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Sounds of Harmony Strikes a Chord This Valentine’s Day

By Zachary Daum

The “Sounds of Harmony” area barbershop chorus is gearing up for their much-anticipated Valentine’s Day offering – the “Singing Valentine.” This heartfelt musical gesture, priced at $50, allows singers to serenade loved ones at a time and place of the requester’s choice.

As part of their dedication, the chapter has organized a team of singers ready to bring joy and harmony to Southern Illinois and the St. Louis area on February 14.

For those looking to make their Valentine’s Day extra special, interested individuals can contact Donald Koch at (618) 335-8555, Bill Rathmann at (618) 402-9702, Bradley Stufflebam at (618) 262-6629, or Charles Cook at (618) 233-4991. Additional information about the Singing Valentine service can be obtained from Charles Cook at (618) 363-3282.

With Bill Rathmann leading as president, the team includes dedicated individuals taking on roles such as membership vice president, music vice president, marketing vice president, program vice president, treasurer, and secretary, along with board members-at-large.

The “Sounds of Harmony, rooted in history since its establishment in 1946 as the Belleville Bell Notes, has evolved over the years. Transforming into the Southwestern Illinois Sounds of Harmony Barbershop Chorus in 2004, the group boasts a membership of 34 individuals, with 24 contributing to the singing chorus.

Notably, the chorus has been an active participant in community events, performing at benefits, churches, nursing homes, and various charitable occasions. Their repertoire not only embraces the traditional four-part barbershop harmony but also includes contemporary songs.

Always on the lookout for new members, the chapter encourages men of all ages to join their ranks. No prior singing experience or musical notation skills are required – just a love for singing and a willingness to learn. The chapter provides the necessary tools and training for anyone willing to carry a tune.

For those interested in the harmonious world of barbershop singing, the “Sounds of Harmony” welcomes interested males to reach out via the Belleville website at [](, or contact Don Koch at 618-335-8555 or Bill Rathmann at 618-402-9702. Those curious about the experience are also invited to attend rehearsals on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. at Union United Methodist Church, 721 East Main Street in Belleville, to witness the magic of four-part harmony firsthand.

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