A capella leader guided by voices
• View the webisode shot at Oct. 8 Guest Night at www.glenview.suntimes.com
• View the schedule at www.newtradition.org.
Updated: November 7, 2012 11:18AM
NORTHBROOK — Joseph Giallombardo of Glenview, known in Northbrook as “Jay,” is director of the New Tradition Chorus, where dedicated men converge Monday nights to rehearse a cappella music at Temple Beth-El on Dundee Road.
“I’ve been doing (a cappella) all my life, since I’ve been 15. Of course, I’m 25 now ... well, maybe a little older,” joked the City Colleges of Chicago Office of Research and Evaluation programmer.
“No, I have been doing it all of my life,” he said, as chorus members streamed into an Oct. 8 Guest Night, where invitees enjoyed an Illinois District performance which earned the choir an international competition spot in Toronto, Canada next July.
The New Tradition has earned 19 medals in the Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Chorus Contest with a record-setting eight consecutive silvers and one gold medal.
Since 1982, the New Tradition has built a reputation as a world-renowned a cappella men’s chorus.
“Some people have said we are the best kept secret on the North Shore,” Giallombardo said.
The secret was out via a trophy displayed for all to see.
Guests helped themselves to literature which championed the New Tradition Chorus legacy.
Growing in membership (currently 100 participants), Giallombardo credits this mission with making his efforts worth the, “directing and singing in quartets and writing barbershop arrangements for the groups to sing.”
Giallombardo, who has “a couple degrees in music,” grew up in Glenview and Wilmette, attending New Trier High School.
He lives in Glenview with his wife Helen. They have three older children, Barbara, Joe and Anna.
“My wife and I run a small music publishing company servicing the a cappella community with my musical arrangements and compositions,” he said. “Much of my spare time is devoted to writing music and being the musical director of the New Tradition.”
New Tradition is one chapter of the 30,000-member Barbershop Society, which started in 1938.
Three December shows are scheduled at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview.
“We’ll have lots of holiday music. We do some Hanukkah music, we do some secular seasonal music and some religious Christmas music to give a well-rounded program,” Giallombardo said.