Practicing for a Perfect Harmony

One group of local singers is welcoming others to join them in perfect harmony.

The Chorus of DuPage has taken the idea of the barbershop quartet and expanded it to an entire ensemble. The 40-member all-male a capella group celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and is now looking to grow.

Their barbershop style of music lets all ages and ability to blend their voices in four-part harmony.

“It runs the range from beginners to intermediate,” said Daniel Garcia, Vice President of Membership and Chapter Development. “Whether you sing at home, karaoke, church choir, or in the shower, as long you like to sing and have a pretty good attitude, we’d love for you to come out.”

And 20 guests loved coming out for the latest rehearsal. The newcomers brought their vocal talents to the table.

For many, the fun and fellowship was a great way to end their night on a high note.

“Any group of people that are singing in this kind of an organization – in order to be able to sing well, they’re going to have in-depth knowledge of each other and their lives effectively and I enjoy that,” said Christopher Culp, a guest at the rehearsal and Wheaton resident.

“I feel almost intimidated by the talent because there’s a lot of great singing talent,” said Ed Thornton, also a guest and a Chicago resident. “Now [I’m] hanging out with my father on Tuesday nights singing and if I could not embarrass myself or him I’ll keep coming back.”

Three-time district quartet champion Craig Ahlgrim started directing the group last summer and has been coming back ever since.

“When the amateur ear hears that barbershop sound, they really get hooked and that’s our motivation to hook them with that sound,” said Ahlgrim.

When they’re not rehearsing, the chorus hooks the public with their sound in a monthly performance.

“We call it a ‘Sing Out’ where we take our music out to perform before any kind of audience,” said Paul Palmer, the group’s president. “They like the a capella. They like the close harmony.”

The Chorus of DuPage encourages all men who enjoy singing to join them for practice at 7pm every Tuesday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.


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