Nashville, barbershop style

Last Saturday, Ross’ barbershop chorus had its spring concerts. The following day, we were hit with a snowstorm. And more snow (like a foot-and-a-half) is forecast for this weekend. It seems like this winter (or a new term I’ve seen “sprinter”) will never end. I’ve seen quite a few memes and Facebook posts lamenting about the snow and the cold — my favorite is a happy owl saying in one panel “It’s spring!” and then in the following panel, the owl is pelted with snow saying “Nope.”

So back to the concerts. The chorus changed it up a little this year with a theme — Nashville. The guys dressed in Western gear — hats, shirts, cowboy boots. The stage was decorated with saddles, wagon wheels, and southwest-designed blankets. The chorus also upped its social media game by posting a “buy your tickets” reminder almost every other day or so with cute little graphics. My favorite was “Get your tickets and round up your sweetheart” with a cowboy and a lasso with a cowgirl.

A few of the songs the chorus performed for the concert included “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash, “Rocky Top,” “The Tennessee Waltz,” and “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. It was great to hear the guys do some new stuff.

The Facebook campaign must have worked because it was almost a full house for the 4 p.m. show. There was even a couple at the lobby of the Willmar Education and Arts Center (the concert venue) at 2:30 p.m. Musicians were still rehearsing on stage.

Besides the chorus, a group of sophomores from Willmar High School, Perfect Fifth, was part of the show, along with the quartets Sound Image and Kordal Kombat. The Benson Family Singers also performed that day. The Bensons are a family music group that hails from Faribault and sing barbershop, bluegrass and gospel music. Their humor and harmonies definitely kept the crowd entertained.

Kordal Kombat is a young quartet that has made great strides in the last few years. Every time the West Central Connection has the quartet perform at a concert or an event, it really seems to “wow” the audience. I swear I heard audible gasps from the crowd when the quartet hits a strong chord.

As folks filed out of the 4 p.m. show, I heard nothing but good things about the concert. For some folks, it was their first time attending one of the chorus’ spring concerts, and they mentioned they would come back next year. Guess the chorus should do more themed shows — this was a good idea.

It wasn’t as packed for the 7:30 p.m. show, but the audience seemed to have a good time. I listened to it outside the auditorium while I read a book (I watched the first concert). I made some progress in my novel and had some harmonious background music.