February 11, 2016
by Ralph Paul

The Barbershop Harmony Society held its Midwinter Convention in beautiful Reno, Nevada last month. The Peppermill Resort and Casino with their terrific facilities and marvelous service graciously hosted the event. Rich Phillips and I, from the Denver MountainAires, attended. In addition to the Seniors Quartet Contest, Midwinter Youth Quartet Contest Finals, speeches and classes which are held at every midwinter convention, there were two optional activities offered to attendees. They were the Harmony Platoon quartet competition and a performance with the newly crowned international chorus champs, the Westminster Chorus.

Ralph's First Harmony Platoon Quartet In Competition

Ralph’s First Harmony Platoon Quartet In Competition

At the beginning of the convention, on Wednesday and Thursday, I competed in the Harmony Platoon quartet competition. For this activity, participants received five moderately difficult songs to learn prior to the convention. At the convention, we gathered to practice the songs as a group for a couple of hours. Then the competitions began. Three competitions were held. In each, the participants were randomly “thrown together” into quartets, randomly assigned one of the five songs, practiced for 15 minutes and then sang their songs before judges. First, second and third place honors were awarded in each competition. Two of my quartets received honors. One tied for first place and the other received second place honors.

Harmony Platoon Improptu Performance

Harmony Platoon Improptu Performance

On Thursday, after the competitions had ended, a dozen platooners went to a local soup kitchen and provided entertainment for the folks. And, later that afternoon, the whole platoon gathered outside the auditorium where the competitions were being held and sang our songs for spectators in the lobby. This was a great event. We had a wonderful time and developed some great camaraderie. I highly recommend Harmony Platoon to all barbershoppers!

Ralph & Rich After the Big Show

Ralph & Rich After the Big Show

Rich Phillips participated in the Westminster Chorus performance at the big show on Saturday night. This activity provided over 100 barbershoppers from around the world the opportunity to sing three songs with the newly crowned international chorus champs, the Westminster Chorus. They sang No More Sorrow, Lost in the Stars, and the grand finale featured the addition of 500 youth chorus members teaming up to provide over 600 voices in the singing of Tribute to World Peace. It was a phenomenal experience for participants and audience alike!

Ralph, Loretta, Rich & Elle After the Show

Ralph, Loretta, Rich & Elle After the Show

The Reno Midwinter Convention was my first Barbershop Harmony Society convention, and it was GREAT fun! The Denver MountainAires were well represented at this event, and my wife, Loretta, and I, along with Rich and Elle Phillips thoroughly enjoyed it. We will definitely attend future conventions, and I highly recommend them to all barbershoppers.

Jennie's Singing ValentineLET US SING FOR YOU
The Denver MountainAires and our quartets would be happy to sing at your event.

Contact John (Murph) Murphy

Harmony Platooners Sing at MountainAires Meeting (cropped)WOULD YOU LIKE TO SING BARBERSHOP?
We are looking for new members! You don’t have to know how to sing. All you need is a desire to sing barbershop. We’ll teach you the rest. Come to one of our meetings and see how you like it. We meet every Tuesday evening at 7:30 at the Edgewater Community Church and guests are always welcome.

For more information, contact Jon Dreger

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