The history of Summer Harmony begins in 1991 when several men who shared a love for singing put their thoughts and voices together for what was to become the premier Men’s Chorus of the Lehigh Valley. Art Schmidt and a handful of other music lovers persuaded George Boyer, widely recognized throughout the Valley for his ability to meld vocal “instruments” at Allen High School, Christ Lutheran Church, and other organizations, to conduct the chorus. It was quite a robust group in those early days populated with several young men from Allen High, joined by a contingent from the local Barbershop chapter of vocalists and a number of guys who caught the word of this new venture. And thus, Summer Harmony was born.
In the years following, the chorus grew and matured. Not only in numbers, as the membership hovered at one time at more than 100 men, but also in the diversity of its repertoire, for its popularity in and beyond the Lehigh Valley and certainly for the quality of its musicianship. The Music Library has swelled over the years to well over 200 numbers; ranging from the classics, sacred, Broadway tunes, barbershop, folk and of course a variety of patriotic standards. The men of summer have also performed an extensive library of Holiday Music. The chorus has appeared at many of the area’s churches as well as at a variety of other musical venues, including Mayfair, Musikfest, at Ocean Grove, NJ, Mt. Gretna, PA, Souderton Community Park, Allentown’s West Park, and performing the National Anthem for the Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and most recently at the newly opened PPL Center in Allentown to usher the Harlem Globetrotters into town.
Summer Harmony has enjoyed the company of many guest performers. Significant among them has been the Allentown Band with whom we have been privileged to share the stage on many occasions. Several numbers with the band are included on two of Summer Harmony’s six CD’s. Along the way Eric Fennel, one of those young men from Allen High who was a member of the chorus during that first summer, returned to sing with the chorus as well as other notable members of the music community including the Macungie Band, Cameron Carpenter, Sons of Pitches, Main Street Brass, Satori, Tom Hazleton, Fermata Nowhere, Chris Robertson, Hill to Hill Brass and others.