CADILLAC — On Saturday at 7 p.m. there will be a concert featuring one of the top barbershop choruses in the world - and the director is from Cadillac. In addition, there will be performances with award-winning barbershop quartets at the Cadillac High School Auditorium.
And if you're thinking straw hats and striped vests - stop.
Barbershop has modernized.
"This is a whole realm of music that when I first saw it, I didn't know it existed," said Cadillac's Jamie Carey, who has been choral directing and vocal coaching for 30 years. "Years ago I agreed to go to a barbershop convention and I discovered a whole realm of acapella music."
After that Carey, who has a degree in vocal music education, chartered the Cadillac Interlakes Chorus in 1985 has been involved ever since, even through job transfers, winning awards all along the way.
In 2013 he was asked to revive The Great Lakes Chorus of the Grand Rapids Chapter of Barbershop Singers.
"That spring we won the Michigan state contest and for five years we have gone to the international finals every year competing against choruses from around the world," Carey said. "The last time we went we placed 17th in the world competing against cities like Dallas and Chicago."
In 2017 the chorus represented Michigan at the international finals in Las Vegas and achieved the highest score ever recorded in the state's history.
The concert will also feature the 2018 Michigan Champion Barbershop Quartet REMIX of Kalamazoo and the 2018 Novice Champions "Cole's Minors" featuring Cole Carey, a sophomore at Cadillac High School.
In addition, the new winners of the Michigan novice quartet contest will perform after competing Saturday in Cadillac from 1 to 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church. The public is invited to observe the contest with no admission.
"I think people will be surprised by the modernization of barbershop," said Carey. "The music they will be hearing is not traditional old-style barbershop music."
Concert will benefit the Cadillac Schools Choir programs
Saturday's ticket sales will help purchase uniforms for the Cadillac Junior High choir.
"It's incredibly generous of the chorus to come here and help us out because our kids need uniforms," said Kaitlyn Adams, choir director. "When the high school chorale got uniforms in February, they walked on stage taller and it makes a world of difference in confidence. Now we want to provide that for all of our students so families don't have to get special clothing for their kids."
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students available at the door, at any Java location or at Brinks Framing.
Saturday's Michigan novice quartet contest
The public is also welcome to observe a state-wide quartet contest from 1 to 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Cadillac. Admission is free.