Six years ago, a foursome made up of the leaders of each section of the Westchester Chordsmen, a "barbershop" chorus from the other side of the Hudson came together as a quartet called, "Main Ingredients" to perform a Valentine concert at the library. We liked them so much that we asked them back for a St. Patrick's Day show the next year. They had never been asked to do such a program, but were up for the challenge of creating one, so they mixed beloved ditties from the Green Holiday with American Songbook selections to make a great show.
We decided to email their leader, Chet, to offer them a slot if they would reprise the concert this year. He said, "Sure! In fact, I've got a new quartet, and they are even better than the last one!"
The new barbershop quartet is named, "RSVP". The concert is FREE, with Irish-themed sweets to nosh on.
"Barbershop" singing is a style of very close harmony in which the first tenor often sings higher notes than the lead tenor. It's characterized by a minimum of vibrato in the delivery, resulting in clear, brassy chords. The lore tells of groups that evolved from pals who hung around the local barbershop in "olden times", and dress often refers to music hall costumery of the late 1890s-into-1900s, such as brightly striped summer blazers (perfect for romantic spooning), loud vests, bow ties and "straw boaters"--flat-topped, flat brimmed straw hats that businessmen wore in the summertime.