I have been involved in music since birth. My mother had a college minor in music, played piano and organ and trumpet, my father played piano and sang, and my brother and sister took piano lessons and played in the school band. I have taught music for over twenty-seven years. From three year olds to high school seniors, I’ve taught it all. I’ve worked in community theater, community bands, professional opera, television, radio, and was even a background extra in a major motion picture. But in all of my artistic experiences, I have never experienced the community, acceptance, and passion for music making like I have found in singing barbershop.
I grew up in the Central Michigan area, and made frequent trips to Mt. Pleasant from my Clare County home. But in the entire time I was growing up, and making these trips, I had no idea there was a Society chorus within just a few miles. No, I learned this truth nearly thirty years later, and now there are two! Today, I am not only a member of the Society, but I am the director of both choruses, and I couldn’t be more fulfilled as a director or musician.
The choruses I am associated with are filled with the men Mike talks about in his podcast. There are teachers, lawyers, tradesmen, professors, and landscapers. There are veterans of every branch of the U.S. military. There are married men, singles, and widowers. There Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians, all united under one purpose, to make the world a better place through singing.
Our choruses, like most of those within the Society, are civic minded, looking for ways to give back to our local communities. We not only provide a pleasant sounding musical product, but we are deeply involved in charitable giving, helping organizations who help others by providing our services for their fund raisers, or by providing direct funding. Whether it’s providing school supplies to students in need, or bedding and personal care items for homeless shelters, the members of the Barbershop Harmony Society are truly making the world a better place.
We would never call ourselves “do-gooders,” or label ourselves as being better than you. We are you, and you are us, and the good we do do, we do for the good of all. And we do it within the context of the world’s greatest art form, music via the human voice. It’s great to be a barbershopper!
If ours sounds like a group you would like to be associated with, come visit us. The MountainTown Singers meet Wednesday nights at 6:30 in the CMU choir room. For more information, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.