CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
On the eve of our final contest rehearsal (March 29th), we learned that Eric Brucker was indeed born on that date… thirty-three years ago. He missed being the youngest of our 36 currently active singers, by one month. That tells you something about the age of the CCC (our median age is 59 years).
His wife is scheduled to present him with a son (they already have two daughters) in a few days. You wonder how many father-son combinations have the same birthday? Maybe next time, Eric.
Here, he relaxes with his daughters as they await little brother.
WOW! WHAT A CONVENTION/CONTEST
Over the 42 year CCC history of conventions/contests, we have accumulated many wonderful memories, but the March 30-31st weekend in Washington, IL (just east of Peoria) will never be forgotten. A picture summary and comments will be emailed in a Special Convention Issue, but here are some of the highlights.
The CCC finish second in Illinois (highest place, ever) with our best scores ever (average 72.2). Here is what we looked like in the warm-up room just prior to picture taking and walking (marching) on stage.
All three of our competing quartets distinguished themselves. Ringtime placed 4th (the highest contest finish ever for a CCC quartet). Keyless won the Novice trophy and the Coles County Connection earned mic tester honors. (And a standing ovation led by the judging panel for their mic testing set! — Ed.)
Tim Woodall received the ABE (Award for Barbershop Excellence). This award is given once each year to the Illinois Barbershopper who has displayed the most unselfish giving of his time and talent to promote and support the hobby in the state of Illinois.
Tim is a 35 year member and a complete summary of his activities is presented in the Convention issue. He was thoroughly shocked and surprised at the receipt of the honor and walked off with some nice loot. In the 52 year history of the award, only four other Coles County members have received this honor. (Including his dad back in 1971. — Ed.)
Check out other convention/contest happenings in the special Convention issue, soon to be emailed.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW…
Ron Leathers, co-founder of the Coles County Chorus (licensed in 1967), was one of two original members who sang on stage over the weekend. After hearing the good results of our competition, he hurried home to find out the results of the Greek Sing contest held at Eastern Illinois University.
Ron attended and graduated from EIU in 1960 and was very active in the Sigma Pi fraternity. A few months ago, he was asked to help coach the current members of his old fraternity as they prepared for their annual chorus contest.
The good news is that the 44 man group won first place. It had been 31 years since the Sig Pi men won that contest. Nice goin’, Coach Leathers.
They are not Hell’s Angels, but we have at least four of our members who are serious motorcycle riders. Three of them pose for this photo in the lobby of the Headquarters Hotel in Peoria.
From left to right are Jim Stewart, Dwight Tell and Steve Blucker. Randy Doty also rides, but didn’t make the photo op.
Dwight actually rode to the contest (left at 5 AM in 40 degree weather for the 140 mile ride) but arrived in time for the 8:30 AM B Flat Singing event.
If the bikers could create a quartet they might have some very interesting name possibilities. The real problem might be the voice parts, there are 3 leads and a baritone.
Our newest member, Chris Linzey, happens to be the youngest of our currently active singers…he’ll be 33 years old in a few more weeks. Chris is married with three children and the Pastor at the Central Community Church in Mattoon. Actually, he lives less than a mile from our practice site.
He did undergraduate work at Vanguard University (Orange, CA.. north of Los Angeles) and has recently completed his MS Divinity degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a commissioned military officer and he entered the Chaplain Corps of the Army Reserve in 2009 — currently assigned to a Military Police battalion.
He obviously had no trouble with our military package and who knows, perhaps his realistic and sincere prayer prior to our walking on stage had something to do with us doing our very best performance.
Looking for some diversity after several weeks of contest riser work, members were greeted with oversize copies of Polecat songs, taped to the wall. As they straggled in prior to chorus practice, they gravitated to each station to see what they could do. Of course, those who could sing tenor were in high demand.
When chorus rehearsal started, we had 26 singers (including recently AWOL Toby Beachy) and returning guest, Jared Schaefer.
Dick Reimers returned (not as a guest…he is now an official member, renewing after several years out-of-the-loop. Also visiting was the three year old daughter of Eric Brucker and his mother.
Long time Treasurer and most recent BOTY winner Roger Smith, received his 12 year membership card and though he spent most of his membership years with the Champaign-Urbana Chapter, Jim Kraatz picked up his FIFTY ONE YEAR membership card. We’ve enjoyed having him with us for the past several years.
Knowing that he was to have surgery in Springfield on Wednesday morning, the chorus sang (via cell phone) “The Old Songs” to Ron Leathers. We also had prayer for Ron and for Rich Helton and his mother (she recently took a nasty fall on her face and his hospitalized). How nice it is to be able to share our joys and concerns with our Heavenly Father who gives us music and voices to enjoy it.
Jim Roll announced that through the generosity of members and former members/friends, the CCC received a check for well over $750 from the Harmony Foundation. Those who contribute to HF, can designate that a certain percentage of their gift can be given to a specified chapter. We’ve had many donors in recent years, but this wonderful gift (June through December of 2011) was made possible by the giving of Jim/Celia Kraatz and Tim Woodall.
At least 25 members have committed to sing on the Danville Sweet Adelines Show (Saturday, April 21st) and we’ve been asked to sing a special evening performance in Strasburg in July — on Friday the 13th.
Marge Woodall (51 year faithful/supporter of all Tom’s barbershop ventures) surprised everyone with one of her outstanding Texas sheet cakes… “Something About A Soldier”. She even had a few notes across the top. Needless to say, she didn’t have to take home any of the cake.
Though the contest success and weekend experience at the convention will be etched in our memories for a long time, the Illinois District provided us with a special remembrance….a clip on “Second Place Chorus 2012) attachment for our District pins.
Only 24 of the 32 men who sang in the contest were able to attend last night, but those who did, proudly display the second place chorus attachments for their District pins.
APRIL 15, 2012 SUNDAY 3 PM DANVILLE MEN’S CHORUS
The Danville Men’s Chapter is trying to get back on it’s feet after many “down” years. They’ll be putting on their first show of the new era and the Prairie Blend Quartet (Champaign) will perform on the show. It will be a patriotic theme and all are encouraged to attend and support them. Tickets are $10. The Show site is the Bremer Center (2000 East Main Street) on the campus of the Danville Area Community College. Contacts are Jim Beebe email@example.com or Wes Biertz firstname.lastname@example.org
APRIL 21, 2012 SATURDAY 6 PM DANVILLE, IL SWEET ADELINES SHOW
The CCC has been invited to sing on the Danville Sweet Adelines Cabaret Show…KC Hall 310 Bryan Ave. Danville.
We’ll be assembling in Danville at 5:15 PM
APRIL 20, 21, 22 FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY GODSPELL Wesley United Methodist Church Charleston, IL
Though the CCC singers are committed to singing in Danville on Saturday, on April 21st, some may want to consider attending the Godspell production on one of the other dates. Three participants have ties to the CCC. Ken Hull is the Vocal Director while Stan McMorris and former member, Scott Brooks are part of the cast. Call 345-3917 for ticket information
MAY 12, 2012 SATURDAY MUSIC DIRECTOR WORKSHOP First Presbyterian Church, Mattoon, IL
As VP for Illinois District Chorus Director Development, Tim Woodall is coordinating a clinic to help directors from around Illinois, develop their skills. As of right now, 20 CCC members have agreed to be the “singers” so that five the directors can hone their skills. The singers are needed in the afternoon hours.
JUNE 9, 2012 SATURDAY ANNUAL SHOW at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL
4 PM Show @ Dvorak 6 PM After Glow @ Student Union
Guest Quartet After Hours Illinois District Champs and International Semi-Finalist. The Sound of Illinois (Bloomington Chorus) will also appear on the show. Ron Hawkins 276-3312 is the Ticket Chairman
Full list of upcoming events at the Coles County Chorus Calendar.