HomeMeet Your CASA Ambassador: Dane Hutchins [Colorado / US]

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Dane Hutchins

When did you first become involved in a cappella? In what capacity? Do you perform or did you perform with a group? Which one? Tell us a little about it.

I've enjoyed singing since kindergarten, when I attended a small, one-room school, with all twelve grades taking part in singing as part of our daily routine. I was raised on a lake, and soon discovered that I could harmonize with motor boats as they moved along past my house. Thereafter, I regularly sang along with popular music recordings and would often croon Johnny Mathis love ballads as I delivered newspapers walking around the lake delivering newspapers.

I first became involved with a cappella singing in 1992, when I became a member of the Cherry Capital Men's Chorus, a barbershop chapter in Traverse City Michigan.  After moving to California I sang with Vocal Magic, a small a cappella jazz group in Yorba Linda. Next, I switched back to barbershop, becoming a member of the Irvine, CA "California Promise Chorus" for about six years, also serving as treasurer and president.

When did you first become involved with CASA?

I first became involved with CASA in 2003 when I helped start "Sound Celebration", a medium-sized a cappella vocal jazz group in Anaheim, and we became a member group to help promote ourselves.  Thereafter, I became involved in the CARA judging process, judging barbershop, jazz and doo-wop recordings for 4 or 5 years.  Our director moved to Texas and the group disbanded. I then joined the Masters of Harmony barbershop chorus in Santa Fe Springs, California. That group has won multiple international gold medals within the Barbershop Harmony Society and I was honored to win a gold with them in 2005 in the Salt Lake City convention and contest.  I recently moved to the Denver area, and became a member of the "Sound of the Rockies" chorus (SOR), who is actively involved with presenting many shows and competing at the international level. 

What geographical area do you cover as a CASA ambassador?

I am currently a CASA ambassador in Colorado, having written an article about a year ago about the preparations of the SOR for last summer's international competition. The SOR has taken 3rd or 4th place in the International contest for the past 5 or 6 years and is engaged once more in the fervor and hard work of trying once again to wrest that gold medal away from the "favored" groups. (Another article is forthcoming, hopefully to be published on the CASA site.)

Favorite a cappella concert?

I recently saw a local high school a cappella group, from Grandview HS in the Denver area, directed by a multi-gold medal winning director and the group is VERY good!  I'll be attending their next few rehearsals and shows, to also write an article about them (which will be submitted for publication on the CASA site.)

For a couple years, while I was one of the judges for the CARA awards, I submitted changes in the judging of the barbershop category that I thought would be useful, and I'll re-submit those again at some point.

What do you do for work and play?

I've been a software developer and quality assurance engineer for many years.

Favorite type of music?

Coming of age in the 50s and 60s, I enjoy pop standards from that era, but am a great fan of swing vocals from the 30s and 40s!  These days, I enjoy a wide spectrum of music, including jazz, nouveau flamenco and much more.  I intend to keep singing as long as my voice holds out and promoting others even beyond that.