The Sunshine Statesmen.
The Sunshine Statesmen.

Barbershop chorus to run voice-coaching classes

THE Sunshine Statesmen once again this year will run the popular, free four-week voice-coaching program.

The program will start with an introductory night on February 8 at 7.30pm at the Uniting Church Hall in Gloucester Rd, Buderim.

If interested, contact Graham Nicholson on 0401 261 840 and you could be sharing the joy of barbershop harmony.

The Sunshine Statesmen Barbershop Chorus, itself, was formed about 26 years ago.

It stemmed from a move to Buderim by Dr Melvin McMichael and his family in 1990.

Dr McMichael had been singing since early primary school, beginning as a boy soprano at the age of nine, and continuing on to senior high school choirs as a tenor.

But it wasn't until he accepted the position of Head of the Business Management Faculty at the California State University that he was able to once again enjoy singing - as a member of that city's champion Gold Coast Barbershop Chorus.

Later, he accepted the position as Head of Mitchell College, now Charles Sturt University, and while in Bathurst, Dr McMichael was approached to form the first barbershop quartet in NSW: the Bathurst Barbershop Chorus.

He also led the way for the establishment of barbershop choruses in Gosford, Penrith/Blue Mountains and Central Sydney.

After the move to Buderim, he found a fellow barbershopper in Mike Ivess, and they decided to form a barbershop quartet.

An article in the paper invited men interested in singing to audition on October 10, 1990.

Fourteen men turned up and Mike and Mel selected a baritone and bass to complete the Tropical Blend Barbershop Quartet.

But they felt it would not be right to disappoint the remaining men, so the Sunshine Statesmen Barbershop Chorus was formed and continues to this day - some 26 years later.

Dr McMichael has enjoyed almost 40 years singing barbershop harmony, medalling many times at competitions and holding various positions including president of Australian Association of Men Barbershop Singers (now Barbershop Harmony Australia).

Barbershop harmony has been a very positive factor in Dr McMichael's healthy, long life and he believes it is testimony to the concept: singing is life.