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Seven musical groups for the price of one

Summit City Chorus presents annual Spring show

By Rod King

Fort Wayne Reader

2006-04-24


Scottish Rite Auditorium will be ringing with close barbershop harmonies Saturday, April 29 when the Summit City Chorus (SCC) presents its annual Spring Show.
Audience members will not only hear the 45 beautifully blended voices of the Chorus, but six additional groups as well. In other words, they’ll be listening to seven musical groups performing a wide variety of barbershop tunes for the price of one. Such a deal!
Among those seven will be a special guest group, Downstate Express, from Rochester, Minnesota. The Barbershop Harmony Society’s 2004 International Seniors Quartet Champion vocalists not only make great music, but are rumored to be pretty good comedians, as well.
The program, which will be presented at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., includes five quartets from the Chorus (Hoosier Gentry, Those Guys, River City Rhythm, Summit City Sound and Summit Chord Company) and a special cameo group from the chorus.
According to long time member Dwight Nash, the group has been presenting a concert in the spring every year since it was organized in 1944. They also do an annual holiday concert with the Sweet Adelines, and on Valentine’s Day, SCC quartets deliver singing valentines throughout the Fort Wayne area. This year they sang for 120 special valentines and presented each one a rose. “Our music and shows are always ‘G’ rated, so parents need not have fear of offensive material. We’re simply wholesome family entertainment,” says Nash.
SCC director Mark Leimer says the Spring Show is the highlight of their season. “The first half of the program, entitled ‘Experiencing Technical Difficulties,’ will be done as though the group were doing a rehearsal in preparation for the Spring Show and as if the audience isn’t there. It’s kind of a comedy of errors with lights coming on at the wrong time, curtains malfunctioning and construction noises coming from behind the scenes. At one point a quartet will be singing ‘Ten Feet off the Floor’ while their director is literally stuck in a stage trap door. This particular show is quite challenging because of all the special effects, but it should be a lot of fun, and we hope the audience really picks up on it.
“The second half of the performance, however, will be loaded with straight up singing with the chorus, our special guest quartet and our own quartets. Our Spring Show is the kick off for a busy year of performances that includes a concert this summer at Foellinger Theater during the Three Rivers Festival, the Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, in August, a couple appearances to sing the national anthem at Komets and Freedom games at the Memorial Coliseum, and the annual holiday concert. In addition, we’re working on the details for concerts at the World War II Museum in Auburn and at the Warsaw Theater. 2006 will be a very active year.”
Persons interested in exercising their vocal chords on barbershop melodies are invited to attend a 7 p.m. Monday rehearsal at Simpson United Methodist Church on South Harrison Street. All that’s needed is a desire to sing and the ability to carry a tune. Check out the SCC on the internet at www.summitcitychorus.org., or call Summit City Chorus at 486-5875.

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