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Annual Barbershop Bonanza returns to Friday Harbor

Island Chordsmen Plus - Contributed photo
Island Chordsmen Plus
— image credit: Contributed photo

A multi-awarding winning Canadian “Sweet Adelines” chorus, a Seattle champion quartet and three of San Juan Island’s own ensembles bring the art of barbershop singing to San Juan Community Theatre on Sunday, June 3 at 2 p.m.

Barbershop Bonanza, hosted by San Juan’s mixed barbershop chorus, Island Chordsmen Plus, celebrates its 14th year in Friday Harbor. It has grown into a popular Sunday afternoon medley of contemporary and old-time favorites honoring this uniquely American music with its a cappella four-part harmonies.

This will be West Coast Harmony Chorus’s first visit to the Bonanza.  Based in Vancouver, B.C., the a cappella group of more than 40 women is a seven-time Gold Medal Western Canadian Champion and was recently silver medalist in the International Harmony Classic.

Also joining the Bonanza this year is Evergreen District Champions, Cheers, a Seattle-based quartet.  Quartet member Wes Sorstokke, who has appeared in the Bonanza in the past with other award-winning groups has been singing for more than 40 years, and he recently held a coaching session in Friday Harbor for members of Island Chordsmen Plus.

He said the key to a good barbershop performance is a quality combination of good vocals and good expressions and movement.

“I want them to move me, He added. “If the song is funny, they better make me laugh.  If it’s sad, I want to cry.”

In addition to the mainland visitors and Chordsmen, the island’s own women’s a cappella ensemble, Sound Vibrations, and San Juan’s male quartet, Lane 4 will participate in the Bonanza.

Bonanza director Angel Michaels will lead the audience in a rousing community sing, and everyone in the audience is invited to attend the complimentary afterglow reception in thçe Gubelman Theatre following the show.

The Business Partners for the concert are Rock Island Technology Solutions and Friday Harbor Drug.  All tickets are $18, with festival seating. The SJCT box office is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tickets are also available on-line at www.sjctheatre.org or email chordsmen@rockisland.com.

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