Superman. Teflon. “Our Town.” Lou Gehrig’s 23rd and final grand slam. The Chicago Cubs clinching the National League pennant. Orson Welles panicking a nation with “War of the Worlds.”
The time? 1938. The place? America.
26 men. A rooftop garden. O. C. Cash. “Down Mobile.” Rupert Hall. Board of Sing-chronizers. Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in the United States.
The time? Also 1938. The place? Also America, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to be exact.
All Walks of Life
Seventy-five years have come and gone since that first meeting in a rooftop garden of what would become the S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A. and later the Barbershop Harmony Society. Seventy-five years of singing, camaraderie, shows, singouts, and afterglows. Seventy-five years of conventions, contests, tags, woodshedding and improving our craft. Throughout our 75-year history, hundreds of thousands of men have been a part of our ranks, including lots of Joe Barbershoppers plus celebrities like Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx, Burl Ives and Harry Truman, our common bond of the love of four-part harmony bringing us together from all walks of life.
The Cardinal District’s Role
[image size=”full” no_lightbox=”false” open_new_tab=”false” fancy=”true” caption=”Doctors of Harmony”]https://www.cardinaldistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Doctors-of-Harmony-1947-2.jpg[/image]
The Cardinal District, comprised of Barbershop chapters in Indiana and Kentucky, has played a major role throughout the history of the Barbershop Harmony Society, starting with the winner of the third official International chorus contest (1956), the Ambassadors of Harmony from Michigan City, Indiana. The men from the Cardinal District have always been in the forefront, not just as participants, contestants or leaders, but also as history-makers and legends. Groups like seven-time International chorus champions, the Louisville Thoroughbreds (1962, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1978, 1981, 1984). Buckeye Invitational chorus champions: Pride of Indy (1989) and Summit City Chorus (1993). Quartet champions: Doctors of Harmony (1947), Bluegrass Student Union (1978) , Interstate Rivals (1987), Second Edition (1989) and Michigan Jake (2001). Senior quartet champions: The Barons (2000). Award-winning directors: Rudy Hart and Jim Miller. Past Society Presidents: Jerry Beeler and Ernie Nickoson. And who could forget the five times that Cardinal has hosted the International conventions, most recently in 2006?
[image size=”one-third” no_lightbox=”false” open_new_tab=”false” fancy=”true” caption=”Jim Miller”]https://www.cardinaldistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/353.jpg[/image][image size=”one-third” no_lightbox=”false” open_new_tab=”false” fancy=”true” caption=”Bluegrass Student Union”]https://www.cardinaldistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Bluegrass+Student+Union+BSU.jpeg[/image][image size=”one-third” no_lightbox=”false” open_new_tab=”false” fancy=”true” caption=”Michigan Jake”]https://www.cardinaldistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/MichiganJake-1-e1348451768150.jpeg[/image]
Looking Back to Look Forward
But while we look with fondness and reflection on our past, we look to the future as well. We have many talented singers, arrangers, judges and leaders within our district who are already contributing to the greatness of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The future indeed looks bright for our Society and for the Cardinal District.
[image size=”one-third” no_lightbox=”false” open_new_tab=”false” fancy=”true” caption=”Kentucky Vocal Union”]https://www.cardinaldistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/8327082_orig.jpeg[/image][image size=”one-third” no_lightbox=”false” open_new_tab=”false” fancy=”true” caption=”Forefront”]https://www.cardinaldistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Forefront-e1347807724428.jpg[/image][image size=”one-third” no_lightbox=”false” open_new_tab=”false” fancy=”true” caption=”The Thoroghbreds”]https://www.cardinaldistrict.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Drew-Razzle-Dazzle-11.jpeg[/image]
Kentucky Vocal Union. Forefront. Instant Classic. Directors Aaron Dale, Garry Texeira and Andrew Wheaton. Arrangements by Aaron Dale and Jeremey Johnson. More bids to bring the International conventions back to Cardinal.
The time? Now, and into the future. The place? America and the world, from the Cardinal District, of course!
Jerry Troxel is a retired IT professional and is active in leadership in the Cardinal District, in his 20th year as a Barbershopper. He has served the Greater Indianapolis Chapter as its VP of Music and Performance, Bulletin Editor, Singing Valentines Chairman, Treasurer and Chapter President. He is a charter member of the Indiana Harmony Brigade and serves as its Secretary. Jerry served for eight years on the Society Events Committee and is currently the Immediate Past President of the Cardinal District.