The Clipper City Chordsmen competed at the Land O’ Lakes District Contest on Saturday May 6 in Franklin, WI. The chorus not only were named Plateau A Champions in their Division, but they also earned the honor of competing in the District-wide competition in Rochester, MN in October, 2018.  A total of 8 barbershop choruses from as far away as Thunder Bay, Ontario made the trip to Franklin High School to compete.

According to Director Dave Buss, “Our score this year was a new ‘personal best’ for the chorus.” He went on to say, “I’m proud of how our chorus members continue to challenge themselves and push our performance to a new level.” 

Buss noted that “It is great to have new guys joining the chorus  who bring with them fresh perspectives and a new energy. Our conventions and contests are also great places to meet other barbershoppers and get inspiration for fresh ideas for our performances.“

In addition to the chorus competition, there were also two different quartet competitions as a part of the weekend of events. Local quartet Lake Effect placed 6th new quartet Private Stock placed 7th in the division contest while also being named Novice Quartet Champions. In addition, Lake Effect competed in the International Preliminary Finals and placed 6th in that contest as well. 

Baritone Andy Langer of Private Stock said “My goal in singing is primarily to have fun and to entertain our audience at our local performances.  Being named the Packerland Division Novice Quartet Champion is a great honor. It makes me proud to know that this is the caliber of performance we are providing to our hometown audience here in Manitowoc.”

Derek Luckow, Private Stock lead singer noted that “It is always a learning experience! I value the feedback from the judges most. Contests like these help us focus on improvement.“

Jim Rasmus, who sings bass with Lake Effect Quartet, said “Every time I’m on stage in front of the judges, it gets just a little easier. Especially knowing they want us to succeed.” Rasmus went on to say “It was a real privilege to be able to sing in the finals on Saturday night. To get judged on four songs instead of just two was very helpful and the insights the judges shared with us will make a difference in our singing as a quartet as we move forward! The simple things we can change to improve our sound just never cease to amaze me!“

The Clipper City Chordsmen is an all-male a cappella singing group with 40 members ages 24-87. The chapter is in its 73rd year and welcomes guests at rehearsals on Tuesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Generose Center on the Silver Lake College campus.

For more information about the Clipper City Chordsmen, you may visit their website at