By Sarah Atkinson
Four former BYU Singers are each $1,000 richer this week after winning the gold medal at a prestigious barbershop quartet competition in Nashville, Tennessee.
Their group, Reprise, took first place in the MBNA America Collegiate Barbershop Quartet Contest after scoring the highest score ever at the competition, according to Tim Workman, the group”s tenor.
“It was an incredible moment. It was absolutely a dream come true,” Workman said.
Reprise sang two songs called “What”ll I Do?” and “Dinah.”
Workman said they just tried to find songs that fit their voices well, but ended up finding out that “Dinah” is one of the most difficult arrangements to perform.
“So we actually tackled something way harder than we needed to, but it ended up working out,” Workman said.
Baritone Rex Kocherhans said he only started singing barbershop music in September after meeting the three others in BYU Singers.
Workman and the group”s bass, Tad Harris, won a bronze medal at the competition last year as members of a group called Trademark.
When Kocherhans and Joel Gillespie joined the group, they decided to choose another name.
“We wanted to pick a name that would work for religious things as well as appeal to a barbershop audience,” Kocherhans said.
They chose Reprise because it suggested a return to an original musical motif or phrase.
The competition was sponsored by the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America and the performers were judged in three categories – singing, music and presentation.
Reed Sampson, the public relations representative for the society, said Reprise was the westernmost group ever to win the competition.
Kocherhans said the winners were announced from fifth to first place.
“I don”t think I”ve ever been so nervous in my entire life. We were pretty nervous listening to them count off names,” he said.
Reprise scored 924 of 1,200 possible points.
“We got a standing ovation from the crowd. And we ran up on the front of the stage and grabbed the trophy and held it up in the air,” Workman said.