At one time, the Citrus County’s Chorus of the Highlands packed Curtis Peterson Auditorium with its barbershop-style concerts.
Multiple quartets would travel all over the county on Valentine’s Day, serenading people in their homes or workplaces.
“In 1998, there were about 48 members, and when I came here in 2003, there were 25 of us,” said chorus director Fran Donohoe.
But now, in 2019, the local Barbershoppers numbers have dwindled to seven — and they’re without a tenor.
You can’t have four-part harmony without all for parts: tenor, lead, baritone and bass.
“Before we throw in the towel, I want to give it one last effort,” Donohoe said. “Sadly, our numbers have gone down because people have died or moved away.”
The average age of their current members is late 70s to early 80s.
“Ideally, we know there are a lot of people 60 to 65 who are new to Citrus County, who like to sing and for one reason or another don’t know we’re here,” Donohoe said.
He wants to put out the call for men and women who love to sing and can carry a tune to join the Chorus of the Highlands, a.k.a. the Barbershoppers.
“I would like to have at least 12 people, men and women — we need tenors and baritones,” he said.
Donohoe said the music they sing is not just “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” but they sing a mix of show music, popular music and standards from the 1920s, 30s and beyond.
“Music has changed,” he said. “Much of today’s music is loud and crude … but there’s still a wonderful market, still an enormous number of people who still remember and appreciate music with lyrics filled with sentiment and creativity and harmony.”
For information about singing with the Chorus of the Highlands, call Fran Donohoe at 352-513-4884.