Pioneer District Header1997 Spring Contest Happenings

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(Spring 1997)

The Slamka family won the right to return to International competition after a few years' layoff. Dad and the kids in Power Play, from the Macomb and Gratiot County chapters, won the Pioneer District spring quartet prelims with a margin of nearly 100 points.

Only one quartet represents the district in Indianapolis, but it's one that previously scored in the top 15 at Int'l and that many believed in the past had a solid chance to be among the 10 finalists.

Next in order in the top 5 in the district were Firepower (Gratiot, Grosse Pointe, Lansing), Onyx (Motor City Metro and Frank Thorne) and Fermata (Grand Rapids). Firepower and Onyx were among three quartets (Genuine Blend was the other) that represented Pioner at Int'l in 1996. Fermata won the district quartet championship in fall 1996.

Rounding out the top 5 was Mach 1 (Battle Creek) a reincarnation of the 4-D Minors, district champs in 1974-5, comprised of three Burrill brothers and Mark Spear, son of the original quartet's late Dick Spear.

The Great Lakes Chorus from Grand Rapids, directed by Ann Jarchow, succeeded Lansing as district chorus champion, after winning in fall 1996 to represent the district at Int'l.

Rising again was Macomb County, which placed 2nd with just 25 men singing under the direction of Power Play's Jack Slamka. And Kalamazoo remained strong under the helm of Gene Hanover, just 10 points behind Macomb.

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