Max Q

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L-R: Greg, Tony, Jeff and Gary
Max Q is the Barbershop Harmony Society's 2007 International Quartet Champion.

Quartet Members

Winning Members:

  • Tenor: Greg Clancy
  • Lead: Tony De Rosa
  • Bari: Gary Lewis
  • Bass: Jeff Oxley

Contest Placement

Internationals

2004 2005 2006 2007
2nd 2nd 2nd 1st

Districts (SWD)

Recordings

Discovery (2005) For the Children (2006) Journey (2007)
Disc 1: Daytime Songs Disc 2: Lullabies
Smile Medley You Can Fly Brahms' Lullaby Put Your Arms Around Me Honey/ Them Girls Medley
Have A Little Talk With Myself You've Got a Friend in Me Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Take Me Home Country Roads
If I Had My Way Old MacDonald Jesus Loves Me Medley Somewhere (from West Side Story)
Moondance If You're Happy and You Know It All the Pretty Little Horses Steppin’ Out With My Baby
Shenandoah Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah When She Loved Me Royal Garden Blues
When My Sugar Walks Down The Street Do-Re-Mi Rock-A-Bye Baby I Heard You Singing
Where Is Love Pure Imagination Baby Mine Rhythm Medley
Shadrack Schoolhouse Rock! Medley The Five Pennies Medley Little Pal
Fare The Well, Love Dry Bones Stay Awake Somebody Loves Me
Honey Medley Sesame Street Theme Hushaby Windmills Of Your Mind
You Tell Me Your Dream Sing-Along Medley One Last Lullaby Don’t Rain On My Parade
Sing, Sing, Sing
Hushabye

Extended History

Max Q

After placing second three years in a row, Max Q were finally crowned 2007 International Quartet Champs. They won the championship with the second highest score (at the time) and by the second highest margin of victory ever.

Max Q began in 2002 and after toying with the idea of a quartet. At their first official meeting the sound was special and exciting. It’s no wonder. All four were experienced singers.


Greg Clancy (tenor) started as a 12 year old kid on the front row of the young Vocal Majority with his dad up front directing. He has been a part of all eleven VM championships. He sang with several quartets through the years like Class of the 80’s (Dan Bell, Jason January, Todd Wilson). Gatsby (Bill Thornton, Jason January, Gary Parker) and a re-united Dealer's Choice. Greg is said to now have the most gold medals of anyone in the Society (12).


Tony De Rosa (lead) is also a second generation Barbershopper, starting at the age of seven with his dad, Papa Joe. An active quartetter, he first appeared on the International stage with Cypress Chord Club at the age of 12 in 1985. He sang with One Shot Deal, became the youngest gold medalist as bari of Keepsake (1992) and won his second gold medal with PLATINUM (2000).


Gary Lewis (bari) studied at Bowling Green State University where he formed his first quartet, Which Wayz Up? , He was the tenor of The Real Deal and winners of the Society’s MBNA Collegiate Quartet Contest in 1994.

Gary moved to Orlando FL in 1996 and sang as a replacement bass singer for the 1992 Champion Keepsake.

In 1998, Gary switched voice parts again, and moved to tenor to sing with PLATINUM. With Joe Connelly singing lead, Tony De Rosa on baritone, and Kevin Miles singing bass, Platinum captured the gold in Kansas City in 2000.

Gary was the first person to win a collegiate gold medal and go on to win SPEBSQSA International gold. He is also the only tenor/baritone double gold medalist.


Jeff Oxley (bass) is a product of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where barbershop music was very popular. That inspired the formation of The Rapscallions (Dave Smotzer - tenor, Dave Wallace - lead, and Tim Frye - bari) and their entry into the 1982 International contest and a surprising 9th place finish. They began working harder and moved up to 6th place in 1983 and won it all in 1984. In 1986 he moved to Dallas and later joined Class of the 80s who placed 14th at International in 1989. After a new lead and a name change, Acoustix won the gold in 1990, his second.

As an active coach, section leader and featured soloist with the Vocal Majority, Jeff has won seven chorus gold medals. In late 1997 he took on the challenge of Music Director in California with the International chorus champion Masters of Harmony. He led them to their 1999 win and has become the only man in BHS history to have won 3 quartet golds and directed a chorus to the championship.


Although Max Q were hindered by distances (two in Dallas, one in Florida and one back in Ohio) they managed to learn their music via weekends together and learning CDs, and rehearsed as often as possible. Max Q’s first appearance was as a cameo on a Vocal Majority chorus show.

Their work in the studio has produced two outstanding CDs with one being a ground breaking collection of children’s songs - For the Children.

By their fourth year of competition and being second three years in a row (a major accomplishment for ANY quartet) they introduced a new song, Here’s To The Losers with special lyrics developed and arranged by quartet coach Clay Hine (FRED bari).

Some of the lyrics include:

Here’s to those who go for high notes even when they’ve past their prime.
(bass solo) Here’s to every bass who has an ego half as big as mine.

Here’s to the Nighthawks and the Pacificaires -- we love that Sundowners sound
To the Vagabonds and all of the greats that never won the crown

Here’s to the Losers - bless us all

Their 'Losers' set received the largest audience reaction of the week and perhaps their career. It was a highlight for the boys. After being the first to congratulate Gotcha!, Realtime and Vocal Spectrum before they ran up the stairs to proudly accept their silver they finally got to hear their name announced as the champs in Denver 2007.

The Max Q Journey

By Grady Kerr

You’ve heard that it’s the journey and not the destination. That’s true with our new champs as they certainly took the long way around to win their new gold medals. As with Homer’s Odysseus, they also discovered new insights along the way.

After placing second three years in a row, Max Q (Greg Clancy, Tony De Rosa, Gary Lewis and Jeff Oxley) finally reached the end of the journey and were crowned 2007 International Quartet Champs during the recent Denver Convention of the BHS.

This was certainly very satisfying to the guys given the past four years of hard work, extra effort and disappointments. In the end Max Q made their mark. The boys won the championship with the second highest score and by the second highest margin of victory ever.

How All This Got Started Max Q first sang together in 2002 during the Portland Int’l convention. Tony, Jeff, and Greg had toyed with the idea of singing together, and Tony suggested Gary as a potential bari. The four casually sang around and liked what they heard.

The first official meeting occurred in Dallas in September of that year. The sound was special and exciting. After matching socks, they needed a name and offered a prize to anyone on the Harmonet who could find the best one. After four full pages of suggestions the winner was Jeff Baker (Nightlife).

Early on they decided to be a Southwestern District quartet and represent the District of Champions winning the district title in 2005 (Jeff’s first)

Max Q’s first appearance was as a cameo on a VM show. They were hindered by distances (two in Dallas, one in Florida and one in Ohio) but they managed to learn their music via weekends together and learning CDs, and rehearsed as often as possible.

Their first full shows were for the Tampa Heralds of Harmony in June of 2003, the Harmony Foundation Show in Montreal, Canada, and the Buckeye Invitational in August of 2003. What a way to start!

Max Who? Greg Clancy (tenor) started as a 12 year old kid on the front row of the young Vocal Majority with his dad up front directing. In many ways he has followed in Jim Clancy’s footsteps by growing into the associate director of the VM and singing professionally in the active jingle market of Dallas, Texas. As one of the few who have won all 11 gold medals with the VM it’s said he probably now has the most gold medals of anyone in the Society (12).

One of his first quartets was formed for a chapter quartet contest and named the Tone-Ails. They won and stayed together after thankfully changing their name to Class of the 80s. They won the 1987 SWD title. (Dan Bell, Jason January, Todd Wilson (bass)) Greg dropped out to sing with Gatsby (Bill Thornton, Jason January, Gary Parker), placing 9th at the 1984 International, and 6th in the 1985 International. He later sang tenor with the un-retired Dealer's Choice. Greg owns PRO MOTION Music, a fitness music company and Tug Clamby Music, a royalty administrative company. He is also Music Director of JonesTM in Dallas, where he composes, arranges, produces and sings retail jingles and radio i.d.’s.

He and wife Luann were married in April 2000 and have two kids, daughter McCaa (5) and son Jack (3).

Tony De Rosa (Lead) is also a second generation Barbershopper, starting at the age of seven with his dad, Papa Joe. Tony credits his Dad as having a major influence on his music career. He has been an active quartetter first appearing on the International stage with Cypress Chord Club at the age of 12 in 1985, placing 38th. He later sang with Roger Ross (on lead) in One Shot Deal (International: 31st in 1988, 21st in 1989, 35th in 1990). He sang bari with Keepsake and placed second in 1991 and won his first gold medal at the age of 19 (the youngest ever) in 1992. From there he joined Platinum and placed 2nd in 1999 and won his second gold medal in 2000. Taking over for Papa Joe in the Winter of 1993, he is a former director of the Tampa Heralds of Harmony chorus and took them to nine International Chorus competitions, placing as high as 9th in 1997. Tony is a five time district champion (1984 / 1988 / 1991 / 1999 / 2004).

Currently, Tony is the Music Director for Epcot’s Voices of Liberty and “subs” with both the Dapper Dans of Walt Disney World and Four For A Dollar at MGM Studios. He is an active studio vocalist including his own learning CD business, Barbershop and Sweet Adeline coach, and music director of the Toast of Tampa Show Chorus. In his “spare” time, Tony serves on the worship team at his church (Northland) and loves time at home in Orlando with his wife Jodi and their four children: daughter Sophia (2), son Joseph (4) and two daughters, Alec and Kayla.

Gary Lewis (Bari) is from Toledo, Ohio where his interest in music began early. He studied at Bowling Green State University where he formed his first quartet, "Which Wayz Up?," which was the Varsity Quartet for the Men's Chorus. Gary sang bass along with Carl J. Cash III singing tenor, David Calland (Uptown Sound, The Allies) on lead, and Jon Jenz on baritone.

He was the tenor of The Real Deal and winners of the Society’s MBNA Collegiate Quartet Contest in 1994. Also in that foursome were Eric Kauffman singing lead, David McCutcheon, bass and Jeff Oxley’s younger brother Justin. When Justin moved to San Antonio, Sean Oliver joined on tenor, and Gary moved to baritone. They competed in the 1996 International and placed 38th.

Gary moved to Orlando FL in 1996 to sing professionally with Disney's acclaimed "Voices of Liberty." Gary's voice can be heard on the Liberty Voices CD, "A Slice of A Cappella." While living in Orlando, he began singing as a replacement bass singer for the 1992 International Champion Quartet Keepsake.

In 1998, Gary switched voice parts again, and moved to tenor to sing with Platinum. With Joe Connelly singing lead, Tony De Rosa on baritone, and Kevin Miles singing bass, Platinum placed second in 1999 and captured the gold in Kansas City in 2000. Gary was the first person to win a collegiate gold medal and go on to win SPEBSQSA International gold. He is also the only tenor/baritone double gold medalist.

He’s also director of the Pride of Toledo Sweet Adelines Chorus.

Gary is a music educator and the new Director of Choral Activities at Solon High School in Solon, Ohio (the Cleveland area). The Footnotes, 2006 SAI Rising Star Champions, are his former students. Gary has two children: Adam (son, 8), Jenna (daughter, 6). He and his fiancé Joy Makowski will be married December 28, 2007.

Jeff Oxley (Bass) was a product of Bowling Green State University in Ohio where barbershop music was very popular. That inspired the formation of The Rapscallions (Dave Smotzer - tenor, Dave Wallace - lead, and Tim Frye - bari), their entry into the 1982 International contest, and a surprising 9th place finish. They began working harder and moved up to 6th place in 1983 and won it all in 1984. In 1986 he moved to Dallas and later joined Class of the 80s who placed 14th at International in 1989. After a new lead and a name change, Acoustix won the gold in 1990, his second.

As an active coach, section leader and featured soloist with the Vocal Majority, Jeff has won seven chorus gold medals. In late 1997 he took on the challenge of Music Director in California with the International chorus champion Masters of Harmony. He led them to their 1999 win and has become the only man in BHS history to have won 3 quartet golds and directed a chorus to the championship.

Jeff is actively employed as a first call studio vocalist in Dallas. His voice can be heard worldwide on Radio/TV jingles and commercial IDs. He and wife Susan were married in 1999 and have two children. Son Blake is now 6 and they recently adopted a daughter, Lily Grace who is 22 months.

Competition History After last year’s on stage announcement of Max Q placing second, an unfair observation was made when they didn’t appear on stage right away. That speculation suggested Max Q was so disappointed they were reluctant to appear. Truth was that all four were taking time each year to be the first to congratulate Gotcha!, Realtime & Vocal Spectrum before they ran up the stairs to proudly accept their silver. Each year, on hearing the second place announcement, each member conducted themselves in a professional manner and was gracious his placement. This should serve as an example for others. Let the record show that Max Q has class.

Most multiple gold medal winners experience a bit of an up hill struggle. Even though Max Q didn’t form JUST to win again, the audience acceptance was slow in coming. Not to say they weren’t cheered and encouraged, they were. But their performances at Internationals were not always accepted with a standing ovation.

The tide seemed to turn last year during the second set with the audience reaction to their heartfelt rendition of “Little Pal”. They received an extended audience reaction and that mood carried over to this year. Perhaps some recognized that the quartet has grown and developed since 2004. Their For the Children CD project changed the focus of the guys and perhaps the perception of their fans. The quartet has “come together” and developed an “identity” from within and the audience can see that now.

Stays Fresh Longer The week in Denver started on Tuesday with an hour rehearsal each day working thru each upcoming set. This year was different as they were a lot looser in their approach. As a rule they didn’t have any pre-stage ritual or tradition, but they were much more relaxed, not nervous and less worried about the singing technique of each song this year. On stage each set was more “fresh” than before. This paid off.

How fresh? In the six weeks prior to the contest they managed to get together only twice. In that time they added three new songs. The final set had never been performed for any audience and the “Rhythm Medley” was debuted for an afterglow audience recently.

Rocky Mountain High One surprise was the reaction to the Loser’s set. Recommended by Tim Brooks and developed and arranged by quartet coach Clay Hine (FRED bari), this “Sinatra” song received the largest audience reaction of the week and perhaps their career. It was hard to “hang on” during that song. In addition to the audience’s outstanding response the usually unemotional judges were unable to control themselves. The quartet could clearly see and hear them laughing out loud. It was a highlight for the boys.

During the week they received the customary “this is your year” comments from fans and were very grateful for these. They had to keep their emotions in check on stage but it was nice to hear the reactions.

By this fourth year with three being second (a major accomplishment for ANY quartet) they had to “earn their stripes”, they understood that and now accept this looking back. Winning in this way was necessary and as it should be.

They relied a lot on coaching within the quartet but respected and appreciated the coaching from Clay Hine. His honesty and perspective had a major impact on the growth of the foursome as a quartet. He was the pen behind the “Here’s To The Losers” arrangement and special lyrics. He arranged the “Best Man” set last year. The quartet didn’t see “Losers” until June 1st and it received one of the highest possible scores with a 97.6 % in the presentation category.

2007 Song by Song

Quarter-finals Somebody Loves Me Arranged by Clay Hine - They wanted to start off with a “bang” and a song from last year - something they felt comfortable with. Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey An Aaron Dale chart (a music educator and one of the hottest arrangers working today - worked with Louisville Times, OC Times and Westminster). Same as Somebody, a repeat from last year and comfortable.

Semi-Finals Little Pal Arranged by Clay Hine - a real hit for the quartet - they simply “sang it to our kids” Rhythm Medley A new song for the quartet - another super Aaron Dale chart.


Finals Here's To The Losers A Clay Hine masterpiece - only had it for a month - an favorite of the audience and judges.

Here's to the winners all of us can be unless you finish second place three years in a row

well here's to those who love to sing but may not always do their best here's to those who try to make the grade but just can't pass the test here's to those who don't sing for a score but because they have a ball Here's to the losers bless us all (bless us all)

Here's to each quartet who works all year but just can't make the cut here's to those who never made it here but try no matter what here's to those who'd love to move up just one place then we'd stand tall Here's to the losers bless us all

(Jeff, Tony, and Gary) we were first long ago those silvers we carry are Greg's fault you know

Here's to those who go for high notes even when you've passed your prime (he's passed his prime) Here's to every bass who has an ego half as big as mine To the guy who bet the last three years that Max one Q would win it all here's to the losers yeah bless us all

you know it's true that two two two has been our due in this venue (we've) we've never been in front (we should) we should have cheated once

this time we almost sang our songs in tune didn't we boys this time we worked before the month of June didn't we boys

a heart full of joy an' gladness is not our first wish for what's ahead we've looked for three years at silver linings we'd rather have gold medals instead so listen one more time

here's to the Nighthawks and the Pacificaires we love that Sundowners sound to the Vagabonds and all 'o the greats who never won the crown here's to ev'ryone who's done their best but seen their fortunes fall here's to the losers bless them all here's to the losers bless them all

(Tony is a loser and it's plain to see he can't win with-out Joe Connelly) bless us all (Greg is a loser and 'is dad was clear he said don't come home without gold this year) bless us all (Jeff's not a loser he's a real cool guy when you ask him he's happy to tell you why) bless us all (Terry's a loser....Harry is a loser....Larry is a loser) <guys, it's Gary> <whatever Perry> Bless us all bless us all

Somewhere Jim Clancy wrote the verse and arranged it for the boys - tough song to arrange in barbershop - it was a message they wanted to leave with the audience.


As Max Q returned home they were still floating on air and unable to wipe off that smile. The quartet’s schedule is now becoming busier. They are scheduled to appear at the final Buckeye Invitational August 17, the Sunshine District Labor Day Jamboree Sept 3, The Vocal Majority Fall shows September 21/22, a Sweet Adeline show in Michigan in October, the Spirit of the Gulf Christmas Show, and the BHS Mid-Winter Convention in San Antonio in January.

I recall asking Mo Rector which gold medal he liked the most. Without hesitation he replied . . . “My Next One!”

It’s the journey and not the destination. Now, a new journey for Max Q begins.


Max Medals - Total 29

Greg Clancy - 11 chorus gold with VM (1975 - 2006) - One Quartet Gold - Max Q (2007).

Tony De Rosa - Three Quartet Gold - Max Q (2007), PLATINUM (2000), Keepsake (1992).

Gary Lewis - The Real Deal - College Quartet Champion (tenor) 1994 - Two Quartet Gold - Max Q (2007), PLATINUM (2000).

Jeff Oxley - Director Masters of Harmony 1999 - Seven Chorus Gold with VM - Three Quartet Gold - Max Q (2007), Acoustix (1990), The Rapscallions (1984).

There are now four quartets with nine quartet gold medals - PLATINUM, Keepsake, Interstate Rivals and Max Q.


Max Q & T&C4

Max Q now join the Town and Country Four (1963) who placed second three times in a row and then went on to win the gold.


SWD Still District of Champions

Max Q makes 12 the total of champs from the SWD

Bartlesville Barflies 1939
Flat Foot Four 1940
Chord Busters 1941
Four Hearsemen 1955
Lads of Enchantment 1957
Gaynotes 1958
Mark IV 1969
Dealer’s Choice 1973
Innsiders 1976
Side Street Ramblers 1983
Acoustix 1990
Max Q 2007


Top Scores (since 1994)

  • third highest winning score ever
PLATINUM 8453
Crossroads 8433
Max Q 8339
Yesteryear 8274
Vocal Spectrum 8239
Nightlife 8236
Storm Front 8220
Realtime 8157
Gotcha! 8145
Michigan Jake 8144
Power Play 8099
Revival 8091
Old School 8090
OC Times 8074
FRED 8061
Marquis 8021
Joker's Wild 7963
Four Voices 7888

Margin of Victory

Since the changes in the judging program (making all previous scores incomparable) we can look at margins of victory and see Max Q has the second highest winning margin since 1994.

Year Champion Score Margin 2nd
2011 Old School 8090 121 Musical Island Boys
2010 Storm Front 8220 57 Old School
2009 Crossroads 8433 213 Old School
2008 OC Times 8074 51 Crossroads
2007 Max Q 8339 286 OC Times
2006 Vocal Spectrum 8239 6 Max Q
2005 Realtime 8157 98 Max Q
2004 Gotcha! 8145 187 Max Q
2003 Power Play 8099 27 Gotcha!
2002 Four Voices 7888 46 Uptown Sound
2001 Michigan Jake 8144 256 Uptown Sound
2000 PLATINUM 8453 412 Michigan Jake
1999 FRED 8061 67 Platinum
1998 Revival 8091 264 Michigan Jake
1997 Yesteryear 8274 271 FRED
1996 Nightlife 8236 41 Yesteryear
1995 Marquis 8021 67 Yesteryear
1994 Joker’s Wild 7963 20 Nightlife

Comments from their fans

Congrats to Max Q. You were absolutely MAGNIFICENT. I was left open-mouthed at your glorious performances. Thank you for providing us with such a treat. I am VERY glad we were not competing with you this year! :)

Cheers,
John Newell - Realtime

External Links


Barbershop Harmony Society - International Quartet Champions
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