Who Are We?
The Frederick Catoctones (pronounced cah-tock-tones) Barbershop Chorus was founded in 1967 in Frederick, Maryland as a chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. (Also known as the Barbershop Harmony Society) Our membership comes from all walks of life and continues to grow, attracting men who enjoy our hobby and want to sing well. We are an 'Audition for Admission' Men's Singing Organization that sings A Cappella.
What Do We Sing?
Our repertoire is A Cappella music primarily in the Barbershop Style. It is an original American form of music using four part close harmony singing.
While the Society works to preserve the Barbershop style of music, we realize today's younger singers don't always relate to "Sweet Adeline" and "Coney Island Baby". Therefore, we also sing arrangements of more recent popular songs done by such groups as the Mills Brothers, Frank Sinatra, the Drifters, the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Billy Joel..
How Do We Measure Up?
In 1994 and 1995 we were the Intermediate Chorus Champions and in 1996 the Small Chorus Champions of the Mason Dixon Division. The district was restructured in 1997 and we started the new millennium as the Small Chorus Champions in the Southern Division of the Mid- Atlantic District for the year 2000. We won the 2001 District Small Chorus Championship for the Mid-Atlantic District for the first time since our chapter was founded.
Our accomplishments earned us our first invitation to compete in the National Small Chorus Competition in Columbus Ohio. We were the 2nd Place Intermediate Chorus in M-AD and the Most Improved Chorus in the Southern Division of M-AD in 2002. That's right, we've grown back into an Intermediate size chapter once again! We won the Intermediate Chorus Champion Crown again for the first time since 1995 in May 2003. We won the District Intermediate Champion Crown for the first time in the chapter's history in October 2004 at Wildwood N.J.
In May 2005 we won the Intermediate Chorus Championship of the Southern Division of M-AD in Reston Virginia. We have also put on an annual show for the community to enjoy every year since 1967. Some are funny and some are inspiring but all are a real great time!
Why Do We Sing?
We sing because it's fun! Singing well is a reward like no other. Sharing our hobby in a way that really grabs audiences is a joy that is difficult to describe. You have to experience it yourself to understand the feeling. Some chapters focus only on competition. We focus on performing and entertaining at a level that enables us to compare favorably with any chapter of our size. We still believe that having fun is very important but competition is used to help us stay focused and maintain a forward motion. We measure our musical growth and expanding abilities as a chorus by competing in Divisional and District Competitions and the pleasure we give our fans during our performances in and around the area.
How Do We Learn To Perform At This Level?
You don't have to be a professional singer, just be willing to take the voice you have and work toward making it a great part of any chord. You don't have to be able to read music. We will teach you your part using learning CDs, sectional rehearsals, and individual coaching to make you a confident singer with the chorus. Many of our members are surprised how much they learn about music as they become better singers! You may even want to sing in a quartet as your skills develop. Once you're ready you'll audition to be a member of the performing chorus. We attend schools that the Society provides and receive coaching as a chorus in Salisbury MD at Salisbury State. These schools are of such quality that they actually earn College credit. The Music Team also brings in the best from coaches from around the Society and the Barbershop Community to develop our singing and entertainer skills right here at home. Coaches for the international champion Vocal Majority Chorus in Dallas and the second place Northern Lights Chorus in Toronto like Cindy Hansen and the International Medalist Baritone from BSQ, Rick Taylor come here to coach us too! We are committed to making our members the best entertainers they can possibly be! Our requirements to qualify for all of our performances and contests helps us to give our audiences the best music they can find anywhere!
Who Do We Sing For?
We sing for civic, business, and private events, churches, and nursing homes. The chorus or one of our quartets will meet the needs of almost any event. We also provide Singing Valentines every year and sponsor a Men’s Community Christmas Chorus that sings throughout the county during the holiday season. It is a great way to acquaint men with Barbershop Harmony. In 2007 we had the privilege to sing for the Baltimore Orioles and received a rousing ovation for our Barbershop arrangement of the National Anthem. The chorus sings in Baker Park for many festivals, and sings at the Frederick Key's games several times during baseball season. The chorus and quartets have entertained in restaurants, area malls, in other businesses and in homes all over Frederick County. The best part is that we are getting better every year!
Can You Sing With Us?
You Bet! We would love to have you come visit us! We think you’ll want to stay! If you enjoy singing, are willing to work to improve your natural abilities and sing with like-minded men then this is the hobby for you! If you desire to share the camaraderie that singing with other folks who love barbershop brings there is a place for you on our risers. You will never be alone in your efforts. It takes four men working to blend together to make a barbershop chord sound right. The members all work together for the good of the chapter, helping to promote the hobby and for the enjoyment we want to bring to the community.