Latest News


  • Awards Stories
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Tue, Jan 19 2021
    Weidler, McIntire earn BOTY, John Cross awards

    By John Braden
    Two veteran Barbershoppers were singled out for honors at HOA's first Zoom video Installation and Awards Night on Jan. 12. The Kansas City Chapter recognized 32-year Barbershopper Marlin Weidler as Barbershopper of the Year and presented 38-year veteran Ron McIntire the John Cross Award.

    Barbershopper of the Year -- The chapter annually recognizes and honors certain members for significant and meritorious service as the Barbershopper of the Year. There have been 74 winners of the Barbershopper of the Year -- or its previous titles of Man of the Year, Honor Night winner and Achievement Award winner. The 2019 winner was Operations VP Steve Keisker.

    Marlin Weidler, the 2020 Barbershopper of the Year, joined the Society in 1988. He's been a faithful chorus boy, quartetter and Board member. In front of the annual Installation Banquet, he once wore a battered top hat, scarf and red rubber nose to play a melting snowman during a performance of "Let it Snow" by his then-quartet Reverie.

    Marlin has spent a lot of time recently doing vital chores for the chorus while health problems -- Parkinson's, a urinary tract infection, back surgery and who knows what else -- have hindered his being an active singer. He has served as ticket chairman and Singing Valentines organizer. He has spent hours mastering the transition to a new chapter website. And when Bob Velazquez asked if he had ever put together a music video, he said no but agreed to do it anyway. So, he created our first Caroling Caravan video and still retained his trademark smile.

    And the poor guy was sitting there running tech for the Zoom awards night when his name was announced. Here's to Marlin Weidler, the 2020 Barbershopper of the Year!

    The John Cross Award is presented annually to the HOA member with the best attendance record and who is always on hand to take on the job no one else wants. The first award was presented in 1989 to John Cross himself, a full 33 years after the cranky, sharp-tongued, ornery old cuss was named Barbershopper of the Year. There have been 31 John Cross Award winners, with the plaque captured in 2019 by cranky, sharp-tongued, ornery old Director Bob Velazquez.

    Ron McIntire, the 2020 winner of the John Cross Award, joined the Society in 1982. He has turned up in various jobs over the years -- many of them thankless. In 1989 as membership vice president, he tied Ed Ward's record for 36 new members in one year. He has faithfully carried out the annual creation of the chapter directory -- and the Central States District directory -- with nobody even asking. He seems to be singlehandedly nagging us to keep Harmonotes operating. He makes all the Barbershopper of the Month, Extra Mile and other such awards. If this isn't John Cross-type thankless work, what is?

    Ron should have won the John Cross Award long ago but he failed the attendance requirement. Instead, he ended up in hospitals and rehab centers for weeks at a time, year after year, through no fault of his own -- well mostly no fault of his own. Mostly we blame gravity.

    This year, however, due to only two hospital bouts in 2020 -- and the wonders of Zoom attendance -- he wins in the attendance category, too. And thanks to the wonders of Zoom -- and Don Fuson holding his phone up to the computer screen -- Ron "attended" the virtual awards night from his latest rehab center where he was recovering from a broken hip. Here's to Ron McIntire, the 2020 John Cross Award winner!
     
    Joe, Oz remain on the shelf in 2020

    Joe Stern Award -- Because of the significance of this honor, this year the Joe Stern Award panel voted to make no 2020 award. Our chapter's most prestigious award, the Joe Stern Lifetime Achievement Award, is named for a man who was a major influence on the Kansas City Chapter of SPEBSQSA and on Barbershopping as a whole.

    Oz Newgard Award -- In keeping with the significance of this honor, this year the Oz Newgard Award panel voted to make no 2020 Ozzie award. The "Ozzie" was initiated by the Rural Route 4 to honor their coach M.O. "Oz" Newgard, a former director of the Alexandria Harmonizers and a senior sound judge who helped HOA to its first Central States District chorus title. The Ozzie is presented to the individual who has provided outstanding musical service to the chapter and chorus.
     
  • 2021 Installation Banquet
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Tue, Jan 12 2021
    Jan. 12, 2021

    2020 'Pandemic Year' officers recommit for 2021

    By Jerry Meier
    Central States District President Duane Lawson installed the Kansas City Chapter's 2021 officers with a resounding “Hell Yeah” to renew their commitments to serve and support the chapter.

    President Mike Schumacher counted 37 chapter members and four guests who attended the 2020 Awards and 2021 Installation (non-)Banquet via Zoom video conference on Tuesday, Jan. 12. Guests were Duane, Chris Walker, Charlie Hill and Dale Neuman.

    The 2021 officers are as follows:

    President                               Mike Schumacher
    Immediate Past President      Barry Sanders
    Secretary                               Tom Hadley
    Treasurer                               Harvey Shapiro
    Executive VP                          Harvey Shapiro
    Marketing VP                         Adam Singleton
    Chapter Development VP      Don Fuson
    Music & Performance VP       Carter Combs
    Operations VP                      Steve Keisker
    Program VP                          Jerry Meier
    Members at Large:               Tony O’Brien, Vince Perry IV and Marlin Weidler

    You might recognize the fact that all 2021 officers agreed to return to serve another year, since 2020 seemed to be “not an actual” year on duty. Thanks were given to former Board Member Greg Busch, who did not re-up because he's returning home to Indianapolis.

    Bob Velazquez, Heart of America Chorus director, renewed his commitment to lead the 2021 Heart of America Barbershop Chorus and to improve the chapter and each member this year.

    President Mike Schumacher reminded us that the Heart of America Chorus is “our chorus.” He encouraged all members to continue promoting our chapter and our chorus, while conversing with potential new members and customers. He challenged chapter members to continue working through the pandemic to prepare for future performances – they will come and we will have fun!

    John Braden stepped in again as the “Official Organizer of the Awards” to recognize and honor the 2020 award recipients:
    -- Ron McIntire was recognized and honored with the John Cross Award for 2020.
    -- Marlin Weidler was recognized and honored with the 2020 Barbershopper of the Year Award.
    -- There was no Oz Newgard “Ozzie” Award given in 2020 for Outstanding Musical Service to the Chapter.
    -- There was no Joe Stern Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award given in 2020.
     
Copyright © 2021 Heart of America Chorus