Ontario Quartet Event 2017 A Great Success
Harmony Ranch was a-buzz on August 12th as 65 barbershoppers parachuted in to participate in the Ontario Quartet Event, representing 12 chapters from across the Ontario District.
Throughout the day, singers rotated around the Ranch to sing with different quartet combinations and an experienced coach at each station. After dinner, each singer was assigned to one of 19 randomly selected quartets to perform in contest to an encouraging audience of Ranch residents and guests. The top four quartets, with top finisher listed first, were comprised of:
- Geoff Shields, Derek Stevens, Lou Bergner and David Bolan singing Over the Rainbow.
- Rich Hubick, Mike Arnold, Keith McEwan, and Rob Ord singing A Fool Such As I
- Tied for 3rd place was; Ross A Graham, Dennis Dueck, Jack Cronkwright, and Larry Grupp singing The Cop on the Beat, and
- Neil Rask, Jason Dent, Phil Glover, and Wayne Crosbie singing I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.
Contest judges were Ken Fisher, John Mallett, and Jan-Ake Westin, with Alex Beamish as Contest Administrator.
An inspiring presentation by the OQE Chorus followed the contest. The fun and camaraderie continued into the wee hours around several afterglow bonfires.
The OQE is an Ontario District sponsored event, with Ken Fisher as OQE Coordinator for 2017. The Simcoe chapter served as host chapter again in 2017 and provided the leadership, organization and volunteer base. “The quality of singing at the OQE is noticeably improved in the past couple of years” noted Ross Gowan, Host Chapter Coordinator. Gowan credited this improvement to better preparation by the singers before coming together at Harmony Ranch. In 2017 most singers registered as a group of 4 voice parts within a chapter who were able to learn and perform the 8 songs as a quartet.
Harmony Ranch has been host venue for the Ontario Quartet Event since its inception a decade ago, providing an idyllic environment and facilities for this flagship event – including campsites for many participants. Ranch residents this year provided a Partners’ Program with a variety of activities to welcome the singers’ partners throughout the day.
Photos by Lisa Jo Malcomson