the ballroom at Opryland. There were both men’s and women’s quartets and one mixed quartet. While most of the singers were in high school, Elementary Mix from Quinton, NJ – a quartet of elementary school students – charmed the crowd with their rendition of “The Chordbusters March.”

At the end of the contest, the Quin-Tones, a men’s quartet from Salem, NJ, took home the gold medals with a score of 219 points, edging out both 2nd and 3rd by just one point. Singing “My Ideal,” these young gentlemen demonstrated musicality and personality far beyond their years.

Tying for 2nd and 3rd were Singing Double, a quartet of two sets of twins from Tampa, FL, and Vintage Mix, seasoned barbershopping quadruplets from Milwaukee, WI.

Singing Double
Singing Double; Photo: Rick Krebsbach
Vintage Mix
Vintage Mix; Photo: Rick Krebsbach

 

See the full results.

The excitement carried right across the street to the iconic Grand Ole Opry for the Heritage of Harmony Show, featuring The Fisk Jubilee Singers, The Fairfield Four, HALO, Crossroads, Signature, After Hours, and a cameo from Throwback.

The evening was a true celebration of barbershop not only coming to terms with a segregated past, but celebrating a new path forward where diversity and inclusion is paramount.

HALO and The Fairfield Four
HALO and The Fairfield Four at Grand Ole Opry

One Minute With: Vintage Mix

The festivities at #BHSOpry are just getting underway and the NextGen Junior Quartet Contest kicks off the contests Thursday at 4 pm Central.

One of the top groups heading into the contest is Vintage Mix, a mixed quartet of quadruplets from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We caught up with them just after a live interview on the storied WSM Radio in Opryland.

Here is One Minute With: Vintage Mix –