Pioneer District
Bush League Contest
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THE HISTORY OF BUSH LEAGUE

compiled by Dale Hanson

Loton_Wilson, Boyne City Chapter FounderThe first Bush League Competition was held in 1947, and was the brain child of Boyne City Chapter founder Loton Willson. This group carried on this tradition for the next 48 years. The Brass “Gaboon” trophy was “permanently borrowed” from the old Dilworth Hotel in Boyne City, when no appropriate trophy was available for the first Bush League winners. The Dilworth was always the “headquarters hotel” until the chapter moved to Petoskey, in 1993, where their last two Bush League Contests were held at the historic Perry-Davis Hotel. In 1995, the Cadillac Chapter held Bush League. In 1996 the Gaylord Chapter took over the operation of the Bush League Contest and Show, therefore this is the 66th Annual Bush League Contest and Show.

Barbershop quartets and choruses are dedicated to the fun and beauty of this style of music. A dash of rivalry is added through friendly competitions. Each year the groups work toward competing in a ladder of levels that ultimately climb to our annual international competition and crowning of new international quartet and chorus champions. Bush League is where beginning quartets compete in our judging program for the first time.

Bush League is, in every sense the birthplace of past and future champions. Thirteen Bush League champions have gone on to be Pioneer District Champions, Eleven have gone on to represent Pioneer District at international competitions, and one, the Auto Towners went on to become International Champions.

Most Bush League quartets are first-timers or novice groups. Those who witnessed this morning’s competition would appreciate the battle the winners faced to qualify for this evenings show. Who knows? You may be watching and hearing a future International Quartet Champion.