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Chorus offers concert of playlist favorites

Chorus offers concert of playlist favorites

Music and comedy will both take the stage when the Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus and featured guest artists Razzmatazz present "What's on your playlist?" in the Scott Center for the Performing Arts at Carroll Community College. Show times are 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 17.

For both shows by the 30-plus strong Old Line Statesmen Barbershop, Baltimore radio personality Steve Rouse will serve as master of ceremonies and Razzmatazz, a barbershop quartet known for combining music with comedy, will be the featured guest artist.

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Founded in 1982, the Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus will offer a mix of music.

Bass singer Brad Yates has been a member since 2009.

"We don't do just traditional barbershop," he said.

Yates said the music for this show is eclectic, with one song from South Africa plus American classics such as "King of the Road" by Roger Miller, "All My Lovin'" by The Beatles, the oft-recorded standard, "I'm Gonna' Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" and "Kiss the Girl" from Disney's "The Little Mermaid".

Jeff Liebknecht has been chorus director for 28 years.

"I pick the music [for the shows] but sometimes I pick from chorus favorites," he said. "We also have a music team that consists of some of the other musicians in the chorus that help pick out music for the shows."

Liebknecht said many of the selections for this weekend's shows are his favorites.

"I've got to take most of the blame for this one," he said, with a laugh, "because some of them are my favorites. But some are chorus favorites, too."

Featured guest quartet Razzmatazz have been together since 1988.

"We try to be entertaining and we're usually successful in getting a laugh out of the audience," Razzmatazz member Rick Ashby said. "Most of the songs we do are not what you would call traditional barbershop. ... We'll do doo-wop songs [but we're] changing all the words around to make it funnier. ... That's kind of our trademark."

Ashby said the quartet has performed and competed from South Carolina to New Hampshire to Nevada.

"I don't know how many states we've sung in but it's a good number and it's been a lot of fun," he said.

Razzmatazz will perform two different shows with the Old Line Statesmen this weekend, Ashby said.

"The first one that we're doing [on Saturday] is brand new," he said. "Considering the fact we're all now over 55, so we're all seniors, it's a show that has some songs about getting older."

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One of the songs for Saturday's show is their own version of "My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music" with lyrics about getting older — such as "Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting," he said, with a laugh.

The Sunday afternoon show will focus on doo-wop tunes of the 1950s and '60s, Ashby said.

"We'll make people laugh but we'll also bring back some memories for people who know the songs of the '50s and '60s," he said.

Said Liebknecht: "Razzmatazz is fabulous. I think they're the best [comedy quartet] around. They are fabulously funny."

Dave Highfield, community representative for the Old Line Statesmen, has been singing with the chorus for nine years.

"Our purpose, I think, is to provide a really good sound with entertainment for the community," he said. "We try to have fun and sing with excellence and our director does a good job bringing that together."

Yates said the chorus members range in age from men in their 20s to their 80s, plus an 11-year-old boy who joined this year.

Just as chorus members come from a wide range of age groups, they anticipate a wide range of ages among their audience members, too.

"Music speaks to a lot of people. If music speaks to you then the chorus would be a good place to be," Liebknecht said. "We're a very eclectic bunch in general. I think that we're a good place for people to come who just like music [of] all different kinds and styles."

Said Highfield: "Everything we do is family friendly."

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Admission is free for children age 6 and younger when accompanied by a paying adult.

Advance-purchase tickets are available until 3 p.m. Saturday at the Carroll Arts Council, Coffey Music and Menchey Music in Westminster, and at Hess Music in Manchester. Tickets can also be ordered online at www.oldlinestatesmen.org until 8 p.m. on Friday, July 15.

The Scott Center for the Performing Arts is at 1601 Washington Road in Westminster.

For more information, call 410-795-5050, email oldlinestatesmen@live.com, or visit the website at www.oldlinestatesmen.org.

If you go:

What: "What's on your playlist?" barbershop concert

When: 7 p.m. Saturday 7/16, and 3 p.m. Sunday, 7/17

Where: Scott Center, Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Road in Westminster

Cost: $12 in advance, $15 at the door

More information: 410-795-5050, www.oldlinestatesmen.org

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