LiveWire, a group based in the Seattle area, won the 2010 Quartet Contest for Region 13 of Sweet Adelines International on Friday night in Anchorage. Alaskan quartets took second and third place.
The Pacific Northwest divisional championships are taking place in Anchorage this weekend. Nineteen quartets singing in traditional four-part "barbershop" harmony style vied for the prize, which includes the right to compete in the international competition scheduled for Seattle in October. They previously won in 2008 and 2009.
Each quartet presented two songs. The audience, which filled much of the main floor of Atwood Concert Hall, applauded each quartet as they came on stage, as they departed after their second number and yet again as they returned to their seats through the main auditorium doors. But only LiveWire received a significant standing ovation after their set, which included the sentimental "Yesterday's Roses" and the energetic "This Joint is Jumpin'."
A smaller portion of the crowd - mostly Anchorage fans - stood when Anchorage quartet Backbeat, the second place finisher, wound up their second song, "There, I've Said It Again." But there was a loud vocal commotion in my part of the hall when another Anchorage group, Monaco, was announced as the third place winner. Their set included a succulent "Irish Lullaby."
Pepper, from Spokane, took fourth with some less familiar fare, including a vampish "Lulu's Back in Town." Cadence, from Snohomish, received the fifth place medals a set that opened with a full-diaphragm rendition of "At Last."
While waiting for the judges to render their verdict, the assembled quartets sang "We Are Family" and "Tuxedo Junction." The winning foursome closed the night with "Almost Like Being in Love."
The great good mood bestowed by singing filled the hall, with rivals loudly cheering one another. When the very short former Anchorage Sweet Ads director Sue Hahn put the second place ribbons over the heads of Backbeat's singers, very tall bass Karen Leet, who now co-directs the group, went to one knee, as if receiving knighthood, to much laughter.
Chorus competition takes place starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, again in Atwood Hall, with eight choruses from Fairbanks, Anchorage and Washington State singing. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, the champions will perform. All events are open to the public. Tickets are $25.
There's more going on around town on Saturday. A program at UAA is noted below. In Palmer, singer Erin McKeown will perform at Vagabond Blues at 7:30 p.m.
The Alaska Jazz Workshop faculty quartet will perform starting at 7 p.m. at Organic Oasis, 2610 Spenard Road. Admission is $10, $5 for students. The quartet consists of John Damberg on vibes, Kerry Maule on trumpet, Mark Manners on guitar, Bob Andrews on bass and Scott Weller on drums. Hey! That's a FIVE-man quartet. You don't see those every day.
If dance is more you're thing, consider an evening of short films from the Dance on Camera Festival at Alaska Dance Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are a suggested $5 and reservations can be made through email@example.com.