Harmony Fusion Chorus at Lynnewood United Methodist at 2 p.m. today

'Brown Bag Radio Hour' offer afternoon of popular songs

Ever have a song stuck in your head that you can't get rid of? And it's a song you're embarrassed to even admit liking?

Harmony Fusion Chorus, the local women's a cappella barbershop chorus, will be belting out these catchy tunes at 2 p.m. today at its "Brown Bag Radio Hour Show" at Lynnewood United Methodist Church, 4444 Black Ave.

"There is an old joke that if you loved a record album of schmaltzy music performed by singers such as Barry Manilow, John Denver, Abba, the Carpenters or Englebert Humperdink, you had to hide it in a brown bag for fear of total humiliation," explained chorus director Barbara Vander Putten. "Yet the songs were the kind you just can't not sing or listen to over and over again."

"Songs like 'It's My Party,' 'Coconut' and 'At the Hop' are not considered Grammy-worthy, but we can't help sing them every time they come on the radio," she added.

Vander Putten put together a collection of "brown bag" songs for a performance in the form of a variety show for next weekend, being presented at the Lynnewood Methodist Church on Black Avenue.

The setting will be similar to the old radio studio shows of the 1940s, which evolved into the television variety shows of the '50s through the '80s, with audiences watching performers dance and sing the top songs of the day. The show's format mimics the famous DJ Casey Kasem's top 40 weekend countdown as the chorus performs songs representing each decade.

To help create the variety show theme, songs from each decade will also feature Pleasanton's Hart Middle School Swing Dancers, the Milpitas High School Midnight Jazz Vocal Ensemble, folk singer duo Kincheloe and Atkinson, as well as other a cappella quartets and ensembles.

"A main element of our mission statement is to reach out to the community," Vander Putten said. "For me, that is especially true with respect to young performers. Each year we try to include at least one youth group in our shows."

After the performance, Harmony Fusion Chorus will host a reception for all guests in the church fellowship hall.

The chorus performs all songs a cappella -- without musical accompaniment -- which has gained popularity in recent years.

"A cappella singing is so hot right now," Vander Putten said. "With the success of the 'Pitch Perfect' films, the television show 'The Sing Off' -- the springboard for the incredibly popular group Pentatonix -- and the evolving perception of barbershop singing as a cool thing to do, a cappella singing is experiencing a true renaissance."

"There is really nothing as satisfying as bringing four-part harmony together to create 'voices without bodies' or overtones that naturally occur with the unique chord structure," she added. "It's that harmony sound that audiences love."

Harmony Fusion Chorus is a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performances.

Variety show

What: "Brown Bag Radio Hour Show"

Who: Harmony Fusion Chorus and others

When: 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7

Where: Lynnewood United Methodist Church, 4444 Black Ave.

Tickets: $22 (seniors $18) in advance; $25 ($20) at the door. For tickets, call 846-1857 or visit

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Like this comment
Posted by Gary Harmon
a resident of Dublin
on Nov 7, 2015 at 8:14 am

Great show ladies! Harmony Fusion Chorus is the culmination of those wonderful high school a cappella groups like the Ladies In Red in the musical Perfect Harmony Web Link

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