Courtesy Sound of the Rockies
Rocky Mountain District Barbershop Competition, Sept. 21, 7 p.m., and Sept. 22, 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, uccspresents.org.
f you hear the term “barbershop quartet” and immediately think of those mustachioed men in white-and-red-striped shirts with straw boater hats singing at them olden-times county fairs — well, you’re not alone. And you’re not always wrong. But that image doesn’t do justice to the variety of talent and style you’ll find in contemporary barbershop quartets and choruses. Barbershop groups perform a very sophisticated kind of a capella music that deserves serious accolades for the emphasis it places on harmony, enunciation and, well, fun. This isn’t a stuffy art form, but a joyous one, and I dare you to try to wrestle down your grin at this weekend’s competition. With groups hailing from the Rocky Mountain District of the Barbershop Harmony Society — which includes Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico (yeah, it’s a big district) — only the finest regional talent will take the stage. Check out the quartet competition featuring about 15 groups on Friday night, or the Saturday morning chorus competition with a dozen competitors. During the final event on Saturday evening, the district champs in both categories will be crowned, with a performance by our local America the Beautiful Chorus. Winners in this competition immediately qualify for next year’s International Barbershop Convention (Denver’s Sound of the Rockies came in fourth in 2018) so these performers are going to be singing their hearts out for the opportunity to win. Do yourself a favor and dismantle your stereotypes, enjoy some good music, and have at least half as much fun as the folks onstage.