Pictured L to R with Mrs. Jana Samlowski are the following with brief Bios:
Tony Vollers from Madison, AL
- Employed as a Civil Service Legal Officer for the Redstone Arsenal Legal Team supporting MLRS Weapons System. Tony has his Juris Doctorate from University of Missouri. Tony is married to Ellen and they have 3 children. Tony loves to sing in all aspects to include choral ensemble, Decatur Community Chorus, and the Hunstville Metro Chorus (HMC). Tony will be the HMC Treasurer for 2009 and has held office as Member at Large. Tony arrived at Redstone Arsenal about 1996 when the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) moved the Army Aviation Command to the former Missile Command and combined to form what is now known as the Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM). Tony is an avid Auburn University Tiger fan (we don't hold that against him) mainly because his daughter goes there. Tony sings the baritone part and we enjoy working with him to produce our quartet music. Tony is remarkable in that he usually is the first person in the chorus and quartet to be off the music sheets and can remember the starting key of every song we sing (80+). When he is not with us and someone is filling in for him, we are almost always a bit lost without him. Tony also helps us key our parts on the piano or pitch pipe when we are having difficulty getting the right notes. He also makes us learning tapes and provides us with several music engagements.
AD Barksdale from Athens, AL - AD is employed by the US Army PEO Aviation supporting the Armed Scout Helicopter (ASH) Program Management Office. He is a retired Navy Reserve Commander. He holds a MS in Program Management from Florida Institute of Technology and is an Operations Research Analyst. Project Lead in PEO Aviation for Lean Six Sigma (LSS) as a Master Black Belt. AD is an avid ALABAMA Crimson Tide Fan (we forgive him) and loves to go watch Tide Football. He enjoys singing in various venues (Church, Public performances, etc) and is the Past President of the HMC Barbershop Chorus. AD has also held VP Chapter Development, and VP Music & Performance. AD Sings the Bass Part (although he thinks he is a lead) and enjoys performing for all people, especially paying customers (only joking). In his spare time, he is married to the former Sara Clem and they have 3 children (Phillip, Summer, and Allison). AD is a dual member with the Music City Barbershop Chorus (Dixie District Champions 2009 and ranked 18th in International Barbershop Competition 2009).
John Charlton from Madison, AL - John is a retired Army soldier currently employed as a Logistician for PEO Aviation Apache Tech Mgt Division. John is married to Sandi and they have 3 children. Haley is still with them excelling in school both academically and in soccer with Bob Jones High School. Haley's soccer commitments keep John extremely busy between assistant coaching and practices. Sometimes we get to borrow him from the soccer girls team to help us out with our quartet. John sings the Lead for the Rocketeers and is a 2nd generation barbershopper. His dad was a fantastic singer with a quartet called the ChipMates. Even though they didn't compete in Barbershop contests, they were very much into the entertainment and fun aspect of barbershopping and once I'm told they did compete on the stage at contest and did quite well (meaning they didn't come in last place). John has only been singing for about 4 years (he was told as a youth he couldn't sing by his church choir director). John's family wasn't aware of this but often wondered why he didn't sing. When John's mother passed away, John began spending more time with his Dad and took him to a barbershop convention and suddenly John got the desire to attempt to sing after 30 years. No doubt when his father passed away, John became inspired to carryon the tradition and we are so thankful he did. John means a lot to us and we value his friendship (even if he is an Ohio State Buckeye fan). John is a member of the HMC and currently holds the office of VP Chapter Development and will be the Chapter Secretary for the HMC for 2009. John is also a dual member of the Athens Southern Splendor Barbershop Chorus (top 10 district competition chorus) and handles Chapter Development for them also.
Jim Savage from Huntsville, AL - Jim works for Stanley Corp and is a SW program manager supporting the Software Engineering Directorate (SED) at Redstone Arsenal. Jim is married to Joyce and they have 2 children. Jim is very active in Church and devotes a lot of time to his family and activities. We are fortunate to have him as an addition to our quartet (even if he is a Tennessee Vol fan) and adds the final touch to our quartet sound. The funny thing about tenors is that everybody complains about them until they are absent and then everybody screams for them. The tenor completes what is known as the barbershop chord (1-3-5-7) with the 7th creating the unique sound. Once the chord is properly sung, this chord produces an overtone which rings a note above the fray producing a 5th mysterious note out of nowhere. This ringing also vibrates your inner ear with a ring even though not sung loudly. This is why a tenor is so important. Jim is an HMC Past President, Secretary, VP Music & Peformance, et al and will be the 2009 VP of Music & Performance.
Additional Information -
We live to experience the happiness that we can bring to others through our songs. There are times when we see a tear or a smile when we sing. When that happens, it is what we call "golden moments" which inspire us to do the very best that we can. Our goal is to promote goodwill and help preserve the barbershop singing art form with lightheartedness and joy. We try not to take ourselves too seriously and just enjoy everything for what it is.
In one of our acts, we introduce ourselves as a quartet and explain our roles in barbershop singing as thought we are members of the wild kingdom. We begin to describe our individual parts beginning with the lead singer and it goes something like this-
The Lead is like the lion - Head of the Pride, leads all others, proud and standing up above the rest
Now the Bass is like an elephant - boastful, brave, methodical and keeps the steady beat and rythym
The Tenor is like a cheetah - fast, light on their feet (and notes), sings way up there, but burns out quick
And last but not least is the Baritone who is like a jackel or hyenna - he gets the notes that are left over in the chord (Tony hates this comparison). However, his part completes what is known as the "Barbershop Chord" that when sung correctly in pitch the chord will produce overtones which harmonically produces a mysterious 5th note and is known in Barbershop terms of "ringing the chords".