The Far Western District again sponsored the popular Harmony College West the weekend of August 26-28. This year’s event was held on the campus of Cal State University Hayward. For the second consecutive year, Hi<Fidelity was asked to serve as clinicians/coaches and appear on the Saturday night show. This year the guys were thrilled and honored to appear with 1977 International quartet champions, The Most Happy Fellows! The rest of the staff reads like a “who’s who “ in Barbershop and included Terry Aramian, Lloyd Steinkamp, Rob Campbell, Phil DeBar, Phil Ordaz, Russ Young, Jim McKee, Dave Tautkus, Bill Myers, Gary Steinkamp, Stan Sharpe and Dawn (DC) Castiglione.
There were 15 quartets this year plus a large number of students who signed up for other classes including “How to Coach a Quartet”, “Discovering Singing”,”Director of the Future, “Singing and Sight Reading”, “How to Be a Good Emcee” and “Song Writing and Arranging”. Hi<Fidelity's own Craig Ewing again taught the Vocal Production class along with Singing Judge (and the original Bass of Hi<Fidelity) Dr. Dave Tautkus. Martin, Tom and Gregg spent the weekend coaching quartets. Each guy spent about an hour and a half with 5 different quartets. Gregg observed that the overall quality of the quartets in attendance seems to be going up each year.
The Saturday night show consisted of a "parade of quartets" with each of the quartets in attendance performing one of their newly coached songs. Hi<Fidelity appeared immediately after the “parade” and gave their usual great performance, getting 3 standing ovations from the appreciative students and fellow-staff members.
In true Hi<Fidelity style, the guys poked a bit of fun from the stage. The first “victim” was HCW Dean (and Tenor of the 1964 International Quartet Champions, Sidewinders) Jerry Fairchild. Martin noticed he had taken up a cozy seat in the front row and interrupted “Blackbird” to revive last’s year’s famous jab at 4-Voices (2002 International Quartet Champions). “Look at him... sittin’ there” got one of the biggest laughs on the show! Then came “The Haps” turn when it Gregg asked them if they had any 8-Track tapes left!
After Hi<Fi’s shot, “The Most Happy Fellows” took the stage and put on a fantastic show, reminding us just what great champions they are and what it takes to really entertain an audience. Hi<Fi was lucky enough to grab a couple of photos with their new friends. (Click here for photos)
No Barbershop event is complete without an afterglow and Harmony College West is no exception. This year pizza was served in “the quad” where singing went on late (actually early) into Sunday morning.
Sunday morning again featured Hi<Fidelity in a special coaching session and study of the so-called “4th Wall” which was expertly led by long time Dallas Vocal Majority member and Presentation Judge, Connie Keil. The guys had an opportunity to demonstrate and be coached on several performing styles including, presentational, representational and soliloquy.
All in all, another successful and rewarding Harmony College West!