I would like to thank several people and groups for my experience this weekend, first and foremost, my wife, Sonya. She has never liked the idea of me taking off a whole weekend and leaving her with the kids for something 'optional'. Especially when there are chores to do, work time to request off, money to be saved, and such. Thank you for your understanding, Sonya. I can't say it will ever end, but I will always try and make it as painless as I can for you!
Second, my Dad. Thank you for exposing me to barbershop at such a young age. I know it took a long time for me to get involved in the Society, but I've always had the 'bug' thanks to you. The barbershop records played on Saturdays, stopping by chorus performances whenever they'd appear at fairs and such, teaching me 'Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie' when I was knee-high to nothin' – it all cemented a love for this style and those songs that can never be shaken. Thank you for the ongoing birthday present of paying my Society dues, and always cheering me on, allowing me to be a part of this great fraternity of music.
Third, my Mom. Mom, you gave me the initial drive to make music my life by exposing me to all kinds of music, especially good, tight a cappella stuff. You gave me the ear to make this stuff sound good and appreciate it on a whole new level. And most of all, you've always encouraged me to keep at it, enduring my home-made recordings, force-fed listening to my quartet, etc. Thank you.
Third, the Detroit Oakland Chapter, Gentleman Songsters Chorus. You guys are top-notch. You are always supportive (even when I suck – bad), and a solid bunch of great singers and gentlemen. Thank you for allowing me to share in the fun. I love each and every one of you. Special thanks to those who have allowed me to be in quartets with them: Wally, Jeff, Pete, Zaven, and Jim (Godspeed, Jim), and our fantastic and fun director, Steve Sutherland.
Next, my current quartet, Coda Honor. Lou, Mike, and Floyd, you have given me a chance to do something I never thought I could do – make barbershopping not only a TON of fun, but financially justifiable! I love singing with you guys and always will. Maybe someday we can go knock one out of the park on the contest stage!
Lou Coviak. You're my best friend, confidant, and partner in musical crime. I can't and won't go into what you've meant to me over the years. You'll always have a Tenor - and a friend – in me. I could go on for pages, but you know it all anyway.
And a BIG thank you to my mentor, Rick Hartsoe – the man who first gave me the chance to sing a cappella music and barbershop in front of REAL PEOPLE! Enjoy your retirement, old man. You've earned it more than you can possibly imagine. You've given me a love of singing and the tools to do it well that I will carry with me the rest of my days, and hopefully pass on to more generations as your legacy. Thank you for the music.
Finally, thank you to everyone I met and sang with at the convention: Ian (Mt. Pleasant Chapter), Keynotes (Macomb Chapter), Jeff (Moxxy), Party of Four (from all over), Fermata Nowhere (District Champs and Pioneer District International reps), and everyone else. Thank you for making barbershopping and every event and convention more fun than I could have imagined any activity could be.
Thank you all…