WELCOME


Welcome to the website for the Suncoast Statesmen, Charlotte County’s barbershop Chorus. Officially, we are the P006 Charlotte County (Florida) chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, but to our friends, both old and new, we are the Suncoast Statesmen, and are delighted that you stopped by for a visit. The website is divided into four major sections; About Us, General Information, Events and Members Only. We hope that you will take some time to browse through our website. After doing so, should you have specific questions or need additional material, you will find an email link on the Home Page or at the bottom of this section where you can go to get your questions answered.
This About Us section of this website provides the reader with a letter of welcome from our President, a biography of our Director, and a list or our current officers. In addition to our chorus, the Suncoast Statesmen features three registered local quartets. These are also featured in this section. The Suncoast Statesmen are particularly proud of the Neil Plum Scholarship Program, which is featured prominently in this section. We are also delighted to highlight our local Barbershopper of the Year and Hall of Fame awards that recognize outstanding achievement. Finally, we publish a periodic newsletter which can be accessed by clicking the Suncoast Statesmen Newsletter.

The General Information section provides you with a description of our music program, and information on how to join our chapter. It concludes with a few samples of timeless barbershop music.

The Events section provides you with a list of upcoming sing outs, concerts, and other chapter activities. Finally, the Members Only section provides active members with a roster of current members along with access to all current music, including both sheet music and learning tracks to make the learning task easier.

Again, welcome to the Suncoast Statesmen!

A CORDIAL WELCOME FROM OUR PRESIDENT 


Greetings!

Just a bit of background, I’ve been singing barbershop harmony for 17 years. Prior to singing barbershop, I was not aware that I was a good singer. Many of my fellow chorus members are surprised to learn, I don’t even read music! But with the help of other barbershoppers and several good directors, I’m now enjoying singing barbershop to the
fullest…and you can too! It’s not hard and you don’t need to be a great singer, you just need to be able to carry a tune and have a sense of pitch. Our director-Duane Fenn and others can work with you to develop your skills as a barbershop harmony singer. Although initially what interested me was the great close harmony sounds that we create, what really hooked me was the close relationships that are cultivated along the way with my fellow singers. I also learned that we can impact others around us through our unique style of music. I encourage you to come out on a Tuesday evening and give us a try, I think you will be glad you did!

It’s my pleasure to welcome you.

Curly (Jim Wilson)
Suncoast Statesmen President

Dr. Raymond R. Danley

Our New Director, Duane Fenn

 
Duane Fenn, a member of the Suncoast Statesmen since 2016, was appointed assistant director of our chorus in the fall of 2019. In this role, Duane led both our early fall and post-concert spring rehearsals in addition to assisting our then director, Ray Danley, as he joined us from Canada for the concert season itself. With the retirement of Ray at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 season, the Board is proud to announce that Duane has agreed to step up to the role of director. We are delighted to have Duane assume this important position.
Duane was raised in a musical family, and had four years of experience in the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. As a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society since 1993, Duane has earned seven Silver Medals and a Gold Medal with the New Tradition Chorus. A strong bass, he has also sung with two District Champion quartets, Lakeside Edition (2004) and Rush Street (2008). With these quartets he qualified as an International Quartet Finalist five times. Duane and his wife, Chris, who also sings, are both actively involved in music through their church and various community endeavours in the Fort Myers area.
“Working with Ray Danley has been a very enjoyable experience,” Duane says. “It’s wonderful to be teaching men to enjoy harmonizing, and be in fellowship with like- minded, caring men.” Needless to say, the men of the Suncoast Statesmen are incredibly happy to be benefitting from Duane’s talent and experience. With Duane as our director, the Suncoast Statesmen are in good hands!

Resume of Barbershop Activities and Awards at the International Level

  • Educated as a youngster in vocal music, trumpet and directing, became a professional musician after high school
  • Directed church choirs and praise teams for over 40 year while supporting his family in a computer technology and management career.
  • Joined the Society, then SPEBSQSA, in 1993 as a member of the Northbrook New Tradition Chorus, became Bass Section Leader in 1994, Assistant Director in 1996 after attending SPEBSQSA Directors College.
  • Won two Illinois District Quartet Championships and Competed on the International Quartet Stage with three quartets over 14 years.
  • Assistant Director for the Sarasota Chorus of the Keys from 2014 - 2019
  • Became Blended Worship Coordinator for Zion Lutheran in Fort Myers from 2015 to present.
  • Directed the Gulf Coast Harmonizers in Fort Myers, FL from 2015 - 2018
  • Involved with coaching the Suncoast Statesmen since 2016.  Doing my part to help men and audiences enjoy the four part harmony of Barbershop.

2022 Officers

Note:  The 2022 Officers listed below were voted in early this year.
Our board has been inactive during the Covid period.

President - Jim (Curly) Wilson

Additional Board Members/Responsibilities

Dave Weaver, SecretaryLarry Nofziger, VP Music
Paul Rothschild, TreasurerDuane Fenn, Director, VP Development, Webmaster
Jack Cronkwright, Member at LargeGlenn  Ferris, Member at Large
Vacant, VP Marketing

Quartets

Seems Like Old Times

Seems Like Old Times

tenor - Don Connor
lead - Paul Rothschild
baritone - Bernie Poehlman
bass - Jack Fornier





Border Crossing

Border Crossing

tenor - Don Connor
lead - Ken Sheppard
baritone - Jack Cronkwright
bass - "Curly" Wilson 

Due North

Due North

tenor - Ron Gino
lead - Ken Sheppard
baritone - Jack Cronkwright
bass - Duane Fenn

NEIL PLUM SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM


In 2012, the Suncoast Statesmen created the Neil Plum Scholarships to honor our long time Director, Mr. Neil Plum. These scholarships were designed to provide financial assistance to qualifying members of the Senior Class in either Charlotte High School or Port Charlotte High School who wish to continue their formal study of music and/or music education at the collegiate level.
A portion of all monies earned through either chorus or quartet performances is dedicated the scholarship fund, and substantial additional funding is provided by audiences who attend our performances and choose to donate to this worthy cause. The initial scholarship awards were for $500.00. In 2019, the individual award was raised to $600.00. Starting with the graduating class of 2020, the individual awards were raised to $1,000.00. Unfortunately, the COVID crisis forced the cancellation of the entire 2020-2022 season, and with it, each year's scholarship program. Hopefully, the Suncoast Statesmen, and the Neil Plum Scholarship Program, will return for the 2022-2023 season. We are pleased to be able to make this contribution to the youth of Charlotte County, and are proud of our recipients, who are listed below.  

SUNCOAST STATESMEN
NEIL PLUM SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

YEARCHARLOTTE HIGH SCHOOLPORT CHARLOTTE HIGH SCHOOL
2012
 Kayla DavisMichelle Neal
2013Elias QuintosJohn Cwikowski
Jonathon Rathburn
2014Sara HartChristina Hishmeh
2015Jordan Webecke Kayla Andresino
2016Dalton LumsfordRod Romulus
2017Grace Helgemo Johanna Villadarez
Jason Cooper
2018Taylor WikoffBessie Conner-Switzer
2019Zachary Catron
2020Jennifer Peters
Parker Williams

Barbershopper of the Year


Every year, the Suncoast Statesmen choose one of their members to receive the chapter’s prestigious Barbershopper of the Year award. The award recognizes the winner’s contributions to the chapter, contributions that go above and beyond simple membership. The award recipient is chosen by a three man committee made up of the chapter’s last three award winners. The award itself, a certificate mounted in/on a walnut plaque, is traditionally announced at the chapter’s annual installation dinner in January. Below is a list of award winners.
Congratulations to you all.

1990 Neil Plum

1991 None

1992 Bill Lucast

1993 None

1994 Paul Tiek

1995 Herb Liechty

1996 Dorsey Towner

1997 Herb Liechty

1998 New Newton

1999 None

2000 Alex Hughes

2001 Dick Wood

2002 Bud Gault

2003 Bud Gault

2004 Richard Cunningham

2005 Richard Lindsey

2006 Neil Plum

2007 Ken Pease

2008 Glenn Ferris

2009 Stu Pease                      

 


2010 Al Spencer

2011 Jack Cronkwright

2012 Rick Burns

2013 Gary Branch

2014 Chris Owens

2015 Glenn Ferris

2016 Richard Cunningham

2017 Jack Cronkwright

2018 Jack Fournier

2019 Ray Danley

Hall Of Fame


The Suncoast Statesmen Barbershop Hall of Fame was established by the action of the Suncoast Statesmen Board of Directors on January 8, 2012, as a means of bestowing recognition and honor to members for exceptional contributions that have enhanced the life blood of the Barbershop experience in Charlotte County, Florida.
Honorees are selected by majority vote of a three-man nominating committee selected by the current chapter President. Any living or deceased chapter member, with the exception of the current chapter President or member of the current nominating committee is eligible for nomination. There is no minimum or maximum limit on the number of inductees in any given year.
The award criteria used by the committee fall into general categories of music and administration/leadership. In music, judging, arranging, composing, chorus directing, coaching and singing are important. In administration/leadership. service as an officer, advisor and/or in planning, writing or editing are considered.

Below is a list of award winners. Congratulations to all our honorees.

Richard Lindsey

Lee Reser

Neil Plum

Bud Gault

Bill Lucast                                                            

Herb Liechty

Rick Burns

Frank Gracie

Ed Lewis

Gary Branch

Ray Danley

Rehearsals
Tuesdays @ 7:00 PM
Burnt Store Presbyterian Church                     
11330 Burnt Store Road
Punta Gorda, FL 33955                   
Contact 

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