The world's longest acronym is also the world's biggest association of barbershop singers.
Carroll's chapter, the Old Line Statesmen, presents its annual show today -- that's right folks, today -- at 2 p.m. at Westminster High School.
OK. The initials stand for Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America.
The joke in there, and a hard one to find at that, has to do with the society's origins in the FDR-New Deal era, when everything was known by its initials.
You know: CCC, SSA, WPA. Like that.
Members of the Old Line Statesmen, 32 strong, come from all walks of life.
Their numbers include local businessmen, craftsmen, government employees and students. Most have no formal musical training.
What these singers share, beyond their love of harmony, is a commitment to our community. Their motto: "Bringing Harmony to Carroll County."
Very punny, you say. Well, that's the kind of humor one associates with barbershop. Groan.
The Statesmen have in mind to raise funds this afternoon to support their activities in Carroll. Among their projects: visits to local churches, nursing homes and retirement facilities. These are not new activities.
They have adopted a highway.
They are sponsoring "Young Men in Harmony," a program to promote barbershop in the high schools.
They plan a program to send volunteer music aides into the schools.
Today's entertainment is scheduled for the afternoon to make it more accessible to those who might be uncomfortable driving after dark. This is the ninth annual concert.
The theme is "Hit the Road Singing." Given the penchant among barbershop harmonizers for the double-entendre, no one will have any difficulty figuring out that the show will feature songs such as "Sentimental Journey" and "Carolina in the Morning."
Special guests include Perfect Blend, the chorus from the Sweet Adelines of Towson.
L Our own Carroll quartets are Mid-Life Crisis and Doubletake.
These harmonizers will be singing songs your teen-agers will hate, which might be a good reason to come on out at 2 p.m. to enjoy the show.
Our neighbors of the Old Line Chorus will be putting on quite a show, and bringing harmony to Carroll County in more ways than one.
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