On December 7th, 2008, the Winnebagoland Barbershop Chorus presented its 8th Annual Community Sounds of Christmas Charity Concert to an audience of about one thousand people. The eight performing groups from Oshkosh included mixed choirs from South Park, Webster Stanley, and Carl Traeger middle schools, the North High School Madrigal Singers, Lourdes High School Concert Choir, West High School Chorale, the Y-Nots (a senior singing group), and the Winnebagoland Barbershop Chorus.
The highlight of the concert was the mass choir of about 400 voices, directed by Herb Berendsen (Director of Vocal Music at Oshkosh West High School and a past director of the Winnebagoland Barbershop Chorus), singing “Winter Wonderland,” “What Child is This,” and “Repeat the Sounding Joy.” As was the case with previous concerts, the rich, full sound of the mass choir was a crowd pleaser and a fitting way to end the concert.
In its eight years, the concert has played to about 9000 people and raised about $60,000 for local charities. The event has created a spirit of giving and good will within the community and beyond. A number of individuals and groups, outside of the local barbershop chapter, have donated time and services (e.g., printing, advertising, promotion and sale of tickets) and the auditorium has been provided rent-free.
While this special concert has truly become a team effort, it would have never happened without Dick Voake’s vision. He remains the glue and catalyst that makes it go.
See more photos of this event in the photo gallery.