Progressive Singers

Yah der hey! Recently the singers and some friends got together for a progressive party to kick off our Spring 2013 season. Last year, a progressively awesome party with an Oscars theme culminated with a contest and the awarding of a treasured plastic gold Oscar. This year’s theme: states of the union.

First stop - Michigan, hosted by Michigander Mike Rowan. Mike provided attendees with such Michigan delicacies as Dominos Pizza, Kellogg’s cereal, and Jiffy corn bread. This was a very informative stop, as we learned (thanks to smartphone trivia) that Michigan is one of the country’s largest cherry producers, and their state animal is the painted turtle. Mike always had us convinced that it was a wolverine. Sorry, mom, I’m not referring to Hugh Jackman. Down girl! 

Even a geography lesson was included.

We didn’t have to travel far physically or geographically for our second stop, Wisconsin. In addition to cheese, brats, and beer, Sarah Koch supplied every partygoer with a Wisconsin-themed t-shirt or hat from her extensive collection. From one of the shirts, we learned that Yah der hay is “Scansin” for agreement, similar to “ya know hey,” and it became a rallying cry for the evening. I am still staggered by vastness of the Wisconsin-inspired wardrobe, though Sarah wisely made sure that no one absconded from “Scansin” with her gear. 

Get to know your local sayings.

Stop the third was Pennsylvania, or more accurately, Western PA, hosted by Kristen Kampetis. Kristen plied us with black and yellow cupcakes, pierogis, homemade tiropitas from her Greek family’s recipe, blow pops, and jello shots. While none of these things are indigenous to Pennsylvania, Kristen and Yuengling are—as well as the Terrible Towel that adorned living room. To be fair, they do speak to the cultural fabric of the Pittsburgh area, underscored by Wiz Khalifa’s beats.

Representing PA in audio form

The penultimate stop captured the glamour of Hollywood. Benjamin Wallace, California native, rolled out the red carpet for us and sported movie-themed decorations. As his excellent California playlist provided the soundtrack, we imbibed sparkling wine, grasshoppers, and margaritas, which further confused the issue of how we did not know that Machu Picchu, Jaipur, and Petra are all in California…

“Yeah, it’s just east of San Diego.”

The last stop was an eerie setting of Rhode Island at the domicile of musical director and spiritual guru, Ben Olinsky. Ben paid homage both to the nefarious Mafia presence in his home “state” and the more heartwarming television show Family Guy (set in the fictional Quahog, RI). I use quotes because I’m still not convinced that a parcel of land that small can presume to be anything grander than a county. In true Singers’ style, we closed down the evening with some calisthenics (aka dance party) and thea cappella equivalent of Kumbaya - piano-accompanied versions of “Don’t Stop Believin’” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” [Sneak preview: the Singers will be performing “Hallelujah,” famously covered by John Cale, Jeff Buckley, and Rufus Wainwright, this upcoming season, thanks to a wonderful arrangement by tenor James Athey.]

An 18SS progressive party always ends with regression…to this.

Thanks to all of the hosts for a lovely evening. As a t-shirt once told me, “I laughed so hard the tears ran down my leg.” 

This post was written by our local facial hair artist and funny t-shirt specialist, tenor Dave Parker.