WM Barbershoppers Bring 2019 Harmony into 2020

Presenting the new slate of officers for the High Country Barbershop Chorus, Arizona Division VP Adam Kaufman administers the oath of office, along with heartfelt congratulations at the Jan. 4 annual installation and recognition event at Charlie Clark’s. Front row, from left: Don Murrow - Secretary; Adam Kaufman - AZ Division VP; Tom Wallis - Music VP. Back row, from left: Jeff Walker - Treasurer; Jim Burden - VP Marketing; Everett Peterson - President, Ryan Carmichael - member at large and Duane Krause - Past president. (Not pictured - Mick Mitchke - member at large.)

PINETOP-LAKESIDE — An evening of recognition and appreciation was held Jan. 4 at Charlie Clark’s was for those who made 2019 a stellar year for the High Country Barbershop Chorus.

Outgoing President Duane Krause opened his remarks by saying, “My administrative goal for 2019 was to simply trace the templates and footsteps of those fine men and women with the guidance, wisdom and talent of the highly professional Dr. Theresa Dick. Mission accomplished!”

“Under the leadership of Tom Wallis and Dr. Theresa, in 2019 we all took a good look at the new barbershop arrangements of recently popular songs. We adapted to the music that the hard working Music Committee brought forward for our summer and Christmas performances.”

Krause recognized all of the members for their support as well as “The Better Half Notes,” wives and significant others of the chorus.

The President’s Award – there were actually seven – delivered four trophies to ”The Now Guys Quartet,” the younger of the barbershoppers who Krause said brought “youthful enthusiasm, newer music and great harmony to our summer show.” The group included James-Mark “Jark” Burden who mentored and directed the group; Stefan Bailey; Gavin Bailey and Daniel Webb. To sweeten the win, they all received gift certificates for ice cream from Mountain Dream Creamery.

Two more President’s trophies were awarded to four individuals for their parts in the summer show.

Jeff and Tiffiny Walker and Jim and Margaret Barden were recognized for Best Performance by a Husband and Wife, “Silhouettes on the Shade.”

The last trophy was presented to Barbara Bruce (yours truly) as a Friend of the Chorus for “enthusiasm for our chorus through the year every year,” with an honorable mention to Corrine Ruiz, page designer for the Independent, who Duane said “publishes the calendar and rehearsal dates and events for us.”

Dick, director of the chorus, presented the Director’s Award to Jeff Walker. Dick explained that last year, being new, she found it easy to present her award to the late Ron LaMar, but this year she had come to know the group, had watched them all, but when it came down to a final decision, Walker, who was a new member last year, always arrived at rehearsal with a smile, enthusiasm, and music learned and usually memorized.

The Spark Plug Award, a traveling award which the recipient only gets to keep for one year – unless they should win it again – was presented to Dick.

The Best Barbershopper of the Year Award (BOTY) is always bestowed upon the recipient by a former award recipient which is voted on by all former BOTY winners. Mick Mitchke, 2018 winner was not able to be in attendance so 2017 winner Krause presented the award to Thomas Wallis who joined the chorus three years ago. This is the highest award the High Country Barbershop Chorus presents to one of their members.

The award presentation would not be complete without recognizing the amazing Doc Dockendorf, chorus director emeritus. Chorus Secretary for 2019 Millard Bolt presented Doc with his Barbershop Harmony Society renewal card and congratulated him on his 59 years as a member.

Incoming President for 2020 Everett Peterson delivered his message with renewed positivity and encouragement of “being open to new possibilities,” which could include a change in bylaws, allowing for a mixed chorus and quartets in the future – a national trend these days. He also encouraged members to become part of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) for a “greater commitment to your craft.” BHS, founded in 1938, “preserves and extends the reach of a uniquely Amerian close harmony musical art form through active programs in music education, publishing, performance and outreach.”

Arizona District Vice President Adam S. Kaufman returned this year to administer the Installation of Officers for 2020: President, Everett Peterson; Past President, Duane Krause; VP Marketing and PR, James Burden; VP Music Committee, Tom Wallis; Secretary and Membership VP, Don Morrow; Treasurer, Jeff Walker; Chorus Manager, Everett Peterson, At Large, Mitch Mitchke and Ryan Carmichael.

Following the evening’s agenda, as one has come to expect, the Barbershoppers gathered and sang some of their favorites, also thanking the entertainment for the evening, Jack Huff.

More information on the chorus and how to get involved, along with a page of the annual event in photographs captured by Jerry Schrunk, can be found at www.wmhcbc.

Reach the reporter at bbruce@wmicentral.com

Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

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