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Quartet in hunt for next October

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Leap of Faith makes it to district Barbershop Harmony Society finals

By KEVIN KOELLING

Managing Editor

LAFAYETTE – They didn’t qualify for international competition last weekend, but the Leap of Faith barbershop quartet did very well for being such a young group.

“We felt very pleased with our performance,” said member Randy Roccia, known to many locally for his music-teaching role in the Tell City-Troy Township School Corp. Many also know him as the choir director for the First United Methodist Church in Tell City.

Leap of Faith made their debut at Gary and Lynn Dauby’s Blue Heron Vineyards and Winery near Rocky Point about a year ago. 

The quartet’s members all have a long and colorful history singing barbershop and gospel music, according to their description at the Web site of the Cardinal District of the Barbershop Harmony Society. “They first started singing together in the summer of 2012,” their narrative reads. “After working on only a few songs, the spirit of music guided them to take a ‘Leap of Faith’ … and a quartet was born. Their debut performance was for the ‘Wine over Water’ concert series at Blue Heron Winery. Since that time they have performed for community events and churches all over Indiana and Kentucky. The quartet’s repertoire offers a variety for all audiences and occasions with a blend of traditional barbershop, contemporary songs, ‘and of course when the spirit moves us, a little gospel.’ ” 

Being such a new group, Roccia said Tuesday, “we were thrilled to make the finals the first time out.”

Semi-final district competition at the Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Quartet Preliminaries and District Chorus Convention was conducted Friday in Lafayette. For that contest, Leap of Faith performed “I Only Have Eyes For You” and a medley of “I Told Them All About You” and “You Dear.”

“It’s an old, old chestnut,” Roccia said of ‘I Told Them All About You.’ “It’s been around the Barbershop Society … quite a while. You’re talking the early 1900s.”

One of the groups that beat Leap of Faith at last weekend’s event, Forefront, placed seventh in international competition last year.

“They beat everybody,” Roccia said with a laugh.

The other group that earned the right to compete in the 2013 international competition in Toronto June 30 through July 7 was Instant Classic. Roccia recalled their placing in approximately the top 30 internationally last year. 

Leap of Faith’s musical selections for the finals were “I Don’t Know Why (I Just Do)” and “My Special Angel.”

Four quartets from the Cardinal District went to international competition last year, Roccia said. “This year we only qualified two.”

The Cardinal District encompasses “all of Indiana and all of Kentucky combined,” he explained, estimating approximately 40 quartets are registered. Two others have competition experience and placed ahead of them in a fall competition, but “we’re nipping at their heels our first time out,” Roccia said. “We’re excited to be in the hunt for next October.”

Between now and then, he said, “we take pay engagements. We’re available for bookings, be it social clubs, banquets, about any occasion.” The group has performed for churches all over Indiana and Kentucky “and we’ve done the gospel end of things as well as the barbershop end,” Roccia said. “We enjoy singing for both crowds. We’re pretty well received anywhere we go.”

Anyone who’d like to talk to Roccia can call him at (812) 319-1861 or send e-mail to rnrroccia@comcast.net.