Serve the ice cream and they will come. Throw in some incredible barbershop harmony and they will come in droves. And so they did. A record number of over 350 seniors of all ages showed up at the First United Methodist Church for the Santa Monica Oceanaires 20th Annual Ice Cream Social.
Formed over 25 years ago, the group is comprised of 25 to 30 men ranging in age from their late 20s all the way up to their 70s, and is currently under the dynamic baton of Todd Kolberg who elicits an incredible sound, coupled with scoops and scoops of joy and enthusiasm.
In addition to performing songs from the American Musical Songbook, part of the evening’s selections were dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, with such familiar tunes as “The Wells Fargo Wagon,” “Lida Rose,” “Sincere” and of course the most famous “Seventy-Six Trombones,” all performed in perfect harmony. The audience was also treated to a guest appearance by The Trojan Men, the USC all-male a cappella group that rocked the joint with their rendition of “Silhouettes on the Shade” and “Earth Angel.”
The icing on the ice cream was magician El Moldo, aka Bruce Schroffel, who performed some hilariously funny “magic” tricks. “In the interest of time, I’m going to show you the finished trick.” He then held up a rope, saying, “This rope was in two parts, now it’s whole.” He followed that dazzling trick with pulling a white scarf out of his hat: “This was red, now it’s white.” The audience was very appreciative of his non-magic act as evidenced by the gales of laughter permeating the balloon-festooned hall.
Why such a huge turnout? According to Jim Leedom, who has been singing with the group for 21 years, “This is the best entertainment package in town,” adding, “Where else can you buy such an evening of fun for $10?” The hundreds of smiling faces were certainly strong evidence of Leedom’s assessment.
If you are interested in singing with the Oceanaires, call Ken Scholtz at 310.837.2653.