Bringing old-fashioned music to Niles

Published 1:33 pm Saturday, May 8, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Michiana Metro Lighthouse Chorus will be bringing an evening of good old fashioned fun to Niles High School with its annual show on Saturday, May 15.
The Lighthouse Chorus, based in Niles, is an a capella male chorus committed to the pursuit of musical and performance excellence through the barbershop style of singing.
When you think of barbershop music, you usually think of quartets, but this is an entire chorus made of 27 men.
Hanover described it as being a lot like a barbershop quartet, only on a much larger scale. He said the chorus provides a larger and fuller sound than the typical quartet.
On Wednesday, chorus members Hanover, Geoff Gilbert, Dan Knuth and Ron Eubank formed a quartet and made a few performances in the Niles area. Their stops included the Niles Senior Citizens Center, Silverbrook Manor and a spontaneous performance at the Riverfront Cafe.
Hanover said the chorus' annual show next weekend will be full of surprises and that one of the big events will be their drawing. The evening will take place in the Niles High School auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m.
The theme of the show is "Music in America" and will feature a drawing to give away an American Flag that was recently hung over the United States Capitol Building, to be presented by Congressman Fred Upton. Hanover said one of the men in the chorus, who knows Upton personally, contacted him and was able to secure a flag for the drawing.
Last week, they were surprised to receive a call from Upton's office, letting them know that Upton himself would be on hand at the show to present the flag to the drawing's winner.
The event will also feature a special guest performance by a well-known Detroit barbershop quartet, "Party of Four."
Hanover said the guest quartet, made up of singers who are relatively younger than the members of the Lighthouse Chorus, were invited to offer a more diverse line up to the show.
The chorus recently returned from the Pioneer District Convention in Gaylord, where they finished in third place. The competition included performances by over 20 choruses from all over Michigan and Ontario.
Hanover was pleased with their finish and pointed out it was a significant improvement over their 10th place finish last year.
The groups meets for rehearsals every Thursday night from 7 to 10 p.m. at Brandywine High School. All members of the public are welcome to come and sing along or just listen in as the chorus rehearses.
For more information on the chorus or its annual show, call Geoff Gilbert at (269) 545-2006.