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Barbershop bonanza

Five groups will make beautiful music together when the Hernando Harmonizers present their first concert this weekend.

In what bass singer Art Ellingsen said was an attempt to lure new members to the year-old group, the Harmonizers will bring in the area's premier barbershop chorus, the Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony, for the concert on Saturday at First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill.

"This is going to be our biggest endeavor so far," said Ellingsen, who has sung barbershop harmony for 25 years.

The Heralds of Harmony is an award-winning, 100-man barbershop chorus based in St. Petersburg that performs each year with the Florida Orchestra. Members dress in tuxedos and give the barbershop vocal treatment to a host of styles: jazz, '50s rock 'n' roll, gospel, patriotic and novelty songs. And they're good, consistently ranking high in international competition.

In recent competition, the 57-year-old group earned the right to represent Florida at the World Series of Barbershop Harmony in Montreal next July.

Bill Daw, who handles publicity for the Hernando Harmonizers, says that although the Hernando group cannot compete with the Heralds in size, he is proud of the group's sound.

"We make a very good sound for 12 guys," said Daw. "We're a young group, but we're set to grow."

The Harmonizers will perform numbers including Alexander's Ragtime Band, Sweet Rosie O'Grady, Whispering and Let There be Peace on Earth.

Also performing will be the Hernando Hills Hi-Lites ladies barbershop chorus, quartets of Harmony Inc., the Central High School Boys Quartet, and the Harmonizers' own quartet, the Pine Chords.

At a glance

WHAT: Hernando Harmonizers Inaugural 2002 Show

WHERE: First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill, 9344 Spring Hill Drive

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday. Doors open at 6 p.m.

ADMISSION: Adults $12; students $8. Call 596-9895 or 688-1182.