Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 27
Harnessing harmonyThe Central City Chordsmen celebrate barbershop-style harmony with favorite songs
BY JOE PAYNE
A capella barbershop-style singing is a genre unto itself. Bringing images of mustachioed men in straw hats and red-and-white-striped shirts, barbershop style started with such Tin Pan Alley favorites as “Hello My Ragtime Gal,” “Heart of Heart,” and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”
Today, some talented local men keep the tradition of barbershop harmony alive. The Central City Chordsmen are presenting their annual concert featuring “Disney and More” on Sept. 15 for two performances.
The Chordsmen are the Santa Maria Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. An international organization, the Barbershop Harmony Society organizes choruses, octets, and quartets in the United States as well Britain, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. The whole mission of the organization is simple: Get together and sing!
“I love barbershop quartet singing, always have,” said Chordsmen president and director Larry Long, “and when I heard the chorus 25 years ago, I was hooked, and joined.”
The Central City Chordsmen always welcomes local men and boys ages 16 and older to join in the fun and sing the barbershop style. The group gets together every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior at Bradley and Patterson Roads in Santa Maria. Exceptions can be made for boys younger than 16, but all minors must be accompanied by a father or grandfather.
“A few years back, we even had three generations in the chorus,” Long said. “We had a 10-year-old, his dad, and the grandfather—that was fun. If you can carry a tune, you can sing barbershop.”
The upcoming concert will showcase the talents of not just the Central City Chordsmen Chorus, but chapter octets and quartets as well. Long belongs to an octet named the Decadent Ten, a joke on how many members are in the group as opposed to how many make it to each gig. He’s also in a quartet called the Half and Half, which will perform as well. There will also be a performance by a competition quartet from the Fresno chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
The Barbershop Harmony Society is also host to two workshops a year in the Bay Area and Ontario, where members can meet to sing, compete, and even attend various classes on directing, barbershop music theory, and other topics. They also teach the special aspect of barbershop singing known as the “fifth voice,” which is actually an overtone created when the four singers are in near perfect harmony with each other.
“The camaraderie is great; it’s great to get together with a bunch of guys, and after a while it’s like gathering with your family,” Long said. “Most guys like to sing, even if it’s in the shower, and most guys, once they try this barbershopping thing, get hooked.”
The Central City Chordsmen will be performing two concerts of “Disney and More” on Sept. 15 at 2 and 7 p.m. at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Santa Maria.
The Westmont College Orchestra will perform spiritual orchestral music for two worship services on Sept. 16 at 9 and 10:20 a.m. at Santa Ynez Presbyterian Church, 1825 Alamo Pintado Road, Santa Ynez. More info: 565-6051, email@example.com, or westmont.edu.
Fun at the 510
The 510 Event Center presents a live blues jam featuring local musicians led by Juan Marquez and Sangria Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. DJ Orlando entertains Thursday nights starting at 10 p.m. (dress code enforced). DJ Orlando also spins for “Margarita Night” every Monday from 9 p.m. to midnight. Saturdays feature an open mic from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturday nights are Latin night featuring live norteño and banda music. Call for times. The 510 Event Center is at 510 South Broadway, Santa Maria. More info: 928-5510, firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/510eventcenter, or 510eventcenter.com.
The Chumash Casino and Resort presents the Grammy Award-winning group Toto on Sept. 13. The resort is at 3400 E. Highway 246, Santa Ynez. More info: 1-800-CHUMASH or chumashcasino.com.
All that jazz
The Santa Maria Inn presents “A New Twist on an Old Favorite” in the Tap Room, featuring performances by Mezcal on Fridays. Mofongo performs the first Saturday of each month, the Sammy Labastida Jazz and Blues Band performs the second Saturday of each month, Louie Ortega performs the third Saturday of each month, and Lawless and Dean perform the fourth Saturday of each month. The shows take place in the Tap Room, Santa Maria Inn, 801 S. Broadway, Santa Maria. More info: 928-7777 or santamariainn.com.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including the country music of Teddy Spanke and the Tex Pistols on Sept. 14 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” featuring Richard Diaz is Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. The Magnificent Bastards perform Sept. 15 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with guest DJs.” Tales from the Tavern presents a special show with Dave Alvin and the Guilty Ones on Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. G&M Productions presents the Mad Caddies in concert Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or email@example.com.
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