YOUTH IN HARMONY
The Stockton Portsmen Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society is sponsoring “Youth In Harmony – An A-Capella Celebration highlighting choruses and quartets from Lincoln, Linden, Manteca, One Charter high schools and San Joaquin Delta College. It will be held in the San Joaquin Delta College Atherton Auditorium at 7 p.m.
At the Barbershop Harmony Society for Western District Novice Quartet contest in Ripon on March 6. The Riveters from Lincoln High took first place in the high school class and Manteca High’s boys quartet Sharply Flat was a close second.
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And it’s even less uncommon to see Rohovit and the other three members of Sharply Flat – Patrick Ho, Josh Nkwocha, and Lawrence Turner – taking time in the quad to make sure they have the harmonies they’ve been practicing just right.
Such is life for a barbershop quartet.
The four Manteca High students, who have been performing together as a group since January, are gearing up to showcase their talent at “Youth in Harmony – An A-Cappella Celebration” on Thursday, April 14. It’ll be another chance for the group, which has already performed together in competitions, to fine tune their skills before a crowd.
“We performed together about three weeks ago at a competition in Santa Clara, and it was our first big deal together and there was a lot of pressure because we wanted to do really well,” Rohovit said. “That was one of our breaking out moments where I thought to myself, ‘This could really happen.’ We were meeting other people who are just like us and enjoy singing, and it was a lot of fun.
“That’s what we’re hoping this upcoming event will be like.”
When it comes to the roles within the group, Rohovit serves as the tenor while Ho takes the lead, Nkwocha carries the baritone notes, and Turner the deep notes as the bass.
And around the Manteca High campus, the four have become relatively well known.
Besides their impromptu sessions in the halls or in the quad, the collective group banded together to perform singing telegrams for Valentine’s Day. It is something that raised their profile on campus and helped expose them beyond the realm of choir students who already knew the vocal talents of the four members.
While as a group they’re relatively young, Rohovit and Ho have been performing together for more than two years. The young tenor has a passion for the style that carries far beyond just an afterschool hobby.
“There’s a group called the OC Times that Patrick and Lawrence and I discovered back in November, and we really liked the way that they performed,” Rohovit said. “I got a chance to meet one of the members at a convention that I went to, and he told me that we had the potential to be really good one day and to keep practicing so we could move on. That was really cool to hear from somebody we looked up to.”
It’s the combination of the throwback style, the give-and-take nature of the approach, and the collective harmony of the singers performing in unison that initially drew Rohovit to the musical genre of Barbershop vocal harmony – which originated back in the 1930s and has continued as an a cappella style ever since.
“I like the fact that it’s an old-style and not a lot of people know very much about it,” Rohovit said. “It’s a really fan way of singing with your really good friends, and it gets you really close as you practice and get the feel for each other.”
The Stockton event – sponsored by the Stockton Portsmen of the Barbershop Harmony Society – will take place in the Atherton Auditorium at San Joaquin Delta College on Thursday, April 14. The show begins at 7 p.m.