{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 1

VERTONE

READ ABOUT THE QUARTET LIFE A PUBLICATION OF THE WESTCHESTER CHORDSMEN IN THIS ISSUE! How I Became a Chordette By Marjorie Latzko

Lincoln Center Appearance


We’ll help show you the way to financial security. No map necessary. Contact me to make a plan that lets you focus on being good at life. Irv Flamer, LUTCF®, CLTC FinancialServicesProfessional* Flamer Financial Strategies and Insurance Group** 576BroadhollowRoad Melville,NY11747 631-391-2974 IFlamer@Thenautilusgroup.com flamerfinancialstrategies.com

CA Insurance License # 0G07542 *RegisteredRepresentativeofferingsecuritiesthroughNYLIFESecurities LLC(memberFINRA/SIPC),ALicensedInsuranceAgencyandwhollyowned subsidiaryofNewYorkLifeInsuranceandanagentlicensedtosellinsurance throughNewYorkLifeInsuranceCompanyandmaybelicensedtosell insurancethroughvariousotherindependentunaffiliatedcompanies. **FlamerFinancialStrategiesandInsuranceGroupisnotownedoroperatedby NewYorkLifeInsuranceCompanyoritsaffiliates. SMRU1713827(Exp.10/25/2018)©2017NewYorkLifeInsuranceCompany, 51MadisonAvenue,NY,NY10010

Proud to Offer

Insure. Prepare. Retire.

Flamer Financial Strategies and Insurance Group


Warm Weather and Mosquitoes! Many of these will be found in your yard!  Aedes vexans, cinereus, canadensis, atropalpus, cantator, taeniorhynchus, grossbecki, stimulans, excrucians, fitchii, atlanticus, trivittatus, abserratus, sticticus, triseriatus, sollicitans  Anopheles punctipennis, bradleyi, crucians, walkeri, quadrimaculatus  Coquillettidia perturbans, Culiseta morsitans, inornata, melanura  Culex territans, pipiens, restuans, salinarius  Psorophora howardii, ciliata, ferox, columbiae, Uranotaenia sapphirina AKA Mosquitoes! Mosquito Magnets – Sales, Seasonal Rental, Service, Supplies It’s not too late to talk about monthly service! Let’s talk: Tony Weiner 914 698-3689 (tw@gobuzzoff.com) gobuzzoff.com

“Westchester Chordsmen special”

5%

With this coupon get 5% off any purchase of a New or refurbished Mosquito Magnet and/or supplies for the 2018 Mosquito season Coupon only good once and cannot be combined. Buzz Off 2018

10% If you come to a rehearsal of the Westchester Chordsmen*. Get a total of 10% off any purchase of a New or refurbished Mosquito Magnet and/or supplies for the 2018 Mosquito season. Coupon can only be used once And not combined Buzz Off 2018

 

??% Don’t even think about it! I gotta eat too! Only one coupon per family Buzz Off 914 698-3689 gobuzzoff.com

*I am a member of the Westchester Chordsmen.  So I look forward to meeting you.  Tony Weiner 


GET BACK TO THE LIFE YOU LOVE

ELEVATE THE ART OF THE ARRIVAL

Our expert teams of medical and rehabilitation specialists are all dedicated to one thing: getting you back to the life you love. The latest technology and personalized care plans help ensure your maximum recovery. INPATIENT AND OUTPATIENT SERVICES

785 MAMARONECK AVE. | WHITE PLAINS, NY 888-99-BURKE | WWW.BURKE.ORG Burke is a member of the Montefiore Health System.

Watch The Local Live! Ray Catena Ray Catena Lexus of LarchmontLexus

Your community news show

®®

of Larchmont

1435 Boston Post Rd., Larchmont, NY • 914-873-4768

RayCatenaLexus.com

1435 Boston Post Rd., Larchmont, NY • 914-873-4768

RayCatenaLexus.com

Visit our other Ray Catena Lexus locations in White Plains, NY and in Oakhurst & Freehold, NJ.

Visit our other Ray Catena Lexus locations in White Plains, NY and Oakhurst & Freehold, NJ ®

Interested in Volunteering? Contact Sheyla Navarro

s navar r o@

l mc- tv.or g / ( 9 1 4 ) 3 8 1 - 0 1 3 1


LEADERSHIP TEAM

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MUSICAL DIRECTOR

PRESIDENT: Stephen Banker

Keith Harris

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: John Fotia

ASSISTANT DIRECTORS

SECRETARY: Richard Roberts

Al Fennell

TREASURER: Milton Steinberg

Scott Kruse

MUSIC VP: Bill Kruse

Stash Rossi

SHOW VP: John Fotia MARKETING VP: Stephen Bartell

OVERTONES STAFF

OPERATIONS: Joel Willett

EDITOR: John Fotia

MEMBERSHIP VP: Joe Dempsey

PRODUCTION EDITOR: Stephen Bartell

YOUTH IN HARMONY: Al Fennell

HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS: Connie Delehanty

MEMBERS AT LARGE: Steve Schwartz, Howard Sponseller

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

1

We aspire to become one of the best musical organizations in the barbershop tradition. We embody and share the joy of quality singing, entertaining, performing and community service. We strive to increase the awareness and appreciation of our art form locally and worldwide. We achieve this through a commitment to musical growth, mutual support, fellowship and fun!

Do you need to hire a quartet for a special occasion, like a birthday or a wedding? Would you like our chorus to perform at your next corporate event? Would you like to do a concert fundraiser for your

HIRE US

charitable organization or cause? Barbershop music can be just what the doctor ordered! Call us today with any and all your questions 914-298-7464 or visit Chordsmen.org and fill out our contract form and we will call you right away. Contact us via “snail mail” at: The Westchester Chordsmen, 159 Underhill Lane, Peekskill, New York 10566.

OVERTONES WESTFAIR COMMUNICATIONS INC. CUSTOM PUBLISHING DIVISION

READ ABOUT OUR 65 YEARS OF SHOW BUSINESS! A PUBLICATION OF THE WESTCHESTER CHORDSMEN

Fairfield County Business Journal, Westchester County Business Journal, WAG magazine 3 Westchester Park Drive, White Plains, New York 10604 Tel. 914-694-3600 • Fax 914-694-3699 westfaironline.com

PUBLISHER - Dee DelBello SUPPLEMENT COORDINATOR - Anne Jordan ADVERTISING SALES - Barbara Hanlon • Anne Jordan Lisa Cash • Patrice Sullivan CREATIVE DIRECTOR - Dan Viteri ART DIRECTOR - Kelsie Mania

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

OVERTONES

THE WESTCHESTER CHORDSMEN is a non profit 501(C)(3) performing arts organization.


2018

OVERTONES

TABLE OF CONTENTS

2

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

6

FROM THE PRESIDENT — STEPHEN BANKER

8

EDITORIAL: A QUARTET LIFE — JOHN FOTIA

10

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS — KEITH HARRIS

12

CHORUS SINGS AT LINCOLN CENTER

14

MEMBER PROFILE JAMES TAYLOR

16

MEMBER PROFILE PETER KELLOGG

18

MEMBER PROFILE STEPHEN BARTELL

20

HOW I BECAME A CHORDETTE — MARJORIE LATZKO

22

BECOMING A QUARTET — 29 SECONDS

26

THE “I LOVE NEW YORK” QUARTET — STEPHEN BANKER

28

FRESHMEN AGAIN BRIDGE THE DIVIDE — MARTY TAYLOR

30

CHINA OR BUST — AL FENNELL

32

JOIN THE NAVY, SEE THE WORLD — STEVE DELEHANTY

34

4TH ANNUAL A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL

36

GETTING STARTED — JOHN FOTIA

38

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. MY EXPERIENCE ON AN HONOR FLIGHT — SABASTIAN JOE DECHIARIO

38

WESTCHESTER MAGAZINE RAISES THE BAR FOR ADDRESSING YOUR AUDIENCE — BRIAN LYNCH

40

BARBERSHOP: A CAPELLA’S MARTIAL ART — DEKE SHARON


OVERTONES

2018

WORK AGAIN

“Three weeks since surgery, and I’m ready to go back to work.”

Mitchell P., MAKOplasty® knee replacement patient

LIVE AGAIN

PAIN FREE

3

WESTCHESTER’S FIRST ROBOTIC TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT

MAKOplasty® utilizes computerized navigation that enables the surgeon to precisely align the new implants. For patients requiring partial knee replacements, MAKOplasty® only removes the damaged part of the knee. Most patients recover faster with shorter hospital stays and have a quicker return to daily activities when compared to traditional joint replacement surgery.

Individual results vary and not all patients will return to the same activity level. Like any surgery, joint replacement surgery has serious risks. Ask your doctor if a MAKOplasty joint replacement is right for you. Visit patients.stryker.com for more information on MAKOplasty.

866.732.9650

WestchesterOrthoCenter.com

Nicholas Bavaro, MD Northeast Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

David Lent, MD Southern Westchester Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Howard Luks, MD University Orthopaedics

James Joseph, MD WESTMED Medical Group

© 2017 St. John’s Riverside Hospital | All Rights Reserved

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

The Westchester Orthopedic Center at St. John’s Riverside Hospital is the first and only hospital in Westchester to offer the full range of MAKOplasty® Robotics for partial knee, total hip, and NOW total knee replacements.


159 Underhill Lane, Peekskill NY, 10566

Schedule of Westchester Chordsmen Performances/Activities APRIL 2018 OVERTONES MAGAZINE published and distributed via Westfair Communications. APRIL 6-8 2018 MID-ATLANTIC DIVISION CONTEST in Reading PA. Choruses and Quartets compete for the right to move to the District Contest level. JUNE 2 2018 OUR SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP. The Westchester Chordsmen Welcome The Kingsmen Chorus from England at The Highlands School in White Plains. READY, SET, SING Twice a year (February and June) we offer free singing lessons to the men in our community. See the article in this issue for more details.

4

OCTOBER 5-7 DISTRICT CONTEST in Reading PA NOVEMBER 2018 5TH ANNUAL HIGH SCHOOL A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL The Westchester Chordsmen present their fifth festival. The annual event is co-sponsored with Mamaroneck High School. DECEMBER 2018 CHORDSMEN HOLIDAY SHOW SENIOR CARE FACILITIES: We sing holiday songs to seniors at 12 locations all over Westchester County and Western Connecticut.

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

FEBRUARY 2019 SINGING VALENTINES Our quartets, dressed in tuxes, deliver a rose (or a dozen), sing two love songs and present a Valentine card and two tickets to our next show. Funds are used for on-going operations and for scholarships for aspiring singers in Westchester County. Rehearsals Monday nights at Kol Ami, 252 Soundview Ave., White Plains, NY For changes, updates and other information please check places, dates and times by visiting our website at https://chordsmen.org


OVERTONES

h

2018

Bass

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WESTCHESTER CHORDSMEN ON THEIR Fourth ANNUAL ISSUE OF OVERTONES MAGAZINE

Glen Allen Ben Banker Stephen Banker Stephen Bartell Erik Contzius Al Fennell Richard Greif Nick Hodnett Lyn Kaufman

Simon Landless Howard Pobiner Rick Roberts Thom Rosati Steve Schwartz Mitch Stein Richard Veron Joel Willett Bob Wyker

5

Experience. Something. Real.

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

World-class performing arts — music, dance, theater, comedy, film, and family friendly events — in our four theater complex conveniently located on the campus of Purchase College.

Black Violin

Jessica Lang Dance

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

914.251.6200 www.artscenter.org


2018

FROM THE PRESIDENT STEVE BANKER

S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A. MAYBE YOU’VE SEEN THESE INITIALS, PERHAPS WITH A BARBER POLE. Yes, it’s the Society for the

6

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. It’s a mouthful, so we now use the trade name “Barbershop Harmony Society.” The original title focuses on quartets, while the trade name encompasses choruses and other barbershop ensembles as well. But there’s no denying the importance of the quartet to our craft. Even in our large chorus, there are six standing quartets, and many pick-up quartets for Valentines and other occasions. At the break in our weekly chorus rehearsals, and after rehearsal, guys can’t resist grabbing three others to sing a great song. Everyone who tries out for the chorus must pass an audition which includes singing as part of a quartet. The chorus is a behemoth singing machine, but the quartet is its beating heart, and we feature quartets at each of our chorus concerts. As you read the articles in this fourth edition of Overtones, you’ll get a sense of the joy found in four guys singing in four-part harmony. Personally, when I joined the chorus, I had no idea about quartetting (yes, that’s a word). But I quickly joined a Valentines quartet, and now a standing quartet, with permanent members and a few gigs. It’s really a different experience from the chorus. You’re the only one singing your part, so there’s more exposure (and more pressure). More importantly, there’s more satisfaction in making beautiful chords with three other guys. This is the purest form of the art. Singing in the chorus is great fun. Singing in quartets is great fun. I’m a lucky guy! Check out our website, www.chordsmen.org, and join the fun.

OVERTONES


OVERTONES

2018





 

  



CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

7


2018

OVERTONES

A QUARTET LIFE FOR ME JOHN FOTIA BARBERSHOP CHORUSES ARE AMAZING! BUT THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF BARBERSHOP ARE THE QUARTETS. We

8

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

recall with fond memories the international champions, Main Street (2017); Ringmasters (2012); Gas House Gang (1993); The Four Statesmen (1967); The Suntones (1961); The Buffalo Bills (1950); and The Bartlesville Barflies (1939). Audiences know The Buffalo Bills from “The Music Man.” I know the Four Statesmen because I sang with their baritone, Richard (Doc) Sause. The quartet was The NoteWits and I took over when Dick Devany retired. The NoteWits was a very popular comedy quartet that included Ed Keller and Steve Delehanty. Ed was a founding member and had been with the quartet for more than 30 years by the time it ended its run. Steve remains one of the funniest guys in the society. With them, I learned what it was like to be part of an active working quartet. We headlined many chapter shows; f lying to destinations in small planes in rough weather. I was a nervous f lier then and Steve never lets me forget it. We were regulars on The Westchester Chordsmen shows. A sampling of quartets that featured Chordsmen singers might include The Letterman Quartet, Four Under Par, The Racquet Squad, Variety Pak, Spotlight, Capt’n Billy’s Whizbang, The Majestics, Take 4, Heartfelt, Main Ingredients, Freshmen Again, and Our Favorite Pastime along with many, many others. In this issue, you will read about quartets including the quartet that appeared on the cover of the previous issue of Overtones. 29 Seconds shares the journey that took them on the road to becoming a quartet. I am thrilled that Marjorie Latzko

The NotesWits perform the popular Melancholy Baby routine.

(Left to right) Richard (Doc) Sause, Ed Keller, John Fotia and Steve Delehanty.

agreed to share with us her experiences as a member of the Chordettes, one of the most famous quartets in popular music history. In addition to earning a Gold Record, their recording of Mr. Sandman was awarded Billboard’s

Triple Crown, and Marjorie tells us all about it in this special issue of Overtones. And speaking of journeys, we’ll also revisit some of the places where the Westchester Chordsmen have hung their hats.


OVERTONES

2018

We Salute the WESTCHESTER CHORDSMEN Chorus and Quartets * * * *

NOBILE, MAGARIAN & DiSALVO, LLP 111 Kraft Ave., Bronxville, NY 10708 914-337-6300 www.nmdlaw.com

Joseph A. DiSalvo Ralph R. Nobile Louis J. Maggiotto Edward J. Mitchell Matthew Kerner Wills ~ Trusts ~ Estates ~ Real Estate Personal Injury ~ Business ~ Employment Matters

9

www.viandpet.com Intelligent people know how to keep their loved four-legged friends healthy. • • • • • • • • •

Really know what you’re feeding them Better nutrition, better life Since 1996 Not available in stores Our money is in the food, not advertising, salesmen, wholesalers, retailers… Made in New York, no ingredients from China Stop visiting the vet too often Take control over your best friend’s well-being Delivered directly to your home

www.viandpet.com 800-743-1502

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

Quality food for a quality life!


2018

OVERTONES

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS

10

WOW! IT’S BEEN 10 YEARS ALREADY!

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

That sure did go fast. As I look back on the past 10 years with the Westchester Chordsmen, the list of music we’ve learned and performances we’ve done together is quite inspiring. Together, we’ve performed all over the East Coast, Carnegie Hall and, of course, quite extensively in our own community. We’ve also recorded two albums together (which are available on iTunes). The Westchester Chordsmen are fortunate to have an impressive team of creative talents. It takes a village, as

the saying goes, and running a choral program is certainly no different. From our music (and in house composer), performances, competitions and travels, to work in our community with the Youth Festival, Holiday Performances for Nursing Homes, Music Scholarships, Ready Set Sing (teaching men in the community to sing) and Overtones, every single member makes a valuable contribution. It is with great pleasure that I offer a very special 10-Year Anniversary, Thank You! Thank you to all of our current and past members, and thank you to all of our fans who keep us

motivated and give us a reason to put on exciting programs. Our reach into the community has grown significantly over the past 10 years and we have even bigger plans for the next 10! If you’ve never seen the Chordsmen perform… do yourself a favor and see us live! We keep an active performance schedule at www. Chordsmen.org. Once again, thank you for a great 10 years! In Harmony,

KEITH HARRIS Music Director, Westchester Chordsmen


CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

OVERTONES 2018

11


2018

OVERTONES

CHORDSMEN SING AT LINCOLN CENTER ON MARCH 25, 2018, THE WESTCHESTER CHORDSMEN JOINED DEKE SHARON AT DAVID GEFFEN HALL IN LINCOLN CENTER IN A PROGRAM ENTITLED, “TOTAL VOCAL: CONTEMPORARY A CAPPELLA FEATURING MUSIC FROM THE SING-OFF! AND PITCH PERFECT.” The concert was presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) and was hosted and conducted by Deke Sharon, a pioneer of the contemporary a cappella genre.

12

Deke Sharon and Keith Harris.

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

The Chordsmen were part of the main chorus of more than 300 voices. The men received the music early in the year and had to learn six songs in addition to their already full roster of music for 2018. It was a challenge but the chance to sing in David Geffen Hall and work with Deke were opportunities too grand to turn down. Rehearsals with Deke ran through the weekend leading up to the concert culminating in a dress rehearsal on the Sunday of the show. Rehearsals were held at the Park Central Hotel. Songs included, I’ve Got the Music in Me; Sing, Sing, Sing; Lollipops and Roses; Proud Mary; When She Loved Me; and Route 66.

Chordsmen pose outside David Geffen Hall.


OVERTONES

2018

13

68 GEDNEY WAY WHITE PLAINS, NY 10605 Tel: 914-683-EMMA (3662) fax: 914-686-6627 email: info@emmasalehouse.com

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

Emma's Ale House


2018

OVERTONES

MEMBER PROFILE JAMES (JIM) TAYLOR JIM TAYLOR LIVES IN CORTLANDT MANOR WITH HIS WIFE OF 45 YEARS, JUDITH, A RETIRED MICROBIOLOGIST. They have two

14

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

grown daughters, Eryn, mother of their 2 year old grandson, Luca who lives in New York City, and Lydia, living in Miami, Florida. Jim was born in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania and obtained a degree in elementary education from Edinboro State College prior to coming to Peekskill to teach. He subsequently completed advanced degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University. His career as an educator is extensive, beginning as a fifth grade classroom teacher and a special liaison of the chancellor of the New York City Board of Education for effective schools, to an elementary school principal for over 20 years in the Peekskill City School District. Upon retiring in 2003, he pursued his interest in African American history and became a historical interpreter who portrayed a slave who was a cooper with Historic Hudson Valley at the Phillipsburg Manor farm and mills. While there, he demonstrated bucket and barrel making to the public and assisted groups of teenagers in the building of a period boat that would have been used by farmers to bring grain via the Hudson River to the mills. This sparked an interest in boat building and he founded the Peekskill Boatworks in 2009. Since then, he has worked with over 200 teens both afterschool and in the summer and has built approximately 14 boats ranging from a 12 foot Bevin’s skiff to a 22 foot St Ayles racing skiff. In addition to boat building, Jim continues to portray a slave who tells the story of slavery in the North at numerous school and historical events throughout the year. He is also very involved in various local and regional civic activities. As a close friend once told him, “You have failed retirement by being so busy!” Obviously, that what keeps Jim going.

Jim with his adorable grandson, Luca.

With Jim’s guidance, teens spend part of their summer building boats.


OVERTONES

2018

What does it take to be a Lead? Leads sing the melody. The melody must be sung with authority, clarity and consistent quality throughout his range. The lead sings with limited vibrato to add color and warmth to the sound. Too much vibrato and the chord will not “lock” or “ring” or produce the unique, “expanded” or full sound that is characteristic of barbershop harmony. The lead conveys the interpretation, emotion, and inflections of the song.

Have you got what it takes to be a Lead? Visit our website at Chordsmen.org

15

Golden Apple Chorus

50

years of beautiful harmony

1969 - 2019

LOVE TO SING? JOIN US! For info: 914-302-6920 www.goldenapplechorus.com

Tuesday nights - 7:00pm 170 Bradhurst Avenue Hawthorne, NY

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

celebrating


2018

OVERTONES

MEMBER PROFILE PETER KELLOGG PETER KELLOGG RECEIVED TWO TONY NOMINATIONS FOR BOOK AND LYRICS TO A MUSICAL, ANNA KARENINA (COMPOSER, DAN LEVINE) WHICH HAS HAD THREE ACCLAIMED TOURS IN JAPAN.

16

With David Friedman, he created Chasing Nicolette (based on the French romance, Aucassin and Nicolette) produced at The Westport Playhouse, The Prince and The Village Theater in Seattle; Stunt Girl, based on the life of Nellie Bly, New York City’s first female reporter which premiered in Seattle and played at Spirit of Broadway in Norwich, Desperate Measures, a six person western (loosely based on Measure for Measure) which won the NYMF Award for Best Book; and Lincoln in Love, a musical about the romance of young Lincoln and Mary Todd. Peter also wrote the English lyrics and co-wrote the book to Unruly Horses, a musical based on the life and songs of Vladimir Vysotsky, which had its world premiere at the Kings’s Head Theater in London. With Steve Weiner, he created a 10-person musical based on Sheridan’s The Rivals.

Opening Night at the York Theater in Manhattan. The cast of Desperate Measures takes their curtain call.

Peter also wrote the Westchester Chordsmen holiday classic, A Westchester Christmas Carol (More Hum, Less Bug), is a valued member of our music team, and sings lead in several quartets. He also lends his incredible talent and wit to our brainstorming sessions as we create our original material.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID ABOUT DESPERATE MEASURES (Following opening night at the York Theater in NYC, 2017) “A Hoot! Supercharged with Hilarity”

—TALKIN’ BROADWAY “Measures UP! A Happy Surprise of a Show!”

— HUFFINGTON POST “A Production of Infinite Jest and excellent fancy. As Shakespeare might say, Ye Haw!”

— THEATER MANIA CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

“Take a spoonful of Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles, stir in some Robber Bridegroom, mix with a smart slice of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and the concoction you just might create if you’re extremely lucky is York Theater’s Desperate Measures. I’d gladly order that sweet, silly cocktail again” (Left to right) Peter Kellogg, Bill Castellino and David Friedman.

— DIANDRA REVIEW IS ALL


OVERTONES

2018

     275 RIDGE STREET RYE BROOK, NY 10573

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

17


2018

MEMBER PROFILE STEPHEN J. BARTELL I’M A 71 YEAR-OLD LARCHMONT RESIDENT WHO JOINED THE CHORUS IN 2003 AFTER SINGING WITH A CHORAL GROUP IN SCARSDALE. When we fin-

18

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

ished a concert there, I asked a fellow bass if he was returning for the next. He said, “No, I’m returning to my first love— barbershop.” I started to drool, asking him if he would introduce me. He said yes and he took me to the next Monday rehearsal. I joined as soon as I passed my audition. Since then, I’ve been deeply involved with the Chorus beyond singing, including being on the Board for most of the past decade. I’m proud of the contributions I’ve been able to make (using my professional background in marketing, PR and project management), especially helping to publish OVERTONES Magazine and producing the videos of the Annual High School A Cappella Festival (which airs on cable systems in and around Westchester). I appreciated being awarded Barbershopper of the Year in 2015 as an acknowledgement of my work. I’m still with the Chorus and intend to continue because I find it so rewarding: the singing, the friendships, the responses from the audiences (of all sizes), the growth in members as a result of the Ready-Set-Sing program, and, most particularly, the progress my quartet, “Somethin’ Else!” is making. I look forward to a bright and happy future with this wonderful bunch of men. It’s great to be a barbershopper, especially with the Westchester Chordsmen!

OVERTONES


OVERTONES

2018

19

Any celebration or event is better ♪ with music from ♪ The Westchester Chordsmen Chorus

4-part A Capella in the Barbershop Style chordsmen.org

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

Quartet, Small Chorus or Full Chorus


2018

OVERTONES

HOW I BECAME A CHORDETTE MARJORIE NEEDHAM LATZKO

The Chordettes appeared on many barbershop shows. Marjorie is on the left.

IN 1953 I WAS A UNITED AIRLINES STEWARDESS FLYING OUT OF CHICAGO AND LIVING AT HOME IN BERWYN, ILLINOIS. I

20

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

was singing in a barbershop quartet with my mother. I had been a music major at DePauw University for two years. My mother and I used to go to a place called, “The Ship’s Café” on Rush Street in Chicago where the barbershoppers congregated. The owner loved barbershop harmony and didn’t mind having people singing in the corners of his tavern. I learned the tenor parts of many of the standard barbershop songs from several good friends named Bob Haeger, Buzz Haeger and Lyle Pilcher, all big names in the barbershop organization. On a Wednesday in late June 1953, I received a call from Bob Haeger who asked, “How would you like to sing with the Chordettes?” I replied, “Are you kidding?” I was a big fan of the group that had been “regulars” until March 1953 on the Arthur Godfrey show. At the same time he was talking with me, the Chordettes were on the other line calling from Pittsburgh where they were appearing in a nightclub. They were looking for a replacement (not just a temporary substitute as some uninformed people write) for their tenor and founder, Jinny Osborn Lockard who was going to have a baby. I agreed to fly to Pittsburgh to audition on Thursday after my return flight from Moline, Illinois. I met with the Chordettes in their hotel room. We chatted, and I sight read through a couple of songs with them. One of the songs was Side by Side which had

been arranged by Walter Latzko (more about Walter later). I was invited to join them and asked how soon I could begin rehearsing. I said that I had a flight to Los Angeles on Friday, would return Sunday and could join them Monday in Cleveland where they had a nightclub engagement. They said that would be fine. So I quit my job, packed my worldly belongings, and on Monday, July 1st, I was performing. In 10 days I learned 16 songs and their nightclub act, and was outfitted with the Chordettes’ wardrobe (formal and informal). I made my debut with them at the Radisson Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We were on the road for a month appearing at state fairs and clubs, and we arrived back in New York City the end of July. It was while we were rehearsing at CBS for the Robert Q. Lewis show that I was introduced to the Chordettes’ arranger and coach, Walter Latzko. We fell in love, and he and I were married on December 5, 1953 with the three Chordettes and Arthur Godfrey’s secretary as my bridesmaids. Tom Lockard of The Mariners who were regular performers on the Godfrey show (and the husband of Jinny) sang at the ceremony. I sang with the Chordettes on all the Cadence recordings, including, Mr. Sandman (both the pop and a cappella versions) which were recorded from 1954 through 1956. It was a great honor to receive a gold record for Mr. Sandman. We also received a Billboard Triple Crown Award in January 1955 for having the #1 Best Selling Record in the Nation’s Stores; #1 Most Played Re-

Marjorie is bottom left in the photo.

cord on the Nation’s Jukeboxes; and #1 Most Played Record by the Nation’s Disk Jockeys. Mr. Sandman was used in the 2012 Super Bowl commercial (for Kia automobiles) and in several movies including the recent, Dead Pool. I appeared with them on such TV shows as Ed Sullivan, Perry Como, Dick Clark, and Eddie Fisher. We were on the Robert Q. Lewis TV and radio shows for a year. A real highlight for us was when we sang for President Eisenhower and afterwards he came down the receiving line to greet the performers. When he got to me, we shook hands, and he said, “I really like your song, ‘Mr. Sandman’….all except for the part about wavy hair like Liberace!” We covered the usual performance circuit of TV shows, nightclubs (including the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas), state fairs, special events, private parties, radio and TV disk jockey programs, magazine interviews, and even commercials ( Johnson Baby Shampoo was one of them). Dick Clark’s Bandstand book identifies the Chordettes as being the first singing group on his syndicated television show. The book called, “Who Wrote that Song” by Dick and Harriet Jacobs (1994) names the Chordettes as having introduced seven popular songs. They are: Mr. Sandman; Lay Down Your Arms; Eddie, My Love; and Born to Be With You. I sang on those recordings. Also mentioned were: Lollipop; Never on Sunday; No Other Arms, No Other Lips; and Just Between You and Me. Jinny


OVERTONES

With Peter Lind Hayes and The Buffalo Bills at Carnegie Hall.

who returned when I retired in December 1956 sang on those recordings. Some of my memories include: • Having to sing in a driving rainstorm on the stage of a drive-in theater in front of rows of cars with their windshield wipers going and being applauded by honking horns. • Being teased while appearing on a TV interview show with a black eye which I incurred by hitting myself in the eye with a telephone while trying to answer it when coming out of a deep sleep. • Singing at a Ford family member’s birthday party in their home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. • Having a small speaking part (“Why Don?”) in a commercial with Don Ameche during our appearance on the Eddie Fisher show. • Having to tap dance in our Las Vegas

nightclub act. I was glad I took tap dancing with my mother when I was a child. However, I didn’t want to be away from my husband so often, and we wanted to start a family. I made the decision to retire. Fortunately for the remaining three gals, Lynn, Carol and Janet, Jinny was happy to return to the group. I ended my career (I thought) with the Chordettes in December 1956. But in January of 1959, I was asked to substitute for Carol, baritone, who was going to have a baby. Archie Bleyer had scheduled a tour of eight countries in Europe with the Chordettes, the Everly Brothers and Andy Williams to promote our records, and I got to go with them! We went to England, France, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, Holland, and Germany. After the tour, I retired permanently, but I have stayed in touch with the gals all these years and we’ve had several reunions. I am saddened by the loss of Janet and Jinny. It is too bad that Janet could not have been alive to see the Chordettes installed into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. One final thing. Nancy Overton, and then Joyce Creatore (both now deceased) took Janet’s place after she retired from performing, but not recording, and they toured extensively with Jinny, Lynn and Carol. Despite the fact that their pictures appear on many of our CD’s, they did not sing on any of the Columbia or Cadence recordings. I believe the advertising group or the CD production companies have been given many pictures and weren’t aware of which of us were on the recordings. Jinny Osborn Lockard, Lynn Evans, Carol Buschmann, Janet Ertel Bleyer, Dottie Schwartz and I are the only singers on the Columbia/Sony and Cadence recordings. There is no official video recording of me singing ‘Mr. Sandman” with the Chordettes. There is one from our 1954 December performance on the Ed Sullivan show which we all have, but it is not available on YouTube or other computer sites.

MARJORIE NEEDHAM LATZKO was born in Hinsdale, Illinois and spent her childhood in Berwyn. She was a hometown beauty queen winning such titles as Miss Berwyn

Marjorie Latzko seen recently with long time friend and former Chordsman, Dr. Stephen Peterson.

Community Chest (1947). She graduated DePauw University as a music major. In 1974, she received her degree in Sociology from Empire State College, SUNY. By 1960 she had retired from the Chordettes and was on her way to a remarkable career in human services. She started the Orange County Child Care Council and was its first Executive Director doing the important work of starting day care centers and training Family Day Care mothers. In 1978 she started the Orange County Youth Bureau (a new county department) and was its first Executive Director with the responsibility for establishing and funding programs for youth. That year, she was named New York State Outstanding Youth Bureau Director. Over the years, she has been extremely active in community organizations; in many cases serving as Executive Director and/or founder. She held executive director positions of the Orange County Citizens Foundation and the United Way of Orange County. In 1987 she established her own business, Marjorie Latzko Execu-Care, a personal management service for the elderly, dependent, or disabled which she operated for 27 years. In May of 2003, she was named Orange County Woman of Outstanding Achievement for her work in human services. Mrs. Latzko has held numerous leadership positions in the Women’s Society of the Methodist Church. She is currently a member of the Lewes Presbyterian Church where her daughter, Melanie Latzko Bradley is the organist/ choir director. Walter Latzko passed away on September 10, 2010. Marjorie now lives in Lewes, Delaware with Melanie, her husband, Jason Bradley, and their two sons, Aaron and Ryan.

21

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

Marjorie is center left in the photo.

2018


2018

OVERTONES

BECOMING A QUARTET IF YOU’VE EVER SEEN THE MUSICAL THE MUSIC MAN, YOU MIGHT FIND THE LEAD CHARACTER OF PROFESSOR HAROLD HILL OUTRIGHT MAGICAL. He takes four men

22

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

who have hated each other for years, has each sing the words, “Ice Cream” at different pitches and tada—a barbershop quartet is born. Professor Hill then proudly declares, “...from now on, you’ll never see one of these men without the other three.” Of course, in the movie adaptation, actor Robert Preston playing Hill gets to work with Quartet Champions, The Buffalo Bills, so it wasn’t much of a stretch to make those fellows sound as awesome as they did, but the magic of getting four voices together to make beautiful, meaningful, fun, and entertaining music is very real. Singing is enjoyable on one’s own, to be sure. Singing in a choir or chorus is powerful and moving. But when there are only four voices on which to rely for pitch, intonation, tempo—without conductor for guidance—the sensation is exhilarating. It takes that special mix of voices, abilities, and personalities that separates any group of four singers and a quartet which has the potential to really make an impression. So how does one go about creating such a quartet? For the 29 Seconds quartet, presently the 8th ranked quartet in the Mid-Atlantic District of the Barbershop Harmony Society (2017), its members started off looking not on Facebook or Craigslist, but where one would naturally go to find quartet minded men: The Westchester Chordsmen. The Chordsmen continues to make great barbershop music today as a chorus, and over the years have produced many successful quartets. So it was with 29 Seconds. Scott Kruse, baritone, practically grew up with the Chordsmen, seeing as his father, Bill Kruse, has been singing with them and expos-

ing his son at an early age to the art form. Since joining as a young adult, Scott had been in at least one competitive quartet at the District level. But he’d have to wait some time until the remaining members of 29 Seconds would join the chorus. Rob Scholl, lead, became a member of the Chordsmen in his 40’s. Rob is a musical legacy—his father, Bob Scholl, sang lead with the doo-wop group, The Mello-Kings. Although Rob had always been familiar with close harmony, he wasn’t a barbershopper until he discovered the Chordsmen. Soon after Rob’s joining, Erik Con-

tzius, bass, sought out the Chordsmen after watching a YouTube video of the Hi-Fidelity quartet singing about Star Trek. Erik was a Jewish cantor and had studied voice for many years, but not since college did he sing in an a cappella group. The barbershop style was a challenge for him, but the idea of singing in a small group was compelling. Last to join the chorus, but very soon thereafter, was Dan Rendich, tenor. Dan is the child of two barbershopping parents, and has been harmonizing since he can remember. Dan almost seems to

29 Seconds. (Left to right): Dan Rendich, Rob Scholl, Erik Contzius and Scott Kruse.

» Continued on page 24


OVERTONES

2018

Bobby Lewis: The Man, the Method and the Mission By John Fotia

Who taught Meryl Streep how to act? Can acting be taught? Marlon Brando, James Dean and Meryl Streep have at least one important thing in common. They were all students of Bobby Lewis. Read about the most influential acting teacher of the 20th Century and how he speaks to the 21st century actor. Visit my website at JohnFotia.org.

23

The Westchester Chordsmen Chorus invites men who like to sing to audition for us! We meet every Monday evening from 7-10 PM. You may bring a prepared audition song, but it is not required. Music will be provided. Prior vocal experience or music reading ability may be helpful but not essential for chorus membership. An experienced mentor will be assigned to each new member. Visit <chordsmen.org/audition> to complete an application to arrange for an audition time. A Cappella Broadway | Barbershop | Doo-Wop | Gospel | Pop | Rock

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

Are you man enough to sing with us?


2018

OVERTONES

22 Becoming a quartet »

24

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

have been born in the wrong century. He has a great affinity for nostalgic music, and it seemed inevitable that he would find and join the Chordsmen. Just because one joins a chorus doesn’t mean that one will automatically find that right mix that seems to “click” instantly. But these four singers were roughly around the same age, had excellent singing and musical chops, and conveniently, were the right voice parts for a quartet. In the Spring of 2010, the Chordsmen wanted to promote an upcoming show. Rob, Erik, Scott and Dan got a weird idea—let’s make some videos for YouTube to promote the show, but how to get around the possible copyright infringement of singing copyrighted songs? Someone (we’re still not sure who) had the notion that if one performs less than 30 seconds of a song, that would make things legal (this is wholly false: if in performing a song one can recognize it within seconds, that is the litmus test for when one needs a performance license). So they made a series of three videos in which they would sing a song for 29 seconds, and no matter where in the song they were, they would simply stop and walk out of frame. After making three such videos, Dan, Scott, Erik, and Rob found that, much like Harold Hill found, from then on, we’d never see one of these men without the other three—at least at Chordsmen rehearsals. They sounded great together, but more importantly, they became fast friends, having similar senses of humor, temperament, and musicality. And so, 29 Seconds was born. Quartets in larger choruses, especially if they’re good and have a bit of repertoire under their belts, tend to get gigs. The natural first gig is the biggest fundraiser of the Chordsmen’s year: Valentines Day. 29 Seconds loves the opportunity to surprise someone with flowers and a song. But over the years, they would also sing for parties, fundrais-

ers, and more. More recently, at one such fundraiser, the quartet found themselves the actual centerpiece at a party! The room was set up so that a stage and a microphone was in the middle of a square of tables with hors d’oeuvres all around! One of the most memorable events for which they sang was on St. Patrick’s Day in 2016. They had received a request by someone living out of state to surprise his father on the day. The father had sung barbershop long ago and had loved it, but due to health concerns, hadn’t been singing lately. When 29 Seconds showed up out of the blue, the quartet pretended to have had a flat tire and needed to use the phone. The father was quite suspicious of these four men intruding on his party, and was taken aback when his son ushered the singers into the house. When the quartet started to sing, it turned into a 20 minute impromptu show, with the father in tears of happiness and singing along. Having gigs is fun and entertaining, but for 29 Seconds, they wanted to grow in skill and song. The group has been regularly attending the Atlantic

Harmony Brigade, an organization devoted to “extreme quartetting.” The AHB demands of its select 120 members that they learn 12 songs a year and attend a rally each summer. Through that singular experience, plus singing with the chorus, 29 Seconds has grown their repertoire to about 200 songs. And since forming, 29 Seconds has become a regular competing quartet, singing at Division and District contests sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic District of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Although they got together to sing for fun and the occasional gig, their experience and skill showed them that the only way to get better would be to rehearse on a regular basis outside of meeting with the chorus. As a result, 29 Seconds rehearses almost weekly, with focused goals, looking at the next opportunity to grow and make even better music. Now in their 8th year as a quartet, Scott, Dan, Rob, and Erik are not four friendly singers. They are now four friends who sing. They continue to love singing for anyone who will listen--even if it’s each other.


OVERTONES

2018

WESTCHESTERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S HOME FOR MUSIC, FILM, DANCE & MUCH MORE RICHARD THOMPSON

PILOBOLUS MAXIMUS

25

CAPITOL STEPS

WORLD CLASS. RIGHT HERE. CALL 914.698.0098 OR VISIT EMELIN.ORG FOR UPCOMING 2018 EVENTS

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

BRENTANO STRING QUARTET


2018

OVERTONES

THE “I LOVE NEW YORK” QUARTET STEPHEN BANKER

26

The “I Love New York” quartet. (Left to right) Dan Rendich, Bill Kruse. Stephen Bankers and Scott Kruse.

THERE’S SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT ALL QUARTET PERFORMANCES: THE CAMARADERIE, THE OPPORTUNITY TO BLEND AND MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC, THE ABSOLUTE EXPOSURE OF BEING THE ONLY ONE SINGING YOUR PART, AND THE JOY OF SHARING WITH THE AUDIENCE. It

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

was especially memorable and gratifying that a state agency hired us to sing the New York State theme song. The Empire State Development Corp. created a special event to mark the inaugural international flights by Norwegian Air from Ireland and Scotland to Stewart International Airport in Newburgh. Through a fortuitous contact, the ESDC reached out to The Westchester Chordsmen for a quartet to sing at the arrival of each flight. We had

less than a week’s notice to prepare. “I Love New York” was not in our repertoire, nor could I find any arrangement in four-part harmony. Even before my panic fully set in, Steve Delehanty, our ace arranger, came to the rescue. In short order, Steve created a very singable and entertaining version for a quartet. Finding four guys to sing at such a unique event was not difficult. With only a few days to learn the song, Erik Contzius (bass), Bill Kruse (lead), Scott Kruse (bari) and Dan Rendich (tenor) headed for the airport to sing “I Love New York” to each group of passengers as they deplaned. The passengers stopped to listen, and many wanted their photos taken with the quartet. The event was topped

with airplane-themed cupcakes and gift-bags for all of the passengers (including an “I Love New York” T-shirt), courtesy of the ESDC. At the second event, which was much like the first, I had the good fortune to fill in for Erik as bass. The audience was enthralled by the greeting, and of course we added “My Wild Irish Rose” for the flight from Ireland. Our visitors from abroad shared our joy of music, and appreciated their special welcome. We were just as thrilled, seeing their reactions. The ESDC was impressed with our initiative and our skill, and could see the value we bring to the community. It was a privilege to participate in this event, and we all look forward to a return engagement.


OVERTONES

2018

27

Simply the Most Creative Frame Shop You’ve Ever Entered.

914 273 4242 420 Main Street, Armonk Tues-Fri 10:00-5:30 • Sat 10:00-4:00

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

Antique reproductions — Museum quality — Custom mirrors for any room in your home — Elegant designer bulletin boards — We make house calls, deliver and hang — Awesome discounts for singers


2018

OVERTONES

FRESHMEN AGAIN BRIDGE THE DIVIDE MARTY TAYLOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 WAS A SPECIAL DAY IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY, FULL OF ACTIVITIES, INFORMATION, AND ENTERTAINMENT FOR ITS SENIOR CITIZENS. The event was a “Salute to Seniors”

28

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

with a USO theme, lots of red, white, and blue, sponsored by Westchester County. We were enlisted to sing “Happy Birthday” from the stage along with “God Bless America” to about 300 attendees. In addition, it was then County Executive Rob Astorino’s birthday. It was a special and emotional day not only for Mr. Astorino, but also for our own quartet member and music educator, Dr. Stash Rossi. Turns out, Stash was Rob Astorino’s music teacher. Judging by the warm hugs and reminiscing, Stash had a profound influence on him. Maybe not politically, mind you, but in the appreciation of music and some of life’s lessons. The event took place at the Westchester County Center and was packed with over a thousand seniors and presenters. Activities included entertainment by Freshmen Again (Bill Kruse, first tenor, Len Sklerov, second tenor, Stash Rossi, baritone and Marty Taylor, bass), and there were various booths with information related to Westchester senior issues. Rob Astorino remembered Stash fondly, the two hugged and chatted about Rob’s memories of his high school days with Stash. It was a proud, non-partisan time for all involved. In preparation for this event, Freshmen Again had several rehearsals at Stash’s house. I always feel this is a winwin day for the quartet. Not only is Stash a gracious host, providing an elaborate breakfast for us, but I reflect as I am driving home, that I just had a private singing and music theory lesson. Freshmen Again is so fortunate to have our maestro arranging for us and guiding the quar-

FRESHMEN AGAIN. Stash Rossi (top), Marty Taylor (bottom), Len Sklerov (left) and Bill Kruse (right).

tet. It goes without saying that politics is never discussed over breakfast, for who knows one’s political persuasion? After singing “America the Beautiful” to a capacity-filled hall; and when the applause subsided we performed several of our numbers geared toward the seniors. We were then asked to sing for 45 minutes in a separate room while another group took the stage. As luck would have it, right from the get go our musical accompaniment broke down. Initially, we were stymied and upset, but, being Westchester Chordsmen, we smoothly switched to our barbershop, a cappella numbers. I was rather proud that we

were so versatile, being able to fill the entire time slot with our chorus favorites. In summing it all up, we Chordsmen are a versatile group. With good musical ears, and with Keith’s and Stash’s guidance, we are an adaptable group and can put on a good show no matter the circumstances. So, it’s great to be a barbershopper, a member of Freshmen Again, and, especially, a Westchester Chordsmen! P.S. Rob Astorino delivered his remarks with what I perceived was a warm emotional smile, and for that day friendship and music prevailed, superseding the political divide in our nation.


OVERTONES

2018

It’s all about hitting the right note. Only Mohegan Lake Audi can offer you a Luxury SUV that fits both your lifestyle and your budget.

The Compact Luxury SUV...Audi Q3

29

The Audi Q5 the Perfect Luxury Crossover SUV

Mohegan Lake Audi “IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE CAR”

Rt 6 Mohegan Lake, NY (914) 528-8076

www.MoheganLakeAudi.com

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

The All New Audi Q7....Full Size 7 Passenger Luxury STV


2018

OVERTONES

CHINA OR BUST AL FENNELL

30

(Left to right) John Knight, Steve Delehanty, Xue-Yan Yao, and Al Fennell rehearse during the flight to China.

AFTER PERFORMING AT THE WESTCHESTER COUNTY CENTER IN 1995, A FRIEND ASKED ME IF THE CHORDSMEN WOULD LIKE TO GO TO CHINA. I wasn’t

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

sure how to respond, so I said, “sure!” As director, I asked the chorus, “Who wants to go to China and sing barbershop?” The incredible looks were priceless! This awesome opportunity of a lifetime was sponsored by the Chinese Cultural Promotion Association of America led by Mr. Xue-Yan Yao and his wife, Pei-Ping Wang. Their organization’s goal was, and is, to bridge a cultural exchange between East and West.

So, Mr. Yao, Pei-Ping Wang, Chordsman Angelo Sticca and I discussed plans and expectations for the upcoming trip. Did we have to learn and speak Chinese? You bet! We spent two hot summer months of long weekly rehearsals practicing, “The Song of the Guerillas” and other Chinese Folk songs. The cornerstone number of our concert tour was “The Yellow River Cantata,” a six movement Chinese choral work to be sung by a 100-voice chorus with the Beijing and Xian orchestras. So, we asked our wives to

sing soprano and alto and make it a family affair. The Westchester Chordsmen was the first chorus to introduce barbershop harmony to China. The Great Wall; terra-cotta soldiers; restaurants; hotels; airports and even restrooms were the lucky recipients of hearing “Coney Island Baby,” “Lida Rose,” and Chinese folk songs by the Chordsmen. In 2010, we were invited to Beijing again to perform barbershop and new Chinese folk songs for an international choral festival. Music is a universal language. It’s great to be a barbershopper!


OVERTONES

2018

keith harris

a voice above the rest voice over for: Web Videos Phone Systems e learning corporate training commercials

keithharrisvoiceover.com

The Westchester Chordsmen

31

extend our congratulations on the publication of the fourth annual edition of Overtones magazine. Steve Delehanty, Andy Denler, Tom LaMotte, James Lawther, Anthony Procino, Dan Rendich, Marc Schechter, Marty Taylor

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

Tenors


2018

OVERTONES

JOIN THE NAVY, SEE THE WORLD STEVE DELEHANTY WELL, I GUESS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN OK, BUT I FOUND ANOTHER WAY TO SEE THE WORLD. I JOINED THE BARBERSHOP HARMONY SOCIETY (BHS). Actually, it was known at the

32

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, or SPEBSQSA at the time I joined but that was 54 years ago. So, how did it come about that I saw the world, or at least a lot of it? The answer is I sang in a chorus, sang in a quartet, and became a BHS Music judge. So it was through performing and judging that I traveled all over the United States, Canada, and several foreign countries. My chorus, The Westchester Chordsmen performed and competed in our own Mid-Atlantic area including the White House, but also travelled to sing in England, China, Russia, and Italy. It is likely that we will again travel to England next year and other exotic destinations are always a possibility. For many years, I sang in a comedy quartet that, if I do say so myself, was quite popular among barbershoppers. We did about 500 hundred performances from coast to coast, Canada and England. In 1977, Lowes Hotel held a contest for quartets and the criterion, which they used to determine the winner, was overall entertainment. We won first prize, a week in Monaco. But singing in small towns throughout our own country, and meeting the wonderful folks there was the greatest joy. The standing ovations were nice too. Finally, since 1986, I have had the opportunity to see the world as a BHS Contest Judge. This has also taken me all around this country and Canada and in 2013; I had the opportunity to go to New Zealand and Australia to

Connie and Steve Delehanty.

judge. My wife, Connie and I took advantage of that assignment and spent 5 weeks between the two countries in a trip of a lifetime. None of this would have happened if I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wandered into a chapter meeting in 1964 and fell in love with

the opportunity to sing barbershop harmony with the wonderful guys who were there that night. And I can reflect on all the great people from all over the world I have met and sung with since then and be thankful for my good fortune.


OVERTONES

2018

For Sale: WENGER CHORAL RISERS 7 attachable sections with wheels, 3 flared steps, 60” wide at base. 7 attachable 4th steps, 90” wide. 7 attachable back security rails. Good condition. Asking $4,900 Contact Joel Willett 914-907-4433 33

2019

Distributed via the Westchester County Business Journal (circulation ~10,000 business professionals), given out at Chordsmen performance venues and other locations all over Westchester County. For ad rates and sizes, please contact: Stephen Bartell, VP Marketing at 914-833-8683, or email sjbartell3@gmail.com

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

The Westchester Chordsmen Chorus will be proud to publish its Third Annual Edition of OVERTONES Magazine to be published in March, 2019. We are accepting advertising for your business—or post a personal message for your student (or spouse) singer!


2018

OVERTONES

THE FOURTH WESCO A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL JOHN FOTIA IN THE FALL OF 2014, I APPROACHED JENNIFER CARNEVALE, CHAIR OF PERFORMING ARTS AT THE MASTERS SCHOOL IN DOBBS FERRY WITH THE IDEA OF CO-SPONSORING A HIGH SCHOOL A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL. JENNIFER ENTHUSIASTICALLY AGREED AND THE RESULT WAS THE FIRST WESCO A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL. We agreed that

34

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

the festival would not be a competition, would be open to all a cappella groups (male, female, and mixed), there would be no limitations on style, it would be open to the public, and there would be no charge for admission. The following year, because of renovation work taking place at Masters, I spoke with Dina Madden at Mamaroneck High School about becoming our co-sponsor. The Westchester Chordsmen shared a history with the school having sponsored one of their quartets in the Barbershop society’s high school contest years earlier when I was the Youth in Harmony officer. The quartet was called, “The Suspenders.” Dina loved the idea and the second festival took place on Sunday, November 15, 2015. With Dina’s help Mamaroneck High School has been our cosponsor for each of the succeeding festivals. From the beginning Al Fennell, the current Youth in Harmony officer has been instrumental in getting the high schools to participate and this year one of the participating school directors was Mark Zizolfo, a member of that original high school quartet, “The Suspenders.” Our fourth annual A Cappella festival was held on Saturday, November 18, 2017. The festival began with a recorded message from Deke Sharon, renowned arranger, composer, and producer of a cappella music, and a leading promoter of contemporary a cappella singing. Stephen Bartell, our public relations officer, approached him and asked if he might say a few words to our audience. The audience

More than 200 singers rehearse the finale, “Give Me Your Tired Your Poor,” written, arranged, and conducted by Westchester Chordsmen director, Keith Harris.

Host Chris Parker introduces one of the eight groups that performed in the festival.

gasped when they heard Deke’s name. Hi everyone, this is Deke Sharon. Stephen told me you are celebrating the Fourth Annual Youth A Cappella Festival at Mamaroneck High this afternoon. Four years in a row is an amazing achievement. Congratulations! I wanted to send my wishes for great performances and, more importantly, great fun this afternoon to all the groups from

Mamaroneck High School, Edgemont High School, Pleasantville High School, Westlake High School and Port Chester Middle School (Oh, middle school …good job guys!). Thanks so much to you all for singing a cappella and supporting this wonderful art form. As a long time arranger and producer of a cappella, I feel it’s important to continue to expand and to sing to as many people as possible and spread harmony through harmony. Hosts for the afternoon were Chris Parker and Joe Macaluso. Directors included Dina Madden of Mamaroneck High School, Kelly Morse of Edgemont High School, Jenna Margiasso of Pleasantville High School, Liz Merlito of Westlake High School, and Mark Zizolfo of the Port Chester Middle School. The Chordsmen were directed by Keith Harris.


CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

OVERTONES 2018

35


2018

OVERTONES

GETTING STARTED THE SECOND IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES ABOUT OUR EARLY YEARS – 1953 JOHN FOTIA JIM EDMONDS WAS RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT ALONG WITH BILL DANKER, VICE PRESIDENT, WALT ARVIDSON, SECRETARY, CHARLEY CUCCIA, TREASURER, AND CHARLEY PERSCHE, DELEGATE.

36

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

The chapter was beginning to make a name for itself, both as an accomplished singing group and for its many good works and acts of charity. Among the latter was a full scale appearance at the County Center for the benefit of those who had helped to organize the famous “Dike Train” which had collected over $10,000 for flood relief in Holland after the disaster of 1953. It was decided during the early months that the Morgan Inn was an unsatisfactory meeting place for the growing chapter and several alternatives were tried until Pearsall’s Restaurant on Grand Street in White Plains was selected as a temporary home base. That fall, the chapter moved to Fritz’s Diner and, after a short stay, moved to the County Center. The chorus received its competitive baptism of fire in the Knickerbocker Area Chorus Championships held at Steven’s House in Baldwin, Long Island with the Manhattan, Bronx, Jamaica, and Nassau chapters competing. The chorus finishing third, qualified for the district championship in Baltimore and audiences had the thrill of hearing (for the first time) a quartet destined to play a large part in the chapter’s future. That quartet was The Play Tonics (Gene Loebam, tenor, Dave Mittelstadt, lead, Vic Trabulsi, baritone, and Ralph Brandt, bass) who walked off with the district championship. The chapter’s first annual “Harvest of Harmony” was held on September 24th at the Rochambeau School and was considered a success as attendance doubled that of the charter night effort. Six hundred showed up; many to hear the already famous Buffalo Bills who

The Unnamed foursome began by singing for community groups. During an appearance at the Buffalo Quaterback Club, they were introduced as the “Buffalo Bills” — the name stuck.

headlined the show along with The Play Tonics and The High Lights from the Bronx. Folks paid $1.50 for this line up and the chorus, under Walt Arvidson, consisted of 26 voices. The Buffalo Bills is arguably the most famous barbershop quartet of all time. The original members were tenor Vern Reed, lead; Al Shea, baritone; Herschel Smith, tenor: and Bill Spangenberg, bass. Herschel Smith was replaced by Dick Grapes and in 1950 they became international champs. When the quartet was cast in the Broadway version of Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man,” Dick Grapes declined to quit his job and move to New York City, so the role went to Scotty Ward. They continued to make television and radio appearances, including the Arthur Godfrey Show, where they met Walter Latzko, a CBS staff music arranger. They were such a hit on Broadway that they were cast in the film adaptation of the musical. The Bills continued to perform on

the Arthur Godfrey Show, in nightclubs, in productions of “The Music Man” and as the headline quartet on barbershop shows. They travelled all around North America performing at county and state fairs. Their total career consisted of 1,510 performances on Broadway, 728 concerts, 675 radio shows, 672 night club and hotel appearances, 626 conventions, 216 television shows, 137 state fair performances, and 1 film. The Westchester Chordsmen were proud to feature the quartet’s “final” farewell performance on the Chordsmen show, Wild Wild Westchester!” Hundreds of people attended the afterglow to hear the great quartet sing “That Old Quartet of Mine” one more time. They did, however, get together for several appearances after that farewell appearance and their final performance was on May 24, 1967 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. Look for more articles about our past in the next issue of Overtones.


OVERTONES

2018

WESTCHESTER CHORDSMEN We love the Sound of your Music Keep singing. It makes us happy. Lynn and Charles Weiner

Thank you to Director Keith Harris and the Chordsmen for the music The Quinlan Family

The Chordsmen appeared (in pastel shirts) in March 2018 as part of Distinguished Concerts International New York’s (DCINY) production of TOTAL VOCAL, a 100% a cappella concert”

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

37


2018

OVERTONES

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

MY EXPERIENCE ON AN HONOR FLIGHT SEBASTIAN JOE DECHIARIO HONOR FLIGHTS WERE ESTABLISHED TO RECOGNIZE VETERANS OF ALL WARS STARTING WITH WORLD WAR II. They

38

come from all over the U.S. and are to Washington D.C. for the day. The Lower Hudson Valley Organization sponsors a flight from Westchester County At 6:00 am I was driven to the airport by my guardian, Brian. He was by my side the entire day. We were greeted at the airport by hundreds of people, cheering, waving flags, and many shook my hand. Entering the hangar, we were surprised by hundreds more. After a ceremony in which Rob Astorino, Westchester County Executive addressed us all, we boarded buses which took us to the other side of the airport. We were escorted by 50 motorcyclists and along the way crowds lined the route. Firefighters were at attention saluting as we passed. As a way of honoring Vets, emergency

Sebastian Joe Dechiari (left) and Angie Sticca.

vehicles showered the aircraft. An hour after takeoff we arrived at Dulles International Airport where we were greeted by hundreds of welcomers. The day passed quickly. We visited all of the War Memorials and Arlington Cemetery where we observed the changing of the guards. What a spectacular display of discipline!! As they were marching they would scrape their heels as an acknowledgement of the veterans in the viewing public. Another highlight

was to meet former Senator Bob Dole. He greets every veteran every weekend. On the flight back we had mail call and received letters from grandchildren and school children. I also received a beautiful letter from a third grade teacher. When we returned that evening we were welcomed by a large crowd awaiting our return. What a wonderful day and what a wonderful tribute. I wish every veteran could experience it. God Bless America!

Westchester magazine raises the bar for addressing your audience POSTED ON JUNE 20, 2017 BY BRIAN LYNCH

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

PROFESSIONAL LAYOUT AND DESIGN, “INSIDER” FEATURE CONTENT, AND LOADS OF ADVERTISING COMBINE TO MAKE THE WESTCHESTER CHORDSMEN‘S OVERTONES MAGAZINE A MODEL TO EMULATE. The full-size magazine format allows plenty of space for a clean, airy presentation, and showcases the numerous advertisers to best advantage. Evergreen content covers the chap-

ter’s active performance schedule, outreach activities, and even history stories. The magazine can be used as both a standalone publication and a show program. Hats off to John Fotia and Stephen Bartell and their team for a first-class channel for reaching their audience. Be sure to look at the chapter’s attractive web site, too. See more: The Westchester Chordsmen


OVERTONES

2018

Name: _________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________

39

________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

CD Recordings

Email Address: ___________________________________

Westchester Chordsmen

We do not share our email list. We email notices of upcoming performances and events only.

A great gift to yourself or a loved one.

CD Title

Quantity

Total

The Joy of the Season

_____ @ $15.00

___________

Swinging with the Rat Pack

_____ @ $15.00

___________

(While supplies last!)

Shipping: $3.00 (free if purchasing 2 or more) Total Due:

We accept personal checks, cash, or credit card (via phone) Mail your check (made out to WESCO) to: The Westchester Chordsmen, 159 Underhill Lane, Peekskill, NY 10566 Allow 3 weeks for delivery

Questions? Call 914-298-7464 (SING)

___________ ___________

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

of the


2018

OVERTONES

BARBERSHOP: A CAPELLA’S MARTIAL ART DEKE SHARON

Deke Sharon founded CASA (and other stuff), makes TV shows (“The Sing-Off”), movies (“Pitch Perfect”), sings (The House Jacks), produces albums (Straight No Chaser, Street Corner Symphony, Committed, Nota, Bubs), wrote a book (A Cappella Arranging), publishes sheet music (Hal Leonard),and custom arranges music (over 2,000 songs). You can find him at www.dekesharon.com

YOU’RE YOUNG, YOU’RE SCRAPPY. You

40

want to be the best. You started singing in school, like everyone — choir, maybe a couple musicals. Karaoke with some friends, talent shows. Then some collegiate a cappella. But you don’t want to just be fine. That’s not enough. You want to be great. You want technique, you want moves. You need to learn karate... except contemporary a cappella doesn’t have a traditional refined martial art... does it? It does. It’s called barbershop. And you’re about to get the best schooling a young’un can, including:

CHORDSMEN.ORG | 914-298-SING [7464]

BLEND: There’s no blend like a barbershop blend. They don’t just match their vowels, they align their diphthongs as they sweep from one vowel to the next. Four guys (meaning men or women) sounding like one guy. Why does blend matter? Because each vowel has a very specific “fingerprint” — frequencies in the harmonic series — and when the vowels are perfectly aligned, it helps lock down... TUNING: You think four voices can only create four notes? Guess again. When you lock your voices into perfect tune with the same vowels you can not only create additional notes above yours, you can even create the perception of a bass

note below the human vocal range. That’s right, that’s the vocal equivalent of some kind of dark arts ninja magic. But it works and it happens every day, along with... DYNAMICS: Pop music on the radio has had the life squashed out of it. Learn how to sing quieter than you thought you could, and make a group sound that’s louder than you have, without microphones. Did I mention that a perfectly aligned chord also reinforces itself, creating a boost in volume? More ninja skills. But we’re not done yet, because you’ll learn... RUBATO: In a pop song, the tempo rarely varies. In a barbershop performance you’ll be pushing and pulling time, not unlike an orchestra. But there’s no conductor. You learn to feel the rhythm rise and fall, you learn to breathe as a unit as you perfect your... PHRASING: When everyone’s singing the lyrics, everyone’s singing and augmenting the melody as a unit. Like a finely tuned dance troupe, each person’s movements are linked to everyone else’s, in perfect synchronicity. This requires precision, so you’ll learn how to... REHEARSE: Barbershop is built on the finest traditions and techniques of classical choral music, so you know you’re learning proper vocal technique and centuries of good habits, which will lead to... PERFORMANCE: There’s no hiding in the back row in barbershop and no auto-pilot. Songs are short and every measure is a litany of rhythmic changes, rapidly aligning chords, jux-

taposed dynamics... all delivered with a larger-than-life performing style that will push you to be present in every moment. But it’s not all about performance, it’s all about... COMMUNITY: When you sing barbershop, you’re always only three guys away from a song, because there’s a common repertoire and a perpetual desire to sing. Everyone’s on the same team playing the same game and you always win. You might think Barbershop is only old guys singing old songs, but you’re wrong. Sometimes the songs are new, sometimes the guys are young, but you know what? There’s a lot to be learned from your elders and if a song has lasted a century, it’s still around for a good reason. I’m not saying you have to learn barbershop to be a great a cappella singer... but I am promising you if you do sing barbershop, you’ll be better than if you don’t.

Profile for Wag Magazine

Overtones 18  

The Westchester Chordsmen

Overtones 18  

The Westchester Chordsmen

Profile for thewagmag