Local CPA Gayle Edmondson is cutting his vacation cruise short and flying home to participate in the Tri-Statesmen Barbershop Chorus' performances slated for Saturday and Sunday.
“I'm going to jump ship and fly back from Mexico,” he said with a laugh. “My wife will complete the trip and fly home from Florida.”
Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pittsburg, Kan., High School and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Coleman Theatre in Miami.
Featured performers will be the 12th Street Rag, a quartet that placed 11th in the world in international competition in July.
Founded in 1993 by the Fortino brothers of Kansas City, Mo., lead singer Mark and baritone John, began singing barbershop in 1984 when they won the Central States Novice Quartet championship.
The quartet is rounded out with dentist Micah Jeppesen, a tenor and a dentist from Omaha, Neb., and Barry Moore, a bass from St. Charles, Mo.
Moore also sings with the 120+ male chorus, the Ambassadors of Harmony.
“They have two singers from Kansas City, another from Nebraska and the other from near Saint Louis,” Edmondson said. “They traveled far to get the right voices for the quartet.
“They are something to listen to.”
Edmondson himself was one of the founders of the Tri-Statesmen Barbershop Chorus in the 1970s in Joplin, Mo.
“I've always appreciated the difficulty of singing a cappella,” Edmondson said. “It clears my mind out. You have to concentrate on the music and can't think about other problems you come across during the day.”
Many Miami men have participated over the years although now Edmondson and Dr. O.J. Looper are the last two.
But, according to Edmondson, the Tri-Statesmen are having a resurgence thanks to their new director, Jeremy Albright.
“Jeremy works at Pittsburg State University,” Edmondson said. “He brings a lot of young voices into the chorus.”
Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. They are available at the Coleman Theatre and Osborn Drugs.