Chapter History

Historical background:

  • Licensed by BHS March, 1974
  • Chartered – September, 1974
  • Charter Show – Feb. 1975, Malabar High School
  • Sponsoring chapter – Country Gentlemen, Bucyrus, OH
  • First guest quartet – Limelighters, Canton, OH
  • First Director – H. David Kracker, Mansfield, OH

 

Our chapter formed as the result of Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) contacting Mansfield resident, Joe Vaughn, in early 1974.  Joe was singing with the Elyria Cascade Chordsmen at the time, but he did have an ad placed in the Mansfield News Journal.  A man by the name of Tom Hunter took the bait and rounded up a group of men for rehearsals, while Joe helped locate an interim director from Elyria named Lou Mau.  During the licensure period, a local city schools instrumental director, Glen Fischer, took over for Mau and then handed over the reins to Dave Kracker at the point the group was fully chartered by BHS.

Since 1974 our chapter has been very successful in building tremendous community support due to our participation in many gratis performances for civic events, especially the local Memorial Day event and other events supporting our Veterans.  Our chapter shows have been well attended with program ad sales that often covered the entire show costs before the first ticket was sold!  We have been very fortunate to have been holding our shows in the beautiful Renaissance Theatre in downtown Mansfield since 1982.  A favorite presentation is our annual Christmas sing at the historical Malabar Farm each December.  Our chorus has competed in many divisional and district events over the years.  We are especially proud of having played a very active role in supporting the Singing Buckeye Harmony Camp for over 15 years, offering sizable scholarships to area choral students.

Those strengths have been administrative and music leadership teams that kept plugging away until better times arrived.  When Dave Kracker retired after 22 years of leadership, a very fortunate array of Directors followed:

  • Mike Bannish           1996
  • Mark Blake               1999
  • Steve Kovach           2001
  • Doug Smeltz            2010
  • Trevor Garrabrant    2015   (current BHS Certified Director)


We have been a fortunate chapter that never stops striving for singing at a constantly improving level, one that pleases our audiences and serves our community with pride.