Barbershop spring show set for Saturday in Willmar, Minn.
The West Central Connection Chorus presents its annual barbershop spring show at 4 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at WEAC in Willmar.
The theme this year is “Homegrown Harmony.” The shows will feature homegrown talent from West Central Minnesota. The West Central Connection Chorus will perform along with Sound Image Quartet, Kordal Kombat Quartet and Moment’s Notice Quartet.
Some of the songs the chorus will be singing incolude “It’s A Brand New Day,” “Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair,” “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad,” “The Longest Time,” “Wonderful World,” “Drivin’ Me Crazy” and “They All Laughed.”
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door; student tickets are $6. Advance tickets are available at Cash Wise Foods, Cub Foods, Walt’s Car Wash, Haug-Kubota and LuLu Beans in Willmar. Tickets can also be ordered by phone by calling Todd at 320-905-1143 or Jon at 320-894-7745.
WEAC is located at 611 Fifth St. S.W. near downtown Willmar.
West Central Connection Chorus
As much a part of American culture as Old Glory, mom and apple pie, barbershop quartet singing is an original American art form. It thrives today through the efforts of an organization originally named the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America. The organization is now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society. Though the roots of four-part harmony go back more than a century, it was not until the near-accidental formation of the Society that barbershop quartet music was actively promoted. The Society’s founding was whimsical, but it takes its mission to “Keep The Whole World Singing” very seriously.
New singers are always welcome at every practice, 7 p.m. each Monday at the Willmar Community Center. Past performances include: Holiday Harmony for Hunger Concert, Barbershop Harmony Society Division and District Contests, Atwater Threshing Days, Kandiyohi County Fair, Youth in Harmony Show, Dairy Days at the Willmar Community Center, Sons of Norway meetings, and many more.
Sound Image was formed early in 2002 and has performed for audiences across the upper Midwest from local private meetings and banquets to annual barbershop chapter shows, including several Sweet Adelines chapter shows.
Tenor Todd Mattison lives north of Willmar with his wife and three children. He manages Willmar Overhead Door and coaches hockey. He has been singing barbershop since he was knee high listening to his father’s quartet rehearse.
Lead William Lorenz is from Benson. Bill has been a barbershopper since about 1988. He has a vocal performance degree from St. Cloud State University, and has sung in numerous choral groups, including The Prairie Arts Chorale in Southwestern Minnesota and The Minnesota Choral Theater from St. Cloud.
Bass Kevin Kiffmeyer hails from St. Cloud. He is the choral director at St. Cloud Tech High School. Kevin has taken part in musical groups around the area including The Minnesota Center Chorale. He is a graduate of St. John’s University and just recently earned a Master of Arts in Choral Conducting and Literature from St. Cloud State University.
Baritone Bob Starz lives with his wife in Atwater. They have three grown daughters. He works in sales for Famo Feeds. Bob started singing in a quartet in high school and has been singing barbershop music for 37 years. He has performed with barbershop choruses in Canton, N.Y., and Rochester.
Kordal Kombat was founded in the fall of 2009 by University of Minnesota, Morris alumnus and current member, Adam Helgeson. Since its founding, Kordal Kombat has performed from coast to coast and across southern Canada. It has appeared with the West Central Connection Barbershop Chorus and with members of the UMM Concert Choir on “A Prairie Home Companion Show” with Garrison Keillor, among other events. Kordal Kombat attended the Barbershop Harmony Society’s 2012 International Convention in Portland, Ore., and hopes to attend future barbershop conventions as competitors.
Tenor Mark Halverstadt is a senior financial management and economics major at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Mark is on the UMM soccer team, is active in the UMM Concert Choir, intramural athletics, and many other organizations and events on the UMM Campus. While growing up in Corcoran, Mark was a member of the prestigious group, the Land of Lakes Choir Boys. During his tenure in the ensemble, the Land of Lakes Choir Boys were called the number one boys choir in the world. Mark was honored with the title “Choir Boy of the Year” in that same year.
Lead Scott Veenhuis of Slayton is a senior social science major at UMM. He is active in both of UMM’s choral ensembles, UMM Jazz, intramural sports and many other activities. After graduating, Scott plans to pursue a career in agriculture.
Baritone Adam Helgeson of Ortonville is the founding member of Kordal Kombat. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in May of 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal and instrumental music education. As the founder and director of Kordal Kombat, Adam has arranged several of the pieces in Kordal Kombat’s repertoire. Adam was active in the Concert Choir, Jazz Ensembles and Symphonic Winds during his time at UMM. He is a full-time music teacher in the Willmar Public School District.
Bass Ben Israelson from Lino Lakes is a junior music performance major at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He is currently a member of Concert Choir and plays on the rugby team, in addition to being involved with intramural dodgeball and handball teams.
Moment’s Notice is a quartet that came about at the last minute and consequently was named “Moment’s Notice.” This past summer they competed at the Kandiyohi County Fair and the Minnesota State Fair.
Moment’s Notice is made up of Bob Starz, baritone, who lives in Atwater and also sings with Sound Image Quartet. Don Shields, tenor, is from New London. Jon Zaske, lead, and Mark Malam are both from Willmar.