Choir Image Proud
Presentation by Steve Klawonn, President of the Proud Image Choir
“Singing is life… the rest is just details”. For barbers and musicians of all kinds, that feeling still helps us today, as we struggle to navigate the world we live in. This has been a compass for most of my life as an instrumentalist and singer. As a result of these influences which began at the age of five, I find myself privileged to serve the Barbershop Proud Image Choir as president for the coming year.
As you may have noticed in the opening paragraph, music has been at the center of my life. The honorary choirs throughout school, having been selected twice as a state singer in Iowa and singing in a barber shop since I was in high school, gave me the opportunity to to entertain and to give artistic expression to music that speaks to our souls and thus gives a lot of meaning to our lives.
I moved to Cedar Valley five years ago as a pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Evansdale AALC. Jerry and Marie Easter have been longtime friends through our association with the Barbershop Harmony Society and were immediately encouraged to join the Proud Image. Joining the local choir in the community I live in has always been a priority for me. I started with the Wapello chefs, now known as River Valley Harmonizers, in Ottumwa, Iowa. I also sang in choirs in Houston and Saint Joseph Missouri before returning home to Ottumwa and conducting them for over 10 years.
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This Covid-19 pandemic has made life difficult in every way and in the singing hobby it is no exception. As we move forward with responsible vaccines and protocols to be as safe as possible, we can’t wait to be back on the stands and singing again in our annual show and also singing throughout the community, putting on smiles. on your faces, the audience.
If you are a singer, even if only in the shower, you too have the opportunity to come together with other men to raise our voices together in harmony, making a joyful sound and making those beautiful chords resonate. I invite you to contact our Vice President of Memberships, Eric Boyd at 319-504-4645 for more information and to make arrangements to join us when it is safe, and to have a taste of the fun, the camaraderie. and the joy of making beautiful music together. We have tools to help you succeed and look forward to serving our audience again.
Proud Image Choir-Barbershopper of the Year-Jons Olsson
The Barbershopper of the Year award for 2020 was presented at the Proud Image Chorus Installation Zoom meeting earlier this month.
The recipient of this award lives in Waterloo with his wife, Ann. He retired from a career as a director of fundraising for nonprofit organizations. They have a son, Steve, who is married and also lives in Waterloo.
This winner sings lead. He was introduced to a cappella singing in the barber style while in high school in 1955. Since then he has formed his own quartet and has performed in other quartets over the years. He started singing with the Cedar Falls Chorus, Twin Town, after seeing an advertisement in The Courier. He sang with Twin Town until 1978 when he and a few other members left to form a new competitive choir, known as The Proud Image Chorus.
In addition to having held numerous positions on the Board of Directors over the past 40+ years, he has served as President for the past three years. Their most memorable experience with the Chorus dates back to 1980 when, under the direction of Steve West, the newly formed band won first place in the Central States District Contest in Kansas City.
He describes that the best part of singing with PI is musically getting a vocal sound that is achieved when the extended chords are locked, bringing joy to the audience.
In addition to spending countless hours devoting leadership skills and singing with the choir, he is an active member of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, a member of the Masonic Lodge and adores fishing.
Congratulations to this well-deserved recipient of the 2020 Black Hawk Metro Barber of the Year award, Jons Olsson!