So every year on April 11th, we celebrate Barbershop Quartet day, and although we’re a day behind on this unique holiday, we thought it was worth giving a little background and how you can hear one of these fun singing groups while visiting the Orlando area.
A Musical Marriage
Although most pictures of these groups depict white males, the unique sound produced by these types is deeply rooted in African American Culture, dating back to the 1800s and it was the marriage of both African American and Caucasian influences that created the style of music that is known as Barbershop Quartet.
The Barbershop Revival
While the appeal and rise in popularity of this particular style of music began to fade in the 1920s, the Society of Preservation and Encouragement founded Barbershop Quartet day to help preserve this musical art style. In the late 1930s the Barbershop revival moment started up, and The Society helped its popularity by holding a songfest at Rupert Hall. That first festival hosted 25 men who managed a friendly quartet singing competition. Now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society, it’s not just a group for men. Women also gather and join in, provoking nostalgia and memories of simpler times.
Barbershop at the Theme Parks
Walt Disney World features The Dapper Dans located in Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park. This lively barbershop quartet sings in harmony, tap dances in time and charms audiences with vaudeville humor. At Universal Studios Florida, the Jimmy Fallon Race Through New York ride did include a live performance by the Ragtime Gals barbershop quartet but has been discontinued until further notice due to safety restrictions.
Make Music Together?
Visiting Orlando and want to experience a trip down memory lane with this wistful sound? Check out the Orange Blossom Chorus. A choral team that has been around for more than 70 years. You can book them, or join them via zoom. Also listed are more Barbershop quartets that you can join, or check out their next show.