Singing at the opening ceremonies of Jefferson City's 2007 Salute to America celebration.
(photo by Beverly Grote with her phone)
Okay, so we've worn out four tenors in our history ... we're tired of hearing about it ... get over it already ...
But maybe we should start at the beginning:
We began singing together in August 2003. Tarry, Tom and Greg had long been considering forming a new quartet, but they could not find a tenor to fill out the foursome. Some will find this rather ironic, since Greg and Tom were the only full-time tenors in the chorus at that time (and they both had, have, or still do sing tenor in other quartets), and Tarry often sang tenor when Tom was directing, but the guys were going for a particular sound with the new group, and were certain that they could achieve it better with Tom on Lead, Tarry on Bass, and Greg on Baritone.
As it would happen, Tarry and Tom were not at rehearsal for a couple weeks during that summer (Harmony College and other commitments, if memory serves), and Greg had just returned from taking a number of weeks off from chorus rehearsals to attend to some personal business -- on his first evening back the chorus was visited by Ned Horner, who had just moved to town to pursue a Masters in Conducting at Mizzou. Ned had previously sung with the Springfield, MO chapter, but had taken a few years off while attending school in Chicago. It only took a few notes for Greg to realize that the guys may have found their tenor, so he discussed it with Tarry and Tom, and the next week they invited Ned to join their quartet.
Afterglow following 2003 Fall Show (Ned on Tenor)
The group debuted at the chorus' 2003 Fall Show on October 18, and has never looked back (well, okay, so maybe we've looked back a few times). In 2004, other commitments made it difficult for Ned to sing full-time with the quartet, so Earl Friedmeyer (California, MO, who had previously sung Tenor with Top Flight) stepped up and filled the void beginning with our appearance on the 2004 Fall Chordbusters' show.
2005 Columbia Home Show (Earl on Tenor)
In 2005, Earl left to start a new chapter in Jefferson City, and Brian Sevits (Kirksville, MO) stepped in to save us from that most feared of questions: "how many guys are in your quartet, anyway?"
2006 Singing Valentines (Brian on Tenor)
And then in 2007, Derek Gilbert came along just as Brian's schedule was preventing him from making the regular trips to Columbia. Derek was a new local radio talk show host who had sung barbershop off and on for a number of years, including a stint with the Ambassadors of Harmony in St. Charles. Were we lucky or what?
With Derek - 2007
In our new tuxes - 2007
(photo touch-up courtesy of Derek's wife Sharon)
But it turned out that we spoke too soon ... shortly after competing at the District level in the fall of 2007, Derek announced that he was moving to Indiana, which once again left us without a tenor ... and this time we took the hint and decided to retire the quartet ...
But of course we couldn't leave it at that ... so after almost a year and quite a bit of soul searching we asked Walter Coplen to join the quartet as our Lead and Tom shifted over to Tenor ... we tested the setup by singing at Greg's church in August 2008 (the photo below was taken that day by Beverly) and decided it was a good fit ... we still sing a few songs with Tom on Lead (for which Walter slides over to Bari and Greg moves to the other end of the quartet to sing Tenor), but we really like the new sound with Walter on Lead, and we're confident that you will like it, too!
Singing at Greg's church in 2008
2009 Chordbusters Christmas Show
2011 Chordbusters Christmas Show
More history to come ... we hope!
June 18, 2013
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