Indy Members Sing for Life!
C i r c l e C i ty S o u n d
Published monthly by the
Greater Indianapolis, Indiana,
Chapter of the Cardinal District
Volume 39, Issue 6
Circle City Sound’s mission is to perform with excellence in the barbershop style
and encourage singing within the community, because we believe that singing enhances life.
Indy Members Sing for Life!
by Jerry Troxel, editor of The BEAT
On Saturday, May 10, ten Circle City Sound members joined a throng of Barbershoppers worldwide to
participate in “Singing for Life,” a combination blood
drive and promotional opportunity for the Barbershop
Harmony Society. CCS President Jim Rosenau organized the local event, held at the Indiana Blood
Center, East. Assembling at 10:00 a.m. on that Saturday morning, dressed in our blood red shirts for the
occasion, were (as pictured above right, left to right):
Bruce Bellen, Brad McAlexander, Jerry Troxel,
McQuistion, Steve Grimes, Ken Carlsen, Patrick
McAlexander, and Jim Rosenau.
—photos submitted by Jim Rosenau
We sang every chorus and polecat song that we knew
(thanks, Steve Grimes, our only lead, for carrying
the lead part, throughout), and even repeated a few,
as we filled the halls of the Blood Center with music
for two hours. Some pickup quartets formed on the
spot, and kept the entertainment going so the rest of
us could get a break (no rest for Steve, though!).
One such quartet is shown at left, below: Ken Carlsen, Patrick McAlexander, Steve Grimes, and
The local Singing for Life program was successful,
with 50 units of blood donated throughout all the
metro offices of the Indiana Blood Center during that
2-hour period. Two of our own members, Ken Carlsen (see photo, above) and Bruce Bellen, donated
their blood while we serenaded them.
A nonmember, Channing Myers of Indianapolis, enjoyed
our music while he gave blood and participated in and
won a drawing for tickets to our annual show.
As of this writing, the Barbershop Harmony Society is
still compiling results from this first-ever Singing for
Life event, which involved nearly 200 local chapters.
The Society is considering making this an annual
VP Chapter Development
VP Music & Performance
VP PR & Marketing
Board Members at Large
Immediate Past President
All You Have, All the Time!
Well, the 2008 Circle City Sound
annual show is fast approaching,
and we are in great shape. That's
not to say that we don't still have
a lot of work to do. This is the
moment where we need to step
with all of the dialogue to be
learned. That being said, we cannot and will not let the music and
singing suffer with those distractions. We will be doing full runthroughs of the show before the
“...we need to step up and prove to each other
what we’re made of…”
up and prove to each other what
we're made of. It's crucial for everyone to be 100% solid on their
music so that all we're working
on, from now until June 21, is the
performance and overall impact
for our audience.
Also, your attendance is crucial.
The only way we can know what
we will sound like at the show is if
we have everyone there, every
week. We miss you when you're
On this year's show, there is a lot
of pressure for a number of you,
actual dress rehearsals so that all
will be comfortable with the song
order and dialogue lead-ins. I believe that this will be an exciting
and memorable show for us and
our audience. Let's all step up,
ask more of ourselves and, give
all we have, all the time!
Let's sell all the tickets and sing to
a full house. Remember that it's
your chorus so, make it happen.
What we do this year will determine how well we do in years to
come; so, give it your all. I know
The chapter meets every
Monday at 7:00 pm
at Christ Lutheran Church
345 N. Kitley Ave.
Guests are always welcome!
The CCS Board meets the
third Wednesday of each
month at 7:30 pm
in the chapter president's
home. All chapter members
are encouraged to attend.
Don’t miss these opportunities!
CARDINAL CHORD COLLEGE
July 11 - 13
Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana
July 27 - August 3
Missouri Western State University
St. Joseph, Missouri
Discounts and scholarships available!
Our Annual Show, and Beyond
VP CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT
“...use this annual show as a tool for
As June approaches, all our focus and energies turn toward our annual
show, as well they should. We have tickets to sell, songs to fine tune,
and lines to learn. This year’s annual show is shaping up to be one of
our best, and we are ahead of schedule compared to years past in being
totally prepared to be at our best by show time. It is really easy to forget about looking for prospective singers to add to our ranks during this
All I ask of you is to use this annual show as a tool for attracting singers
that you know to our ranks. When making your list of people to contact
about tickets, make sure you ask all the singers and past prospects you
know to attend, even if it means giving them a ticket. Getting a good
singing prospect to attend the show to see us at our best will reap benefits in attracting them to our rehearsal and go a long way in recruiting a
new member. I think getting a good singer to join our ranks is well
worth the price of a show ticket, don’t you? The show program this year
will have a flyer promoting our Open House/Guest Night the Monday
following our show, so be sure to invite your prospects to attend this fun
filled evening. This is the perfect time of the year to bring in a member
as we will be gearing up for our “performance” at the Fall Convention.
Thinking ahead to our Open House on Monday June 23, we will need a
chapter quartet, so please see me if you can be there for a couple of
songs. We will provide the soft drinks but would appreciate all of you
bringing a snack (chips, pretzels, meat balls, cheese, cookies, etc.). I
would also appreciate as many of you as possible to arrive early to help
me greet our guests. And, of course, the most important thing to bring
is a singing prospect!
CCS Guest Night / Open House
Monday, June 23
CCS Annual Show
“Sock It to Me: When
Warren Performing Arts Center
9500 E. 16th St.
Saturday, June 21
2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Holy Spirit Gymnasium
7243 E. 10th St.
Saturday, June 21
CCS Open House
Christ Lutheran Church
345 N. Kitley Ave.
Monday, June 23
July 1 - 6
Tell City, Indiana
Saturday, August 2
For detailed information on all
chapter performances check
our weekly bulletin,
S OUND B YTES
or go to:
and visit the
Members Only section
The newsletter deadline for the
August issue of The Beat is
July 24. Send articles to:
It’s Show Time!
Oh my goodness, what a crazy
time it is for the chapter and chorus! Show preparation is reaching
a fever pitch, and by the end of
this month “Sock It To Me” will be
among our fondest memories.
Every annual show to date has
annual show with both musical
and comedic credibility. I’m seeing guys doing things musically
and in role playing that are quite a
stretch for even the youngest at
heart. Not only have many of us
stepped outside the box, we have
“Hold your heads high and take pride in
been special in its own way, and I
am convinced that this year’s performance will prove to be a positively noteworthy addition to the
long, long list of great shows.
Hold your heads high, gentlemen,
and take pride in your accomplishments. We have learned a bunch
of new songs, and they are all
progressing nicely in both a technical and musical sense. The chorus is sounding G-R-E-A-T, each of
the new songs has been carefully
woven into the fabric of the show
theme, and we are having a blast
pulling it all together. If you’re
not excited, if you’re not smiling
and if you aren’t laughing, you
must be somewhere else on Monday nights. Our musical and performance bars have been set
pretty high, and we’re achieving
and exceeding those expectations.
We deserve a collective “pat on
the back” because individually and
together we have stepped up to
the challenges of presenting an
actually left the boxes in the dust
and kicked them to the curb for
the sanitation workers to haul
away. Great job, guys! Keep up
the intensity, the zaniness and the
love of our hobby. It’s a great
deal more fulfilling to be part of
such an enthusiastic and multitalented group of guys.
I must confess that being cast in
the Ruth Buzzi role has, for me,
been a wild ride. One hasn’t lived
until he has experienced the
strange gazes and inquiries from
co-workers after describing how
he had spent his Sunday afternoon trying on dresses.
looks I got when my wife and I
entered a local business and
looked at wigs, hair pieces, stockings, hair nets and other
“accessories” cannot be put into
words, but there’s an image I
won’t soon forget. It’s all fun,
gentlemen, and it’s all good!
Thanks in advance for the memories.
What we have as a group of guys
with a common interest is also
indescribable. Trite as it sounds,
we need to share this adventure
with others. For me, barbershopping provides an opportunity to be
involved in something so remote
from anything else I do in life,
that it makes it extra special.
When singing and being involved
with our chapter and chorus, a lot
of other headaches just go away,
if even just temporarily. What a
great respite from the work-a-day,
worry-a-day world! There is no
reason I can come up with why I
wouldn’t want to share that with
friends and acquaintances.
Our annual show is another
means of tickling the interest of
more men who might benefit from
an association with our organization. Keep in mind that the Monday following the show (Monday,
June 23) is an important guest
night. You may feel pretty fried
after the shows and the afterglow,
but don’t blow off Monday night.
That will be a warm and fuzzy
night for reminiscing about the
show, and for uniting to bring
more men into our group. Let’s
make it a HUGE success!
June is a great month for us, and
this year it should be as awesome
as ever. Do your part, be flexible,
continue to learn and help project
our positive image into our community. Thanks for being who
you are and for sharing yourselves
with the group. Have a super
month and remember to live and
sing in harmony.
There will be no July 2008 issue of The BEAT.
Look for the next issue of this newsletter in August (deadline July 24)
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Are you wondering what’s next for CCS? Is there
life after the annual show?
You’re probably thinking, oh yeah, back in the
same old rut—summer doldrums, followed by fall
contest, then the holiday season with the same
old arrangements of the same old Christmas
tunes, then Singing Valentines… (yawn).
Have you talked to Garry and our chapter leaders about what’s next? You really should.
How about an exciting fall
convention, preceded by even
more musical growth, including a productive and FUN retreat with gold medal coaching?
How about an even
more exciting Christmas program with NEW holiday songs, that we’ll start working on while the
temperature is still in the 90’s. And there’s work
on next year’s annual show that will start before
the leaves fall.
CCS, it’s going to be busy—and FUN!! Hang on!
A Stroll Down Memory Lane
By Lew Gillespie, Editor Inside the Pride, 1991-1995
25 Years Ago
The Pride of Indy appeared on
the Louisville chapter’s annual
show on June 18, 1983. Jim
Sauder, Don Bobo, and I drove
to Louisville. We arrived at 3:00
p.m. for the rehearsal between
the two chapters and then dinner
was provided to all Pride of Indy
members. The show started at 8:00 p.m. with both
chapters singing, “There’s No Business Like Show
Business” and “Back Home Again In Indiana.” Indy’s
portion of the show included the following songs:
“I’ve Got The Time,” “Gee But I Hate To Go Home
Alone,” “If The Lord Be Willing,” “I’m Alone Because I
Love You,” “Lida Rose,” “River Boat Days,” and “An
American Trilogy.” Several Indy chapter quartets appeared on the show, and when the afterglow ended
at 1:30 a.m. the three of us motored back to Indy
and dropped Sauder at his home at 5:00 a.m. It was
a long day, but certainly worth a fabulous weekend of
inter-chapter participation in barbershop singing.
During the month of June 1983, the Pride was having
an extra rehearsal on Wednesday night at Cathedral
High School on East 56th Street, where the regular
Monday chapter meetings were held. The extra rehearsals were in preparation for the International
contest in Seattle, Washington, July 3 - 10, 1983,
where the Pride would be competing. On June 27,
1983, a big “Seattle Sendoff” was held in the Cathedral High School Auditorium. The Cardinal District
International Quartet representatives, Interstate
Rivals from Louisville, Kentucky, and Circle City
Sound, from Indianapolis, were included on this
show. Many people from the Cardinal District attended.
Attendance at rehearsals in June, 1983, averaged 90
men since new chapter director, Lyle Pettigrew,
had been hired in March 1983. The money-making
project for the chapter, which began in December,
1982, was selling cheese. Bob Bridges, chapter
Secretary, was the “Big Cheese” of the chapter, since
his garage was the warehouse for all of the cheese
supplies (articles taken from Speed-Notes, June,
1983, Chuck McKinsey, Editor).
More Ways You Can Take Part in Your Chapter
a regular feature of The BEAT
from “100 Ways You Can Take Part in Your Chapter”
collected from the Harmonet by Kim Benner, Singing Buckeyes, Columbus Ohio
Offer to help the newsletter/bulletin editor
with whatever you can do.
Write an article for your newsletter/bulletin.
Review a barbershop show or album for your
Volunteer to work with an experienced member to learn a new chapter administration skill.
Start a chapter quartet.
Encourage the formation of chapter quartets.
Offer to help an officer.
Take a non-meeting night
to help another baritone
(lead, tenor, or bass) learn
Don't come to rehearsal
with a contagious sore throat or anything else
you could spread around.
Be on the risers 5 minutes early and be eager
Offer to help any standing committee in which
you are interested.
Videotape the chorus in rehearsal.
History of the Greater Indianapolis Chapter and Circle City Sound
from our chapter website
In 1944, forty-five men gathered in the Claypool Hotel, at the corner of Washington and Illinois Streets in
downtown Indianapolis, to organize the first barbershop harmony chapter in Indianapolis. Another chapter was formed in Broad Ripple in 1948, and the two
chapters merged in 1955 to form the Greater Indianapolis Chapter. In 1958, the chapter adopted
“Speed Capital Chorus” as the chorus
name, changing it to
“Pride of Indy” in
1978, and to “Circle
City Sound” in 2003.
years. Our chorus has represented the Cardinal District in the International chorus competition eight
times. Our best finish was sixth place, in San Francisco in 1976. We also competed in the Buckeye Invitational Chorus Contest in 1989 (its inaugural year)
and again in 2002. In the 1989 contest, we won the
contest in the Overall Score and Contest Score categories.
Quartets comprised of members from the Greater
Indianapolis chapter have competed many times since
appearing for the first time on the international stage
in 1973. The best finish in the regular quartet competition was by Wild Cards, earning 20th place in
1978. Downstate Express won the Seniors gold in
Since 1967, the chapter has produced an annual
show, with most being held at Clowes Memorial Hall
on the Butler University campus. The chorus has performed with the Indianapolis, Muncie and Bloomington Symphony Orchestras, as part of the Walt Disney
production at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of
the 1987 Pan Am Games, at the 500 Festival Mayor’s
Breakfast, and at the 500 Festival Memorial Service.
The chorus has also performed with the Four Freshmen, the Louisville Thoroughbreds, the Indianapolis
Children’s Choir, Capital City Chorus (Sweet Adelines),
Gem City Chorus (Sweet Adelines), and the Heart of
Indiana Chorus (Harmony, Inc).
The chorus has performed regularly at several local
venues, including: Artsgarden (Circle Centre Mall),
Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center (University of Indianapolis), Warren Performing Arts Center, and the
Indiana History Center. We have also performed at
the Indiana State Capitol, the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Market
Square Arena, RCA Dome, Conseco Fieldhouse and
the Indiana State Fair. Our chorus and quartets have
entertained at the USS Indianapolis Survivors’ Reunion, the Covered Bridge Festival, the Mayoral Inauguration, Carmelfest, and Christmas on the Circle.
The Greater Indianapolis Chapter has been very active in chorus and quartet competitions at the district
(Indiana/Kentucky) and international levels over the
There are two more connections to quartet gold in
the history of our chapter. Huck Sinclair won a gold
medal singing baritone with the 1943 champions
Four Harmonizers while living in the Illinois district;
he later moved to Indianapolis and was a member of
the Indianapolis chapter for many years, until his
death in 1994 at age 92. Garry Texeira won quartet
gold in 2004 singing tenor with Gotcha!, while living
in the Far Western District. Garry recently moved to
the Indianapolis area and is now leading our chapter
as our Chorus Director.
The Greater Indianapolis Chapter is very active in the
community, educating men of all ages in a cappella
barbershop singing, and performing at many private
and public events. Our chorus and quartets often
perform at local parks, churches, nursing homes and
hospitals. We work in partnership with Indy Parks,
the Indianapolis Public Schools, and are members of
the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, and the
Indianapolis Arts Council.
Our chapter has hosted the International Barbershop
Convention three times (in 1975, 1997 and 2006).
These events have always been highly successful
events for the chapter and the Barbershop Harmony
Society, bringing upwards of 10,000 visitors to our
city and state, as well as 4-part a cappella singing to
every street corner in the downtown area at all hours
of the day and night.
The Sound Corne r
by Brad McAlexander
When you begin a conversation about barbershop
with Tom Frank, the first thing that will strike you is
his enthusiasm and passion for
the hobby. Tom first sang with
Indy about twenty years ago, but
had to take a break because of
work and family responsibilities.
He is now back adding his musical talent to our lead section, and
he is very excited about the direction that Garry Texeira is taking
Tom grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana. Highlights of his
life there were being awarded a perfect score in the
state vocal solo contest and spending summers at
Culver Military Academy. Most of us wouldn’t think of
spending our summers at a military school a highlight, but Tom says it was a great experience for
someone labeled as a “bad boy” because it taught
Tom graduated from Indiana University in 1960 with
a degree in Personnel Management, with minors in
Psychology, Speech and Theater, and Music (with a
focus in choral directing). He also competed with IU’s
intercollegiate debate team. If you ask him to tell
you about one competition at Wayne State University
in Detroit, you’ll get a very vivid story of him verbally
dominating “some really smart people.”
After graduation, Tom came to Indianapolis as an
accountant for General Motors. Not too long after
that, though, he took a position with Bank America
where he became a national sales manager. Later he
left banking to begin what would be a more than 30year career as a pharmaceutical representative, work-
ing for several companies by way of company purchases and mergers.
As you could imagine, a pharmaceutical rep comes
into contact with doctors on a daily basis. One doctor
that Tom saw regularly was our own “Doc” Blackburn, who nearly always talked about barbershop
with him. These conversations led to Tom joining our
chapter and singing on the international stage six
times, as well as several annual shows.
Tom has used his choral directing skills for over 28
years leading several church choirs. Some might also
remember in the early 1990’s when the “Three
Toms” (Tom Gentil, Tom Bohannon, and Tom
Frank) auditioned for the directorship of our chorus.
Tom Frank didn’t get the job, but he did enjoy and
learn from the audition winner Tom Gentil.
Tom has also used what he’s learned from barbershop in his own directing. One of his proudest directing moments was his four-year run as director of
“The Messiah,” a production at Ft. Harrison that included the 74th Army Band (which included chorus
member Steve Grimes), the string section of Lawrence North High School, and a very large chorus.
Tom and his wife Marty have seven children and 20
grandchildren. Most of these offspring live nearby, so
Tom and Marty can attend many of the kids’ activities. Marty also gives several of them piano lessons.
Tom credits much of his success in the business world
to his off-the-wall and outside-the-box way of thinking. He acknowledges that not every one of his ideas
has been a good one, but in brainstorming situations
he has found that many good ideas come from really
outlandish ones. He thinks this same approach could
help recruiting new members and attracting more
people to our shows. He enjoys singing for Garry
with the chorus now, and looks forward to more guys
being on the risers and enjoying this experience with
—photo by Jared Gollnitz
Chapter Board Meeting Summary
The May Board of Directors meeting was cancelled by President Jim Rosenau.
The next scheduled meeting of the board will be Wednesday, June 18.
What is Your Barbershop Fantasy?
I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot of the
church where I have quartet rehearsal. It is
pouring rain so I wait for everyone to arrive.
Everyone has arrived but the tenor, when my
lead Dustin says, “I don’t think Jerry could
come this week. Did he give you the key?”
“No, he didn’t give it to me. Do you have it,
Harold?” “No, but I think Jerry is in Florida
this week.” I call to make sure.
Jerry confirms he is just leaving Orlando with the
church key in his pocket. OK, I’ll see if someone is
home at the parsonage. No answer. “OK guys, pile in
my car. We will have to go find a place to rehearse.”
A mile down the street I scan the signs at the intersection and see a big “Red Carpet Inn” sign. All right,
let’s try there. As we pull in, the place looks empty. Is
it still open? There’s only a car carrier truck and a
couple of cars in the big parking lot.
As we pull up to the front doors Harold reads the sign
on the front doors, “FANTA SUITES.” I say, “What’s
that? Oooh! Never mind.” Dustin says, “I don’t think
we want to go in there. Maybe we should look somewhere else.” After a little discussion and joking
around, we decide we’re here, so it won’t hurt to ask.
After all, the entire place is empty, so they certainly
have rooms available, and maybe they even rent by
So I go in and find a customer at the counter looking
through the pictures of all the rooms with different
themes. I grab a brochure to occupy my time. After
waiting several minutes, the customer decides on the
“Pink Cadillac” room. The lady at the counter then
The “Pink Cadillac Room”
—photo from FantaSuites website
Baritone, SMILIN’ THROUGH
“... most of our barbershop fantasies have
more to do with what gold medalist quartet
we would like to ring chords with…”
comes over to me and asks me what I need. I said, “I
have a really strange request.” The Pink Cadillac guy
turns to listen, and the lady takes a step back. I explain our situation and ask if they have a conference
room or something we could rehearse in. (Then I
thought to myself, oh right, rent a conference room
at the Fantasy Suites for your next business meeting!)
She confirms they have no conference rooms, but “I
guess you could use the breakfast nook off the lobby.
If I get complaints from customers you will have to
leave.” I say, “Fair enough,” and thank her.
I go out to get the guys and give them the brochure
so they can pick a room while I park the car. “I’m just
kidding guys; we got the breakfast nook!”
We have a great rehearsal with lots of duets and then
running through songs as a trio. We even give Jerry
and Pam a call to let them know where we ended up,
knowing it would provide them quite a bit of entertainment.
On our way out, the two counter ladies say they enjoyed listening, and it made their night go faster. If
this should happen again, I think I will ask if they
have a Barbershop Room, or maybe the Pink Cadillac
room. It would certainly fit the lyrics of “A Wink and a
Of course most of our barbershop fantasies usually
have more to do with what gold medalist quartet we
would like to ring chords with, or for what people or
in what places we would like to perform. Smilin’
Through has been very fortunate in finding churches
to rehearse in over the years, and on this night a hotel to let us practice what we love doing—making music and ringing chords.
Circle City Sound featured in
Well, sort of.
Indianapolis Monthly magazine recently published
its City Guide (pictured at right). This supplement
Mon. June 16: Rehearsal at Christ
Lutheran Church, 7:00 p.m.
to their monthly magazine, circulation 48,000,
highlights the wide variety of things to see and do
in the Circle City.
Tue. June 17: Tech rehearsal at
Warren Performing Arts Center,
If you looked through this issue closely, like Pam Troxel did, you
should have discovered a “surprise” on page 70. On that page, with
their list of the various performance venues throughout Indianapolis,
they feature a half-page interior shot of the Artsgarden in Circle Centre Mall. And who happens to be on stage performing in this particular picture? None other than Circle City Sound, performing a
Christmas show under the direction of Bryan Hughes.
Fri. June 20: Dress rehearsal at
Warren Performing Arts Center,
Although we are not specifically mentioned in the article or the photo
caption, we are glad to be featured in the guide to our fine city in
such a serendipitous way.
Sat. June 21: Afterglow at Holy
Spirit gymnasium, 10:00 p.m.
Circle City Sound
T HE B EAT
Jerry E. Troxel, Editor
129 Yorkshire Blvd. E
Indianapolis, IN 46229
Sat. June 21: Performances at
Warren Performing Arts Center,
2:30 pm and 7:30 p.m.