2018-04-12 / Scene

Area Chorus to Host Barbershop Show

By Ben Gagnon

David Longroy (front center) with the Flint Arrowhead Barbershop Chorus 
Photo by Ben Gagnon David Longroy (front center) with the Flint Arrowhead Barbershop Chorus Photo by Ben Gagnon GENESEE COUNTY — If you’re a fan of vintage barbershop music, “Saturday Night Jukebox” should be right up your alley.

The show, which will feature a cappella performances and classic tunes, kicks off May 12 at 6 p.m. from the Powers Catholic High School auditorium in Flint.

One of the evening’s headlining groups will be the Flint Arrowhead Barbershop Chorus (FABC), which has been hosting and producing spring barbershop shows at Powers for the last three years.

In addition to the chorus, barbershop quartets will also be performing at “Saturday Night Jukebox”; they include nationally acclaimed Frontier and Checkmate quartets, and locally recognized quartets

Tone-acity and Harmony on Tap.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun music from the 50s and 60s,” said David Longroy, the FABC musical director. “If you’re a lover of a cappella style music, we’ve got some good stuff coming for you.”

Longroy, who’s directed the chorus for 12 years, said that his group will showcase everything from barbershop favorites like “Hello Mary Lou” to a medley including Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender.”

Comprised of local men from various backgrounds and professions, the FABC has performed at venues like Courtland Center Mall, Crossroads Village and Back to the Bricks. As part of the international Barbershop Harmony Society, the group represents the Pioneer District (Michigan and parts of Ontario) and competes at regional and nationwide conventions.

Members also bring music directly to the community, such as performing at elder care centers around Christmas time and showing up upon request to “sing for sweethearts” on Valentine’s Day.

Wherever they sing, the Flint Arrowhead Chorus aims to provide listeners with a window into the past — an era where people gathered together in barbershops to harmonize popular songs, usually without musical accompaniment.

“We don’t have to worry about getting instruments tuned,” Longroy said. “It’s just us, the microphone and the crowd.”

In lieu of music, Longroy said that his group focuses on tuning its vocals to produce an acoustical effect called the “ringing chord,” which occurs when a chorus’s four sectional voices (lead, tenor, baritone and bass) form a single chord.

“When (your group) locks onto a chord, you can actually hear an overtone or fifth voice,” he said.

“We liken it to angels helping us sing. That gives you goosebumps.”

In preparation for its events, the FABC rehearses every Tuesday evening at the Flint Township/Carman-

Ainsworth Senior Center. “Doc” Hylon Heaton III, a 16-year member and current president of FABC, said that the sessions build group chemistry and lasting friendships alike.

“I enjoy the camaraderie between the gentlemen here,” he said. “Singing has been an outlet for me to find enjoyment in life.”

With the spring show around the corner, Flint Arrowhead Chorus members are encouraging the community to come out and enjoy a blast from the past.

“It’s a great show for the family,” said FABC singer John Noteware. “I know they’ll be entertained.”

Show tickets for “Saturday Night Jukebox” are $22 for adults, $20 for Seniors 62+, $18 for students and

$12 for children 12 and under. Groups of 10 are $18 each. For show tickets, please contact any chorus member or call Steve at 1-844-370- 6470 extension one.

Details: Visit flintarrowhead.org. Tickets are also available at the door.

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