ROLL WITH IT
The contest site was a beautiful venue called Five Points, in Washington, IL. The headquarters hotel was named Four Points by Sheraton in Peoria, IL (about 20 minutes) from Five Points. Though there was some inconvenience, everyone seemed to adjust and enjoyed joking about the 5 and 4 point identifications.
HOUSE OF DELEGATES MAKES IMPORTANT DECISION
No longer will choruses be required to qualify in order to sing in the Fall Contest (the one that selects our representative to sing in the International Contest the following summer). This coming fall (Sept. 28-29th) any Illinois Chorus in good standing may enter this open contest. The decision was welcomed by chapters throughout the District.
OTHER NON-CONTEST HAPPENINGS OF INTEREST
The Marsha Bowyer Glass Creation caught the eye of lots of convention goers. Ben Mollet (a brand new member of the Collinsville chapter) won the drawing. The raffle brought in $1,105 meaning that Marsha’s efforts have resulted in nearly $5,000 for IDAH in the last four years. Thanks to all who bought tickets. Here Jeff Bowyer (District Executive VP) and Marsha, pose with the sought-after item.
The Quartet Corner was open between 4 and 6 PM on Friday afternoon and was designed to provide a location for singers to congregate…for whatever kind of singing they desired….tags, polecat or even some woodshedding.
The first four guys to try out the area are: Will Thorndike (VP for Events), Tom Woodall (Quartet Promotions) and Dick Kingdon (BS icon in Illinois…singer, tag teacher etc) and Jim Roll (Coles County Past President).
Jim and Celia Kraatz, seated (CCC = Coles County Chorus), were available to explain and provide actual “woodshedding” experiences as planned by the AHSOW (Ancient Harmonious Society of Woodshedders) and this group posed for a photo.
Back Row: Ron Hawkins (CCC), Bruce Condill (CCC), Fredericks Lineberry (DuPage), Jim Roll (CCC) and Doug Ferrier (Bloomington). Kneeling in middle row: Harold Harness (Bloomington) and Steve Blucker (CCC).
Thirty minutes of B Flat Singing found about 50 men who stopped in to sing polecat (and other songs) with new and old friends. Some 20 different Polecat songs were taped to the walls and informal foursomes went from station to station, in search of some songs they could handle. Some singers were District Champs and others were brand new barbershoppers.
Preparing to start the event, these men blew B flats on the pitch pipes and hardly any agreed with each other. Right or wrong, they went with the electronic device held by Chuck Heinz (CCC, kneeling #2 from left). Note the songs are taped on the wall and ready for the singers to begin.
Just like the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, the clock finally clicked down to 00:00:00 and those present posed for a quick photo. Only 40 men could squeeze in the photo and some left earlier. It is estimated that about 50 men took part.
Though we have no photos available, Bob Squires hosted the SMAG FEST (Saturday Morning Anything Goes) event that followed the B Flat Singing.
There must have been at least a dozen different awards presented, but these were special to the CCC. The Harmony Foundation rated the CCC #1 in Illinois ($138 per man) based on the contributions of CCC members and friends.
Several donors designated a portion of their gift to be returned to the CCC, therefore we received a wonderful check for $763.
The Charles Hecking Award
The CCC has won this philanthropy award for four of the last five years. Raising over $8,000 annually through benefit concerts for the area Food Pantry and Homeless Shelter Programs and Singing Valentines to give financial support to the vocal music programs of area high schools who attend our CCC Youth in Harmony Festival, members averaged $200 per man towards these worthy causes.
The Plateau 4A Chorus Championship was another nice recognition. The CCC scored a 72.2 average mark to finish above the other Plateau 4A choruses in the contest — Belleville’s “Sounds of Harmony”, Rockford’s “Second City Chorus” (which was brilliant with its “deer in the headlights” set!), and Lake County’s “Brotherhood of Harmony”.
The ABE (Award for Barbershop Excellence) was presented to our own Tim Woodall and it was a popular choice with barbershoppers around Illinois. Tim is a 35 year barbershopper, quartet singer, tag teacher, coach, certified judge, chorus director and the VP for Chorus Development in Illinois. He started singing with the CCC when he was 12 years old.
Here he poses with the traveling trophy and a beautiful clock memento. The award is presented to one man each year and is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a barbershopper in the Illinois District.
The first ABE was presented in 1960 and in the ensuing 52 years, four other CCC members have won the award: Rich Hansen (2009), Gary Nohren (1995), Ron Leathers (1978) and Tom Woodall (1971).
Tom and Tom Woodall are the only father – son team to ever win the ABE.
Placements and scoring summaries are available on the Illinois District Web Site. Of special interest to CCC folks were our three quartets.
RingTime (Derek Gilbert, Jeff Bowyer, Mike Bell, Tim Woodall) ended up 4th, the highest finish ever by any CCC foursome.
They averaged 69.3 points per song (Tin Roof Blues, Cop on the Beat, PS I Love You, and Kentucky Babe).
While waiting to go on stage, RingTime (CCC) and the Committee (Bloomington) were visiting when they noticed they had contrasting black vs white outfits. They created this interesting pose.
Now if you are a good piano player, you’ll be able to identify what “note” (on the keyboard) that each singer represents. If you can correctly determine what note or notes that Derek (extreme left) could represent, you’ll be able to get the rest.
Send in your answers (guesses)..the winners get to sit in on an upcoming CCC rehearsal…FREE of charge.
This foursome of Brad Smith, Bob Jones, Ron Hawkins and Steve Blucker have sung together for several years. No chapter quartet has done as many performances (nursing homes, birthday parties, community gatherings, church events etc). They love to sing, but until last weekend, they’d never before taken the contest stage.
They did this time and were awarded the Novice Quartet Trophy (at least two members must never have sung in contest before). They chose “The Cop on the Beat” and “I’m Alone Because I Love You” and were very musical and in control.
Three of them are well over 55 years of age, but Ron is still a kid…barely over 50.
The Coles County Connection has been together about 8 months and sang in contest last fall. This year, they decided to bring a little excitement to the competition and though they just missed the top ten finalist category, they did finish 11th and were given the opportunity to be the “mic testers” for the finals.
The foursome of Tom Woodall, Jim Stewart, Denny Thomas and Jim Roll pulled on the ski masks and entertained with some parodies to “After Dark” and “Honey Little Lize Medley”.
Some “gremlins” sabotaged their “mic testing” set, but a few of the lyrics (tune Down Our Way) brought some response from the audience. “We must confess…and you can guess, we’re really not ready to be here tonight. Please grant us your pardon and say it’s alright. We know the score, but friends galore, they said you ain’t the best, but the mic you will test…..”
In a kind gesture, the entire judging panel stood up and gave a rousing ovation. (It wasn’t kindness. They were impressed that you guys worked up a second contest set–a funny one–in about three hours! — Ed.)
We had barely gotten the songs off the paper by contest time, but the 32 singers were focused and even had an extra rehearsal to draw things together. One singer, Dwight Tell, even rode his motorcycle over 300 miles (round trip) to compete. By the time he got to Peoria, he was wide awake.
Over the years, the CCC has always been competitive, but the Military Package not only scored the best ever, but the group finished 2nd…highest in the 41 year history of the chapter.
Prior to going on stage, uniform manager Clark Niepert was sweating out ill fitting pants…some of the waist lines were challenging the army belts.
Randy Turner was pleased that the Army has relaxed the facial hair rules. We think he did wear his tie.
Rich Hansen continues his dual membership with Coles County and Bloomington and was instrumental in successfully coaching us in our marching and other military maneuvers.
Just before going on stage, an unofficial photo was taken. Directors Tom and Tim are in the center of the front row.
Bloomington won the contest with a 79.8 average, however they could not have been any happier than the CCC chorus, who for the first time ever, averaged over 70 points per song…72.2 to be exact.
One of the joys, following a successful performance is listening to the judges compliment some of the good things that were accomplished. Here, some of the men enjoy hearing a Singing Judge tell us why we averaged 73.8 in that category. That is an all-time high and our two directors (both certified singing judges) liked hearing those numbers.
Never in our wildest dreams did we suspect that one of the Presentation Judges was actually a career military man. He was so pleased with our attention to detail and passion for discipline that gave us great praise and even expected more the next time out.
He must have said something funny because our guys seem to be smiling, big time.
The party is over and we must get back to prepare for our June 9th Show. Does the “Military Memories” title surprise anyone?