Hays barbershoppers ready for 45th show
By RANDY GONZALES
A charter member of the Hays High Plains Barbershop Chorus, Don Barber has seen the local men's singing group grow through the years.
When Jim Nugent moved to Hays in 1967 to become housing director at Fort Hays State University, he was instrumental in forming the local singing group, which started out with less than a dozen members.
The next year, a Hays chapter was formed of the Barbershop Harmony Society, and they had their first performance.
Barber remembers that first show had a crowd of approximately 250 people at Thomas More Prep-Marian.
The 45th annual show April 13 has grown into two performances at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center at Sheridan Hall on the FHSU campus.
"It just grew over time," Barber said. "We're up to 40 members in our chorus now."
Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Performances will be at 2 and 7 p.m.
"This is one of the best barbershop shows in the United States, I guarantee you," Barber said.
Also performing at the evening show will be a local youth singing group, Full Chord Press, comprised of sixth-graders through high-schoolers.
"They're just wonderful," Barber said. "You've got to hear them to believe it."
Barber, who has worked as a barber for approximately 50 years, has sung in the barbershop chorus for 45 years. He also has heard his share of barber jokes.
"All in good fun over the years," he said.
The local barbershop chorus doesn't just perform the one show a year.
"We do so many performances throughout the year," Barber said. "We sing for conventions, funerals, weddings, at churches. We love to sing for senior facilities.
"We don't get paid to do it. We do it because we love to sing."