Classic Urban Harmony
Celebrates Vocal Group Harmony
And the Masqueraders’ 50th
June 10, 2012, Morristown, NJ
Part 1: Behind the Scenes
It had been
a year and a half since Classic Urban Harmony’s last gala, our 5th
Wedding Anniversary in October 2010. The time was right to gather our music
industry friends again and commemorate the many styles of vocal harmony.
There’s been enough negative talk lately about how our music is fading. We
wanted an evening not to eulogize vocal harmony, but to celebrate it.
Coincidently, our friends the Masqueraders were celebrating 50 years as a
soul harmony group and we wanted to honor them.
step was to pick a location. We’d been actively involved with the Morris
Museum’s “Jersey Rocks” exhibit and had assisted with two concerts in their
Bickford Theatre. We also gave two Classic Urban Harmony multimedia
presentations there and attended the exhibit launch party, catered by Encore
Caterers. We were impressed by their food and professionalism.
Pam outside the Morris Museum
Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
Morris Museum & Bickford Theatre
Charlie at the Bickford Theatre Stage Door
idea to hold a spectacular reception and buffet dinner in the museum
followed by a concert in the Bickford Theatre. We already held memberships
in the Morristown museum and were very familiar with members of their
reserving the Morris Museum and Theatre, we contacted Encore Caterers and
picked a menu. Then it was time to pick the vocal groups we wanted to
hire. It was a tough decision, since we are friends with a lot of groups.
However, we made an early decision to make sure different styles of vocal
harmony were represented and did not overlap.
choice of a soul harmony group was the Masqueraders, since it was their 50th
anniversary and since the five key members had only sung together once in
the past 20 years, and that was at our 2010 anniversary. For a 1950’s R&B
group, we selected the legendary Milton Love & the Solitaires. They had
sung at our wedding. Vic Donna has been singing and recording vocal harmony
since 1957. The Vic Donna Group is known for their intricate R&B
harmonies. Little Isidore & the Inquisitors are one of the most unique and
entertaining groups around. Quiet Storm has made quite a name for
themselves in the acappella vocal group world. We wanted a great gospel
vocal group and found one in King David’s Harp out of Virginia.
To set the
scene, we had Re-MemberThen as a strolling acappella group during the
reception. They are an up and coming group with a street corner doo wop
designed a sensational poster for us in 1950’s style, using Classic Urban
Harmony colors (blue, yellow and red).
Concert Poster designed by Warren Tesora
The Invitation we designed and printed ourselves
after selecting the right paper and matching envelopes.
gifts for each guest, we again hand-molded candy vocal group figurines out
of chocolate. Knowing record collectors favor red vinyl, we molded a
limited number in RED chocolate! We'd reserve those for the people
who'd attended more of our Classic Urban Harmony events than anyone else.
Pam molding candy vocal groups from red chocolate
Refrigerated Chocolate figures
Pam packaging the chocolates
Finished chocolate figures
Charlie cleaning the molds for the next set
centerpieces, we scanned record labels of some of our rarer 78’s. We
printed them, cut them out and pasted them onto green sticks. The sticks
were placed in small plants.
Scanned record labels in the computer
Pam cutting out the labels
The record labels
Green (Gospel series) Parrot label on stick
Labels on green sticks
Preparing the centerpieces
For our out
of town quests, we blocked out some rooms at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by
Marriott hotel, close to CUH
Headquarters. Each guest received a welcome bag full of Classic Urban
Finished welcome bag
Four of the
Masqueraders, Harold “Sundance” Thomas, Robert “Tex” Wrightsil, David
"Cowboy" Sanders and Sammie Lee Hutchins arrived on Friday evening, June 8. After
checking in, they joined us for dinner in New Brunswick.
Masqueraders arriving at hotel in Somerset, NJ
Masqueraders David Sanders, Harold Thomas, Tex Wrightsil and
at the hotel with concert poster.
Sammie Hutchins, Pam Horner, Charlie Horner, Sundance Thomas,
at Old Man Rafferty's restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ
Saturday June 9, 2012, Masqueraders' Abdur-Rahman Hatim and
Jimmy and Mary Merchant arrived at the hotel.
Jimmy Merchant is an original member of the legendary Teenagers and
co-writer of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love".
Front: Harold Sundance Thomas. Back row (left to
right): Sammie Hutchins,
Charlie Horner, Jimmy Merchant, Mary Merchant, Tex Wrightsil, Pam Horner
David "Cowboy" Sanders, Abdur-Rahman Hatim
Dinner at Origins Thai restaurant in Somerville, NJ.
(Left to right: Jimmy Merchant, Charlie Horner, Pam Horner, Tex Wrightsil
Sammie Hutchins, David Sanders, Harold Thomas, Abdur-Rahman Hatim, Mary
After dinner, we all went back to Classic Urban Harmony
Headquarters where the Masqueraders serenaded us with some songs.
Masqueraders singing at CUH Headquarters
Teenagers' Jimmy Merchant touring Classic Urban Harmony
next to his framed and autographed sketch of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers.
Jimmy is now an accomplished artist as well as an entertainer.
Left to right: David Sanders, Pam Horner, Tex Wrightsil,
Harold Thomas and Sammie Hutchins
The Masqueraders with Mary & Jimmy Merchant
David, Tex, Mary, Jimmy, Harold, Charlie and Sammie.
On Sunday morning, June 10, Pam & Charlie went back to the
hotel to listen to the Masqueraders rehearse.
Masqueraders rehearsing at the hotel.
Sundance Thomas at the keyboard.
Abdur-Rahman Hatim at rehearsal.
Because of the significance
of the event, we've posted hundreds of photos and will post numerous short video clips, over the next few weeks.
Please click on the segment below that you'd like to view.
- Behind the Scenes - Any event of this magnitude requires
months of planning and preparation. Here we'll give you the story
behind selecting the venue, caterer, entertainment, invitations, table
centerpieces and even the chocolate favors for the guests.
Part 2 - The Reception and Buffet - With 180
invited guests there were plenty of music celebrities attending. See
photos of who were there.
- The Concert - See photos from the concert, featuring Re-MemberThen, King
David's Harp, Quiet Storm, Little Isidore & the Inquisitors, the Vic Donna
Group, Milton Love & the Solitaires and the Masqueraders. We also have
photos of the Masqueraders receiving plaques for 50 years of great R&B
Part 4 - The party
continues at the hotel for out of town guests.
Part 5 - Some nice compliments we received from our
guests - Coming Soon!
Part 6 - The Concert Videos - Coming Soon!.
Copyright © Classic Urban Harmony LLC, 2012. All