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Seniors champ: Best parts of convention happen offstage


What was the best thing about St Croix Crossing’s weekend in California at BHS’ Midwinter convention?

You might think that, of course, it was that after six near-misses we finally won the Senior’s Quartet championship. That was wonderful, to be sure. But was it the best thing?

The best thing might have been the morning Steve Hardy and I had breakfast at a local McDonald’s, spied a couple of guys with convention passes, and wound up singing a few Polecats with them. The transformation in the restaurant was immediate and striking. Everybody had been in their own little world, frowning into their telephones, but when we started to sing the heads came up, the smiles broke out and the place was brimming with warm good humor. Repurposed telephones then made sure that hundreds have now heard that harmony on Facebook.

Or the best thing might have been the hundreds of happy faces on the kids in the youth choruses. This part of Midwinter has become the real centerpiece of the event, and one of the finest things the Society is doing to build the future of our hobby. Those kids sing like angels, they look like angels, and they’ll grow up stronger and happier by leaps and bounds. How could that not be the Best Thing?

Then there are the “little” personal moments, like the one I had in the headquarters bar. I was told that the bass for Keepsake was sitting at the next table, so I went over to express my admiration, relate how I once spent a week in Paris glued to my iPod listening to him sing “New Gang On The Corner,” but that –alas!- my quartetmates had never wanted to sing that song. With a broad smile he gets to his feet (with a couple of other gold medalist friends) and with him singing tenor we sang “New Gang On The Corner” … together. And did those sevenths RING? MAN! What a thrill!

But now we’re discovering that the best thing of all is the wonderful warmth and support we are feeling coming back to us from so many in the Land O’ Lakes District. So many were pulling for us, and now they are cheering, and we are humbled and grateful and so glad to be a part of the World’s Greatest Hobby.

It’s GREAT to be a Barbershopper!

Jared Hoke - Bass
St Croix Crossing