L122 Fall 2018 Understanding Barbershop Harmony: A Truly American Genre
Wednesdays, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 17–Nov. 7
Instructor: Cliff Shoemaker
If you’ve ever heard a barbershop quartet and wondered how this amazing form of music originated—and what makes it so magical—then you’ll enjoy this lively course taught by a lifelong barbershop aficionado. The course will include a discussion of the history of barbershop music, highlighted by video demonstrations; a viewing of Dave Stevens’ video presentation, What Are We Trying to Preserve?, which describes the essence of barbershop music; an examination of modern barbershop groups, featuring highlights from contest performances by the best quartets and choruses today; plus, a look at humor in barbershop singing and a demonstration and sing-along with a real live barbershop quartet.
Cliff Shoemaker grew up singing “Sweet Adeline” with his three older sisters and then sang in a barbershop quartet through all four years of high school. After many years of singing in other choruses and church choirs, he returned to barbershop in 2009 when he joined the Fairfax Jubil-Aires. Shoemaker has sung in six registered quartets, three of which have competed and won awards.