Harvest of Harmony returns
By Jordan Beck
ESCANABA – Five Michigan-based barbershop groups will perform at Harvest of Harmony a concert, which will be presented by the Delta County Charter of the Barbershop Harmony Society at the Escanaba Upper Elementary School auditorium on Oct. 1.
As always, this year’s show will feature the Remnants Barbershop Chorus. This group was formed in 1988 after the Delta County Barbershop Chorus went on hiatus in the ’70s.
Though the Harvest of Harmony is their biggest show each year, the Remnants also sing at Gladstone’s Independence Day celebration, in Rapid River for Memorial Day, at Armed Forces Day events, and elsewhere in the community each year.
The Gracenotes, an ecumenical gospel group which consists of Remnants Barbershop Chorus members, will also perform at Harvest of Harmony. Previously known as the Remnants Gospel Group, the Gracenotes were formed in 2012. Since then, they have performed gospel songs from their repertoire at the Remnants’ spring and fall shows and at local churches.
“Now with their new name, and with an enthusiastic approach to gospel music, the Gracenotes are pleased to sing as a part of the Harvest of Harmony ’16,” a biography provided by the group stated.
Local barbershop quartet the Next Generation will celebrate their 25th anniversary at this year’s Harvest of Harmony. The Next Generation includes tenor Ted Brainard, lead Jeff Kobasic, bass Marc Tall, and baritone Bill Ehrhardt, all of whom are also members of the Remnants Barbershop Chorus.
According to a statement issued by the group, the Next Generation will commemorate this occasion by performing the songs they know and love.
“This year to commemorate our 25th year we will sing a few of our favorite songs, some of which we have been singing for a long time,” Brainard was quoted as saying in this statement.
Other barbershop groups from outside the area will travel to Escanaba for Harvest of Harmony. One of these groups is the Menominee River Chorus, a group of female barbershoppers from the Menominee area.
“We are a group of women who love to sing four-part harmony barbershop style!” a statement on the group’s Web site read.
The Menominee River Chorus’ history dates back to 1962; however, the group was on hiatus between 1970 and 1992.
The Four Man Fishin’ Tackle Choir – whose members all hail from Michigan – will be present at Harvest of Harmony, as well. This quartet, which consists of Kurtis Busman, Tracy Ulrich, Neil Nugent, and Mark Wilson, blends barbershop music with fishing- and hunting-themed humor.
“Their brand of up north humor has allowed them to ‘worm’ their way into audience’s hearts all across the USA & Canada. Weaving homespun humor and electrifying vocal harmonies together into a winning entertainment experience, it’s no surprise that after just one show with the Four Man Fishin’ Tackle Choir you’re hooked!,” the group’s Web site stated.
Harvest of Harmony will take place on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Admission will cost $20, and admission to an afterglow event will cost $5. Tickets are available at Elmer’s County Market and the Mobil station in Gladstone; additionally, tickets can be bought at a discount from members of the Remnants Barbershop Chorus.