Barbershop choruses offer harmonious holiday tunes

December 04, 2011|By DAVE MCMILLION |
  • Members of the Mason-Dixon Chorus of Hagerstown sing Sunday with members of the Harmony Along the Potomac chapter of Sweet Adelines International during a barbershop quartet Christmas concert at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Hagerstown.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Smooth harmonies from four barbershop choruses filled the sanctuary at Emmanuel United Methodist Church on Sunday as the church continued its tradition of providing a free Christmas concert.

The groups performed for more than an hour at the church at 802 Summit Ave., and near the end of the 3 p.m. show, the audience of about 100 people was invited to join in singing favorite holiday tunes.

Bill Divelbiss, member of the Mason-Dixon Chorus, one of the groups that performed, said the concert has been held for about six years.

It might have been a little hard to imagine Christmas on Sunday with sunny skies and a high temperature of 53.2 degrees in Hagerstown, but the show went on.

“It’s hard to believe that on a day like today we could think about a Christmas morning and snow, but keep this in mind as we do our fist song,” said Debbie Shaw of the Harmony Along the Potomac barbershop chorus as the group started its performance of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”

The other groups that performed were The Shenandoah Barbershop Chorus from Charles Town, W.Va., and the Blue & Gray Barbershop Chorus from Inwood, W.Va.

The groups performed numbers like “Jingle Bells,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Silver Bells.”

Divelbiss said his group performs throughout the year doing “sing outs,” traveling to places like nursing homes, workplaces and private homes.

“You name it, we’ve been there,” Divelbiss said.

Harmony Along the Potomac is a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization of female barbershop chorus singers.

Brenda Rahn, director of Harmony Along the Potomac, said the group does about six performances during the holidays, which is a busy schedule for the women.

“It’s a lot of fun. That’s the whole goal,” Rahn said.

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