“The Finest in Barbershop
How we got Started
-From Brian's perspectiveI was a student at Eastern Michigan University from 1980 - 1986. During that time, I was on a performance scholarship with the Drama Department, majoring in Theatre Arts. I minored in Musical Theatre and had become involved in the vocal music department - most notably the Madrigal Ensemble. In 1982, in the late fall, I'd been out late with some friends and was returning home, when I was passing by fellow Madrigal member Scott Turnbull's apartment and noticed that his light was on. Even though it was about 2:00 AM, I figured I'd stop up and see how he was doing. If he was actually asleep, I'd just give him the business anyway.
Scott was a sight when he answered the door, but invited me in, anyway. I had first seen his quartet from the Madrigal Ensemble, "The Victorian Principles," during the previous school year, and once I'd joined up and realized he'd formed a new quartet, I told him that I would have been interested in singing in the group. He said he'd keep it in mind. Well, it seems he did - we talked for a few minutes and then he asked if I'd be interested in singing in a barbershop quartet to audition for Cedar Point Amusement Park. I asked about the time commitment and we agreed that it would prove a good addition to my activities.
Little did I know at that moment how much of my life that addition would consume...
My first rehearsal with the group was in late November of 1982. The folks
I sang with were Scott (a portly, energetic musician, on Lead), Bob Hartley
(a 5'6" smart-alec with a devastating wit, on Tenor) and Paul Hansen (a lumbering, 6'5" bartender, on Bass). Scott and Paul had tried working
with another baritone and tenor, but their recent departure had left them to make other choices. The new combination gelled immediately and
with little rehearsal, procured the summer job as the official barbershop quartet of Cedar Point. We needed a name for the group and Scott had
developed a list - being a rather preppy-type, the name "The Ivy League" appealed to me. It also appealed to our sense of being college students
and the name itself was in reference to the four schools that made up the original league: Yale, Rutgers, Harvard & Princeton. The Roman numeral
IV, or "four", was the reason for the name, not the vine. It seemed evident as a perfect name for a college quartet.
We were a tremendous hit. Going to the following International Contest and seeing The New Tradition win with the same type of packages inspired us to continue to create the same kind of package for ourselves. The following District Contest became the first District Championship for all of us.
We'd spoken in previous months
about a replacement for myself, as I knew I would be graduating from the
University and following my desire to become a professional performer.
The first person in all of our minds was a guy we'd seen in a VLQ (Very
Large Quartet... composed of more than 8 members, anyway...) whom we thought
could fit in quite well. As it turned out, Jim Pollard had always wanted
to sing baritone in the worst way.
Stuff you don't really want to know, but we're too egotistical to put this together without it...
Old Stuff, but good stuff!!!
If you've kept
reading this far, mostly you're interested in this.
This is *really* self indulgent - but then, we wouldn't be us without it.
Other dross you're not really interested in, but there's some funny stuff, here.
Take a look!
* Links to their current Websites
* Metropolis * Heaven Sown * Scott's Arrangements *