4-part harmony on stage Saturday at WEAC in Willmar, Minn.
WILLMAR - The West Central Connection Chorus will present its annual Barbershop Spring Shows at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the WEAC Auditorium in Willmar.
The theme this year is “Show Of Champions” Along with the West Central Connection Chorus the show will feature three champion quartets: Vocal Spectrum, the 2006 International Barbershop Quartet Champions; Kordal Kombat, the 2013 Land O’ Lakes District Novice and Quartet Champions; and Sound Image, the 2014 10,000 Lakes Division Quartet Champions.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door for adults, students are $10. Advance tickets are available at CashWise, Cub Foods, Walt’s Car Wash, Haug-Kubota and LuLu Bean’s in Willmar and at Teal’s Market in Spicer. WEAC is at 611 Fifth St. S.W. near downtown Willmar.
Vocal Spectrum Quartet
Vocal Spectrum is an a cappella vocal ensemble, singing in the barbershop style, dedicated to a mission of excellence in a cappella singing. Vocal Spectrum has been singing together since 2003.
Members of the quartet come from various musical backgrounds, from classical vocal training to jammin’ in rock-n-roll bands. These four men, who graduated from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., all majored in different fields of study.
Vocal Spectrum members are tenor Tim Waurick, 31; lead Eric Dalbey, 28; bass Chris Hallam, 32, and baritone Jonny Moroni, 31.
V.S was originally formed as a one-time educational quartet to sing for a local high school and the group has never stopped singing since.
Vocal Spectrum has traveled to Germany, Holland, Sweden, Russia, England, Japan, New Zealand and throughout the United States singing for various shows and conventions, as well as teaching high school students about barbershop harmony. Vocal Spectrum has also had the privilege of singing for both Russian and China National Television. All members of the quartet sing with the Ambassadors of Harmony (2004 and 2009 International Chorus Champions).
In July of 2004, Vocal Spectrum won the 2004 International Collegiate Quartet Contest held in Louisville, Ken., and in 2006 they won the coveted International Barbershop Quartet Contest — becoming the first quartet in history to win all three possible medals (Collegiate Quartet, Men’s Quartet and Chorus Medal). The only championship that remains for Vocal Spectrum to win is the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Senior quartet contest for which they will not become eligible for at least three decades (no member of a competing Senior Quartet can be younger than 55 years old, and the aggregate age of the quartet must equal or exceed 240 years, average age 60 or greater).
Kordal Kombat Quartet
Kordal Kombat is an a cappella quartet based out of central Minnesota. Kordal Kombat delivers “a fun, high-energy performance that comes with a variety of great music and lots of laughs for all ages.”
Since the group’s founding in the fall of 2009 on the Morris campus of the University of Minnesota, Kordal Kombat has test-driven the entire spectrum of a cappella music genres from classical to gospel, pop, doo wop, jazz and everything between.
In the summer of 2012, inspired by YouTube videos of barbershop performances and afterglows, four bored — but vocally gifted — young men made a spontaneous road trip to Portland, Ore., to attend the International Barbershop Convention. While there they discovered their true love was for the barbershop style of singing.
Kordal Kombat members are Mark Halverstadt, Scott Veenhuis, Ben Israelson and Adam Helgeson.
Later that fall, Kordal Kombat contacted the Willmar chapter of the Land O’ Lakes District of the Barbershop Harmony Society, and began attending regular chorus rehearsals and soon became members of the Barbershop Harmony Society themselves. Shortly thereafter, they became a registered society quartet.
Now all four members of Kordal Kombat are proud, first-generation barbershoppers.
This was the start of a busy year of total immersion in the barbershop style of singing.
* Competed in its first division contest.
* Qualified for the International Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Contest.
* Won 16th place in the International Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Contest.
* Opened for the well-known a cappella group Tonic Sol-Fa.
* Became the 2013 Minnesota State Fair “County Fair Talent Contest” Champions and performed for audiences numbering more than 10,000 at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstands.
On Oct. 26, 2013, the group celebrated its one-year anniversary of singing barbershop music in La Crosse, Wis., where they made Land O’ Lakes District history by becoming the first Land O’ Lakes District quartet ever to win both the Novice Quartet Championship and the District Quartet Championship in the same year.
Sound Image Quartet
Sound Image Quartet was formed early in 2002 and has performed for audiences in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Manitoba. Members of Sound Image are tenor Todd Mattison of Willmar, lead William Lorenz of Benson, bass Kevin Kiffmeyer of St. Cloud and baritone Bob Starz of Atwater. The audiences range from local private meetings and banquets to annual barbershop chapter shows including several Sweet Adelines chapter shows. Competing a few weeks ago, the Sound Image Quartet won the 10,000 Lakes Division Quartet Contest.
West Central Connection Chorus
The West Central Connection Chorus won the top spot as the 10,000 Lakes Division Plateau A Chorus Champions at the 10,000 Lakes Division Contest in March 2014. The chorus earned the Most Improved Chorus Award as well.
They were the 2013 Land O’ Lakes District Plateau A Chorus Champions.
The Land O’ Lakes District includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and portions of Ontario, Canada.
The barbershop style of singing is said to be 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.
The chorus invites all male singers to try out. Singers are welcome at every practice at 7 p.m. Mondays 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.