The Blenders at Harmony University

The Blenders at Harmony University
Type of post: Club news
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 19 Aug 2019

One of the ideas for our thirtieth anniversary was that we should go to Harmony University. As a result of some very hard working people especially our President, Damon Newman, we were able to muster 21 chorus members to attend HU. 

HU was held at Belmont University, Nashville Tennessee. Belmont is set in very beautiful gardens. Some of us likened it to a botanical garden.  Very green lots of trees, plants and beautiful buildings. Not a blade of grass out of place.

The tone of the week was set in the opening session with the key note address by Shane Scott entitled ‘Barbershop and Broken Hearts’. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Shane had finished.  You can see Shane’s keynote address on YouTube.  Don Rose spoke about HU being a safe place for everyone, catering for a diverse range of people. It didn’t disappoint.

As well as attending various lectures, we rehearsed every day for 4-5 hours under the guidance of the best that barbershop has to offer - Marty Lovick, Joe Cerutti, Anthony Colisimo and Don Rose. Some likened it to ‘football without the contact’. We worked very hard but still had enough energy to enjoy a couple of quite drinks at the end of every day.

Each day commenced with all participants attending a general session which included a physical and mental warmup and putting together 3 songs that we were given to learn. The session concluded with the tag of the day which was great fun. On Friday night we appeared in a concert with all the quartets and other participants who had been receiving tuition during the week.  Saturday night was also a great night with another concert.

Part of our trip was to act as ambassadors for the Gold Coast and Damon Newman and Noel Grummitt presented the Mayor of Nashville’s representative with a gift from the Mayor of the Gold Coast. We were all given Nashville pins in return, which we proudly wore during our concert performance.

It wasn’t all work and no play and during some down time we got to experience the best of country music and entertainment that Nashville has to offer. One of the highlights for us was a visit to BHS Headquarters where we were given a guided tour of the premises and all the history that entails.

Was the trip worthwhile? We came home exhausted but with lots of knowledge and motivation to continue on our journey, and perhaps in the not to distant future going to HU again. Our thanks go to all the staff of HU who made so welcome.

Ian Mackey