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The right song at the right time

Chanukah song nabs great TV shot

The right song at the right time gave this quartet an edge in booking media gigs -- and broadened its cultural relevance.

Bob Heron, Vance Heron (son), Bruce Schroffel, Ben Lowe

GEN GAP appeared on Los Angeles' highly rated Good Day LA in December, to celebrate the sixth night of Chanukah. The local quartet sang its version of "When It's Chanukah in Santa Monica."

"I have been trying to get my quartet to learn it since I first heard the LA Gay Men's Chorus do it years ago," said lead Bruce Schroffel, who is Jewish. "We just never seemed to get around to polishing it. This year, the guys promised me they would learn it, if I got us a TV gig." As members of The Santa Monica Oceanaires, the song was a natural fit, and led to good on-air conversation about the chapter and Society.

Gen Gap has been together for more than eight years. In addition to numerous local performances, the group has appeared in commercials for Schick razors and Toyota.

While most winter holiday barbershop arrangements are either in the Christian tradition (hymns and carols) or secular (snow and Santa,) "there's more than Christmas carols to be sung!" said Bruce. "This song was fun, light, and fills out our holiday package."

As you consciously expand your repertoire to be culturally broader, think about balance. Songs of inspiration, hope, community and uplift belong to all cultures. This is a great growth area for musicians and audiences.

Suggestions for more music to extend our range? Our music publishing program is always seeking quality songs and arrangements. Contact Scott Harris (sharris@barbershop.org), Arranger and Repertoire Manager.

Brian Lynch is Public Relations Manager for the Barbershop Harmony Society.