Barbershop Floods the Airwaves in Northumberland
Ontario's newest chapter, the Ganaraska Chordsmen, has an ace up their sleeve when it comes to marketing. Every Thursday morning barbershop and a cappella music flood the airwaves of Northumberland County, spreading the barbershop artform to residents starting their days at home or on their commute to work. A weekly radio show, The Acappella Fellas, airs from 7:30 to 8:00am on Northumberland 89.7FM, a community-owned and run station staffed by volunteers. It is hosted by the station's Program Director, Jim Glover, and Ganaraska Chordsmen VP Marketing, Rick Faulkner. The pair discuss all forms of acappella style singing—choruses, quartets, choirs, octets, and more. Occasionally the show will feature interviews with individuals and quartets from around the district. Featured guests in the past have included Ontario District past president Barry Towner, VP Marketing and PR Michael Black, and Yonge Guns quartet. 'Shoptimus Prime will also be interviewed on the program in coming weeks.
The Acappella Fellas has been running for two and a half years, beginning as the chapter itself was starting up. A one-off interview became a weekly fifteen minute segment, and then grew to a weekly half hour program due to the strong reception it received via emails and telephone calls to the station . Besides its popularity with the listening public, it has been a great help to the chorus from a marketing perspective. The Ganaraska Chordsmen chapter performs to sell-out crowds, and the chorus has seen huge growth since they chartered. Faulkner credits both of these successes in part to the popularity of the radio program. "I have manned their booth at many events taking place locally, handing out pamphlets about the Ganaraska Chordsmen, and have been continually amazed at how many people listen to the show" says Faulkner. "There is no doubt in my mind that the Ganaraskals have grown due to the support of 89.7FM. But getting the barbershop message out is to me the important thing."
Tune in live every Thursday at 7:30 on your radio, or online if you're not in the area at northumberland897.ca. Recordings of the show are also posted online for delayed enjoyment at https://northumberland897.ca/morningshow/ and the show if available in podcast format.