2009 Ontario District Pep Rally

Submitted by Andrew Furry.


In the 4 years I’ve been with the chapter, Tuesday June 16th 2009 was my first Pep Rally. I must say that I certainly wish I had made it out to this night sooner; what a blast! For $15 dollars, I got admission to a great night of singing and jokes, as well as the opportunity to meet other men from the society in our district; some whom I knew already, others who I knew by the end of the night.

The night began with everyone in the room standing and singing O Canada, which sounds great in barbershop style anyway, but when you hear 200 guys singing it, the sound is fantastic! Then the APOC chorus (Association of Past Ontario Champions) set the mood for the evening with a fun and entertaining set. Our own quartet, Best Intentions, was up after that and were in excellent voice. This was tenor David Furry’s first time singing at a district event, but you would not have known it; he sang like he’d been on stage one thousand times before. Lead Bob Pyper had just had cataract surgery the night before and bass Fred Lilley was battling pneumonia, but they showed up and sang a great set, and the baritone, John Hohenadel, nailed the post on the opening song. Even medical conditions and nerves did not stop this group from opening the night on this great fundraiser for our district representatives at Internationals. This is the kind of dedication to a cause that is displayed in our fraternity.

After a great lineup of talent from the various choruses and quartets, our tag-meister, Steve Spears, was anxious to do some singing and involve the guest he brought. His guest, a business associate named Mario, was encouraged to follow Steve, Bob Roach, David Furry and myself outside to sing a couple of repertoire songs. After ringing some really good chords in What a Wonderful World and Swing Down Chariot, we taught Mario the tag “When I Leave the World Behind” and he had to admit that it sounded good even though he was humble about his own singing ability. While we were busy teaching him a second tag, a member of another chorus came over and coached us into tightening up the sound.

When we were done, we headed back inside in time to catch a really funny set by the Mega City Chorus, and the superb sounds of Toronto Northern Lights. As the night wound down, some awards were presented and everybody who bought raffle tickets had a chance to win some prizes. The prizes ranged from a weekend getaway up north, to free accommodation and admission to the Brantford fall contest, to bottles of fruit juice; quite the spread!

As the evening finished and everybody headed on their merry way, there was a song in everyone’s head and a little extra bounce to their step. I’m already looking forward to the next district event; fall contest is going to be a blast!

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