The Annapolis area’s premiere men’s show chorus, The Sons of the Severn Barbershop Chorus, is coming home to stay. The chorus’s three-year search for a permanent home in downtown Annapolis came to a successful conclusion on June 6th, when the Board of Trustees of Trinity United Methodist Church voted to offer the chorus a new home in the church’s facilities at 1300 West Street. The chorus will hold its first rehearsal at Trinity UMC from 7pm to 10pm on Thursday, June 23rd, and will meet weekly thereafter during that same time slot. All area singers, or anyone who just wants to learn more about barbershop harmony, are welcome to attend.
“After decades of Tuesday night rehearsals, the move to Thursday will be a refreshing change for our members,” says chapter Vice President Gene Valendo. “This should be welcome news to the barbershop community, as well. The Sons of the Severn will be the only men’s barbershop chorus in the area to meet on Thursday, so harmony lovers throughout central Maryland will now have an additional opportunity to sing.”
The parent organization of The Sons of the Severn was originally established in 1949 as the Annapolis chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Although the name was changed to the Anne Arundel County chapter in 1958 to attract members from throughout the county, the chapter remained headquartered in Annapolis. In 1988, responding to members’ requests for a meeting location more central to the homes of the expanded membership, the chapter relocated to Glen Burnie. But when the Bowie chapter (Bowie Knights of Harmony) merged with the Anne Arundel chapter in 2008, the geographic distribution of the combined membership led the chorus to return to Annapolis. For the past three years, while searching for a permanent meeting location downtown, the chapter has held its weekly meetings and rehearsals in temporary accommodations at Annapolis High School.
Chapter President David Bankard, Sr. said, “We are very grateful for the warm and gracious welcome we have received from Reverend David Wentz, the trustees, and the members of Trinity UMC. We are very happy to be home in downtown Annapolis once again, and very excited about our new affiliation with Trinity UMC and the expanded opportunities for community involvement we anticipate as a result of that affiliation.”
“We’re looking forward to a long and productive relationship with Trinity UMC, as we continue to strive toward our goal of becoming a world-class choral ensemble,” added T.J. Barranger, the chorus’ Music Director.
The Sons of the Severn Barbershop Chorus is the performing chorus of the Anne Arundel County chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, and is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code. Information on joining the chapter, earning a spot in the performing chorus, or hiring the chorus can be found at www.singannapolis.com.