From the monophonic drone of Gregorian chants to the polyphonic projections of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, singing unaccompanied by instruments, or "a cappella" music, has long served as a way to worship God: a cappella literally means "of the church." But a cappella is not only the purview of the faithful. From those pre-Renaissance choirs to the barbershop quartets of the early 19th century to today, a cappella singing has maintained a level of popularity. To wit, the Morrison Center plays host Oct. 18-19 to the 2013 Men's All-Northwest A Cappella Tournament, which will see barbershop quartets and choruses of men from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, vie for a chance to compete at the 2014 international a cappella competition in Las Vegas.
It all begins Friday, Oct. 18, when 29 quartets and 15 choruses sing for their supper in the semi-finals, hoping to land one of 10 finals spots. Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, the hills will really be alive with the sound of music as 15 choruses compete in one big sing-off. The weekend culminates Saturday evening, with the quartet finals and the Show of Champions: performances by the top three foursomes, the top three choruses and a special appearance by viaVoice, the 2008 International Gold Medal singing champion. Tickets are $15 for Friday's event, $15 for the chorus contest and $25 for the show of champions, or get an all-events pass for $55.