Sunday, January 31, 2010

In Other News: 52Eighty Wins International Competition

So In addition to reading comics, graphic novels, watching movies and having literary discussions, I also sing in an organization called the Barbershop Harmony Society.  Within this organization we have two major contests, one during the summer where we crown our international quartet champions, collegiate quartet champions, and chorus champions, typically somewhere in the month of July.  The other is our Mid-Winter convention where the international quartet contest for seniors commences, and the newly installed international youth chorus contest. (must be 30 years old or younger...I'm 28) There were eleven choruses that mainly came out of the states, with a few traveling from overseas.  My chorus is 52Eighty (5,280 feet above) and we came out with a winning score of 83.5%, officially classifying ourselves as an "A" level chorus.

The Story:  52Eighty is based on Denver Colorado and directed by Chris Vaughn and Matt Swann.  Last year, this very chorus competed in this contest and received 2nd.  I was not with them last year seeing as how I was living in Des Moines, Iowa.  However, according to what everyone in the chorus was saying, and from what I heard through the Barbershop grapevine, everyone felt like 52Eighty should have won the entire contest.  So this year the guys were gun-ho about winning, having fun and making themselves proud.

It was a fantastic weekend where I got to see some old friends and acquaintances, as well as some new ones too.  Going into the contest I knew we were going to win, but I was still shocked to hear the announcement made, especially with our scoring average at an 83.5%.  Last summer at the regular international competition, that would have put us in the top twenty with the "big boy" choruses, ranking us at 15th or 16th. Not only did we win it, but we took ourselves to the next level and proved to ourselves and to the barbershopping world that the young guys are here to stay.

Now, even with an 83.5, it's not like we ran away with the competition.  2nd though 4th place were exceptionally close in their scores, with 2nd place receiving an 81, which in my opinion means they all were second place finishers.  The only sad thing on my end of things is, being the last chorus to sing, we didn't get to see any of the other choruses perform, and based on the scores it would have been great to watch.  However, I'm proud of myself and the rest of the guys for our hard work and driven personalities, and I'm glad to have finally done well in this great hobby.

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