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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 four 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!


Welcome to the Suncoast Statesmen, the male chorus of Punta Gorda, Florida’s chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. You are embarking on a journey that may be one of the greatest experiences in your life. You will experience sounds and emotions you never knew existed; and have the chance to touch other people’s lives in profound ways through choral music. We all have one thing in common...we love to sing! We also love to have fun, something that we try to do as much as possible. Take time to meet and get to know the guys. You will learn to sing with a chorus director that is highly respected within the Barbershop Harmony Society and a member of their Hall of Fame. Believe me; he will bring out the best singing capabilities you have. On behalf of the members of the Suncoast Statesmen chapter and the Board of Directors, we look forward to getting to know you, 
developing your musical skills and challenging you to fully utilize your talents in a hobby that we all love.
Welcome again,
John Williams, President 

Dr. Raymond R. Danley

Dr. Raymond R. Danley, Director

We are very fortunate to have Dr. Ray Danley as our chorus leader and vocal coach. Ray holds an Associate Degree in vocal performance from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He is well respected in the Barbershop Harmony Society and in 2018 was inducted into their Hall of Fame. Ray has 5 medals in International Chorus Competition including 2 gold medals. Ray helped create the Society’s first Chorus Directors Manual in 1973 and was on the faculty of Harmony University, teaching chorus directors, from 1976-1982. He is legendary in the Ontario District as a top-quality director who generously gives of his time to develop singers, directors and teachers. In the winter he and his wife, Vicki, live in Port Charlotte and in the summer they reside in Simco, Ontario, Canada. 

Resume of Barbershop Activities and Awards at the International Level

  • Joined the Society, then SPEBSQSA, in 1957
  • Worked with a select team organized by the Director of Musical Activities, Bob Johnson, to write the Society’s first Chorus Director’s Manual in 1973
  • Semifinalist in the International Quartet Competition for 7 consecutive years (1973-1979) singing baritone in “The Canadian Heritage”
  • Faculty of Harmony College teaching chorus directors 1976-1982
  • Helped develop, plan and teach at Director’s College 1983-1985
  • Key Note Address at the Director’s College 1984
  • Directed the “Dukes of Harmony” to 5 medals in international chorus competition including 2 gold medals - 1977 in Philadelphia, 1980 in Salt Lake City
  • Certified CDWI (Chorus Director Workshop Intensive) facilitator in 2010
  • Joe Liles Lifetime Achievement Award presented live at the International Convention in Kansas City in 2011
  • Selected as one of the top chorus directors across the society to contribute to “Visions of Excellence: A Dialog with the Finest Directors from the Barbershop Harmony Society” compiled by Joe Cerutti
  • Cruise Chorus Director for “Harmony at Sea 2015” organized by Cindy Hansen, with The Musical Island Boys and Tim Waurick  

2020 Officers

John Williams, President

Gary (Twig) Branch, Immediate Past President, Show Chairman

Additional Board Members/Responsibilities

Richard Burns, Assistant TreasurerDave Weaver, Secretary
Jack Cronkwright, Executive VPRay Danley, Director, VP Development
Paul Rothschild, TreasurerStuart Pease, VP Music
Jerry Anderson, Member at Large

Brad Burt, VP Marketing
John Walton, Member at Large

Gary Branch, Show Chairman

Richard Cunningham, Member at Large,  Webmaster


Border X Sing

Border X Sing

tenor - Don Connor
lead - Ernie Chappell
baritone - Jack Cronkwright
bass - "Curly" Wilson

Seems Like Old Times

Seems Like Old Times

tenor - Stuart Pease
lead - Frank Gracie
baritone - Bernie Poelman
bass - Jack Fournier

Just for Now

Just For Now

tenor - Bruce Patterson
lead - Ernie Chappell
Baritone - Ray Danley
Bass - Brial Boag

Due North

Due North

tenor - Dave Alway
lead - Ken Sheppard
baritone - Jack Cronkwright
bass - Brian Boag


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 graduting class of 2020, the individual awards have been raised to $1,000.00. 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.  


 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

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

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