Barbershopper of the Year
Introduction By Lyle Schwery - 2104 BOTY
I want to first thank all you for the honor of being your 2014 BOTY. I was and am truly humbled by the award. I also want to thank the BOTY Committee for their assistance in selecting this year’s recipient.
As you know, The Barbershopper of the Year is an award given to a Barbershopper who has been a member of the Pride of Iowa Chapter for a minimum of 3 years, has not received the award before, and who has made sustained contributions to the good of the chapter over several years. These contributions include but are not limited to:
- Serving in Leadership roles (music and/or administration),
- Participating in quartet activity,
- Attendance at chapter meetings, performances and contests,
- Recruiting and community outreach activities
- Having positive attitude,
- Cooperation on the risers,
- Financial support of the chapter by selling ads, tickets, participating in singing valentines.
There are lots and lots of ways that you and I can contribute, and this year’s candidate has done most of them.
Our candidate is a father of 2 and has been singing barbershop for over 25 years. He comes from a very musical family; in fact music and performing have been a big part of his life from early on. Even in elementary school, he showed that his “Heart” was really in performing as he played the part of “TIN MAN” in the Wizard of OZ.
I am told that music is always involved at every family function. This includes not only singing but playing piano and guitar. He is very active in both church choir and bell choir.
He attended college, majoring in (of all things) Music. He also - "studied" in Holland for a semester.
This fellow is also into sports, and is a former 4 sport athlete, qualifying for State track as a hurdler, and he played football in college for a year. – I’m also told he is an Iowa Hawkeye and Kansas City Chiefs fan, but his friends are trying to get him to go to counseling for that.
I have been told that he has a few questionable attributes; he loves a good whiskey, well hey, so do I. He also plays golf and likes to cook. Now I am not sure if the whiskey is connected with either of the other two.
Another habit is that while driving down the road he will sing and wave his arms around as if he were conducting the chorus, much to the annoyance of his passengers.
His wife says that “Music is inside of him, Any downtime is spent making some form of music, He is almost always singing a song in his head. You may be watching a movie or driving in the car, walking in the grocery store and he might just start directing with his hands the song he is singing in his head. Other times he may simply start belting it out, most of the time not realizing he is doing this. His step father sings well and took him along to chorus as a young boy and he was hooked. He hopes to pass this love on music on to his boys.”
Here is a partial list of his contributions to the Pride of Iowa:
- He served as show production chairman
- Sang in our annual Singing Valentines.
- He is an active quartet man, singing in several chapter quartets over the years and is currently a member of a CSD Top 10 Quartet.
- He served on the Mission/Vision Committee, helping craft that mission statement we all know by heart, “World Class Performances, Sustained by men with a Passion for singing.)
- Is an important part of our Youth In Harmony program
- Serves as Assistant Director
Here are a few things his fellow Barbershoppers say about him:
He is an inspiration to the chorus for his singing excellence, with a positive and healthy approach to teaching,
A catalyst for bringing the right kind of change to the POI,
His passion, enthusiasm and positive attitude are contagious.
If you have not guessed buy now who this fellow is, then help me introduce our 2015 Pride of Iowa Barbershopper of the Year by repeating after me: