About

What is the NGC?

The Northern Gateway Chorus is the Barbershop chorus of the Stevens Point, WI chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, formerly the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Singing in America, Inc. (SPEBSQSA). We sing music in Barbershop style–four-part male harmony. The Society is an international organization, arranged in 16 districts across the U.S. and Canada. Locally, we are part of the Land O’Lakes district, consisting of chapters located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Upper Michigan, and parts of Canada.

Chorus members reside in the central Wisconsin area. Our activities include singing in organized quartets, tag singing, woodshedding, socializing and good fellowship, and performing in the larger chorus. We strive to promote better singing, both for the individual and the chorus as a whole.

What is Barbershop Harmony?

Barbershop is a four-part vocal music sung without any instrument accompaniment, and is truly an original American art form. The four voice parts are Lead (the melody), Tenor (harmony above the lead), Baritone (about the same range as lead but harmony), and Bass (lowest harmony). “Close Harmony” is what makes Barbershop unique. The notes sung by the four parts are very close together, unlike traditional choral music.

What Do I Have to Do to Join?

When you attend a chapter meeting, a music leader will listen to your singing range, and suggest you try singing one of the four voice parts best suited for you. After you have experienced the joy of close harmony, and are interested in membership, you may submit an application to join. All potential members are “musically approved” by our music leadership. To be able to perform with the chorus, you must demonstrate that you are proficient in the current repertoire.

Do I have to Read Music?

No. The chorus will provide you with music and learning materials for new songs so that you may learn your notes and words without having to read music.

When and for Whom does the Chorus Perform?

Several different types of performances are slated throughout the year. In October, we produce our annual show, nicknamed the Harvest of Harmony. We sometimes take this show on the road and perform it at several different communities in Wisconsin throughout the year. We also compete at division and district conventions and contests during the year. In between, you will find the chorus busy singing for local meetings, conventions, and charitable organizations.

History

The Stevens Point chapter was chartered in 1953 with help and mentoring from the Wisconsin Rapids chapter.

The chorus is a regular contender at the Packerland Division and Land O’ Lakes District competitions, bringing home a number of AA championships over the years. We also took the blue ribbon for the national championship at the 2004 Buckeye Invitational in the small chorus division.

Over the years, our chapter quartets have achieved significant competitive recognition. In 1975, RAGTIME was named LOL District Novice Quartet Champions, and in 1980, COMMAND PERFORMANCE was named LOL District Quartet Champions. Both quartets went on to compete at various International competitions.

Here are some of the people who have played a part in the chapter over the years.

Awards

Barbershopper Of The Year (BOTY) is a prestigious activity award for the member who has participated the most in the joy that is barbershop singing.

BOTY Award Winners

2016 — Bob Prosch
2015 — Tim Kunze
2014 — Bill Jenkins
2013 — Joe Larson
2012 — John Lay
2011 — Max Kopchinski
2010 — Jack Edgerton
2009 — George Pesanka
2008 — Jim Kruziki
2007 — Norm Barnard
2006 — Charles “Bill” Goerman
2005 — John White
2004 — Ed Christopherson
2003 — David Quick
2002 — Joe Larson
2001 — Gene Moss
2000 — David Peplinski
1999 — Jack Edgerton
1998 — John Lay
1997 — Max Kopchinski
1996 — Pat Rydberg
1995 — Vince Heig
1994 — Jim Kruziki
1993 — Gary Thiel
1992 — Steve Lane
1991 — Ted Mitchell
1990 — Jack Wysocki
1989 — Mike Peplinski, Sr.
1988 — Jack Edgerton
1987 — Dick Manthe
1986 — Roy Palmer
1985 — LaVerne Synes
1984 — Dave Page and Verne Holmes
1983 — Max Kopchinski
1982 — Dan Coble
1981 — Harold Chapman
1980 — Paul Krueger and Carman Lane
1979 — Mike Hickey
1978 — Don Varney
1977 — Kenn Firkus
1976 — Bob Dillon
1975 — Dick Boutelle
1974 — Gene Moss
1973 — Pete Kabat
1972 — David Peplinski
1971 — Pete Leahy
1970 — Dennis Siewert
1969 — Pat Cassidy
1968 — Jack Wysocki
1967 — Ted Mitchell
1966 — Dave Varney
1965 — Keith Jahnke
1964 — Kip Hanson and Jack Edgerton
1963 — John Zinda and Eric Konkol

The President’s Award recognizes one of the members who have contributed the most to the running of the chapter:

2016 — Fred Krause
2015 — Bob Prosch
2014 — Bill Jenkins
2013 — Ed Christopherson
2012 — John Lay
2011 — Bob Prosch
2010 — Bill Jenkins
2009 — John Gusmer
2008 — Jack Edgerton
2007 — John White
2006 — John White
2005 — George Pesanka
2004 — Steve Gonske
2003 — George Pesanka
2002 — Ed Christopherson
2001 — Dan Schobert
2000 — David Quick
1999 — Pete Leahy
1998 — Dan Schobert

The Director’s Award recognizes one of the members who have helped make the sound of the chorus something to be proud of:

2016 — Dale Kluetz
2015 — David Peplinski
2014 — Tim Kunze
2013 — Ed Christopherson
2012 — Joe Larson
2010 — Vince Heig
2009 — Nate Peplinski
2008 — Jim Kruziki
2007 — Bob Prosch
2006 — Dan Duwe
2005 — All the Men of the Chorus
2004 — John White
2003 — Andy Ruplinger
2002 — Norm Barnard
2001 — Ed Christopherson
2000 — Fred Krause
1999 — Pat Rydberg
1998 — Marshall Lysne