HOA back on the boards at CSD contest

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: John Braden
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, Oct 19 2022
By John Braden

The Heart of America Chorus returned to the contest stage for the first time since pre-COVID 2019, competing in the chorus contest of the Fall Central States District Convention, Oct. 8 in Lawrence, Kan.

(Spring convention in Wichita did not count, since nobody showed up but HOA and host Smorgaschorus.)


Twenty-eight men dressed in a simulation of 1920s working men's "best" clothes, waiting for the train to arrive. Some of the less ambulatory sat on the front row on park benches. "Daddy" Mike Schumacher introduced his new "baby" to "Grandad" Bob Murphy, cueing up "That's an Irish Lullaby." Amazingly, the kid then slept through arrival of the train carrying the Dixieland Five and a rousing rendition of "Muskrat Ramble."

Chorus members received several favorable comments from audience members on the staging and costumes and our ability to entertain.

Music Judge Andrew Carolan said there obviously was thought put into the performance. Carolan cited accomplishment, energy and solid handling of "Muskrat Ramble" with a key change that provided a lift in intensity. On "Irish Lullaby," Carolan suggested working more on singing gently without losing quality, a strong but heartfelt sound. He said the lullaby is gentle, while the rest of the song can be heart wrenching.

Chorus members said it felt great to be back on a big stage again, and welcomed seeing other choruses and quartets (including HOA's Swing Shift and kc COMMON) perform. Another highlight, especially for Daddy Mike, was the first District Quartet Championship to be won in any district by a women's quartet, First Class, with Mike's daughter, Stacy Schumacher, singing lead.

The contests were followed, and perhaps upstaged, by a CSD 75th (plus 1) anniversary past champs show, climaxed by a performance by 2006 International quartet champion Vocal Spectrum, with silver medalist Midtown's Anthony Fortino filling in on lead for VS's Eric Dalby.

HOA came in ninth in a field of 12 that was led by International qualifier and Plateau IV Men's Chorus champion Ambassadors of Harmony of St. Charles, Mo.