Voices of the South traveled east March 18th through the 20th to Oxford, Ala., as they competed against 12 barbershop choruses at the region’s spring convention and contest.
Voices not only competed for the Dixie District of the Barbershop Harmony Society chorus championship, but the Central Alabama chapter was the host chapter for the convention that featured the chorus competition and the qualifying quartet contest.
The Dixie District crowned a new Chorus Champion on the 19th in the closest chorus contest ever. The Crimson Pride Chorus from Tuscaloosa, Ala., took first prize in a scoring battle that saw them win by one point over the next two choruses who tied for second place — Voices of the South and RSVP from Germantown, Tenn.
All contesting was done at the Oxford Performing Arts Center, a beautifully redone theatre complex in downtown Oxford. Twelve quartets performed March 18. Twelve choruses performed on the 19th. Ten finalist quartets also performed that night.
The Crimson Pride Chorus, who put 26 singers on stage, won the chorus contest with a score of 904 points.
Voices, who had 18 men performing, and RSVP, who featured 19 performers, tied for second with a score of 903.
Kenny Hatton, Voices director, said he was satisfied with the scoring. “To my knowledge this is the highest score we’ve achieved in the Dixie competitions. We had six chorus members who could not compete at this year’s convention. With their strong voices, we probably could have made up the necessary two points. But I’m really proud of you guys. We competed the best we could.”
Music Judge Susan Wood told the chorus at the evaluation that followed their performance, “This chorus just sang beautifully. You have such beautiful movement in your presentation. Everything is always moving.”
The Central Alabama chapter under the leadership of Host Chapter Chairman Tony Ivey put out a “ton of effort” to make sure the convention went off without a hitch. Tony’s crew manned the registration desks, made sure that contestants got their photographs shot, got to the buses on time, made it into ready-rooms, had risers to perform on, and got to the stage at the Performing Arts Center on time.
Thanks to Tony and to all who made it such a rewarding weekend.