Programmer by day, barbershopper by night would be the way Stuart describes himself. His musical background included playing clarinet and flute in high school and performing at weddings and church services. He took a few music courses while at Carleton University studing math. He was introduced to barbershop by a fellow singer in a community theatre production of Jesus Christ Superstar. After singing for several years, he became the Assistant Director and is now the Director of Ottawa's Northern Stars Chorus. For the past ten years, he has studied directing for the week long Barbershop Harmony Society Director's College.
Barbershop is a "family affair" with his wife Diane singing with the Capital Chordettes and sons Michael and Chris into chord ringing as well. Chris sang with Toronto Northern Lights in 2013 when they won gold - he was a potato! Chris also directs Bytown Beat, a Sweet Adeline chorus in Ottawa.Two of Diane's sisters also sing barbershop, one in Canadian Showtime Chorus and one in Chapman Mills so the family have hands in all of the area choruses. (though two of them had to be creative to pass the physical!)
Music has always played a major part in my life-growth. Singing and directing in school and church choirs eventually brought me to the wonderful world of Barbershop which I have enjoyed for over 20 years.
As an Assistant Director, I am part of a vibrant Music Team. Along with others, I start our practices with effective warm-ups, dealing mostly with breathing exercises and help direct our chorus at rehearsals and performances.
Karen has been a Thousand Islander for over 20 years. Having started as a youngster with piano lessons and being in church and communiy choirs most of her life, she
felt barbershop singing would give her the challenge that she needed to develop her vocal talents. As a tenor in the Chorus and in the FourTune Seekers quartet, Karen recently
remarked to an inquirer, "Once I started, I was hooked on the harmony and the friendships that I have made in this wonderful hobby." Karen also shares the musical skills she has learned in
barbershop with her church choir and a community children's musical theatre program in Cardinal.