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Chicago Celebrates Barbershop Harmony Week

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Members of the Chicago Metro Chorus performed at City Hall on April 10, 2013, as part of Barbershop Harmony Week in Chicago. (Credit: Regine Schlesinger/WBBM)

Members of the Chicago Metro Chorus performed at City Hall on April 10, 2013, as part of Barbershop Harmony Week in Chicago. (Credit: Regine Schlesinger/WBBM)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The city is celebrating barbershop quartets.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports this is Barbershop Harmony Week, as proclaimed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in observance of the Barbershop Harmony Society’s 75th anniversary.

Members of the Chicago Metro Chorus gave a command performance at City Hall.

Eighty-one-year-old Phil Schwimmer’s been singing for 55 years.

“From a very early age, I just loved that barbershop harmony sound, and I was hooked,” he said.
 
At 53, John Q. Morris is the youngster of the quartet.

“It does tend to be something that gravitates toward older gentlemen because those are the songs that they knew and grew up with,” he said.

Morris said the group makes harmonizing seem much more effortless than it really is.

“If you’re not dead on the note, it sounds completely horrible, like a cat screaming or something. But, it’s what drives us to sing. It’s what makes the goosebumps pop up when you hit a chord like that,” he said.
 
The harmony ends when they sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” When they get to the line, “root root root for the home team,” one member chirps Cubs, another sings White Sox.

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