2nd City Chorus members set for Barbershop Competition

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-112792491021295.jpg’, ‘Photo provided’, ‘Local quartet will compete for the Illinois District Barbershop Competition Sept. 30-Oct. 1.’);

Group factions off into two quartets for Sept. 30-Oct. 1 district competition in Peoria

Until last September, it had been more than 45 years since Rockford had a barbershop medalist quartet. This year, tsunami, a local quartet, will compete again at the Illinois District Barbershop Competition in Peoria.

Members of the tsunami quartet derive from the 2nd City Chorus, and include Doug Phillips, Peter Hansen, Greg Martin and Rick Schultz.

Last year, the quartet placed third in the competition, falling short of first place by less than half a percentage point. They are hoping to choose songs that will work well with their voices and catch them first place.

The competition is split in two different evenings, starting with more than 20 different quartets performing two songs, each on Friday night. The top 10 quartets will advance to the finals and sing two different songs Saturday.

The choice of song is important for these quartets. It can be very frustrating to choose four different songs and to decide which should be sung on what evening, providing the quartet advances to the finals.

“Selecting Friday’s set is always tricky,” Martin, the bass singer, said. “We obviously want to put up a big number on Friday to hopefully be near the top, but then Saturday’s finals become even more important.”

They decided this year to start with two new songs for Friday and then what used to be their opening set, if they advance to Saturday.

“It’s always a guessing game, but we think it’s a good plan,” Martin said.

Along with tsunami, a new quartet named Second Edition will also compete for the first time. Second Edition consists of Dave Merrill, Chris Weber, Dave Mouri and Mark Klemm, four more members of the 2nd City Chorus.

Besides the quartet competition, tsunami and Second Edition members will also be competing that weekend with the 2nd City Chorus for the barbershop chorus competition.

Rockford’s 2nd City Chorus is one of the top five barbershop choruses in the state. They will be competing against 14 other selected choruses from Illinois.

Each chorus competing has to choose two songs that are “contestable” to perform. The 2nd City Chorus decided to arrange two songs from the musical Oliver because they wanted to have songs with a storyline that would work musically and visually.

They hired one of their music arrangers, Jay Giallombardo, to create the songs from the musical. By the end of December of last year, the songs were ready.

Giallombardo named the arranged songs “The Oliver Medley,” a compilation of four songs from the musical, and “Consider Yourself One of the Family.”

This year, they are hoping to amaze judges with not only the musical performance but with a visual one as well. Chorus members Bill Ward and Mark Tremble created a visual plan with costumes and characterizations that would be authentic to the musical.

The choruses competing are allowed to have membership ranging from 20 to more than 100 singers. The 2nd City Chorus expects to have 35 singers who hail from Belvidere, Poplar Grove, Rockton, Roscoe, Freeport, Byron, Oregon, Elgin, Lindenwood and Rockford.

The Illinois District Barbershop Competition will be at the Civic Center in Peoria Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. For more information, contact Greg Martin at 815/639-9692 or e-mail him at gregmartin@insightbb.com.

From the Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2005, issue

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