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Nonprofit View: What was, and what will be: The Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus l COMMENTARY

As we all know, Carroll County and the state of Maryland (and the world) closed down in March to protect people from the COVID-19 virus. The Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus was and is no exception.

Our rehearsal space is normally generously provided by Carroll Lutheran Village — which also closed down to protect residents and staff.

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We are left to dream of the future — when we can gather and sing.

If the past is any portent, we’ll be back singing in the park, at high school football games, at retirement homes, and charity events, churches and shopping malls. Wherever people gather and want entertainment.

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Because that’s what we do.

Our mission is providing our audiences with entertaining performances that are diverse in content yet rooted in the tradition of four-part barbershop harmony. Our chapter activities will provide audiences, members, and prospective members with a source of enrichment, fun, and fellowship by incorporating the qualities of humor, showmanship, variety, community involvement, and audience participation.

Barbershop harmony is a way of life. Perfecting this musical art form takes commitment. When done well, our music reaches audiences on a personal level. You will experience personal growth, build self-confidence and create lasting memories as you work to sing with others, performing for a variety of audiences, from large concerts to intimate singing valentines.

Barbershop harmony is music in a very pure form created with nothing but human voices coming together to produce a rich and satisfying texture that is pleasing to the ears and invigorating to the soul. This began as men passed time at their barbershop singing spirituals, folk songs and popular songs. This tradition and joy lives on today in Carroll County and all over the world.

The Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus embodies all of the above. 

We are always looking for new members. And you don’t have to be a good singer. We can teach you. We often say that if you can sing Happy Birthday, then we can teach you the rest.

Come and sing, come and listen.

See the light in the eye of a 90-year-old when we sing a golden oldie. See the smile of a 5-year-old when we sing her favorite Christmas Carol. Experience the surprise of a group of high schoolers when we put four-part harmony into the “Star-Spangled Banner” at their homecoming.

We bring live music to where people are, and we have fun doing it.

Dean Carroll is the vice-president of marketing and public relations, and a bass, for the Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Chorus. For more information, call 410-795-5050 or visit www.oldlinestatesmen.org.

Each Monday, the Carroll County Times publishes a column from a local nonprofit, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it, as our editorial. To be considered, email cctnews@carrollcountytimes.com with the subject line “Nonprofit View.”

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