Latest News

  • RSVP reps local barbershop singing by surprising a featured speaker at Freedom Fest!
  •  Date Posted: Fri, Jul 14 2023
    Last nights regular Thursday night rehearsal was postponed due to a special request by the organizers of Freedom Fest, a 4 day conference held at the Renasant Center here in downtown Memphis. One of the featured guest speakers was none other than Mike Rowe, the executive producer of such TV series as “Dirty Jobs,” Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” “How America Works,” and “The Story Behind the Story,”. As many know, he had a brief time singing barbershop and was recently given a lifetime membership into the BHS. 

    As a surprise to Mike, the organizers reached out to us, RSVP,  the Germantown Chaoter of BHS, to provide a quartet during the Q & A portion at the end of his remarks. Robert Strong (Lead) started to ask the question about “sin in sincere” and was joined by Craig Brown (Tenor), Shawn King (Bari), and Willie Mays (Bass), all members of The Times quartet. Once done, they were invited up on stage to sing with Mike, “Sweet and Lovely” which is the short clip attached. 

    This is the reason we postponed our meeting until Monday.  Robert, Craig, Shawn, and Willie ought to be commended for so eloquently representing both Barbershop and our Chapter before such a large audience. Thank you for pulling off this surprise for Mike in such a way and we all look forward to hearing more details at Monday's rehearsal. 

    Already seeing various posts of this on several social media platforms by many who were there in attendance. This could easily translate into curiosity about the Times Quartet and our RSVP Chapter. What that means is we could see an uptick in ticket sales for our Show on August 26 and, quite possibly, a full house. With that in mind, always be ready and prepared to pull off the best performance one can at a moments notice and to the level our audiences have come to expect. 

    Thank you for all your efforts and am encouraged to hear us so well represented. Let's continue the momentum as we move forward together in our barbershop band of brothers.
  • RSVP scores big!
  •  Date Posted: Sat, Oct 15 2022
    RSVP Chorus recently travelled to Oxford, Alabama for the Dixie District Fall Barbershop Convention. The chorus took the stage on Saturday morning, September 24th (with 18 men on the stage) and performed a rousing two song set for the audience.

    Assisitant Director Shawn King directed Wonderful World followed by Director Craig Brown on Country Roads. The performace was graded by 6 judges who represent three categories, Music, Singing and Performance. 
    RSVP Chorus finshed 2nd out of 8 choruses and posted one of the highest scores in our history. This is a significant step in our development as singers and performers, and we hope to build upon this experience. RSVP prides itelf on musicality and quality singing, It was a great weekend and adds another great accomplishment for RSVP Chorus!
  • RSVP Rehearsal Recap
  •  Date Posted: Fri, Jun 3 2022

    Another fantastic rehearsal last night for RSVP!  We may have been small in numbers, but we sure do know how to sound big!

    We started as we always do with Craig leading us in stretching to get our bodies limbered up for our vocal workout.  When you come out of 2 hours of singing, this becomes essential in order to remain relaxed, maintain good posture, and to be able to perform physically as well as musically.

    Following last weeks resonator placement by Shawn and Craig, we adjusted a little for those who were not there last week and to fill spaces for those who were not there this week.  It’s always good to remain adaptable to changing circumstances since this may actually happen for various reasons just prior to a performance.  Being comfortable with your part and those voices around you will also build strength throughout the chorus.  The more varied the voices you hear, helps to focus you on learning and knowing your part with confidence.

    In the absence of Shawn, Craig led the entire session and we focused on presentation.  Technique, musicality, and interpretation only go so far in telling the story of the song we are singing.  Everything needs to match; vocally, body language, and physical movement.  To be fully engaged, we must use all these as well as facial expressions to convey the message.  In psychology, a flat affect (monotone, dull expression, lack of reaction) can be an indicator of psychosis. We don’t want people to think that now, do we?

    Having spent so much time on the left, logical side, we shifted over to the right, creative side.  As pointed out, once we shift from left to right, we tend to lose our words or technique because we are consciously focused on our expression. As you learn your music, get comfortable with getting off paper, and then you’ll naturally be able to find the balance to both sing accurately and express proficiently because you are using both sides.  It takes time, so don’t get frustrated.

    Time was spent mainly on our sacred set of “When I Lift Up My Head”, “How Great Thou Art”, and “Precious Lord”.  We took about 10 minutes in sectionals to work on some difficult spots in HGTA and honed things together to sharpen our sound and delivery of the rest. Work was also done on “Wonderful World” and “King Of The Road”.

    One of our new Members, Austin Winder, was called down to direct us in “Keep The Whole World Singing”.  You did a tremendous job, Austin! Knowing that today’s your birthday, I’m glad you were able to receive this gift and the honor of closing out our time together.

    As mentioned, we were a bit light in the riser ranks.  There are many reasons why and each of us can only do so much at any given time.  Let me assure you, each of you are a valued and integral part of our Chapter.  Not only your voice, but your presence and friendship bolster everyone’s enthusiasm.  Trust me when I say, the door’s always open, the risers never full, and the companionship never ends.  Come when you can, visit often, and invite a friend. We miss you.

    All that being said, I will not be with you again until our gigs on the 24th and 26th.  I will be traveling to Northern Maine for my mother’s funeral and to spend some much need time with my family.  

    Blessings to you all, my Barbershop Brothers, until we meet again. πŸŽΆπŸ’ˆπŸŽ΅