Kaskaskia Trail Chorus shines during annual show

Pictured is the full group of Kaskaskia Trail Chorus members on Saturday night, front row, from left, Mark Heise, Don Doerr, Dwight Asselmeier, Mark Juelfs, Marvin Hoffmann, Mike Moulds and Ray Bense; second row: Marvin Henry, Dean Harbison, Derek Heise, Barry Hoffmann, Glen Lutz and George Zeigler; back row: Jim Heise, Rich Steingrubey, Barrie Scott, Howard Schmidt and Cliff Bense. For more photos from the event, click here. (Alan Dooley photo)

The Kaskaskia Trail Chorus, under the direction of Mark Heise, brought a full house to thundering applause numerous times during its 47th Annual Show at Turner Hall in Columbia.

The audience ran the gamut from octogenarians to single-digit-age youngsters. The barbershop harmony group was joined by two visiting quartets to take listeners on a musical journey from wintery Midwest to sun-drenched California.

Cued by master of ceremonies Rev. Patrick Poole, the group – clothed in a variety of foul weather gear – opened with “California Dreamin’” as it took everyone on a vicarious plane trip to the west coast.

First National Bank of Waterloo vice president Glen Lutz, who doubles as Kaskaskia Trail Chorus treasurer, sings on Saturday night. (Alan Dooley photos)

Upon imaginary arrival in California, they shed their winter garb, and showing their California colors, burst into a series of songs taking the audience up and down the coast. It was sunglasses on, sunglasses off, and near the end of the opening series, funny hats came out as the songsters sang of going to Disneyland.

Two barbershop quartets next took the stage as the Kaskaskia Trailers took a breather.

Bases Loaded, from St. Peters, Mo., demonstrated the close harmony that characterizes the barbershop singing genre. Another quartet, Premium Blendfrom Overland Park, Kan., continued to show how four skilled singers can build powerful harmonies that belie their small numbers.

The Kaskaskia Trail Chorus, which performs numerous shows in the area, used the show to solicit new members, even speaking to the ladies present, telling them the chorus is a way to get their husbands out of the house for one evening a week.

It’s not known yet where the Kaskaskia Trail Chorus will take their audience for next year’s show – but it promises to be another spectacular musical journey.

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Alan Dooley

Alan is a photojournalist -- he both shoots pictures and writes for the R-T. A 31-year Navy vet, he has lived worldwide, but with his wife Sherry, calls a rambling house south of Waterloo home. Alan counts astronomy as a hobby and is fascinated by just about everything scientific.
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