Broadway classics, men’s voices set tight harmonies on fire

Area-favorite The Jaybirds are primarily a comedy/novelty quartet and known throughout the area for their antics.
Credit: File photo

Tacoma Vocal Standard barbershop chorus presents “A Night On Broadway” with music theater hits and special barbershop guest quartets The Jaybirds and Sound Booth, in this all-ages a cappella event set for June 22, at 4020 S. 56th St., Tacoma, in the celebration center of Foursquare Puget Sound Church.

“Our chorus is very excited to perform for Tacoma families again. Our Christmas program was standing room only – just a real treat for everyone. This summer we have more special guests: We welcome regional favorites The Jaybirds, plus Sound Booth,” according to TVS president Ed Gentz. “These two talented quartets each will perform songs with those sharp, barbershop harmonies.”

TVS Program Chair Neal Booth says, “Quartets from within Tacoma Vocal Standard will also sing Broadway and barbershop favorites throughout the show. These will be real crowd-pleasers, with classic and jazz harmonies that really ring.

“Folks will go nuts over The Jaybirds. Area-favorite The Jaybirds are primarily a comedy/novelty quartet and known throughout the area for their antics,” said Booth. “With Mike Menefee’s original arrangements, Marshall’s crazy sense of humor and the Dunlap brothers rounding it out, you never know what to expect. The audience will enjoy hits from productions old and new. From ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Music Man’ to Disney’s ‘Toy Story’ to ‘Les Miserables,’ and many more.”

Admission is free for children under age 12, general admission $15 and seniors/military $10, with tickets available at the door, the event Facebook page at or via email to

“We are thrilled to announce our selection: Emcee Michael Menefee from Silverdale. Michael, in addition to his work as a music educator, leads West Sound Chorus and is himself an award-winning arranger, vocalist and musician,” said Gentz.

Tacoma’s chapter of the national Barbershop Harmony Society remains Washington’s longest running barbershop harmony chorus, previously nicknamed The Tacoma TotemAires.

Booth directs the chorus and wants families to enjoy this unique style of music. “Our nation’s creativity truly soars through musicals and music theater, so we think many folks would enjoy a unique vocal style – barbershop! This special musical style floats across tender, lively, and heartfelt tones. Barbershop can be jazzy, chromatic, or bluesy.”

The performance will raise funds for several projects, including scholarships for local high-schoolers to attend “Harmony Explosion” and expand TVS’s outreach.

“We send several kids to Harmony Explosion every year, so this show really gives those scholarships a boost. We also raise money to fight hunger and poverty in the Tacoma area through a food bank. We are a 501(c)3 so gifts to us are charitable, and each gift helps spread a love of music throughout our communities,” Gentz said.

Over the last three years, the Tacoma chorus has become one of the BHS’ fastest growing chapters in the Pacific Northwest. The Evergreen District includes Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

“The last several years have been a blast,” said Gentz. “We have seen a lot of work put into this chorus to demonstrate a new trajectory. Our new members sang in high school or in church or with friends, and now they want to go to the next level. A cappella singing enjoys a wonderful new audience, so our new members range in age from 16 up to 91 years old.”

Tacoma Vocal Standard rehearses every Tuesday at Foursquare Puget Sound Church, 4020 S. 56th, Tacoma. Visitors are welcome to enjoy great refreshments and fellowship. Tacoma Vocal Standard expects 2019 to bring a new women’s chorus and mixed chorus. “We want everyone in harmony,” said Gentz.


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