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The sweet sounds of barbershop singing

The rich, four-part a cappella harmonies of barbershop singing will fill the air when the Southern Oregon Sound chapter of Sweet Adelines International presents its annual chorus show.

This year's program is "The Adventure of Red Riding Hood," (or "Skip the Anchovies"). Audiences will have two opportunities to see the show — 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Southern Oregon University Department of Theatre Arts building, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

The show will feature Southern Oregon Sound, which received the third-place medal in a competition of 11 small choruses at the 2009 Mount 'n' Shore regional competition.

Also on the program will be the quartet, Razzcals, the 2008 international third-place medalist; the Rogue Valley Harmonizers, which placed fourth in the 2009 Evergreen District Division IV regional competition; Martha's Vineyard quartet; and Unpredictable Quartet. Following the theme of Red Riding Hood, the show asks the musical questions: will the heroine withstand the lure of "those eyes?" Is there a "happily ever after" for the Wolf? And what do anchovies have to do with it?

Barbershop singing is part of the continuum of American music, sharing roots with gospel and jazz. In that spirit, Southern Oregon Sound will perform popular songs from the 1930s and 1940s like "How Many Hearts Have You Broken?" and "Taking a Chance on Love," as well as contemporary four-part harmony compositions.

The featured quartet, Razzcals, has placed in the top 10 in international competition for the past nine years. All four members of "Razzcals" joined Sweet Adelines as teenagers. Tenor Dana Gibbs is a member of Harborlites chorus in Newport Beach, Calif., which placed first in international competition in 2005. Lead Martha Segura directs the Southern Oregon Sound chorus and travels nationwide to coach choruses and quartets. Her daughter, Mary, received the first-place award in 2005 as the bass in the Young Women in Harmony quartet "Underage." Baritone Cheri Jump sang with her mother in a very popular double quartet in the Sacramento area.

The Rogue Valley Harmonizers are under the direction of Kenne Horton.

Two Southern Oregon University theatre students will perform in the show. Juliana Slemenda acted in the Southern Oregon University production of "Love's Labor's Lost" and Winston Bischof appeared in "Zoo Story."

The annual show benefits the Southern Oregon Sound and a portion of the proceeds goes to support local high school vocal music departments.

Sweet Adelines International is the world's largest singing organization for women, with 25,000 members worldwide.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children 12 and younger. Tickets are available at the Grocery Outlet, Medford; at Larry's Music, Grants Pass; and at the door.

Call 773-9618.

The Razzcals will be the featured quartet on the Southern Oregon Sound Sweet Adelines International annual show on Saturday, Aug. 29. - Photo by Lilley Photography