Barbershop Old but New Again
Harmony Express is an a capella men’s chorus featuring the barbershop style. Founded five years ago in Germantown, Harmony Express performs at sporting events, retirement homes, civic organizations, town festivals, restaurants, private parties and other venues. Besides offering entertainment, Harmony Express tries to contribute to the quality of life for all county residents. In August, the chorus provided strolling quartets each day at the Montgomery County Fair. In September, Harmony Express produced its First Annual Show at Kreeger Theater, Jewish Community Center, Rockville. The Second Annual is planned for Leisure World this fall.
This blog will be a means of keeping up with events and opportunities at Harmony Express. It will also give a bit of the history of barbershop harmony as an a capella style, and put flesh on the claim that barbershop is “old but new again.” Most people, if they think about barbershop, picture the Buffalo Bills in the 1962 film The Music Man. In fact, barbershop doesn’t sound very much like that any more. The image is still good clean fun, but the style has evolved in response to changing times.
The website, Harmony-Express.org, is loaded with information for the curious. Visitors will also find a not-so-subtle invitation to attend a rehearsal and see for themselves what barbershop harmony is all about.
Dave Byers, a county resident for almost 40 years, is President of Harmony Express. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota, and taught Freshman English in three states before pursuing less challenging career opportunities. This experience doesn’t do much for his singing, but helps with writing a blog.