Want to go?
WHAT: The 63rd Annual Lakeside Barbershop Quartet Festival
WHEN: 8:15 p.m. Saturday, September 1
WHERE: Hoover Auditorium, 115 Third Street, Lakeside
COST: Concert: Free; Admission to Lakeside: $9.25/Adult, $6.50/Children 12-18yrs, Free/Children under 12yrs & Adults 90yrs & over
INFO: 419-798-4461 or visit lakesideohio.com
For most folks, barbershop quartets are a fringe hobby akin to Civil War re-enactors, Renaissance Faire-goers and, well, trekkies; just a group of folks who take their hobbies quite seriously but aren’t given much attention or credit by the mainstream.
However, it appears as though the image of the barbershop quartet singers and vocal choruses is changing. Barbershop Quartet style music is being featured more and more in pop-culture. Back in 1993 Homer Simpson famously brought notice to the musical genre a decade and a half ago with his fictional foursome The Be Sharps (and their number one hit song “Baby on Board”), television character Andrew Bernard often breaks into vocal tunes on “The Office,” and a few years ago musician Ben Folds released the album “A Cappella,” in which he produced 15 college a cappella groups singing tunes from his catalog. Still, not everyone is sold.
For those lovers of Barbershop, however, the place to be this Saturday is at the 63rd annual Lakeside Barbershop Quartet Festival in Hoover Auditorium.
“This is more of a closing of the season celebration,” said Lakeside Marketing Director Alexandrea Kontos. “There are two quartets and a barbershop chorus that come and is the featured performance. The Hall of Fame Chorus is the main group. There’s also Over Easy and new act The Class Ring.”
The Barbershop Harmony Society describes barbershop as four-part, unaccompanied, close-harmony singing with consonant chords, understandable lyrics and easily singable melodies.
In a nutshell, this fits right into the Lakeside entertainment offerings, a summertime program that includes 75 events in 75 days, the barbershop affair being the 75th.
“We’re a Chautauqua community so we offer programming in all four pillars of Chautauqua – religion, cultural arts, education and recreation,” Kontos said. “The barbershop falls under the cultural arts. But we have magicians, the symphony and even some lectures this summer instead of music programming, which was different.”
Because the barbershop festival is booked on Labor Day weekend, Kontos said it has become one of Lakeside’s busiest times.
While barbershop may not be for everyone, Kontos said seeing the show often creates converts. She knows this from her own experience.
“I really wasn’t looking forward to it but I actually enjoyed myself,” Kontos said. “I hadn’t seen something like that before. And the people love it. It’s different.”
The 63rd annual Lakeside Barbershop Quartet Festival takes place at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in Hoover Auditorium, 115 Third Street, Lakeside. Passes to get into Lakeside are $9.25/adults, $6.50 for kids 12 to 18, with those under 12 and over age 90 free. For more information, call 419-798-4461 or visit lakesideohio.com