The weather forecast has 100 plus degrees for tomorrow and vacations and other commitments will temporarily decrease attendance, but it may have an opposite effect on enthusiasm. A couple dozen guys enjoyed a diverse meeting last night.
It was nice to see Anthony Morrison back with us and Doug Finkbiner has submitted his application (he sang with us for six years in the late 1990s). Though he’s still singing a good bit, there has not been much barbershop recently. Doug lives and teaches in Newton, IL and has a long trek to Mattoon, but it is great to see/hear him again. Dwight Tell had to drop out of the chorus a few months ago, but he stopped in at the break to say hello. He was on his evening run (he’s lost some 80 pounds in the last two years) before work.
The Warm-Up Craft Session:
The meeting began with a unique warm-up/craft session. The singers lined up in two long single file lines about 10 feet apart, facing each other. They followed warm-up instructions, but each man was asked to observe the mouth shapes produced by the man directly across from him, noting if they changed during a variety of vowel sounds, sung at different pitches.
After some discussion and observation about the significance, or lack of significance concerning the mouth shape, each man was given one of the old time SPEBSQSA mirrors so he could observe his own mouth as he sang a variety of word sounds. (NOTE: Some 25 years ago, the CCC bought 3 dozen of the mirrors…which had strings affixed so men could hang them around the neck and use as needed during the rehearsal. Though we know there is a lot more to good vocal production than mouth shapes, it did provide some visual evidence about the effort the singer was making to provide a taller, more open resonating cavity.
The mirrors had suggestions printed on one side — keep the tongue tip against the lower gum ridge, don’t stress harsh consonants, do stress singable consonants – M, N, L, V -, strive to match the shapes of the other singers in the ensemble etc.
Men could sing and use the mirror to observe what was actually going on with their own mouth shape – tension etc.
A PC Session
For CCC members on Tuesday night, PC does not stand for personal computer. It does stand for Pole Cat type songs and for variety and fun, we revisited some old favorites. Four stations were set up around the room and men (as few as four and up to 8) were assigned to each site, where an enlarge Pole Cat sheet of music was adhered to the wall. They worked on the song for 5 to 7 minutes and then rotated to another station so that personnel intermingled throughout the session. Lots of fun and exposure for those who need to have a few songs that they can sing at the drop of a hat…with any barbershopper…anywhere.
Here, Steve Blucker, Ron Hawkins, Jim Kraatz and Dave Clausing try their voices on “Sweet Adeline”.
Across the room, “Down Mobile” got some attention from Clark Niepert, Bob Jones, Phil Martin and Jim Roll.
Name That Tune
The final activity in the diverse educational section of the meeting, was a “Name That Tune” quiz. Men selected a partner, picked up a quiz sheet and pencil and then tried to identify a melody line that was just a series of numbers (the scale position of the pitches in the key feeling). No time values were provided, so it got a bit difficult unless you could hum the pattern in your head and then identify it…without timing suggestions. For example, most people got along very well with “Three Blind Mice” (3 – 2 – 1- 3 – 2 – 1- 5 – 4- 4- 3, etc).
What would you do with this one?… (5 – 6 – 5- 3 – 5 – 6 – 5 – 3)
If you would like to pursue this farther, click the link to see the quiz. Good luck! The answers will be provided in “The Wednesday Morning After” for next week (July 4th).
Jim Roll has been our President, a BOTY and faithful chorus and quartet singer. He picked up his 14 year membership card last night and we’ve been a better chapter since he walked in the doors so many years ago. He, along with Les Heath, are our Scrolling Marquee experts.
The only available photo of JR, was this one from the wall of the Post Office in “Catfish”, Illinois.
Currently, the oldest active member of the CCC will be 77 years of age on June 28th. Thoughtful members signed this card and presented it last night.
HEARD IT ON THE GRAPEVINE
Apparently, the mother of Ron Hawkins is doing much better after receiving significant blood transfusions. Please focus some of your thoughts and prayers on Roger Smith who is dealing with significant back issues (discs etc) and in a lot of pain.
Lefty Bryden has returned home from what was to have been a “minor” out-patient leg surgery…he ended up in the hospital for three days. We have other “unmentioned” requests for medical intervention for folks in our “family”…..thanks.
Jared Schaefer is our newest member and the radio voice of WRJM (1270 AM) in Charleston. It has just been announced that WRJM-AM, will now start broadcasting the baseball games of the Chicago Cubs….nice goin’, Jared!
We’ll definitely plan on some pre-chorus practice Nursing Home sings at 6:30 PM on some Tuesdays in July. Stay tuned.
Three CCC men (Gery Conlin, Rod Crawford, and Dick Reimers) are serious road bicycle riders (100 miles at a shot). Reimers has recently opened his own store in north-east Effingham. For real road bikers, the name, Uphill Grind, is very descriptive. Check out the shop…great diverse offerings.
If they could find a fourth guy for a quartet, can you imagine the names they could dream up?
JUNE 12th thru JULY 31st GUEST NIGHTS Bring a friend…expose him to the CCC and our Musical Fellowship
JULY 3rd– 7th INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND CONTEST Portland, Oregon
SEPT 28th-29th ILLINOIS DISTRICT QUARTET CHORUS CONVENTION/CONTEST Springfield, IL
OCTOBER 22nd Monday 9th ANNUAL YOUTH IN HARMONY FESTIVAL CCC hosts at EIU…All Day
Some 250 high school boys, girls and their teachers are expect to attend. An excellent staff is being assembled.
NOVEMBER 3rd Saturday ANNUAL CHAPTER OFFICER TRAINING SCHOOL (CSLT)
Charleston (First Baptist Church) All day.
DECEMBER 2nd Sunday ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BENEFIT CONCERTS
3 PM Charleston (Wesley United Methodist Church)
7 PM Mattoon (First Presbyterian Church)