Bob Doak has been singing songs as far back as he can remember. As a schoolboy he participated in the School Choir, Church Choir and competed in solo singing contests. His first recollection of Barbershop style singing came as a result of seeing the famous Buffalo Bills Quartet of The Music Man fame, on television in the early 1950’s. This Barbershop influence led him to start up a Barbershop Quartet in High School called “The Dischords”. Bob says “We performed in school concerts and didn’t make many appearances but we had a lot of fun trying to ring chords.” After a career in the Navy, Bob became a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society and for the next 30 years belonged to the Kingston Ont. Chapter, the Victoria Chapter and an array of Quartets. He has competed on the stages of The National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Massey Hall in Toronto and has appeared in two live stage productions of Meredith Willson’s Broadway play “The Music Man”. Quote From Bob: “It’s been a great run of singing over the years and I never tire of it. It seems there is always one more song to be sung. I feel pretty fortunate to be still able to do this and I’m especially fortunate to be singing with the other three talented men in Trounce Alley Quartet.”
Paul DeGagne was born to sing. The acoustics were not good in the womb, so he had to get out and make himself heard. And, he’s been singing ever since. His many diverse singing interests include, but are not limited to, church choirs, music festival, school choirs, musical theatre, campfire singing, rugby singing, various community choirs, including Kenora Music men, Northern Lights Community Choir, Victoria Choral Society, the Arion MV choir and the Victoria Village Squires. Paul’s current love is creating harmonies with the Trounce Alley Quartet. “It is a very pure musical form, representing enough of a challenge to keep things interesting, and providing enough success to keep things rewarding.” Paul would also like to encourage anyone interested in exploring this style of singing to join the local chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the Victoria Village Squires.
Our baritone founding member:
Jerry Van Ek, our baritone has enjoyed singing barbershop since the late 1960’s in various parts of the country, and since 1987 he sang with the Victoria Village Squires Barbershop Chorus. He has been active as a section leader, coach and music director for the chorus and was the baritone in quartets called “4 on the Isle”, “Sterling Silver”, “Capital Choice” and “Just 4 You”. Jerry sings the difficult and dangerous baritone part in “Trounce Alley” with great success and panache. After singing with us for three years, Jerry decided to step down from the exulted baritone position to pursue other interests including trying to keep the deer out of his garden in Sooke. This came about in the summer of 2013. We were very sorry to see him leave and we wish him well. We continue to miss you, Jerry.
David Christmas, our bass, joined the Barbershop Harmony Society in 1973 in Toronto, singing first with the East York Chorus, and then with the Scarborough Dukes Of Harmony. David was the bass section leader for the Dukes for many years. They went on to win international contests and came home with gold, silver, and bronze medals over the years. During the 1980’s, David sang with a mixed quartet called the Skylarks. They appeared with the Tom DeMoraes Swing Band, a 26 piece band that played the convention circuit on weekends. After moving to Victoria, BC, in 1990, David concentrated on playing both electric bass in different local bands and learning to play the double bass. You can catch him with his double bass, playing with the Juan de Fuca Community Orchestra on Wednesday nights. He is also the choir director at his church. In March of 2009, Bob, Jerry, and Paul approached David and asked him to sing with them for an upcoming Barbershop show. After singing on that show, the quartet became friends and realized they had a unique sound. And so the quartet called Trounce Alley was born.
For years, Allan Jacques claimed to be the biggest fan of Trounce Alley Quartet. When Jerry Van Ek, our baritone, decided to hang up his pitch pipe and retire from the quartet in the summer of 2013, we invited Allan to put his voice where his enthusiasm was and get to work making our chords ring with his baritone finesse. Allan has become a solid member of our quartet and we are once again complete.
As a youth, Allan was active in his High School Band and Senior Orchestra, and was a founding member of the Ottawa Youth Orchestra, playing trumpet. He also played principal trumpet in the Starlighters Dance Band until 1970, after which he focused on learning and playing the organ. He still likes to blow his own horn occasionally.
Since 2005, Allan has been learning to sing in, and direct the Victoria Village Squires Barbershop Harmony chorus where he has been active in a variety of roles. He has sung Lead in the “Chordially Yours”, “Boys of Summer”, and “Freelance” quartets, and Baritone with “Sounds Easy” quartet. He attended Harmony University near Kansas City (Choral Direction) in 2008 and 2009. Allan joined the quartet in the summer of 2013 and took on the baritone role with enthusiasm and commitment. He has both a wicked sense of humour and a fine voice, which we very much appreciate.
Allan says “One of the greatest thrills in life is to work together with others to create harmony. It is magical when we do all the right things to make a chord ring with joy. To share that experience with an appreciative audience is the icing on the cake of life”.