|TEACHING QUARTETS FOR YOUTH MUSIC FESTIVAL
Saturday, September 26, 2015; 12 noon to 9:00 p.m. at Kansas State University, McCain and All Faiths Chapel
Co-Sponsored by School of Music, Theatre and Dance, K-State and the Little Apple Chorus, Barbershop Harmony Chapter, Barbershop Harmony Society, Manhattan, KS
For the boys: Prairie Fire, barbershop quartet from Wichita, Kansas
For the girls is Legacy, a Sweet Adeline barbershop quartet from Kansas City, Missouri.
The Prairie Fire barbershop quartet was formed in the fall of 2008. Fast forward six years and these goofy cowboys have become one of the most entertaining barbershop quartets around performing shows and helping with youth in harmony clinics throughout the Midwest. The boys have competed in a number of barbershop harmony society district quartet competitions finishing in the top 10 nine times. Additionally, the district has awarded Prairie Fire with certificates for “most entertaining song,” “best outfit” and “smelliest tenor.” Their humor is contagious.
Individual bios –
The Lead, Matthew Webber: Matt is the Director of the South Central Kansas SmorgasChorus, who are the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Plateau A Chorus Champions of the Central States District, Barbershop Harmony Society. Smorgaschorus was a guest choir at the 2013 Kansas Choral Directors Association summer convention and most recently at the 2015 Kansas Music Educators Association in service workshop. Since 2005, Matthew has facilitated eight Youth Harmony Explosions (YHE) in Wellington, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Bentonville, Arkansas; Hastings, Nebraska twice; Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas; and Sterling, Kansas twice.
Matt, a vocal music educator in Wichita, has spent the majority of his teaching career at his alma mater, Wichita West High School and currently is in his first year at Wichita Collegiate Upper School. Matthew was honored in the fall of 2013 to be the director of the USD 259 Middle School Honor Choir and the guest director for both the Kansas Pioneer League Middle School Honor Choir and the Middle School Honor Choir in Maize, Kansas. Matthew was also selected as Outstanding High School Music Educator for the South Central District of KMEA for the 2013-2014 school year.
The Bari, Greg Yarnell: Greg is a second-generation barbershopper. His dad sang in quartets at K-State and in Newton before Greg was born. Greg started singing barbershop with a group of guys at work, during lunch hours. Soon after that, he joined the Wichita Air Capital Chorus. Now, 36 years later, Greg is bass section leader in the SmorgasChorus in Wichita. Greg has sung baritone in a number of quartets over the years, including Prairie Fire, your guest quartet for the day.
The Bass, Barry Barlow: Barry started singing barbershop at the age of 15 with the Louisville Thoroughbred chorus. After a 25 year break for an air force career he then joined the Wichita Air Capital Chorus. Barry has sung bass and tenor in numerous quartets and is a charter member of the South Central Kansas SmorgasChorus where he also sings bass and tenor. His previous quartet, Prairie Fire, has served as clinicians for youth clinics in Nebraska and Arkansas and found it to be very rewarding working with the young men.
The tenor, Chuck Edwards: Chuck's barbershop experience started at Coffeyville community college where he began singing tenor. A few years later he joined Matt Webber, lead of Prairie Fire, in a college quartet named WU. Chuck's love a barbershop continues to grow and thrive as he sings tenor with Prairie fire and baritone with the South Central Kansas Smorgaschorus.
Legacy, Sweet Adeline Barbershop Quartet, formed in August of 2009, and since that time has racked up 4 regional championships, and 5 trips to the International Contest placing as high as 15th. A sixth trip will be to the International Convention in October 2015. They chose their name because they are all "barbershop brats," two of them are 2nd generation, and two are THIRD generation barbershoppers. They grew up as barber tots and started attending rehearsals with their moms and/or grandmas when they were still in elementary school. They have an intimate knowledge of the challenges of teaching the craft of barbershop to young singers; they have been there!
Individual bios --
The lead, Stacy Schumacher: Stacy is the director of the Internationally known and award winning Kansas City Chorus. She is also a music educator, teaching K - 5 in a fantastic elementary school program in the Fort Osage school district. She is a sought after choreographer for show choirs at the senior high and college levels, giving her tons of experience working with our target age group. Her teaching and directing background makes her INVALUABLE in youth festivals. She has been the director for the girl's chorus at a local event known as Harmony Explosion in Olathe KS for several years, and Legacy has been honored to be a part of the event as well, serving as the teaching quartet, judging panel and performing for the girls as well.
Stacy has been a Sweet Adeline since the tender age of fourteen, when she joined the Kansas City Chorus along with her aunt and mother. Her dad is a singer as well, in the Heart of America Chorus. Music plays a huge role in her life, as she completed her degree in Music and has gone on to become a music teacher in the Fort Osage school district. She shares her immense talent and love of barbershop with the Kansas City Chorus. We are lucky to have her, and especially grateful that she still finds time to share her amazing voice with us! When she is not teaching, or directing, or singing with the quartet, she lends her talent as a choreographer to several schools in the area, and somehow still finds time for the most important man in her life, Scott.
The Bass, Trish Holland: Trish still remembers the songs her mother’s quartet used to sing, and loves to sing some of them with us now. She inherited her mom’s rich resonant bass sound, and has been using it to win quartet competitions for most of her life. Originally from Pittsburgh, the only time she’ll miss rehearsal is if the Steelers are in town! Trish leads a full and busy life, spending time with her four kids, three grandkids, and wonderful husband Buz, especially down at the lake on their boat. She too is a member of the Kansas City Chorus, and a front row veteran as well, alongside her daughter Shealyn!
The Baritone, Alexis Nicoletta: Alexis joined her first barbershop chorus, the Village Vocal Chords of Harmony, Inc. (Chicago, IL) at the impressionable age of twelve, where her mom was also a member. Yep, she's a barbershop brat just like the rest of us! She moved to Atlanta in 1986 and joined the Song of Atlanta Show Chorus (SOA) of Sweet Adelines International. As an active member she has held several chorus positions over the years, including Baritone and Lead Section Leader, Front Row, Music Team Member, and In-House Coach. Alexis is a Certified Director and is serving in her fourteenth year an Associate Director for SOA. For many years she was a member of the Region 23 Education Faculty, serving as instructor and coach for choruses and quartets throughout her region and beyond. She also enjoyed serving as a member of the Judging Panel for four years at the Region 23 Young Women in Harmony Program.
Alexis has won ten (10) Regional Quartet Championships, numerous Regional Championships, and International medals with her chorus, SOA, appearing on the International Contest stage several times as a quartet and chorus member. In January through April of 2012, she had the honor of serving as Interim Front Line Director for the tune Town Show Chorus in Nashville, TN, and led them to a first place finish as Region 23 chorus Champions, qualifying the chorus for the 2013 International Competition in Hawaii. Alexis is a Regional Sales Executive for Neopost, Inc., and resides in Alpharetta, GA, with her son David, who is finishing his junior year of high school.
The Tenor, Wendy Pool: Wendy, like Stacy, is a third generation barbershop brat. She still remembers going to rehearsal with her Grandmother at the age of seven, and joined the KC chorus shortly after moving to the Kansas City area from Florida when she was seventeen. She and her Grandma got to compete in New Orleans together, the first international competition for both of them, and a memory she treasures. Her dad, Gary Bolles, is a member of The Barbershop Harmony Society, and currently works as a successful coach and long time faculty member of Harmony University. Wendy has been a tenor since day one, and can’t imagine singing any other part. She is married to a firefighter, and has two little girls, who undoubtedly will be singers like their mama. As she likes to say “they are fourth generation, they have no choice!” Right now she is blessed to be a stay at home mom, running to keep up with her six and nine year old girls, teaching piano and voice lessons, and spending far too much time on her laptop, at least according to her daughters!