On July 7, 2019, the Vocal Majority had what many describe as a "Bucket List" opportunity. Following their swan song appearance at the 2019 Barbershop Harmony Society International Convention, the 13-time gold medal-winning chorus performed with the Tabernacle Choir Sunday morning on a long-running TV program known as "Music and the Spoken Word." On the air for 90 years and over 4,600 weekly broadcasts, Music & the Spoken Word is the longest-running uninterrupted network broadcast in the world, according to their website.
The music was superbly beautiful, as the Tabernacle Choir (formerly known as The Mormon Tabernacle Choir) performed songs with the huge pipe organ and a professional orchestra. Our VM performed alone, singing How Great Thou Art and I'll Walk With God, and then joined with the "Tab Choir" on the last song, All Creatures of Our God and King.
Yes, it was all very uplifting and wonderful, but during the program, a point was made that bears repeating again, and again, and again.
Lloyd D. Newell, American journalist, announcer, and author, who is the current voice of Music and the Spoken Word, had a wonderful message that goes right to the heart of our hobby...."You can't sing Barbershop alone."
We won't repeat the entire message here, but this excerpt sums it up:
"For many, the music is only part of the experience. Relationships, to them, are inseparable from the sound. It's friendship, as much as music, that keeps them singing. One expert has written that ‘Barbershoppers feel a strong fellowship—a wave of warmth and friendliness—when they sing together. An important facet of the fun and personal enrichment gained from barbershop singing .. is its camaraderie.'... We all do better, we all live happier and more peaceful lives, when we are in harmony with others."
Click here to see the program. The Vocal Majority performance begins at the 11:58 mark and Mr. Newell's message begins at the 16:58 mark... but you will want to watch the entire program.