Gold-Winning Quartet Headlines Charity Concert Show
BY RAY LINVILLE
Special to The Pilot
Old School, an international gold medal-winning quartet, will headline the annual show for charities conducted by the Golf Capital Chorus, the local chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, which promotes singing in four-part harmony.
The show, which begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, in the auditorium of Pinecrest High School, continues a rich tradition of community concerts that feature international quartet champions.
The Golf Capital Chorus, which celebrated its 31st anniversary in August, conducts its annual show to enrich the lives of others. The show is the largest fundraising event for the chorus, a fraternity who sings in both quartets as well as its all-member chorus. Because the chorus contributes some $22,000 annually to charities, the Barbershop Harmony Society has recognized it as the best in per capita charitable fundraising of all chapters.
The show is supported by a "Sandhills Who's Who" of more than 275 businesses, professionals and organizations that contribute to the event. As a result, the chorus has donated more than $240,000 to charitable causes from ticket sales and program advertisements. Most of the funds are given to charities that support children.
In particular, the chorus has contributed more than $83,000 to the Sandhills Children's Center. Other recipients include Sandhills Moore Coalition for Human Care, Food Pantry, The Empty Stocking Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sandhills, Project Linus, Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills, Friend to Friend, Moore County Literacy Council, Prancing Horse and the Weymouth Center.
With a theme of "Harmony in Nature," the show features the Golf Capital Chorus singing several traditional favorites, such as "Blue Skies," "Over the Rainbow," "A Wonderful Day Like Today," "Oklahoma," "Shenandoah," "Annie's Song" and "This Land Is Your Land."
Selection of the theme and songs was guided by John Arnold, who is this year's show chairman and has sung bass for the chorus for 11 years. "Barbershop Goes to the Movies," the theme of last year's show, was a crowd pleaser, and this year will be even better, according to Ron Sutton, chorus president.
Although Sandhills residents always look forward to music by the Golf Capital Chorus, the premier attraction of the show is Old School. This quartet is the latest in a distinguished line of champions presented by the chorus at its annual show, which is always on the first Saturday in November.
The quartet members have a rich musical tradition that began as they grew up listening to their fathers sing. As a result, their philosophy is to "stay true to the musical roots of the hobby they all fell in love with as kids," according to the quartet. The name Old School reflects the focus of the quartet on singing traditional barbershop music - songs "with ringing chords," says Kipp Buckner, who sings tenor.
The quartet's achievements have been phenomenal. Old School won the Mid-Atlantic District contest in 2008. A few months later they were fifth-place bronze medalists in their first international contest. Next they earned silver medals in international competitions in both 2009 and 2010.
Their crowning achievement was in July of this year when they placed first in the international competition in Kansas City. Since winning their gold medal, they have been featured in shows in Massachusetts and Florida. A week after their performance here, they will be in Stone Mountain, Ga., for another show. Because Old School is in such demand, "we had to book them a year in advance," Arnold says.
Old School will sing several selections after intermission. In addition to the full chorus, the show also features three quartets and one octet of local singers, according to Arnol d.
In addition to Buckner, the quartet features Joe Connelly as lead, Jack Pinto as baritone and Joe Krones as bass. Buckner, who lives in Louisville, Ky., has already been inducted into the Barbershop Hall of Fame. His musical talents were honed at age 14 when he joined a chorus directed by his father.
Connelly, the musical director for the Southern Gateway Chorus, is the only barbershop member to win the international gold medal four times.
Pinto, from New Jersey, is musically blessed because he can sing all four harmony parts. In addition to directing a chorus in his home state, he uses his rich musical experiences to coach quartets and other choruses.
Krones, the low voice of the quartet, is from Texas. He first started singing in quartets at 16 and has been directing choruses since he was 21.
Membership in the chorus is open to any male singer who has an "ear" for music, likes to sing and have fun. However, membership does not require a trained voice or much singing experience.
Prospective members are invited to visit a practice session at 7 p.m. on Monday nights in the fellowship fall of Community Presbyterian Church in Pinehurst.
Tickets for the show are available at the door as well as in advance from Vern Pherson (246-6551), Bob Tweed (295-3199) or any chorus member.
Ray Linville lives in Pinehurst and is a member of the Golf Capital Chorus.
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