Six students from Gordon Central High School and one from Ashworth Middle School performed a lively, entertaining evening of songs in the barbershop chorus Scream Machine, a group based out of Cleveland, Tenn, during the Mid-Winter International Barbershop Harmony Society Youth Choir Festival in Las Vegas.
The choir ranked 8th in the competition among 19 teams from across the globe, Jan. 27-30. They held the highest single score for the song “Billionaire” and were ranked in the top 3 for Plateau A.
Plateau A is an indication of the average age of the team members, which does not exceed age 19.
The barbershop quartet consists of Matt Schmit, Philip McCown, Briggs Garland, Taylor Sisson, Austin Harris, Cohen Garland and Joseph Hornyak. Kim Watters, director of choral activities at Gordon Central High School, assisted them.
Watters said the choir had the privilege to train with the world quartet champion Chad Guyton and a team of talented singers from Cleveland, Tenn.
“It was a great success and the guys are already talking about the 2012 Mid-Winter convention in Tuscon, Ariz.,” Watters said.
Teams traveled from Florida, Washington and Virginia. International competitors came with teams from New Zealand and Canada.
Two prominent groups at this year’s convention were the 2010 collegiate championship team, “Swedish Match,” of Sweden and the 2010 International championship quartet “Storm Front” of Atlanta and Denver, Watters said.
“They practiced once a week since October to prepare for the (Las Vegas) competition,” Watters said.
“My boys really love this. Their parents have gotten behind them for support and encouraged them to participate,” she added.
The trip was financed by The Sound of Tennessee barbershop choir.
Getting involved with Barbershop
Watters hopes to bring to life barbershop singing, making it memorable and entertaining.
She said the barbershop songs and performances aren’t what people may envision or expect.
“Barbershop singing today is not what most people think. My boys are not wearing straw hats and only singing Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” Watters said.
“While the society embraces the traditions of the past, they realize the future is now with these young singers and the barbershoppers are doing everything they can to encourage singing among young men today,” she added.
Any male student that is interested in becoming a part of barbershop singing in Gordon County should email Kim Watters at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-879-5194.