Sunday, March 23, 2014

63rd Annual Barbershop Show in less than 1 week!

Imagine if the Rock River Valley Barbershop Chorus had a weekly radio show, with folks tuning in every Saturday night for “The Big Barbershop Broadcast” filled with skits and songs performed live in front of a studio audience!  That’s the premise of “…On the Air”, our 63rd Annual Show this coming Saturday, March 29th at Sterling High School’s Centennial Auditorium. We’ll be ‘live’ at 4:30 on imaginary KORD radio with four-part harmony renditions of “Nevertheless” “Little Pal” “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down & Write Myself a Letter” and more, along with putting our spin on gags from radio greats like Abbott & Costello, Fred Allen, Jack Benny, and Stan Freberg! 

The guys in the chorus are having a blast getting these songs and skits ready, with musical direction by Tim Pashon and Kevin O’Keefe, and the radio script written by Kevin Deets and Jay Pauley. Our very own chapter quartet 74 and a quarter will also perform. We’re sure you’ll be both singing along and laughing out loud!

The chorus is also looking forward to this year’s special quartet Forefront.  One of the Barbershop Harmony Society’s most sought-after quartets, Forefront placed 13th in 2010, 6th in 2011, and 7th in 2012 at international competitions and, most recently, took home a 5th place bronze medal from last year’s contest in Toronto! With great music, artistry, and high energy performance, we’re thrilled this quartet is performing at our show!

Tickets for the show are on sale now  (Adults - $15; Seniors - $12; and Students - Free with ID)  and can be purchased in advance at Community State Bank locations in Sterling and Rock Falls; Select Employees Credit Union; St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Sterling; Books on First in Dixon; from any Barbershop Chorus Member. Tickets will also be available at the door Saturday.

No, the RRVBC doesn’t actually have a weekly radio show “…On the Air”!  But our chorus members do travel to Rock Falls weekly to rehearse (some from as far away as  Princeton, Clinton, Monroe, etc), getting ready for performances at area fundraising events, churches, Christmas walks, and district contests, plus help organize and volunteer at events like the Youth In Harmony Festival coming up in September!  Our annual Spring Show helps make all of this possible, so we sure hope you’ll make the trip this Saturday to Centennial Auditorium in Sterling for “The Big Barbershop Broadcast”!  We hit the airwaves at 4:30!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Officer Installation 2014!

On Saturday, March 15th, the Rock River Valley Barbershop Chorus had our annual Officer Installation Dinner.  The night was filled with good food, wonderful friendship, some interesting moments and, of course, some great music!  This year our Installation Dinner was held at the Forest Inn in Morrison.  They are very friendly, serve great food and were willing and able to accommodate our unique needs as always.  As we started to set up for the dinner in the back room, we noticed there was a very nice family celebrating a birthday.  Being the musical bunch that we are, and realizing we intruded on their party somewhat, we sang our very own barbershop rendition of Happy Birthday to the appreciative group.  Once they had finished up, we were able to get on with our own festivities.

Will Thorndike installing the 2014 chapter officers.
We jumped right in with the purpose of the evening, the installation of the 2014 chapter officers.  Illinois District representative Will Thorndike led the motley looking crew of officers through the gauntlet of pledges and promises that may prove to be too much to handle.  There were some scoffs and hesitations, but in the end Will was able to get every member of the chapter's board on the right path.

After the installation of officers, we were ready to see who would receive the prestigious Barbershopper of the Year Award.  This is a closely guarded secret that only three people in the chapter know until that night. This year, the secret was particularly difficult to keep.  Since the original Officer Installation Dinner in January had to be cancelled due to snow, those in the know had to keep quiet got an extra six weeks! At last, Art Deem, last year's BOTY recipient, was able to present the award to the highly deserving Ben Dirks!
Art Deem (left) presents the Barbershopper of the Year
Award to Ben Dirks (right).

Ben is an 11-year member of the Rock River Valley Barbershop Chorus, the current president, and a past Membership Vice-President.  He often goes beyond his duties to continually push the chapter to new heights, and we are very pleased to see him receive this high honor.

RRVBC chapter quartet 74 and a quarter

After officers were installed, and awards were presented, we got to the most important part of the night...the music.  First up, the sweet sounds of one of our very own chapter quartets, 74 and a quarter. Then we had the privilege to hear our special guest quartet Synergy, the current Illinois District 3rd place quartet.  Their ringing chords and heartfelt ballads were beautiful and a treat to hear.  We thank them for joining us that evening and wish them the best of luck on their musical journey.

Synergy, Illinois District 3rd place quartet 

Of course, we finished the evening with our rendition of Keep The Whole World Singing which quickly turned into some impromptu tag singing.  It was a wonderful night filled with joy and fellowship with our friends and families, and we can't wait for next year's Officer Installation Dinner.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

RRVBC Singing at March 4Ward- LSSI Fundraiser

The Rock River Barbershop Chorus is singing at a benefit dinner for the Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.  The fundraiser is being sponsored by three churches in the Sterling/Rock Falls area (Immanuel Lutheran in Rock Falls, and St. Paul Lutheran and St. John Lutheran in Sterling) and will include a delicious dessert auction, a silent auction and fantastic pulled pork dinner.  In addition to these exciting activities, the Rock River Valley Barbershop Chorus will be provided their unique and superb brand of musical entertainment.

LSSI helps provide social services for Illinois through counseling, public awareness and family oriented services.

Please come to help us support this amazing cause.  The event is from 5:30-9 with dinner from 5:30-7 at the Latin American Social Club, 2708 W. Linconlnway, Sterling, IL..  The chorus will be singing from 6-6:30.  Admission to the event is a free will donation.  We can't wait to see you there!