Learning His Part: A Lesson in Barbershop Harmony
Singing has been a part of Clay Monson’s life from an early age. He participated in high school choral, vocal jazz, and a cappella groups, then as a student at the University of Rochester, became a member of the Men’s Glee Club. This finally provided the camaraderie and fellowship that he didn’t know he had been seeking. After graduating in 2013, while working as an English teacher in a Rochester school, he realized that sense of camaraderie and music was missing. Fortunately for him, he’d remembered listening to OC Times, and went searching for the local barbershop chapter.
Clay is a dual member of the veteran Rochester Chapter and the new Liverpool Chapter, chartered in 2017. He has served as the VP of Programing with the Rochester Chapter for three years but recently took a leave of absence as his life became much busier. He is also VP of Chapter Development with the Liverpool Chapter. He realizes how much barbershop singing contributes to the quality of his life, and being a dual member is a huge part of his life.
“I feel that since I have a singing and performing background, I want to give something back to my brothers,” said Clay. In enrolling in Harmony University, he’ll be taking classes to improve his musicianship but over half his classes are aimed at community involvement, chapter health, program development, and future growth. His intention is to hone his skills to spread the gift of music and help bridge the gap between older and younger singers. In requesting financial support from the Seneca Land District, he hopes to be able to return from Harmony University and share his expanded knowledge with other chapters and District leadership.
Clay attended his first International Convention in Nashville two years ago, and now feels that he can’t ever miss another one! The experience of meeting people, singing together, and sharing the fellowship were so impactful that he followed that experience with visiting several other chapters around the country. The Society vision of Everyone in Harmony is surely present in Clay.
The Liverpool Chapter is now preparing for their first appearance on the International stage in July 2018 in Orlando, a little over a year after receiving their charter in April 2017! The Southerntiersmen are pleased to support Clay in his attendance at Harmony University and salute his commitment to the Society’s vision of Everyone in Harmony! We trust the Liverpool Chapter’s experience In Orlando will be far more than they ever imagined!
Tom Landon, Binghamton Chapter