Barbershop quartet to perform at Kiwanis Park


Submitted Photo

The Coles County Barbershop Singers will be performing Tuesday night at 7 pm in Kiwanis Park. The group has been active since 1970

Luis Martinez, Entertainment Editor

The Coles County Barbershop Singers will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Daum Amphitheater in Kiwanis Park as a part of the “Concerts in the Park.”

This will be the second time the singers make their way to the park for a free live performance.

Diane Ratliff, who is in charge of tourism and special events for the parks and recreation department, said the group is relatively well known throughout the community.

“They are a local group from Coles County that’s been around for 45 years,” Ratliff said. “It’s one of those things that there are a lot of people in the area who really like to hear them sing, so we try whenever possible to get them to come out for free concerts.”

Ratliff also said the group members are not just exclusively from Charleston, but some of them come from places like Champaign, Newton and Sullivan.

“We do the free concert series in Kiwanis Park just to kind of help the community,” Ratliff said. “They can come out, enjoy a free show, sometimes these groups aren’t able to perform locally or it’s a closed concert.”

Ratliff said the average turnout of audience depends on the weather and what other people have already planned.

“The type of audience is a wide variety; I mean it depends on the type of music that we have. We’ve had all the way from small children all the way up to seniors that come out to our event,” Ratliff said. “With the attendance, it also depends. Obviously in the fall, people are busy with different things, the weather makes a difference, so it varies from 40 to 50 people all to way up to 200 to 300 people.”

Tom Woodall, the director of the group, said they were asked before if they would like to perform again at Kiwanis Park and they said yes.

“This is barbershop singing only, this is a cappella singing, no instruments,” Woodall said. “There are about 25 men in the chorus, and the chorus breaks down into quarters, so we’ll have four different quarters also singing.”

Woodall also said the group was started in 1970 and people within the community have heard of them.

“The most enjoyable thing for the singers whether it’s Kiwanis Park or any place, is to sing well enough that the people to really enjoy it,” Woodall said. “They seem to get into the music and the lyrics of the songs and so it’s a unique form, People aren’t used to this kind of singing.”

The concert is free to the public.


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]