published Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Barbershop chorus marks anniversary — Aug. 17

Members of the award-winning Lunch Break Quartet are, from left, Shane Scott (tenor), Eddie Holt (lead), Mike O’Neill (bass) and K.J. McAleesejergins (baritone).
Members of the award-winning Lunch Break Quartet are, from left, Shane Scott (tenor), Eddie Holt (lead), Mike O’Neill (bass) and K.J. McAleesejergins (baritone).
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

• What: Choo Choo Chorus' "Celebrate Harmony"

• When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17

• Where: Girls Preparatory School, 205 Island Ave.

• Admission: $15 ages 13 and older

• Website: choochoochorus.org

The Barbershop Harmony Society is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding, and the society's local affiliate plans to acknowledge this milestone in a four-part harmony salute.

The Choo Choo Chorus will present "Celebrate Harmony" on Saturday night, Aug. 17, in the auditorium of Girls Preparatory School. The program will feature songs by the chorus, the Rock City Four and featured guests Lunch Break Quartet from Middle Tennessee.

Barbershop Harmony Society is the national umbrella organization of barbershop harmony societies across the country. The Choo Choo Chorus, Chattanooga's chapter of the organization, just marked its 50th anniversary in 2012.

Marcellus Scott, a Choo Choo Chorus member, said the guys will sing a wide variety of musical styles, along with traditional barbershop harmony, in a nod to the organization's founding. The latter includes "Chattanooga Choo-Choo," a Disney medley and patriotic tunes.

"They are songs that are all extremely enjoyable and full of harmony, which is what we are all about," says Scott. He adds there will also be an audience sing-along.

"The audience will participate in a very fun way, but I can't let it out of the bag," he says.

Lunch Break consists of Shane Scott, tenor; Eddie Holt, lead; K.J. McAleesejergins, baritone; and Mike ONeill, bass, according to the quartet's website. The guys began singing together during summer 2007 just for fun during their lunch hour -- thus the name. The quartet's repertoire includes barbershop, jazz, gospel and folk/hip-hop fusion.

Lunch Break won the Barbershop Harmony Society's 2007 Dixie District Championship and placed 11th in the International Barbershop Convention quartet competition in 2010.

The local chorus, directed by Paul Blazek, will have about two dozen singers onstage, ranging in age from 17 to 89, Scott says.

Tickets can be bought at the door or purchased in advance online. Proceeds from this performance will help fund the chorus' operational expenses, says Scott, so that all proceeds from the chorus' big Christmas show may be donated to a local charity.

"Last year, we donated $11,000 to the Walter Boehm Center to assist children born with birth defects," he says.

Contact staff writer Susan Pierce at spierce@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6284.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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