Tidesmen connect to emotion of songs

Nanaimo - Tidesmen Barbershop Chorus performs annual show at Port Theatre Saturday (Nov. 3)

The Tidesmen Chorus' Blue Skies performance is Nov. 3 at the Nanaimo Port Theatre.

The Tidesmen Chorus' Blue Skies performance is Nov. 3 at the Nanaimo Port Theatre.


Members of the Tidesmen Barbershop Chorus dig deep into personal experiences to connect to the emotion of songs.

Connecting to those emotions is important to ensure the audience is engaged and becomes part of the experience.

“You have to find the emotion of the song,” said Jim Cameron, a member of the Tidesmen. “You can think of something that relates to your life and if you do the emotion will be sincere and the audience will be right there with you.”

With about 60 members the chorus also has to ensure it keeps in harmony. Harmonizing the voices of that many men takes a lot of practice. The Tidesmen rehearse parts individually at first and then come together to work as a group. Each song has four different harmonies the sections of the group perform.

“The individual notes form a chorus … it’s real pleasing to the ear,” said Cameron.

Cameron said time is the key to perfecting the performance for audiences. It also requires the performers to try and discover what the songwriter was trying to convey.

The Tidesmen do more than sing the song they also have an entire choreographed routine to bring the song to life. The group works with its choreographer Sandy Walsh to put the song into action. For the annual show at the Port Theatre every year the group writes a script that ties the songs and choreography into a tale.

“It’s kind of like a musical,” said Cameron.

The Tidesmen perform their annual show at the Port Theatre Saturday (Nov. 3). This year’s show Blue Skies is a story of a group of people who are stranded in New York City at La Guardia airport on New Year’s Eve.

The show also features special guest quartet the Jaybirds.

Mike Patterson, a Tidesmen member, said the performance has a lot of humour as well as emotion.

“It’s a good group of guys making music for your soul,” he said.

Many of the Tidesmen members have been performing for more than 30 years. Cameron is a relatively new member to the fold. He heard the Tidesmen perform during a Christmas dinner.

“They were just have a blast and just enjoying it so much,” he said.

Cameron had never performed in public but tried out and made the chorus group. After a year with the group he decided to call his mother on Valentine’s Day and sing her two songs Let Me Call You Sweetheart and Heart of My Heart.

“She was crying on the other end,” said Cameron.

Cameron said he enjoys being part of the group.

“It’s a group of guys that are the best group of guys you would want to meet,” he said.

The Tidesmen Barbershop Chorus present its Blue Skies at the Port Theatre Saturday (Nov. 3) 7:30 p.m., matinee at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the evening performance are $25 adults and seniors/$10 students. Matinee tickets are $20 for adults and seniors/$10 students and are available at the Port Theatre office, located at 125 Front St., by calling 250-754-8550 or online at www.porttheatre.com.


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