Home' The Loxton News : December 17th 2014 Contents LOXTONNEWSCHRISTMASSUPPLEMENT2014
Music Student choir
Tony, Josh and Staff wish everyone a Merry
Christmas and wish to thank everyone for their
support in 2014
TONY 0429 145 378
JOSH 0439 664 858
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loxton lutheran school
School staff would
like to thank all
and friends for their
2014 and wish
everyone a Christmas
full of joy and peace
Jesus is the reason for the season!
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Phone 8584 7496
Singers a cut above the rest
by Emma Walter
Beginning as a quartet two
years ago, Loxton High
School’s Barbershop Boys
group has grown to include
more than 10 singers.
Founding members Toby Skewes, Joel
McDonough and the Casey brothers,
Andrew and Ryan, first started the
acapella group as a way of challenging
The fun singing sessions developed
into structured rehearsals under the
guidance of Loxton High School music
teacher Ann-Marie Wasley and soon
the group was performing at a number
of school functions and community
For Toby, he “never dreamed” that
the group would become so popular.
“In the beginning it was about
having fun. We’d sing for ourselves. I
remember our first song – Goodnight
Sweetheart, a classic barbershop
number,” he said.
“From there we grew – new songs,
“Everywhere we have performed,
we’ve had a great response. We’ll have
people of all different ages coming up
to tell us how much they loved it.
“It’s a bit surreal, but it gives you a
real buzz at the same time.”
Toby said a highlight of his time in the
group was attending the Barbershop
Big Day Out in Adelaide this year,
performing alongside choirs from
While there, the local singers
watched a performance by TLA,
Australia’s leading barbershop quartet.
The four performers were crowned
the 2013 Barbershop Harmony Australia
National Quartet Champions.
“It was inspiring to see what they
could do. The tips they gave us to
help develop our technique were
invaluable,” said Toby.
Recounting the beginnings of the
Barbershop Boys is a bittersweet
moment for Toby as he prepares to
leave for university in Adelaide next
“It feels strange. I’ll miss rehearsals
and performances – the camaraderie
between us all,” he said. “Each week
we’d work together as a team to create
the different parts of the one sound.
“We train hard and the pay-off is our
performance where your adrenaline is
pumping. It’s like playing a sport grand
final every time you perform.
“I’ll definitely be looking at what’s
on offer in Adelaide and what groups I
However, Toby said the future of the
Barbershop Boys was in safe hands.
“ The younger members are just as
passionate about singing as we are, so
I have no doubt they’ll forge ahead,”
“Visiting the primary school this year
and talking with the kids there, you can
see the interest in younger people too.
“Hopefully there is a lot of new
blood in the group in 2015 and the
Barbershop Boys keep going strong.”
Music teacher and group conductor
Ann-Marie Wasley said group numbers
peaked at 14 at the end of this year
before the three year 12 students
– Andrew Casey, Toby Skewes and Jason
Geddie – graduated and left.
She said this year had been a
confidence boost for the group, with
the students working with children at
Loxton Primary School, ‘flash mobbing’
in East Terrace and performing at a
number of events.
While the teenage boys’ changing
voice pitches presented challenges at
times, Mrs Wasley said by including
students from years 8 through to 12
there was a “full range” in the choir’s
Among the ‘new recruits’ for 2014
was Ben Waechter who signed up after
developing a love of singing in primary
The 14-year-old said he was keen to
remain in the Barbershop Boys for the
rest of his secondary schooling life.
“I love hearing each other and
making this wonderful sound together,
whether it’s a strict rehearsal or just
mucking around and making something
up,” he said.
“A highlight for this year was
probably performing at Andrew’s exam.
For the last performance, we took all
of the chairs out of the theatre and the
echo/reverberations created this epic
“ The pressure was on a bit, seeing as
it was for Andrew’s marks too.”
Ben said it would be “interesting” to
see the group’s dynamic shift in 2015,
following the departure of three senior
“ The past few rehearsals have felt a
bit weird because they aren’t there. It’s
a strange thing to get used to – they’ll
be missed definitely,” he added.
Conductor Ann-Marie Wasley (front) with the 2014 Barbershop Boys line-up (from left), back: Joel McDonough, Cobus Van Nierkerk, Josh Vivian, Ryan Casey, Andrew Casey,
Jason Geddie and Toby Skewes. Front: Jonah Hansen, Jacob Taylor, Janek Rutzen, Ben Waechter and Dom McInerney.
The next generation of Barbershop Boys to come through the ranks includes
(from left), back: Dom McInerney, 14, and Cobus Van Nierkerk, 17. Front:
Nathan Werner, 15, and Ben Waechter, 14.
It’s like playing a sport
grand final every time you
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