Harmonic Heartbreakers Win Novice Contest

(Photo courtesy of Lily Hernandez)

Four students from La Habra High School (coach Tom Nichols, bass Tristen Urban, baritone Justin Gabriel, tenor Joshua Salgado and lead Andrew Hernandez) entered the Southern California Comedy Quartet Contest with some trepidation.  After all, all of the other competitors were at least twice their age.  They need not have worried.  With their funny and tuneful pair of songs, they won the hearts of the audience and the judges.  The contest, sponsored by the Orange Quartet Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, is an annual event designed to give new quartets the opportunity to compete before official Society judges. 

Two of the Heartbreakers, Joshua Salgado and Andrew Hernandez had competed in the contest before, but the other members of their quartet graduated and left them looking for a bass and a bari.  When they teamed up with Urban and Gabriel, they knew they had something good.  Coach Tom Nichols of the Orange Empire Chorus met with them each week after school to help them perfect their sound and their comedy.  "I told them 'If your only goal is winning, and you lose, then you’ve got nothing,'" said Nichols.  "Make sure you have fun out there."  Apparently it was good advice.  After a nervous start, the audience responded with laughter to their antics and the quartet started to smile.  Then they not only killed with comedy, but rang some great barbershop chords.

The quartet added their name to the novice quartet traveling trophy, first awarded in 1963, and put the trophy on display in their choir classroom at La Habra High School.  It clearly took a lot of time and determination to win it. What made them so dedicated?  Said Salgado, "I love barbershop.  It touches my heart every time I sing it."

Featured Events

Sep 5 2017 - 7:00pm to Dec 2 2017 - 10:00pm
Come and sing Christmas carols with us! If you are a man who likes to sing, we invite you to join... more
Dec 1 2017 - 7:00pm
Our Christmas Cabaret Show is fun for the whole family. We serve you dinner, send a quartet to sing... more

Recent news

October 25, 2016 - 9:33am
The Orange Empire Chorus will be performing at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center on Thursday, August 31, 2017... more
August 21, 2016 - 10:41am
Glasses Half Full, a quartet of young men from La Habra High School, won the 2016 Southern California Comedy... more
February 27, 2016 - 12:59pm
Twenty years from now the songs people remember will be the ones playing on the radio today.