SenateAires Show Featuring Voices of Tomorrow

Director Will Fox leads combined performers in show finale.On the drizzly Saturday afternoon of April 6, 2024, the SenateAires joined forces with International Champion Quartet Masterpiece to work with local area youth for an A Cappella Youth Festival.  That event took place at Morning Star Community Church in Salem, Oregon.

The previous day, this championship quartet visited some local Salem area schools to share with the music students their talents as well as lots of information about our craft.  The kids were invited to join us the following day for a free workshop and then appear on stage in a performance later that afternoon.  Chapter President Bob Cox noted, “The response from the kids and their music instructors was absolutely heartwarming.  Masterpiece got their interest and really showed the students just how much fun music is.”Will Fox instructing the kids.

More than two dozen kids showed up on Saturday morning at the appointed hour.  They were excited about learning a new song or two, and hearing more about the craft of singing without instrumental accompaniment to let the pure beauty of the voice stand on its own.  Along with the quartet, SenateAires director Will Fox worked with groups of kids in various vocal sections to usher them along the learning path toward a performance that afternoon.  It is no surprise that the final result was nothing short of wonderful.  Will is the musical director for Westside Christian High School in Tigard, and has led his choral groups to state championships year after year.  The youth in attendance at this festival were able to experience first-hand how Will lovingly guides them to be the very best they can be.

When the curtain went up on the afternoon show, several hundred audience members were in attendance, coming from as far as Washington, arriving by the literal busload.  No one went home disappointed and the response from the crowd was overwhelming.  One attendee said, “Absolutely the best show I’ve seen in years.  The kids were an absolute delight, and the SenateAires and the rest of the performers were top notch.”

Following the performance, everyone retired to the Salem Elks Lodge for the “Afterglow” and a spaghetti feed, and of course more performances by the chorus and quartets.  The staff at the Elks Lodge went out of their way to make us feel welcome, and made it the perfect finish to an awesome day.

2013 International Champion Quartet MasterpieceWe want to extend our sincere thanks to Masterpiece and the Harmony Foundation Grant in collaboration with the Association of International Champions for making this day possible.  Also, our thanks go out to the Salem Elks Lodge and to Morning Star Community Church for the use of their facilities.  We especially want to thank all of the quartets who gave so freely of their time and talents to make this happen.  Finally, we wish to express our most sincere thanks to the kids who participated, and to all who attended making the event such a resounding success. The day was amazing, and so rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of the youth when they finished their song to a standing ovation from the entire house.  You can watch the final song of the day by clicking HERE

Welcome Guests, New Members

The SenateAires ranks continue to grow, with the advent of more and more guests seeing just how much fun we have singing Barbershop.  It seems like each week we have new guests at rehearsal, and they’re finding it too irresistible to stay away.  In the month of February alone, we gained six new great singers to our official membership roles. Welcome Ben, Caric, Charley, Oscar, Tyler & Zach.  Along with those six new members, we have several guests who have attended rehearsals for several weeks and are considering joining the group.  I guess you just can’t hide how much fun it is to sing Barbershop when you see and hear it for yourself.  With our upcoming show and Youth Festival on April 6, we couldn’t be more excited with the expanding group.  I guess I had better order some additional shirts and ties for all the new guys!

SenateAires and Oregon Spirit Together Again

Once again, the men of the SenateAires Chorus have been given the privilege of singing at the Holiday Show for the amazing ladies of the Oregon Spirit Chorus.  The first weekend of December, we will appear on stage with the award-winning women’s chorus to spread some holiday cheer and make some spirits brighter with holiday music raised to the rafters.  With Festive Fun Favorites and Happy Holiday Harmonies, we will join our voices to make merry and sing of good will and great joy.

The fun will take place at the Dayspring Fellowship Center in Keizer on Saturday, December 2, 2023.  You should secure your tickets early to be guaranteed a spot.  Simply click on the announcement image to be taken to the Oregon Spirit website where you can secure yours now!  If you prefer, you can also follow this link to obtain your tickets.

Harmony and Bananas?

Who knew that we’d find such great A-PEEL by singing for the folks among the fruits & vegetables? On August 10, the SenateAires were blessed to share some music with the hard-working volunteers at the Marion Polk Food Share who work hard to prepare food for distribution to families and children who are food insecure.  These amazing folks give of their time and energy to make sure that local organizations and distribution points have sufficient food to share in combating hunger.  This is especially important during the summer months, when children don’t always have regular access to lunches at school – often one of their only sources of healthy food.

We sang some songs for the volunteers and staff, who seemed very happy for the break from their hard work.  Our thanks go out to everyone at the Marion Polk Food Share for letting us come in and sing – and especially to the volunteers who work so diligently to help combat hunger.  As members of the Oregon SenateAires, we are proud of our association with the Marion Polk Food Share, and blessed to be able to support their efforts.

We encourage more folks to support the Food Share directly and through our shows and programs.  They are such a great organization that works hard to combat hunger.  If you would like to find out more about the Marion Polk Food Share, you can visit their website here.

Gathering for Veterans

What an honor to be called up to sing the Star Spangled Banner for the dedication of the new Courtney Place Veterans Housing facility in Salem.  On August 10, several members of the SenateAires were bestowed with the honor of singing the National Anthem for those gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the YMCA Veterans Housing apartment complex across the street from the Salem Family YMCA.  With hundreds in attendance, we are grateful to the YMCA for allowing us to participate in the opening of this awesome facility.  It is always a joy to sing for our community, but it is a great honor to do so while taking part in the opening of a facility such as this.  Courtney Place will provide a great number of services to our veterans, who are often an overlooked part of our society, even though they have given us so much.  With hundreds of citizens and dignitaries in attendance, we stood proud to sing our nation’s anthem at the Presentation of Colors by the Oregon National Guard.  Thank you to the staff of the Salem Family YMCA for allowing us to take part in this event.

Magical Night for a Harmony Cabaret

SenateAires sing for large crowd at Harmony CabaretOn Saturday, May 20, the SenateAires hosted an evening of harmony and fun to a huge crowd (more than 200 were in attendance) at the Salem Elks Lodge.  The night featured the awesome ladies of the Oregon Spirit Chorus, and quartets from the SenateAires as well as That’s the Spirit quartet from the OSC.  Also in attendance were the awesome One Man Short quartet featuring award-winning voices and over-the-top entertainment. The night also helped benefit the Marion/Polk Food Share as donation barrels were filled with canned goods and stable dry foods to help out our neighbors who often don’t know where the next meal is coming from.  The SenateAires are proud to align with the Food Share to help support their mission.

It had been some time since our last major public performance, but that didn’t stop the crowd from enjoying the evening.  Some said that the audience had almost as much fun as the performers.  A number of new songs as well as a couple of familiar standards brought forth resounding cheers and applause as the Choruses and Quartets entertained with the passion and joy that is Barbershop Harmony.  A special shout out to the staff of the Salem Elks Lodge for helping us make this a magical night, culminating with Barbershoppers from the audience joining the performers to sing “Keep the Whole World Singing,” the anthem of the Society.Barbershoppers in attendance at the Harmony Cabaret join the chorus for Keep the Whole World Singing

Did someone say 90 ???

Our regular rehearsal on March 23 was especially great because we were privileged to spend the evening with one of our own celebrating his 90th trip around the sun. Yes, Hardin King turned 90 this week, and to celebrate the event at rehearsal, he blessed us by bringing three of his daughters to share the evening in song.

Margaret, Helen Liola and KC helped to make the evening complete and allowed us to sing a few songs for them.  They were a tremendous audience and we certainly hope they’ll be back.  Two of the young ladies came from Eastern Oregon, while KC won the award from traveling the furthest – all the way from New Jersey.  It was a tremendous honor to share the evening with them, and we thank them – and Brother Hardin – for being so gracious and loving.  We hope to see them again very soon!

SenateAires Awards Dinner

On Saturday, February 18, the SenateAires Chorus members, their spouses, and invited guests met for dinner to consider the Chapter events of 2022.  Led by Chapter President Bob Cox the group reminisced over the many successes of 2022.  After introductions of the spouses present, Bob went through some of the exciting times we had last year, including the Festival in April, the blockbuster show in June, and all the great times we enjoyed bringing our craft to many of the shut-in seniors in some of the assisted living facilities near us.  Bob took time to recognize the Board Members for their contributions throughout the year, as well as the new and returning chorus members who have recently become active in our chorus.

The “Rookie of the Year” award was presented to David Russell by the chapter president.  Bob commented how David had joined the chorus late last year and had hit the ground running during his first year with the SenateAires, always looking to help wherever he could and making great strides in honing his craft.

Director Will Fox recounted many of the accomplishments we have seen in our musicality and talked about some of the great things still to come throughout the upcoming year.  He thanked the Music Team for their help during 2022, and shared some of the upcoming events the Team is working on.  Will then presented the “Most Improved Singer” award to Mark Puhlman. Since joining the chorus in mid Spring 2022, Mark has worked steadily to become the best singer he can.

Near the end of the evening, the prestigious “BARBERSHOPPER OF THE YEAR” award was handed out by last year’s recipient Don Butler.  Don talked about the award, how it was voted on by the members, and how it was a testament to the dedication of that one individual in every group who always seems to be there when there’s a project, who always drives the group forward, and who is recognized by the group as that one individual who has, above all others, made our group better by their dedication and hard work.  This year’s recipient, by a landslide vote, was Chapter President BOB COX.  Without fail, Bob has made so many things happen during 2022, and the members voted, by landslide, to recognize him for all he has done.  Congratulations Bob – and to all of the SenateAires – for another great year.

Guest Night a Success!

At our first regular rehearsal in January 2023, the SenateAires hosted a Guest Night/Open House at the Salem Family YMCA, inviting all who may be interested to join us for an evening of fellowship, learning, and singing together.  We saw several former members return to the fold as well as a number of new guests.  All present were treated to an hour of learning about our craft, learning a song and a “tag” then having the opportunity to sing it together both as a group and in quartets!  Our director led us in learning a “polecat” section by section, then singing it as a group and in quartets.  Bob Martindale, our resident Tagmaster, taught a new tag to the group, and we were able to sing it as a chorus, and also in quartets.  There were refreshments, both for the body and the soul, as our voices joined together to fill the building with harmony,

Thank You Marquis Tualatin!

Christmas Extended!  The SenateAires were scheduled to sing for the Tualatin Marquis Assisted Living residents the week before Christmas – but Mother Nature had other ideas.  Because of freezing rain, icy roads, and near-blizzard conditions at times, we were forced to postpone our performance.  However, we would not be denied the opportunity to spread some Holiday Cheer.  On January 5, the men from the SenateAires joined forces to extend the Holiday Season a bit and sang for a room full of very grateful residents.  Toe tapping, chair dancing, and all-round mirth were on the menu when the residents – ranging in age from early retirement to several very charming ladies who proudly declared they were 97 and 98 years young.  We can’t thank them enough for letting us come and share our craft.  Not sure who got the greatest amount of joy – the audience who were ear-to-ear smiles, or the singers, who were ear-to-ear smiles!

Senator and SenateAires Together

To say the day was “electric” is selling it short. The SenateAires were asked to sing a few songs for the Honorable Senator Peter Courtney’s retirement party on December 13, 2022. The event was held at the Salem Family YMCA, just steps from the Senate Chambers, and there was a buzz in the air to be sure. Festive decorations adorned the space, including balloons, party tables and, of course, lots of refreshments. The Senator was very gracious and posed for a picture with the group of SenateAires singers present for the afternoon festivities. We certainly wish Senator Courtney the very best in his retirement, and look forward to seeing him in the audience of another SenateAires performance! Thank you, Senator Courtney, for all of your service to Oregon.

Successful Show!

What a great show we had on June 25.  The Oregon Spirit Chorus joined us for a fabulous evening of a cappella harmony at the awesome Rose Auditorium at South Salem High School.  What a venue!  The brand-new theater was simply spectacular, and performing again in front of a live audience was exactly what we all needed.  Then there were the three quartets who joined the show; the beautiful Happenstance Quartet, four charming ladies who brought their award-winning vocals to the stage, there was Social Insecurity, who shared their top-quality talents with some of the funniest routines imaginable and, of course, the incomparable Midtown Quartet.  The vocals from Midtown were undoubtedly a preview of what could possibly be the next International Champion Quartet next month in Charlotte, N.C.

Audience members were simply buzzing after the show.  It was heartwarming to hear all the positive comments coming from all directions.  With the events of the past couple of years, I’m sure folks were ready to get out and have an evening of entertainment.  Based on the feedback from the audience, we were certainly successful in providing that entertainment last Saturday evening.

We are so very grateful to all who worked so diligently to make Voices In Harmony a reality.  From top to bottom (that’s Tenor to Bass, I guess), everyone should be proud of what we were able to accomplish.  In particular, we sincerely appreciate the work put in by our two directors, Kathy Scheel and Will Fox.  Their tireless guidance and driving force made it possible for us to give our best.  But, most of all, we want to thank our unparalleled audience.  Without them there is no one with whom we can share our love of music.  We are so blessed to have the opportunity to gather and share our harmony.  It’s great to be a Barbershopper!

Come Sing With Us!

We welcome any men who enjoy camaraderie and great singing! We’re starting up the process of getting together and making great music again. If you’d like to know more, visit our Contact Page.

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