Tomorrow night, for the first time, I will be practising with an established quartet. I have sung another quartets, and I have really liked the experience. Usually, I have sung the lead part (the melody), but this time. I will be singing the baritone part.
Among barbershoppers, the bari part is a good-natured joke. What we sing sounds really weird. When the arranger sets up each phrase, he gives the melody to the Lead, the Bass harmonizes with the Lead, the Tenor harmonizes with the Lead, and the Bari gets the notes that complete the chord. The result of this arrangement is that, if you hear the Bari part all by itself it sounds like a dirge for somebody who died a really terrible death, slowly, at the hands of a flesh eating alien. But, if you sing the Barry part, you understand that it is a unique way to hear the music from an incredible point of view.
The reason that this opportunity came up is that the previous Barrie died and his replacement, who is a better musician than I am, decided (as best I can determine). That’s singing in a quartet would demand too much of his time. I am thankful for that decision, because it gives me a chance. As I told the fellows when they asked me if I wanted to sing with them: I would sing any part to get into a quartet. This has been a dream of mine for a long time. I am really looking forward to it.
Wish me luck.