2023 guys music
Hello, HX Campers! I’m looking forward to meeting y’all in just a few days at Stetson University.
This will be my first time as a clinician at the Sunshine District Harmony Explosion Camp,
although I’ve clinicianed (is that a word?) at other HX camps many times…and have had the
chance to work with Debbie Cleveland a couple of times directing our Next Generation
Choruses at the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Harmony University. Should be a GREAT few
days together! A few details:
For outfits for our 50’s-themed Saturday night show, please bring: blue jeans, a denim or
leather jacket, white socks, black shoes, and a black belt. If you don’t have a leather or denim
jacket, bring something that matches that style as closely as possible…and we’ll likely have a
few extra jackets from a previous production that will be there and could be borrowed.
Some quick notes and fun facts about this year’s music:
1) Jezebel – a very, driving 50’s tune made famous by Frankie Laine, and brought to
barbershop by the legendary Suntones. LOTS of fun barbershop chords…biggest
challenge to performing this tune is often maintaining the tempo. We will have a bit of
choreography for this, and the chance for a few of you dancers to REALLY have some
2) Sh’Boom (“Life Could Be a Dream”) – an easy, swingy tune originally done by a 50’s
group called The Chords, but made famous by The Crew-Cuts (no crew cuts necessary
for perform this, BTW!). It is often considered to be the first doo-wop or rock ‘n’ roll
song to reach the top 10 on the pop charts. Key to delivering this tune is to dive into the
lazy but consistent rhythmic groove…and deliver an easy, joyful message WITHOUT
being lazy. We’ll also have some fun, easy choreography for this tune.
3) Love Me (“Treat Me Like a Fool”) – how could we do a 50’s show without including a
song from The King himself, Elvis Presley?! This is the closest thing we have to a
barbershop ballad, and was originally brought to barbershop life by the incredible OC
Times. This may be the most challenging piece of the 3…so please give it appropriate
time before our first gathering on Thursday. And you may want to give the OC Times
version a listen!
4) Summer Nights (from the musical Grease) – this is an 8-part arrangement that we’ll
do with the SSAA Chorus, directed by the always amazing Debbie Cleveland. This
song has some DIFFICULTY as well, and several verses – work on memorizing the
order of the verses (as well as the notes and words). This will be the GRAND
FINALE of the entire show, so we all need to prepare for it to be FABULOUS!
Please spend some time with your learning tracks for ALL of these songs in advance of our time
together so you’re prepared to have fun with them and make some great music.
If you are new to barbershop and/or not sure which part to sing, here’s a quick guide for how
TTBB fit into TTBB barbershop:
In Barbershop, the BASS sings the lowest notes. If you typically sing BASS in your choir,
you are likely a barbershop bass (and we always need basses!).
In Barbershop, the LEAD typically sings the melody. If you typically sing TENOR in your
choir, and you really enjoy singing the melody or also like to sing solos, barbershop LEAD
might be for you.
In Barbershop, the TENOR typically sings the highest notes. If you enjoy singing your
upper range – middle C thru high C – and have an ear for harmony you might be a
In Barbershop, the BARITONE typically sings in the same range as the lead, but gets a lot
of fun harmony notes. If you feel like a middle range TENOR in your choir, but really like
chromatic intervals and finding fun harmony, then BARITONE might be for you.
It’s important to note that even though great basses get all the attention, the leads get the cool
solos, and the tenors dazzle with the high singing, baritone is by far the coolest part (…and now
guess which part I sing ). In any case, if you’re not sure which part you sing, grab learning
tracks for different parts and sing along to see which part seems to fit your voice the best. And
if you’re still not sure, come prepared to try a couple!
That’s it for now. Enjoy listening and preparing, and come ready to have fun making great
music! I look forward to seeing y’all on Thursday…please feel free to send me an email with
ANY questions in the meantime!