Barbershop music salutes patriotism

Published 2:24 pm Monday, May 17, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Patriotism was celebrated through music at the Michiana Metro Lighthouse Chorus' annual show at the Niles High School auditorium on Saturday.
With the theme of "Music in America" and barbershop style renditions of the "Star Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful," and "You're a Grand Old Flag," the evening provided some good old fashioned entertainment while evoking pride in America.
The show also featured drawings for patriotic memorabilia including an American flag, which was hung over the U.S. Capitol Building, presented by U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.
The Michiana Metro Lighthouse Chorus, who have been singing together since 2000, are an a cappella chorus of about 30 men committed to musical excellence through the barbershop style of singing.
And with more than 350 people in attendance, members of the chorus were happy with Saturday's results.
After the prize drawing with Niles Mayor Mike McCauslin, Hanover announced that the group had recently finished in third place at the Pioneer District Competition featuring 28 other choruses from around Michigan and Ontario. This was a significant improvement over the chorus' 10th place finish in 2003.
Hanover then led the chorus in renditions of two songs they performed at this year's competition, "Meet Me In Rosetime Rosie" and "Who'll Take My Place When I'm Gone." These will also be songs the chorus will perform at the Buckeye Invitational competition in Columbus, Ohio on August 21.
The event also included performances from Lighthouse Beacon, a newly formed quartet comprised of four members of the Lighthouse Chorus, and Party of Four, a special guest quartet from Detroit.
One of the highlights of the evening came with the audience participation of the "America the Beautiful" finale. All of the show's performers shared the stage as Hanover asked the audience to sing along and provide an overlay for the rendition.
There was an overwhelming vocal response from the audience as a large American Flag was lowered from above the chorus to hang over them for the closing.