On February 28, 2014, James Hugh "Jim" Massey took his final bow. Always the entertainer, even when Parkinson's took his physical voice, Jim still managed to deliver a punch line with a charming gesture and an endearing smile.
He was born in McKinney, TX in 1933 to Jimmy Massey and Grace Hood. His father died when he was 10 months old but in 1943, Grace married Arlin Sharp. Together they raised him to be "anything he wanted". Jim became the first of his family to attend and graduate from college.
In the summer of 1954, Jim met the love of his life, Marcia Alice Brewer. They shared a love of singing and entertaining and after a four month courtship, they married in November. They had four children, six grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and chorus line of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
After leaving the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant, Jim earned his degree in music from North Texas State University in Denton in 1957. He later completed both his masters and doctorial work in music at OCU and OU.
A composer and arranger of more than 100 songs, Jim's arrangements are still in demand. He was the musical director of the Oklahoma City Barbershop Chapter "OK Chorale" for 34 years and the musical director of the Oklahoma City Sweet Adeline Chapter for 47 years.
Jim was the founding member of the well-known barbershop quartet, the OK-4. The OK-4 came to prominent attention after they appeared in Oklahoma City's Lyric Theater production of "The Music Man" in 1966. They maintained an impressive schedule of engagements at parties, conventions and Barbershop shows across the country for decades. In 1968 and 1970, the OK-4 toured Southeast Asia entertaining US troops with the USO on the Pacific Hospital Circuit. Although principally a comedy act, the Ok-4 was also a force in Barbershop Society competition. The Ok-4 placed sixth in International Competition in 1973.
His additional Lyric Theater work included the leading roles of Lancelot in Camelot and Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside in Mame. While teaching at Oscar Rose College, he directed several productions and played Harold Hill in the Music Man.
Throughout his career, Jim coached countless quartets and choruses across the globe. Recognized for his talent, Jim was an integral part of the Barbershop Society's reorganization of contest judging categories. He wrote the current Presentation category for the Barbershop Society, and in 2007 Jim received the Barbershop Society's Life Time Achievement Award.
Besides his love of music, Jim always treasured a good laugh and a lively discussion. To all who knew him, Jim was a generous and kind man who always put his family first and he inspired Scott, Lin, Marla and Doug with his love for music.
As the stage lights dim and the curtains close, we applaud a wonderful man who became what he wanted and helped brighten the world with his song.
Per Jim's wishes there will be no wake or funeral. Instead, he wanted a party. At 2pm on April 5th at the Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City, that's what we shall do. Bring your love of harmony and when those chords ring, you might just hear Jim singing with you.
Presented by Larry Kellogg and Neal Siegal, Co-Chairmen of the North Carolina Harmony Brigade
The dream of Society motivational speaker, Chuck Greene, to provide dynamic opportunities to young, ambitious singers became a reality this January at the 22nd North Carolina Harmony Brigade, an organization he helped to create.
Through the generosity of NCHB members and supporters, eight motivated, talented young men received the first "Chuck Greene NCHB Memorial Youth Scholarships" ever awarded.
More importantly, the eight scholarship recipients (whose ages ranged from 18 to 28) enjoyed a weekend of nearly nonstop quartet singing in countless quartets they were spontaneously a part of, formed out of the other 120+ experienced quartet singers in attendance.
Scholarship Recipients: Justin Mauney, Andrew Notaro, Chris Kirkland, Matt Gorman, Justin Donegan, Tyler Carpenter, Stephen Barrie, Jeffrey Arians
The recipients came to Pinehurst NC from as far away as up-state New York and Iowa! Some had done little or no quartetting before; rather, they were experienced with collegiate choirs, modern a cappella groups, jazz ensembles and musical theater. Nevertheless, they were ready, willing and very able to sing their part on all 12 championship songs they were given months earlier. As a result, they were enthusiastically embraced by all with whom they sang. And clearly they had a great time.
Among the Scholarship men with quartet experiences, Jeff Arians of the Mason City Iowa Chapter shared, "when the door opened and I heard that barbershop harmony, I knew I was home. I was instantly greeted with smiles and by people who wanted to sing with me right away. The whole weekend had a barbershop convention feel to it, the late night singing, mixing up in every quartet combination you can think off, singing everything you know, and all in all just feeling at home."
Stephen Barrie of the Mohawk Valley, NY Chapter added, "I had an absolutely amazing weekend at the North Carolina Harmony Brigade!!!!! Non-stop barbershop singing from the minute I got there. I met some amazing people and they were a true symbol of what barbershop is all about. It's a brotherhood!" Matt Gorman, a member of the Heart of Carolina (Durham) Chapter effused, "It had to be one of the best barbershop experiences I've ever had before in my life. Hanging around with 120 like-minded "eXtreme Quartetters" is any barbershop nerds dream come true." Additionally, Andrew Notaro, from the Friends Of Harmony Chapter, NY, commented, "Ringing chords drive new guys to barbershop, and this gave me that "fix." I really enjoyed the nature of the lightheartedness during the quartet competition and that guys were open to singing with anyone."
On the other hand Justin Mauney, a collegiate ensemble singer from North Carolina State University, who had no substantive quartet experience prior to the Brigade, proved to be every bit the equal among the scholarship recipients as a man with whom everyone wanted to sing. Justin grew up in a barbershop family but even with barbershop in his blood, he said, "I was extremely nervous in the beginning and I was amazed how fast I was welcomed by not only the people checking me in but also all the other gentlemen who wanted me to sing with them. Overall, it was seriously one of the best weekends I've ever had."
Presentation of Proclamation at NCHB Show in Pinehurst, NC (L to R) Larry Kellogg – Co-Chairman; Bev Greene; Neal Siegal – Co-Chairman; Charlie Rose – NCHB Founder; Curtis Kriner – NCHB Membership Chairman and Larry Triplett – NCHB Music Chairman
The scholarships offer men an expense-paid, retreat-like, weekend of fun and the opportunity to expand their quartetting skills, broaden their repertory and increase their network of fellow quartet singers and new friends. Without scholarships some otherwise very qualified applicants face financial limits. Chris Kirkland, a member of the Research Triangle Park Chapter in Raleigh, NC, said, "As a grad student, money is definitely an object and it was highly doubtful that I would have been able to attend if not for the generosity of everyone involved with this Scholarship program." Chris and rest of the first-time recipients made every minute count by adding, "Over the two and half days I was in Pinehurst, I only slept 6 hours (4 of those on the Friday night) so that leaves around 50-60 hours of non-stop quartet singing of which I took full advantage!"
Matt Gorman was the official "last man standing" after Saturday night's show, contest and pizza party. Matt called it quits at 6:15 AM . . . Sunday morning (basically because everyone else had gone to bed)! Matt summed his experience up by saying, "When the weekend was over, for the first time in my life, I felt like I had my fill of barbershop. I was finally able to quench my thirst for tags and songs and those iconic 7th chords."
So, how can you (our BHS family) build on Chuck's dream?
Let your young associates know about the Brigade and our scholarships. If you or someone you know is between the ages of 18 and 27, avidly sings and has strong musical experiences (even if it's not with Barbershop), contact us or write to:
The benefits of having more young quartetters experiencing a Brigade weekend will go a long way towards securing a brighter, stronger future for quartet singing, your chapter and our Society.
Jeff Arians summed it up by saying, "This was the best barbershop weekend I have had to this day. I am already looking forward to next year's brigade and will be trying to save the pennies to make it out there again!"
Through youth scholarship programs like the Chuck Greene NCHB Memorial Youth Scholarship, our friend Chuck Greene will sing on, inspiring countless young singers for generations to come.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 February 2014 16:22 )
The second World Championship for mixed quartets "World Mixed" in Dortmund, Germany, has closed its registration.
Last Updated ( Friday, 17 January 2014 18:27 )
For further information please go to www.barbershop.de
The Order of Appearance at the Semifinals
Semifinals will be held on Friday, March 7, 13.00h-15.45h,
Finals on Sunday, March 9 from 11.00h - 12.20h at the Konzerthaus Dortmund, Germany
This is the order of appearance for the Semifinals:
1. 4ONCE (NL)
2. Jigsaw (UK)
3. TranceMission (NL)
4. Pastor Hannes Kör (Sw)
5. Klangküsse (Ger)
6. Double Date (USA)
7. Patchwork (UK)
8. TONIKUM (Ger)
9. Double Trouble (UK)
10. Singcerity (USA)
11. Tarzan & Jane (Sw)
12. Hopplösa Fåglar (Sw)
JERRY ORLOFF (1/16/31 - 10/25/13)
Jerry Orloff, an internationally known barbershop quartet singer and teacher, passed away at his home in Aptos on October 25 after a lengthy struggle with vascular dementia. He was 82. Jerry, who shared his passion for four-part harmony with his wife, Kim, was inducted into the International Barbershop Society's Hall of Fame in 2011. As a member of the Mixed Metafour Quartet (a unique coed mixed barbershop quartet with his wife plus Bev Wesley of Aptos and several other men who sang the lead part between 1984 and 2012), Jerry performed and shared his love of singing throughout the world, with appearances in New Zealand, Australia, England, Sweden, Wales and Russia as well as across the United States. In 2001 Jerry and Kim created an additional quartet with another couple, Brian and Holly Beck, of Dallas, Texas. This quartet, Hao Yun Qui, was specifically formed to teach the barbershop style in China; they made several trips there from 2001 to 2003, teaching at universities and senior organizations in Northern China. The quartet taught standard American songs in English as well as several native Chinese folk songs which they had arranged in barbershop style and learned in the original Mandarin.
Jerry was also a member of the local Santa Cruz Chapter of SPEBSQSA, also known as the Gold Standard Chorus. He participated in many of their shows (both in the chorus and with his quartet), as well as singing "Valengrams" every February, and Christmas carols in shopping centers every December.
While music was the center of his life, Jerry also was a devoted father of four who shared his love for the outdoors and fishing with sons Dan, Randy, Mike and Barry. From the time they could walk he went with them on fishing and houseboat trips... a family tradition which continued throughout his lifetime. He was no stranger in the kitchen, making fantastic chicken matza-ball soup and sharing with all his sons his unique talent for pickling cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes and whole watermellons. Jerry's other passions included photography and anything Minnesota - often torn between his love of the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers. He was an avid hockey fan, and was a play-by-play radio announcer for the St. Paul Saints in the early 1960's. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Jerry moved with his family to Daly City, CA in 1963. There he owned and operated a paint and art supply store with his parents Solly and Florence Orloff for nearly 20 years. He moved to Aptos in 1983, and soon thereafter retired from sales in order to work full-time sharing the joy of singing harmony.
Jerry's family will join many local barbershop singers for a musical celebration of his life at 2pm on November 23 at Felton Community Hall, 6191 Hwy 9, Felton CA. Besides Kim, his wife of 30 years, Jerry is survived by his first wife Terry Martin of Santa Clara, CA; his sons and their wives, Dan and Sherené Orloff of San Jose, CA; Mike and Julie Orloff of Greenville, CA; Randy Orloff of Alameda, CA; his grandsons Lieutenant Benjaman Orloff and his wife JoEllen Orloff of Ridgecrest, CA; Nate Orloff, of Los Angeles, CA; Travis Orloff, of San Jose, CA; his great granddaughter, Ella Rose Orloff; and his brother and sister-in-law, Mickey and Sue Orloff of Foster City, CA. He is also survived by members of his barbershop quartet family: Mixed Metafour/Mixed Bag leads Paul Eastman, Elmer Fairbanks, Ed Tyler, Steve Sammonds, Steve Bishop, and Bill McCain, baritone Kim Orloff, and tenors Bev Wesley and Jackie Bishop. Jerry's harmonies also continue on in the lives of many barbershop singers throughout the world. If you would like to light a candle and share your condolences with his family, please visit www.pacificgardenschapel.com
Remembrances in his name may be made to Young Men in Harmony/Harmony Foundation International (www.harmonyfoundation.org
) at 110 7th Ave North, Suite 200, Nashville, TN 37203.