Land o' Lakes
Division 1 Contest
Sat. May 18
June 30 - July 7
Toronto, ONT Canada
Greendale 75th Anniversary
Lake Park Friends Summerstage Milwaukee, WI
Kansas City MO, Bloomington IL, Greendale WI
Land o' Lakes District
MVE Christmas Show
Sat. Dec. 14
2:00pm & 7:30 pm
Greendale H.S. Auditorium
Thanks for Attending!
A portion of All Ticket Sales Benefits:
Safe Babies Healthy Families of Southeastern Wisconsin. Learn More HERE
‘Our show falls on Mother’s Day weekend, so this just all fits together perfectly.’ Midwest Vocal Express plans special spring concert to coincide with Mother’s Day.
Portion of proceeds from May 11 shows to benefit Waukesha-based Safe Babies Healthy Families
By Jody L. Mayers (
Special to TimeOut)
PEWAUKEE – What do Bing Crosby, Groucho Marx and Harry S. Truman have in common? At one time, they were all members of the Barbershop Harmony Society, said Gary Pratt, a member of the Midwest Vocal Express chorus.
The group will perform “A Night to Remember” on May 11 with a portion of proceeds going to Safe Babies Healthy Families, a Waukesha-based nonprofit organization, whose mission is to break the cycle of child abuse, neglect and poverty by empowering new parents with education, support and the resources necessary to create a healthy and positive environment for children in southeastern Wisconsin.
The event at Pewaukee High School will feature award-winning live a cappella music by the Midwest Vocal Express chorus and their special guests, 2012 Sweet Adeline champions Martini!, said Randy Will, a member of Midwest Vocal Express and the vice president of marketing.
“We are always tuned in to creating family-friendly entertainment, and we wanted to give props to all the moms this year,” Will said. “Our show falls on Mother’s Day weekend, so this just all fits together perfectly.”
Will said the group consists of four parts in barbershop a cappella harmony, lead, bass, tenor and baritone.
“Fans will experience live, close harmony, a cappella music – not a scripted TV ‘reality’ show,” Will said. “They’ll experience a gamut of emotions, listening to exciting arrangements of doo-wop, the Beatles, Billy Joel, stirring renditions of American spirituals and a rousing tribute to our members of the military.”
Since joining the group in 1999, Will said he’s experienced many special moments – too many to enumerate.
“I’d say the most rewarding aspect of our mission of storytelling through song is audiences telling us how their lives changed in some way through our performance – evoking memories, creating new ones, eliciting laughter – or perhaps even tears,” he said. “This is a really, really special group, like a family unto itself.”
Pratt, one of a dozen or so members from Waukesha County, said the Midwest Vocal Express’s goal is to change lives through song. Part of its stated mission statement is “A cappella entertainment excellence,” which is demonstrated with regular high ranking in international contests and well-attended Christmas and spring concerts, as well as invitations to sing the national anthem at the Brewers and Wave games, and to sing for the national heroes at the Honor Flights which leave from Milwaukee, he explained.
“With all the expenses of custom arrangements, sets, guest conductors and other expenses, fundraising is always a challenge for a group like this,” he said. “This is why we hope to pack the Pewaukee auditorium for both performances (2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) on May 11.”
Pratt said while Midwest Vocal Express is a part of the Barbershop Harmony Society, their musical portfolio extends well beyond the traditional barbershop genre.
“For our spring show, ‘A Night to Remember,’ we are performing arrangements of a Beatles tune, some doo-wop, a Billy Joel classic, and an absolutely incredible arrangement of ‘This is the Moment,’ which is guaranteed to raise goosebumps.”
Pratt said attracting new members is always a challenge and a goal. The group let the music directors of Waukesha County high schools know about this opportunity for their students to experience an outlet for their musical talents once they graduate from the high school program.
“We hope at least a few men who enjoy our performance on May 11 will consider being a part of our group,” he said. “We also hope some of the women in the audience will enjoy the performance by our guest quartet and consider joining the Sweet Adelines.”
B/3W A Cappella Tour is on!
Central Standard (Kansas City CSD), Sound of Illinois (Bloomington, ILL),
and the Midwest Vocal Express in a 3 venue tour.
In one of the coolest things we have ever done in our 25 year history,
we will be marking our anniversary by embarking on a
3-day, 3-city, 3-state, 3-chorus tour.
MVE - Land O'Lakes District Champs
Saturday, October 27, 2012, the Midwest Vocal Express won the Land O'Lakes District Chorus Competition in Rochester, MN. The MVE sang the haunting ballad Yesterday, I Heard the Rain, then shifted into an uptune 1930's street scene of gambling with dice and dancing shoe-shine guys in Shine. The chorus was asked to reprise its performance on the closing night after the top ten quartets competed with an added favorite, Mary Did You Know?
Gnomes in Portland!
Photo by Lorin May, Property of Barbershop Harmony Society
Midwest Vocal Express has been named one of the top choruses in the world and has competed internationally 12 times. The latest competition took place in Portland, OR with the Barbershop Harmony Society on Friday, July 6, 2012. Storytelling Through Song was in full bloom as teenagers enter into a beautiful garden filled with gnomes, flowers, mushrooms, pink flamingos, owls, and living, moving willow trees to steal a gnome. Outraged at the sense of loss, the now animated garden creatures go through stages of emotional loss in a medley of ballads called Requiem for a Gnome. The second song is a Gnome Travelogue describing the many lands the stolen gnome visits including France, Germany, Spain, and Hawaii. The traveling gnome goes everywhere, but eventually returns to his own better gnomes and gardens every day.
Those who attended the International Barbershop Society contest in Portland's Rose Garden Area leapt to their feet several timessay during the MVE's Gnome set. There was great audience participation as everyone who could stoodto do The Chicken Dance (with such great applause the curtain started to close before being alerted by the teenagers), great reaction to the opening of the set as our Great Horned Owl entered into the garden as the curtains opened, and shock and awe as the Willow Tree's limb struck down our friend the traveling gnome. Whoa! The set scored higher than at District contest and everyone from the Gnomes and garden inhabitants to the thieving Swedish teenagers were excited and pleased with a performance that was life changing for all involved .
Say “So Long” to Stress With Song
Music is often seen as a source of freedom, creativity, and inner strength. But did you know that your favorite song can actually improve your health and help curb stress? Research shows a good melody benefits more than just your ears.
Music promotes healing from the inside out. In fact, studies show that spinning your top 10 tunes can help you relax. It can even enhance your mood. Music has also been shown to:
- Reduce pain and anxiety
- Lower blood pressure
- Slow down heart and breathing rates
You know that music quiets the mind and body. But you may not know how to crank it up when you need it most. Try these tips to send stress packing:
- Listen to some calming music during a bad day at the office.
- Argument at home? Strap on your iPod and go for a quick jog.
- Overcome rush hour traffic; go through your CDs and pick out an old jam.
- Stressed out about housework? Flip through the radio stations and turn on some upbeat jazz or hip-hop music.
Next time you hear a good beat, remember that music isn’t just a treat for your ears. Let the rhythm help you say "so long" to stress.
Everyone Needs a Coach™. Visit Healthyroads.com today.
Midwest Vocal Express, the Greendale, WI Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, is a fraternity dedicated to providing its members, audiences and community with:
- A cappella entertainment excellence.
- Education in this unique American musical style.
- Altruistic service.
Kudos for the MVE!
"I just wanted ....to say thank you very much for a terrific performance at the Milwaukee Wave game...... To be honest, I had never heard of your group and was simply amazed! The National Anthem was beautiful and when you went into the Armed Forced tribute at halftime, all I can say is WOW!
It was so amazing that it brought tears to my eyes.
Again, thank you for a terrific performance. I have your website bookmarked now and will definitely be back to see you soon!"
Newest Midwest Vocal Express fan
"Please extend my congratulations to all members of your chapter for a wonderful afternoon experience (at your Christmas Show)... I found nothing but joy at being seated in the audience."