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Date:Thu, Aug 13, 1998, 1:04pm
Reply to: A Discussion List For Those Interested in Barbershop Harmony

Hi, Tom -- I'm Rus, the fellow from Lubbock. Enjoyed your posting about Harmony College. ----- You mentioned our conversation on the bus:

"I talked on the bus with a fellow who has been thrust into the role of directing the chorus in Lubbock, Texas. They are so far from anywhere that quality barbershop happens that most of them don't know how good it can be, or have any concept of what is happening in the world of barbershop. We spent some time talking about ways to get them interested in presentation without choreography."

Just wanted you to know that for all the fantastic instruction that I received in Director's College, the time you spent on the bus explaining the fundamentals of stage presence to me was among the most valuable and immediately applicable lessons I received. Thanks a bunch. The guys in Lubbock will soon become familiar with your name and your approach: three rules for the body, three rules for the face, and liberation from choreographed minutiae. It's strange, though, to see my own words about Lubbock's isolation coming back to me through the Harmonet. It's true, but it made me think - Yes, we're isolated. Yes, much of what we consider good barbershop is right out of the '60's and 70's (The DC are still my favorite quartet), but there's more to Lubbock's Singing Plainsmen than that.

Being around Greg Lyne for a week has a way of making you think about the deeper meanings of barbershop. Throughout the week, in fantastic courses covering all aspects of directing, I pondered the situation in Lubbock. One of the things that I came to realize is that, for me, after HC/DC is over and I'm back in Lubbock, Texas, all the VM's and top quartets in the country become primarily a collection of really great CD's. Sure, they are the heroes, the consummate artists, the big-league players who show us how to do it right, the one's we show off when we want to brag about how good barbershop harmony can be, the source of some great coaches, etc. Wow, are they ever great. But, what I value most in barbershop, by far, are the guys I sing with, my friends, the guys I care about, the guys who make it possible for me to enjoy singing every Thursday night, the guys who bring this joy into my life. We're a team, and for all our different voices and personalities, there's not a loser in the bunch. Lately, one of my greatest pleasures has been singing in a gospel quartet with three of the guys. Maybe it's not A- or even B-level stuff, but it's coming along. We don't even sing good barbershop arrangements, but it's the best fellowship in the world, and when we start doing the nursing home circuit we'll bring a bit of pleasure and maybe some comfort to folks who could really use it.   I guess, for me, that's the real meaning of barbershop harmony. So, on further reflection, I'd say this: If you want to experience barbershop at its best, come to Lubbock. Sometimes we fail to appreciate it, but it really doesn't get any better than this. Thanks again for the help, Tom. I hope to see you there again next year.

Rus Moore
The Singing Plainsmen
Lubbock, Texas


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