Masters of Harmony Update - Fall 2008

Ron Larson, Jan 24, 2009

On December 6, the Masters of Harmony followed several Santa Fe Springs youth choral groups to an outdoor stage and performed in their host city’s annual Tree Lighting ceremony. One week later, the Masters staged the annual Christmas show at Cal State Long Beach’s Carpenter Center. For the first time in many years, the show was moved from its usual Thanksgiving weekend to a spot midway between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Despite concerns about the effects of the economic downturn experienced by so many in 2008, two large audiences greeted the Masters warmly as they presented their holiday program. One of the highlights of each show was the guest appearance by lyric soprano Megan Lyne, the daughter of former MOH Director Dr. Greg Lyne. Megan delighted the audiences with her beautiful, stirring rendition of “O Holy Night.”

Continuing a tradition dating back to 1988, members of the chorus provided quartets for Santa Fe Spring’s Santa Claus Float Program. During the nine days of the 2008 program, 26 men formed quartets, some performing more than once, and took barbershop-style holiday music to different parts of the city on each night. Some of the children waiting to visit Santa actually got to join that night’s quartet on stage for some impromptu singing and photo ops for their proud parents. As the Santa float arrived, it was the quartet members who got to pose with Santa for their own photo op to memorialize a very enjoyable evening.

The 2009 Awards and Installation Banquet was held once again at Knott’s Berry Farm Resort Hotel. Emcee J. Friedman’s unique sense of humor kept the festivities moving along and the large audience well entertained. Long-time MOH friend and highly valued coach Greg Clancy, associate director of The Vocal Majority and member of 2006 International Quartet Champion Max Q, installed the new board of directors and gave the keynote address. He reminded us that medals won in competition are actually by-products of the work we do throughout the year as we prepare for the opportunities that come our way. Justin Miller was named 2008 Barbershopper of the Year. His ability to take Erin Howden’s excellent choreographic plan, explain it to the men on the risers, coach, drill, and refine it, was an important factor in the Masters narrow 7-point win in Nashville. Masterpiece, current Far Western District Quartet Champion, was named MOH Quartet of the Year.

Ten years after hosting the 1999 International Convention in Anaheim, The Masters are busily preparing to host another International Convention in Anaheim, this time without simultaneously being a competitor. With experience gained in hosting last Fall’s Far Western District Convention and with the help of many friends and brother chapters from throughout Southern California, The Masters are determined to help maintain the Far Western District’s preeminence in all things barbershop.

Since the last report, Jon Desprez, David Erickson, Chris Garrett, Chris Rossio and Michael Savarin have become members of the Masters of Harmony.

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