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Excalibur to perform with Harbormasters on Saturday

The Harbormasters will step up to the microphones in St. Scholastica's Mitchell Hall on Saturday, Sept. 29, with a concert few will forget. The 22-member group will sing a number of songs from the barbershop quartet's repertoire before yielding t...

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The Harbormasters will step up to the microphones in St. Scholastica's Mitchell Hall on Saturday, Sept. 29, with a concert few will forget. The 22-member group will sing a number of songs from the barbershop quartet's repertoire before yielding the stage to two local quartets, The Uncalled Four and Lake Superior Sound, and one of the top barbershop quartets in the nation, Excalibur.
As usual, the fantastic voices will be blended with lots of humor.
"We try to make it interesting and try to slip in jokes or humor -- if we can think of any," said Stuart Leck, a baritone with Harbormasters who is also the show's chairman.
In this case, the concert's jokes and song selections will hark back to yesteryear.
In following this theme, the Harbormasters will sing eight songs in the first half of the show, interspersed with narrations of significant events in Twin Ports history that coincide with the publication dates of the songs themselves.
Not to give the whole thing away, but one of the songs the barbershop quartet will sing is "Lorabelle Lee," written by Ray Gilbert and Sid Miller in 1949. 1949 also happens to be the year of the biggest bear invasion in Duluth, Leck said. "One broke out the plate glass window in the coffee shop in the Hotel Duluth, which is now the Greysolon," he said. "That bear was stuffed and is now at Grandma's."
Another story is about the Dionne quintuplets who turned up for a ship christening in Superior in 1943 -- there are lots of other interesting stories from the past that coincide rather well with the publication of famous songs, he said.
This year, Shannon Cox and Steve Gaven, students at Duluth's East High School who both performed in the dance chorus of the Duluth Playhouse production of "Music Man," will be narrators for the concert. And Angela Terhark, who played Marian the Librarian in "Music Man," will sing a reprise of one of the songs from that show with the Harbormasters.
The second half of the program will feature the two local quartets and Excalibur. The Minneapolis-based Excalibur will perform "Music on the Cutting Edge from Three of the Nicest Guys in the World ... and a bass."
It should be an exciting concert. After all, singing wonderful songs a capella with a group of men who really know their music, and their voices, is "a wonderful, happy experience," Leck said. "It's euphoric."
And for those who want still more, the Harbormasters are hosting a post-concert cabaret in the basement of the hall after the show.
"Afterglow" will feature pop and popcorn and the singers from the concert, who will "perform all over again," he said.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Tickets for the post-concert cabaret are $4.
The public is invited to both events.

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