At 2 p.m. on Feb. 12, Huntley High School’s performing arts center hosted the Youth in Harmony Regional Barbershop Contest.
The contest consisted of four divisions, men’s quartet, men’s ensemble, women’s quartet, and women’s ensemble. Each group was to present two barbershop-style songs for the judges. Each gender division had its own set of four judges, all seasoned barbershop performers, many of them with national distinction.
Students from Huntley, Barrington, and Grant High Schools participated in the competition. In all, 13 student groups performed.
After the groups performed and before the awards were announced, the audience was treated to a performance by two professional barbershop groups, the A-Men, also known as the Barbershop Harmony Society Quartet, and Roxy, and all-female group that was the 2011 Sweet Adelines Region 3 Quartet champions.
Of the five women’s quartets, one was representing Huntley High School, The “A” Factor, featuring Abby Gleason, Alex Morton, Ashley Knipp, and Abigail Eiermann. The group did not place in their division.
In the men’s quartet, two Huntley groups, The Sharp Set (featuring Zach Polentini, Christian Aldridge, Brody Burkart, and Chris O’Meara) and The Quartic Quartet (featuring Dylan Ladd, Tyler Darnell, Austin Wise, and Andrew Rewerts) placed second and third respectively, behind a group from Barrington.
O’Meara and Aldridge, both Huntley seniors, are experienced barbershop performers, participating in the regional competition together for the last three years. Polentini, also a senior joined the group last year, and Burkart, the newest addition to the quartet joined this year.
“It went smoothly,” said Aldridge. “We were hoping to get first place. That didn’t happen, but we did very well.”
Three women’s ensembles performed, all from Huntley, and they placed as follows: Melody Lane (a group made up of Huntley’s treble choir), 7th Avenue (Huntley’s Mastersingers), and Vocal Fusion.
There was only one men’s ensemble performance, also a Huntley group, which put on a crowd pleaser, singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “Lion Sleeps Tonight” with playful choreography. As the lone participants in the category, they took first.