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Sun Harbor Chorus brings barbershop to recital hour

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Asia Ryan
Sun Harbor Chorus performing at Mesa College music department’s weekly recital hour.

The Mesa music department held its weekly recital hour in the C-100 building, room C-119. Recital hour is geared toward exposing a plethora of music genres and styles to students and music lovers. On Oct. 4, the Sun Harbor Chorus graced the stage to present their wonderful barbershop harmony and incredible performance skills.

Recital hour is open to the public but is a required course for music majors. It features a series of concerts that offer students access to musical performances and a diverse catalog of presentations. Ian Bassett, the recital hour coordinator, believes that exposing students to a wide range of music genres is immensely important. “We run all different styles of music for our music majors as well as people in the course,” said Bassett. “It’s so they can get experience and an on-the-job style presentation.” 

Students will be able to observe genres ranging from experimental electronic to classical piano to Celtic music. During the first ten weeks of the semester, students will watch and listen to professional performers. Beginning on Oct. 15, the Mesa jazz ensemble, choir, guitar ensemble, and the applied music students will perform.

Music major and clarinetist Ivy Robinson doesn’t see this course as just an attendance requirement, she truly enjoys each recital hour. “It’s a chance to get exposed to different kinds of music. That’s the first time I’ve watched a barbershop-style performance,” she said. “I think for me, that’s the most enjoyable part, having to sit down for an hour and just do nothing but focus on this potentially new style of music that I wouldn’t have listened to previously.” She went on to say, “It’s also been a bit of a networking thing in some ways. I’m going to get a music lesson from clarinetist Dr. Ariana Warren, a professor at Cuyamaca College who performed here a couple of weeks ago.” 

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Lined up in their colorful button-downs and black slacks, the Sun Harbor Chorus serenaded the room with the unmistakable harmony of a barbershop choir. Founded in 1946, the Sun Harbor Chorus is a group of men dedicated to high-quality singing, fellowship, and fun. The chorus members include baritones Bob Dunn and Tom Fazekas, basses Craig Hughes and Neal Palmer, leads Glenn Spagnolo and Louis Regas, and tenors Bill Beacom and Dave Foti. The chorus sang 19 songs from their collection and wooed the crowd with their upbeat style and humor. Their voices reverberated through the room, performing songs from the 1800s to the 2000s. Among the renditions were “Wait Til the Sun Shines Nellie,” “Hello Mary Lou,” “Under the Boardwalk,” and many others.

Aside from free live performances, recital hour also serves as a learning experience for all in attendance.  The tenth song in the program, “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” turned into a hands-on learning experience for the students. With the blow of the pitch pipe, the audience found their pitch, breaking into four parts: lead, tenor, bass, and baritone. Within minutes, the students sang the song on their own. 

In between arrangements, a member of the eight-man group came forward to give a bit of history on each song and barbershop quartets, and facts about musical engineering. The class concluded with a round of Q&A from those in the audience. “I think it’s cool to enjoy live music, and this is a free opportunity [for the public],” Robinson added. People can walk over after class and hang out. They can meet friends and potentially try out some music classes.”

Link to the schedule of upcoming recital hour performances: Recital Hour Schedule

 

 

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About the Contributor
Asia Ryan
Asia Ryan, Editor-in-Chief
Asia Ryan is the Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Mesa Press as a second-year transfer student at Mesa College. Her plan is to transfer to San Diego State University next year to complete her Journalism degree and ultimately become a sports Broadcaster/Analyst, focusing mostly on mixed martial arts. In her free time, she enjoys doing jiu-jitsu, visiting museums, traveling, and working on her MMA blog.  
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