Share This Page

Quartet to help ring in holidays in Aspinwall

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Submitted
The Sweatermen will perform in Aspinwall this weekend.

A quartet of local men will stroll the streets of Aspinwall Saturday, Nov. 16, singing tunes to boost spirits and broadcast their craft.

“People enjoy barbershop harmony but they're surprised that it's still popular,” said Buzz Miller, an Oakmont resident and member of The Sweatermen a cappella group.

“The older people are aware of it, the younger ones are surprised. They think we're a bunch of old fogies but they're pleasantly surprised when they hear it.”

The Sweatermen entertain as part of a larger, regional group called the Steel City Harmonizers, a chorus which earned the Plateua AA Championship under the national umbrella of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

The foursome will sing holiday tunes during the Holiday Celebrations in Aspinwall from 2 to 6 p.m.

The borough's Chamber of Commerce is hosting the festivities that include cookies, crafts and photos with Santa.

Miller, 71, started singing only about a dozen years ago despite having been familiar with barbershop harmony as a child “back when ‘The Music Man' became popular.”

“I always liked it but I wasn't aware there was any place you could do it,” he said.

Miller got involved with a church choir and was then invited by a friend to check out the Steel City Harmonizers.

“I was hooked right away,” Miller said.

The Barbershop Harmony Society dates back to 1938 when it was founded by Owen Cash in Tulsa, Okla. It has grown to include 25,000 members.

Roger McQuaid, born and raised in Aspinwall, serves as The Sweatermen's tenor. Singing since the 1970s, his passion was stoked after his wife joined a similar women's group, The Sweet Adelines.

“One of the things that I've been so pleased with as I get older is that I can keep singing,” McQuaid said, adding that he has performed with people of all ages. “I sang with a guy in Baltimore who was 95.”

He looks forward to the wandering show in Aspinwall as a way to educate the crowd about barbershop four-part harmony. Song selections range from 1940s hits to The Beatles to today's favorites. He said that typically, people will stop in their tracks to listen.

“The main thing people know about barbershop is that it's a quartet,” McQuaid said. “It's magnificent when you can hear the chords creating overtones and undertones.

“It's something nice about knowing you're giving away something that's making people happy.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.