MESA, Ariz., April 14 – The Arizona Division Convention kicked off at 9:00 Friday morning with the annual Arizona Harmony Platoon at the Mesa Holiday Inn.
Fourteen members participated in the all-day event, combining in multiple foursomes for “matching sox not required” fun competition. The winning combination was “Out for Blood”, with tenor Adam Kaufman, lead Bryan Thompson, and bass Bill Kane all from the Mesa Chapter, and baritone Frank Hartline from The Tucson Chapter.
Later that evening, the Platoon guys were joined by quartets Montage, Intonation, High Priority, and Suit Up!, who took the stage and delighted the crowd with rousing performances at the “Friday Night Open Mic” Pre-Glow, also at the Mesa Holiday Inn.
On Saturday, nine quartets and six choruses totaling 199 members competed in the Arizona Division contests held at the Mesa High School Performing Arts Center.
Unlike the other FWD divisions, the Arizona Division begins the day with the quartet contest, with 2017 FWD Quartet Champs Suit Up! Serving as the mic testers. There had been eleven quartets entered in the contest, but two of them had to scratch. Nonetheless there was some mighty fine singing amongst the remaining nine, resulting in four quartets from the Arizona Division qualifying to compete at the Fall Convention in Fresno. They are:
- High Priority – 898 – 74.8%
- Intonation – 855 – 71.3%
- Montage – 849 – 70.8%
- Heatwave – 839 – 69.9%
One additional quartet qualified for Fresno, but they competed out-of-division and are thus not ranked in the divisional results:
- Dilly Dilly! – 882 – 73.5%
Awards for the quartet competition were as follows:
- High Priority is the Arizona Division Quartet Champion.
- Antique Parts is the Arizona Division Seniors Quartet Champion.
- Montage is the Arizona Division Novice Quartet Champion.
Later that evening, Cary Burns leading the “Joe Barbershop Chorus” as the mic testers for the Arizona Division Chorus Contest, followed by the six choruses that were entered in the contest. After a great evening of entertaining performances, four choruses from Arizona qualified to compete at the Fall Convention in Fresno. They are:
- A Cappella Syndicate – Salt River Valley, AZ – 954 – 79.5% - 19
- East Valley Barbershop Harmonizers – Mesa, AZ – 873 – 72.8% - 48
- Phoenicians – Greater Phoenix, AZ – 820 – 68.3% - 27
- Tucson Barbershop Experience – Tucson, AZ – 768 – 64.0% - 25
Also competing were the Desert Aires from Sun Cities, AZ, and the High Mountain Chordsmen from Prescott, AZ.
Awards for the chorus completion were as follows:
- A Cappella Syndicate is the Arizona Division Chorus Champion.
- Desert Aires is the Arizona Division Plateau A Champion.
- East Valley Barbershop Harmonizers is the Arizona Division Plateau AA Champion.
- A Cappella Syndicate is the Arizona Division Plateau AAA Champion.
- High Mountain Chordsmen is the Arizona Division Most Improved Chorus.
Suit Up! Once again took the stage to start the Show of Champions, followed by the quartet and chorus champions from the day’s competitions. Division VP Adam Kaufman then invited the two members of the Western Continentals who were in attendance to come on stage and receive four plaques commemorating the quartet being honored as the convention dedicatees in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of their 1968 International Championship.
The convention wrapped up with a well-attended Afterglow back at the Mesa Holiday Inn, with nearly all of the quartets plus the A Cappella Syndicate performing.
Kudos to the Mesa Chapter for an outstanding job hosting a well organized and lively convention.