Barbershop Quartet performs at Doudna

Cassie Buchman, Staff Reporter

Eastern’s Concert Choir and a Swedish Barbershop Quartet called “The Ringmasters” performed a short concert Monday showcasing several songs they have been working on.

There were 250 high school singers at Eastern to see the performance and take part in the 11th Annual “Youth in Harmony” Festival.

The Concert Choir consisted of about 29 singers, and started off the afternoon with two songs they sang under the direction of choir director Richard Rossi.

Their first song was a Latin piece called “Nisi Dominus” by Claudio Monteverdi.

For this piece, choir members stood in a half circle as opposed to their usual places on the risers.

This caused the choir’s sound to echo throughout the theater, which gave the theater a cathedral-like feeling.

The choir performed another song with three movements, called the “Shakespearean Trilogy of Love,” composed by Rossi. It premiered for the first time four weeks ago.

“(The songs) are about unrequited love, and are a little sarcastic,” Rossi said.

Each movement was a bit different from the others, with some songs being slower than others. For this song, the choir also went back to their regular places on the risers.

After the Concert Choir finished their songs, it was time for the Ringmasters to perform.

Anna Berry, a freshman Concert Choir member, said while she didn’t know about the Ringmasters coming to Eastern, “it was really cool to perform with them.”

The Ringmasters are a barbershop quartet from Stockholm, Sweden. They have been singing together for 8 years.

In 2012, they became the Barbershop Harmony Society International Quartet Champions. They are one of only two non-U.S. groups to receive such an honor.

They came to Eastern as part of their tour, which also includes Des Moines, Iowa and California.

The first song they sang, “Tonight,” from the musical “West Side Story,” was arranged to better fit the barbershop style, making it a little faster and more energetic.

After one of the soloists ended the song by holding the last note for a considerably long time, the audience could be seen cheering and clapping wildly.

After “Tonight,” the Ringmasters sang a Swedish song after explaining its meaning.

According to one of the Ringmasters, it was a song about longing for a girl who lives far away and the singer’s dream of building a cottage together with her.

Their next song, “Blackbird,” by the Beatles, was one of the very first songs the Ringmasters sang together as a group.

At the end of “Blackbird,” they received a very enthusiastic standing ovation from the audience.

The Ringmasters ended their set with a rendition of “All Shook Up,” originally sung by Elvis.

One of the singers in the group kept the audience entertained by acting out some of the instruments and using funny hand gestures and dance moves.

The audience was especially receptive to this last song.

“My favorite song was the Elvis piece,” Merrian Tice, a freshman elementary education major, said. “I like how they made sound effects for the instruments in the song.”

After this last song, they received yet another standing ovation and more fervent applause.

The Concert Choir’s next performance will be at the annual Holiday Concert. The concert will feature the Eastern Symphony Orchestra and choral ensembles.

The groups will be performing “A Carol Symphony,” by Victor Hely-Hutchinson and “The Many Moods of Christmas: Suite IV,” by Robert Russell Bennett and Robert Shaw.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].