“Every time I come to Harmony Explosion camp, I grow as an individual as well as a musician. I love the part I sing and the role I play. This is, by far, my favorite time of year.” – 2017 camper feedback
The 2017 MountainTown Harmony Explosion Camp brought together nearly 50 campers and staff for a memorable camp at Central Michigan University. Thirty eight attendees gathered on Wednesday, July 19 for camp orientation, social activities and performances by the MountainTown Singers and others.
The camp’s grand finale show on Saturday evening for families, friends and the community featured:
- Traditional barbershop songs like “When There’s Love at Home;”
- A contemporary arrangement of “Shut Up and Dance;”
- “Feelin’ Groovy, of Simon and Garfunkel fame;”
- Disney’s “Ten Feet Off the Ground;”
- The Billy Joel classic, “And So It Goes;” and
- “Sing,” a song recently recorded by Pentatonix.
Rehearsals commenced Thursday morning under the direction of Erin Cook and David Zimmerman. Cook returned for her 7th consecutive camp to lead the girls’ chorus and was assisted by Glamour Quartet. She led a chorus of 19 — including 17 returning vocalists. Zimmerman, tenor of gold medal quartet, Instant Classic, and a music educator, was assisted by Frontier Quartet. He led a 19-man chorus that included four first-year singers.
In addition to rehearsals, the camp included lessons like “Tuning in the Barbershop Style” and “Game Day, How to Put on a Great Show,” which was led by Brian O’Dell, bass of gold medal quartet, Forefront.
“Bringing in gold medalist clinicians was a wonderful experience for barbershop fans and one of my favorite parts of this year,” one camper said.
Another favorite event was a show put on in honor of the campers on Friday night. It featured the MountianTown Singers, Sweet Adeline choruses, Crossroads Harmony and Heart of Michigan plus the two visiting camp quartets, Frontier and Glamour.
Other quotes from campers included:
- “This camp is always a perfect break from reality, a chance to enjoy music and fantastic people.”
- “I really grew as a musician and camp furthered my love of the barbershop style.”
- “I came to love barbershop because of this camp and will continue to sing it for years to come.”
The camp is made possible by the efforts of the MountainTown Singers and the financial support of the Pioneer District and a number of barbershop chapters and individuals from around Michigan. Locally, a group was supported by scholarships from The Morey Foundation.