Tom Woodall co-founded the Coles County Barbershop Chorus with Ron Leathers in 1967. The chorus was officially chartered in the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America in 1970.
Tom joined the Sterling-Rock Falls, Illinois chapter of the SPEBSQSA in 1959. He’s sung with at least sixteen different quartets, starting with the Sterling Four over 50 years ago, through his current quartets (that’s right — not one, but two), the Highway 16 Four and the Coles County Connection.
He was certified by SPEBSQSA as a judge in the Harmony Accuracy category in 1972, and he currently serves as a Singing judge in what is now called the Barbershop Harmony Society. At best count, he’s judged over 150 contests in more than one hundred cities, including five International competitions and the 2003 Australian National Contest in Perth. In October, 2010, Tom was honored to judge Singing at the very first contest for the Barbershop Harmony Society’s new North and South Carolina District.
Tom says judging has provided him a much greater understanding of what other singers do around the country as they attempt to perform at a very high level.
He’s also picked up some entertaining (and fun!) performance ideas that the Coles County Chorus has used over the years — such as a circus theme, bums down on their luck, and the infamous “Incarcerated Rhythm” prison-themed show.
Tom’s devotion to promoting the art of singing barbershop harmony hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 1971, Tom was honored by the Illinois District of the Barbershop Harmony Society with its Award for Barbershop Excellence (ABE), the highest award conferred by the district. He also received the Music Man Award from the Illinois District’s Quartet Champions Association in 1994, which is given to men “whose service and contributions have significantly affected the Preservation of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America.”
Tim Woodall is Tom’s son and proof that apples don’t fall far from the tree. Tim joined the CCC in 1978, which means he’s been a member of the chorus for about three-quarters of his life!
Like his dad, Tim is a certified Singing judge in the Barbershop Harmony Society. He’s sung with Tom in a number of quartets that have represented the chorus in Barbershop Harmony Society contests, among them Dads and Lads, the Coles County Connection, the Tri-Counts, and the Highway 16 Four.
For five years, Tim sang lead in Wound 4 Sound, which finished as high as 3rd Place in Illinois District quartet competition. In addition to his duties as co-director of the Coles County Barbershop Chorus, he currently sings baritone with Ringtime, which placed 4th in the spring 2012 district competition, the highest finish to date for a quartet from the Coles County Chorus.
At the Illinois District’s 2012 Spring Convention in Peoria, Tim again followed in his father’s footsteps when he was honored with the 2011 Award for Barbershop Excellence, making our co-directors the only father and son to receive the ABE since it was first presented in 1960.