Every Monday evening the harmony of a barbershop chorus rings out past the dimmed lights and stained glass of the University Chapel.
Third St. Sound is the University of La Verne’s new all male barbershop singing group.
Adjunct Professor of Music Carol Stephenson started the group this fall after organizing the all-male and all-female quartets Leo Singing Dudes and The A-Team, last year on campus.
“I was introduced to barbershop harmony by a friend of mine about seven years ago,” Stephenson said.
“I loved the a capella sound, the great harmonies and the raw emotion of singing in the barbershop style,” she said.
Third St. Sound will compete in the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Midwinter Youth Chorus Festival at the end of January in Long Beach.
The group received a $500 grant from the Masters of Harmony, an internationally known chorus from the Los Angeles area, to purchase music and wardrobe.
Ron Andreas, the president of the Masters of Harmony, and Joe D’Amore, the vice president of music and performance of for the Masters of Harmony, presented the $500 check to the chorus at their rehearsal Monday.
They said the Masters of Harmony can assist 3rd St. Sound with coaching or other areas as needed.
D’Amore is Stephenson’s good friend and he, along with the Masters of Harmony members, wanted to support her when they knew she was starting a new barbershop chorus.
“We understand the logistics and the financial aspects needed to go to Midwinter,” Andreas said. “For us, the most important part (for the students) is not just about discussing the music of barbershop, but the bond and the brotherhood that comes along with it as well.”
Many of the 3rd St. Sound members were Stephenson’s students from previous classes. The members helped recruit new members at the club fair as well.
Emmanuel Lagumbay, senior music major, joined 3rd St. Sound after hearing about it from a friend who is currently in the University’s barbershop quartet.
“The best part is everyone is really friendly, and they all sing for fun,” Lagumbay said.
“I’m really excited to be performing and touring ,” he said.
The members are looking forward to the competition in January.
“I’m … excited about the trip to Long Beach because it won’t be just us, but also people from all over,” said Garrett Hoffman, freshman business administration major and 3rd Street member.
“My favorite part of being in the group is getting together with a bunch of guys who love singing and they’re not here just because they have to be,” he said.
Stephenson studied at Harmony University in Missouri in July and learned more about barbershop singing to prepare for her position as the director of the group.
“Over the past several years, my love for barbershop has continued to grow,” Stephenson said.
“I have attended many local quartet and chorus concerts and have also traveled to four international competitions to hear and learn more about this style of singing,” she said.
There are currently 19 members in 3rd St. Sound, with at least one more member joining soon.
The group is currently preparing for its debut performance for the Barbershop Concert at 8p.m. Dec. 10 in the Morgan Auditorium.
Third Street Sound is looking for new members, for more information, call Carol Stephenson, at 909-448-4914.
Cody Luk can be reached at email@example.com.