Guys Night of Singing at WHS

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Guys Night of Singing at WHS

Guys Night of Singing performance

Guys Night of Singing performance

Photo by Abby Jarecki

Guys Night of Singing performance

Photo by Abby Jarecki

Photo by Abby Jarecki

Guys Night of Singing performance

Abby Jarecki and Alex Weinberg

On Oct. 25, the melodic notes of tenors, baritones and basses filled WHS at the 2019 Guys Night of Singing, led by WHS Choir Director John Brzozowski and Franklin Elementary Music Teacher and WHS Men’s Chorus Director Brent Geyer.

The event strives to “promote a positive association with men’s singing” and bring the male singing community together, according to Brzozowski. In a society where some believe that singing in choir is a “girl’s thing,” Brzozowski and Geyer aim to show guys that “[singing] is well accepted in the high school” and the world beyond.

Freshman chorus member Sean Henderson sees the value of GNOS: “There’s not a lot of guys participating in the shows or taking chorus as a class, so this is a way to get more guys interested,” said Henderson. “[Choir] isn’t all boring music from the 17th century; we do fun stuff.”

The inspiration originated from two separate experiences, one from each music director. Brzozowski recalls a Nashville music educators conference where they were talking about recruiting male students for choir programs through events like GNOS.

A few years later, Geyer saw this concept come to life, but not at WHS. “[Brzozowski and I] had done a couple of trips to Rowan University because they have a men’s festival down there. So we said, ‘Why can’t we just bring that back to Westfield, instead of driving an hour and a half down there for the same experience?’ It really helped build up our [choir] program,” said Geyer.

With their brothers, dads and uncles invited to sing with them, young men got the chance to feel empowered. About 80 males of various ages participated in Friday’s event, a big step up from the 55 that attended last year’s pilot GNOS.

The night began with choir warm-ups. After they split into their vocal sections, Brzozowski and Geyer led the singing of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles.

Matt Delforte, father of WHS junior and choir member Jake Delforte, hadn’t sung since elementary school, but he “had a blast” singing at GNOS, even though “[he didn’t] know what [he was] doing.”

Next, the a cappella barbershop quartet The GrooveBarbers led the group in “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Sean Altman, Steve Keyes, Charlie Evett and father of two WHS alumni Kevin Weist made up the quartet.

After pizza, cornhole and more rehearsing, the group of 80 males were ready to perform. Families of the performers came to support the singers, as well as listen to The GrooveBarbers 30-minute set. “Singing is a lifelong pursuit,” Weist said during their set. “You can even do it when you’re as old as we are.”

Geyer closed with some final thoughts. “Looking up there and seeing the gentlemen smiling and having a good time, it just made the entire night.”