Johnstown Independent

Johnstown's Tolle, Barbershop Chorus to perform at Midland

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

One of Johnstown's own looks forward to performing at the Midland Theatre in Newark.

"Come out and enjoy the show," said Land of Legend Barbershop Chorus member Bruce Tolle, who's also the commander of Johnstown American Legion Post 254. The show, scheduled for 7 p.m. April 20, called "Bubba's Moonshine Mayhem (and other miscellaneous mischief)," will pay homage to television shows like Hee Haw and The Andy Griffith Show.

"We've had a good time just thinking about what we're going to perform," Tolle said.

The Newark-based barbershop chorus isn't Tolle's only vocal experience.

"I do sing whenever I get the chance, but not as a regular performance anywhere," the 70-year-old Tolle said. "I sing some bluegrass when some of my friends are jamming and I can be there. I like singing country and western, and I have led some singing at the town square on occasion.

"Last summer, I had the honor of singing the Star-Spangled Banner to open the ceremony when I was awarded my black belt in karate."

A chorus member invited Tolle to join.

"My doctor invited me to come and see if I liked barbershop singing," he said. "I came, and have been there ever since, for eight years. Before that I had not sung in any choir, chorus or anything."

The barbershop chorus has roughly 30 members from all over Licking County and has been led by director Paula Rink since 2008. The chorus also features several individual quartets, including Legend-Airy 4, Spare Change, Combined Sound and a double quartet called V8.

The chorus is a nonprofit group that has provided scholarships for boys to attend Harmony Camp at Ohio State University, and the group has donated money to the Salvation Army and Food Pantry Network of Licking County, among other local organizations.

The April 20 show will feature special guests the Licking Valley High School choir and award-winning quartet Test of Time. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.

Tolle said seniors wouldn't have to prove they are old enough for the discount; they just need to say they are seniors.

"People usually won't say they are seniors when they're not," he said.

Children ages 11 and younger will be admitted free with an accompanying adult. Tickets are available at the Midland Theatre door, Martin Music Center in Newark, the Village Barber in Granville or by calling 740-334-7275.

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