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Director gets pie in the face during competition--how sweet it was!
by Neal Siegal for Vocal Area Network
Posted July 24, 2005

Big Apple Chorus, Utah, July 9, 2005Under the watchful eyes of nearly 10,000 discerning spectators, the Big Apple Chorus ended a meticulously planned competition performance on July 9  with--literally--pie on the face--of director Joe Hunter, that is! Fortunately, to everyone's delight, they were singing a medley of. “Make'em Laugh” and “Comedy Tonight”. The chorus was in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Barbershop Harmony Society's 2005 International Convention, representing the Manhattan Chapter. The Barbershop Harmony Society (www.barbershop.org) has 800 chapters worldwide in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Russia.

As expected, the audience got the kind of antics barbershop fans the world over love about the Big Apple Chorus. The 85-man chorus is known among most of the 60,000 Barbershop Society's devotees for their uniquely New York “in your face” style and mix of entertainment and four-part close harmony a cappella singing. The performance in Utah earned the chorus an overwhelming standing ovation, and landed them eleventh and among the highest ranked barbershop choruses in the world. High-level international placement is not new to the Big Apple Chorus. The inspired comic lunacy of director Joe Hunter and an extraordinary performance team ensure that entertainment and joy are as much a part of a “competition package” as are the art and technical craft.

The stage had been set earlier in the week when the Big Apple Chorus competed with eleven other semi-finalists (culled from hundreds of competitors in nationwide preliminary rounds held earlier in the year) to earn the right to appear on the "Big Show", set for Saturday, July 9. Many members in the audience said that the chorus's heartfelt and dramatic rendition of "What Kind of Fool Am I" brought tears to their eyes, and that "I'm Just A Gigolo" (with outlandish costume changes and comic choreography) brought them, cheerfully, to their feet.

The Manhattan Chapter was also proudly represented in Utah by two quartets. One of the chapter's quartets, Reveille (whose members include the chorus director and three members of the chorus's music team), rose to nineteenth place out of approximately 1,500 quartets in the B.H.S. The quartet offered two of the “over-the-top” parodies they are called to perform all over the country. One was “The Godfather Medley,” a self-referential send up about the Barbershop Harmony Society; the other, a parody based on Dean Martin's famous ditty “That's Amore” called “That's Immoral.”

The Manhattan Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society invites all metro area men who sing and love to entertain to visit them. See www.bigapplechorus.com for more details.

Neal Siegal sings with the Big Apple Chorus. This is his second article for Vocal Area Network.

Content Contact: Neal Siegal.
Revision Date: July 24, 2005.
Technical Contact: Steve Friedman.

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