A Nanaimo barbershop quartet has released a video performance sharing a message of hope and reunification that applies to both Remembrance Day and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week Vintage Style – tenor Alex Grant, lead Mike Patterson, baritone Roy Sage and bass Glenn Harvey – shared their video rendition of the Second World War-era ballad We’ll Meet Again, made famous by British singer Vera Lynn who died this summer at the age of 103.
“It’s a lovely piece of music and for many people it’s highly emotional because it’s about the separation of families and the hope that they’ll meet again,” Patterson said.
He added that the song is particularly meaningful to him because his parents were one of the many couples separated by the Second World War. He said when his father set off overseas he left behind Patterson’s mother who was pregnant with his older brother at the time. We’ll Meet Again was “kind of their theme song.”
“Our quartet thought this is a good time to be thinking about people who are in service for the common good and maybe we needed to express in song a little bit about the hope that all Canadians need to hang on to and cherish during the current pandemic,” Patterson said.
The video was created by filming each of the members singing their parts separately in their homes and then editing the footage together to make them appear side-by-side.
This is the second time the group has produced a video in this fashion. In April Vintage Style recorded a musical tribute to B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to the tune of the traditional barbershop love song Let Me Call you Sweetheart. In that video the singers recorded themselves using webcams and iPads.
Patterson said the We’ll Meet Again video is “a little more sophisticated, a little more polished” as Tidesman Chorus member James Chappell filmed the singers using an iPhone on a tripod and recorded the vocals with a “quality microphone.”
“We made sure we had poppies and were dressed appropriately for Remembrance Day but it’s more than that,” Patterson said. “Because there are lots of occasions in 2020 when families are [separated] by quarantine or work obligations or international borders … and the song rally speaks to the hope that the families will be reunited when the pandemic passes or when the crisis is over.”
The video can be viewed here.