In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
The story of the 1982 Int'l Quartet Champion Classic Collection is pretty unique in many respects. It all began in Hastings Nebraska in 1968. Original baritone, and long-time barbershop enthusiast, "Papa Joe" Heltne, and his son Terry invited two aspiring singers, one a natural tenor and the other an operatic vocal major from the Hastings College choir, to join them for an evening of singing. Before it was over, Larry Wilson a lead, and Curt Hutchison, a tenor, agreed that this foursome, originally called "Three Lads and a Dad," should stay together. They worked hard and rose in the ranks of the Central States District. After a short hiatus due to Larry's four year stint in the Navy, they changed their name to "Classic Collection" , and eventually found themselves the winners of the 1975 Central States District Quartet Championship.
In 1977 Classic Collection won another district contest and became the first quartet champion of the newly created Rocky Mountain District. By achieving the fledgling district's highest honor at its very first convention, they became the ONLY Society quartet ever to have captured the championship in TWO different districts. Harkening back to their early quartet days, this hardworking, conscientious quartet strived each year to hone their skills, and dramatically improve their scores. After 6 years on the International contest stage, (rising through the ranks that started at 32nd place in 1976) they had stuck with it long enough and worked hard enough to realize their dream. In 1982 they achieved the coveted gold medal and lifetime honor of International Quartet Champion.
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The Last Waltz
Review: Tenor Curt Hutchison, Lead Larry Wilson, Baritone George Davidson and booming Bass Terry Heltne won the SPEBSQSA Central States District Championship in 1975. Moving to Denver in 1977, they won that District as well. And in 1982 they won the International Quartet Championship by the largest winning margin (296 points) up to that point. These same four men have been singing together for 31 years, and Masterworks series brings us a 27-tune "best-of" recording of one of Barbershop's all time greatest groups. Classic Collection specialized in nostalgic, romantic heart-tuggers, and from "I've Seen My Baby," "When You Look In the Heart of a Rose," "In the Land Where Shamrocks Grow" and "Little Silver Lady" to "Oh, You Beautiful Doll," "Paper Doll," "Moonlight Becomes You," "My Blue Heaven," "Makin' Whoopee," and the final cut "Jezebel," every one of these cuts is sweet, harmonic and true. If you love Classic Barbershop, this wonderful, entertaining collection is for you-enjoy!
Review: The Classic Collection has honed its skills even more since they were named SPEBSQSA Quartet Gold medalists on a hot summer night in Pittsburgh in 1982. The Denver quartet has steadily expanded its repertoire by keeping alive the memories of outstanding past champions, as well as including new arrangements in "Signature," their 5th excellent album. They lend their own distinctive interpretations to such Suntones' (1961) standbys as the "West Side Story" and "Finian's Rainbow" medleys, "Jezebel" and "Sweet Georgia Brown;" the Four Renegades' (1965) "Makin' Whoopee," the Buffalo Bills' (1950) "Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long" and "Waitin' For The Evenin' Train." Also included in the 9 songs are some of their own winners, "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Hard Hearted Hannah." Rich harmonies and great material, sung with feeling and personality by four great champions. What could be better?