Column: Why I Joined the Barbershoppers
By Tim Kunze
I didn’t start seriously singing until I was in high school and became a member of the SPASH Concert Choir.
It may have been the style of music we sang (a cappella), or the influence and direction of our director, Dick Johnson. Regardless of what it was, I was hooked.
Up until I enlisted in the Army in 1986, I sang with a couple of groups including the Northern Gateway Chorus of the Stevens Point Barbershoppers. Why did I choose the Barbershoppers? I think the greatest reason, was because of my father’s influence as he was a past member of the chorus, he enjoyed it and it seemed like a fun style of music.
I did miss a number of years as I deployed all over the world after I enlisted in the Army. After I retired, I returned home, I rejoined the chorus and was welcomed back like I had never left.
I continue with the chorus because I feel my spirit has been lifted after each performance, whether it’s at rehearsal, Christmas caroling, Singing Valentines or our annual show, and the friendships I’ve developed. I also stay because of the semi-annual contests. We’ve made marked improvements over the past couple of years and have been twice awarded Most Improved Chorus.
Music can and should be a lifetime activity for everyone. For me, music feeds my spirit. To paraphrase Dr. Jim Henry, a barbershopper of great renown and a two-time gold medal quartet bass as well as multi-gold medal chorus director: Barbershop is not just a hobby. It’s not just there to fill your leisure time.
It can change your life and the lives of everyone for whom you sing.
I’d like to encourage men of all ages who can sing to join us for rehearsals on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Do you need to know how to read music to join? No, but it helps. You really just need to be able to sing.
Our clubhouse is at 3500 Harmony Lane in Stevens Point. For more information on the chorus, contact Boleslaw Kochanowski, at 715-457-2801 or check out our website www.stevenspointbarbershoppers.com.