Here for the YouTube Video of 76 Trombones
Here for Photos from the Convention
For Immediate Release: 7/6/09
CHARLES BARBERSHOP GROUPS TAKE GOLD MEDALS AT INTERNATIONAL
ST. CHARLES, MO. - The Ambassadors of Harmony, a St. Charles-based
barbershop chorus of about 160 singers, won the gold medal
on July 3rd with a record-breaking score at
the Barbershop Harmony Society’s 71st annual international
convention in Anaheim, California.
Crossroads, a barbershop quartet with two members who
sing in the Ambassadors of Harmony, also won the gold
medal in the quartet contest last weekend.
The Ambassadors scored an all time high score of 2,926
points out of a possible 3,000 to win gold over 28 other
qualifying choruses from the United States, Canada, Great
Britain, New Zealand and Sweden who competed at the Honda
Center arena in Anaheim.
This year's contest was historic because, for the past
three decades, no chorus had beaten the Dallas-based Vocal
Majority, which had won the contest 10 consecutive times
since 1979 and 11 times overall in that chorus' history.
The Vocal Majority's silver medal score Friday of 2,889
points of 3,000 was a record high for that chorus and
would have won the gold medal in every other chorus contest
in BHS history.
The Ambassadors won their first gold medal in 2004 and
silver medals in 2007 and 2008. Contest rules require
first-place finishers to sit out for three years.
Friday, the Ambassadors' winning two-song set included
Edith Piaf's "If You Love Me, Really Love Me"
and the classic march, "76 Trombones" from Meredith
Wilson's "The Music Man." Both songs were arranged
for the Ambassadors by the chorus' Associate Director,
Crossroads outsang nearly 50
other quartets to win gold after earning the silver medal
in its contest debut in 2008. The quartet's bass Jim Henry,
choral music director at the University of Missouri-St.
Louis, has directed the Ambassadors of Harmony for nearly
two decades. The quartet's baritone, Brandon Guyton sings
with the Ambassadors, and Mike Slamka, the lead singer
and Fred Farrell, tenor, are members of the Ambassadors'
Ambassadors have finished in the top four choruses 13
times since it began performing in international contests
in 1989, and they have now won the gold medal twice.
The annual competition is held by the Barbershop Harmony
Society, an organization of about 30,000 singers in more
than 800 chapters in North America.
Barbershop music is a uniquely American art form. It is
known for its four-part harmony and the “expanded sound”
created by its unique chord structure. It shares roots
with gospel and jazz and is part of the continuum of American
shows for the Ambassadors of Harmony include its annual
holiday performance, "Sounds of the Season - 2009,"
December 11-13 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on
the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. Tickets will
go on sale on October
seats for groups of 20 or more can be reserved now
by calling the Touhill ticket office at 314-516-4949.
For more information about the Ambassadors or Crossroads,
go to www.aoh.org or www.crossroadsquartet.com.