"Steppin' Out with the Thoroughbred Chorus

By Jean Metcalfe and Janet Westenhoefer

It was SRO on December 8, 1990, when the seven-time International Champion Thoroughbred chorus presented "Steppin' Out" at Memorial Auditorium.

Opening with a powerful version of "Swanee," they riveted the audience to their seats with their wonderful songs performed in four-part harmony, complemented by some fancy steppin'.

From 1912's "Happy Feet" to the more recent "Jingle Bell Rock," the men's barbershop chorus served up an olio of show tunes, hymns, Christmas carols and patriotic anthems.

The audience was especially receptive to the stirring "This Is My Country," tagged with the appearance of an American flag.

The Over 40-Four quartet, complete with canes (not of the candy variety), amused and entertained with songs about Medicare and about wanting a girl just like the girl their son brought home last night.

Those four talented Harrington Brothers returned to the" barbershop scene for a grand performance at the Christmas show after a three-year sabbatical. Two of the brothers had continued to sing with the Second Edition quartet, winning the SPEBSQSA "nationals championship in 1989.

Bluegrass Student Union, another international championship quartet from the Thoroughbred chorus, was also a part of the show. Allen Hatton, Thoroughbred music director, sings tenor with the talented foursome that earned their gold medals in 1978 in Cincinnati. Hatton also directs the Derby City Chorus, purveyors of ladies barbershop.

The Christmas Story, using a script written by Barbara Polk and featuring Dick Carlton with the Thoroughbred Chorus, was narrated by Bluegrass Student Union's Dan Burgess. Thoroughbred children rounded out the cast, as the barbershoppers sang traditional carols, finishing with the chorus members taking to the aisles carrying candles and singing "Silent Night."

The Thoroughbred Chorus is looking and listening for a few good men. If you are interested in singing with them, call Richard Riedel at (502) 241-4779. Prospective members are welcome on Monday, January 14, 7:30 p.m., at Thoroughbred Hall, 10609 Watterson Trail, Jeffersontown, Ky.

The Thoroughbreds will be appearing in concert with the Derby City Sweet Adelines on March 2.