‘Stay Tuned’ for barbershop quartet

Stay Tuned (Mat Besch, Evan Nugent, Jon Swanson, Ethan Christiansen) performs at Harmony Explosion. They recieved a Gold Medal and First Place in the Freshman/Sophomore division.

Evan Kauffman, Reporter

The barbershop quartet group Stay Tuned placed first in the freshman/sophomore men’s division at Harmony Explosion on Feb. 20 at Olathe East and received a gold medal.

Stay Tuned, along with many others, competed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The group members include Ethan Christiansen, Evan Nugent, Matrim Besch, and Jonathan Swanson, freshmen.

Of the other seven groups from the school that competed, three groups got gold medals—Almost Famous, Rolls Voice, Fermata Nowhere—and one group got a silver medal, Five Confused Men.

The event, sponsored by the Heart of America Barbershop Chorus, has been held every year.

Harmony Explosion was scored based on sections or divisions with a group of judges that determine the points each group has earned.

After the first morning session, the judges eliminated about half of the quartet groups while the rest advanced to the afternoon rounds.

The finalists in each division had a chance to win bronze, silver or gold medals.

Stay Tuned showed the judges Freddie Mercury’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” leading them to get a gold medal in their division.

“Performing in front of the judges was kind of stressful,” Christiansen said. “They were very close to us and were staring.”

Jan Holthus, helped supervise practice during the seminar sessions.

In preparation for the event, the groups practiced on and off for several weeks during seminar, making sure to keep a very tight harmony and learning the song lyrics.

Elise Peterson, choir teacher, described barbershop quartet as a “very tough genre of music to do well.”