THE MIGHTY OAK CHORUS HISTORY
The Mighty Oak Chorus has its roots in Hanford. A devoted group of men from the Visalia area were traveling each week to Hanford to sing in the Kingsmen Barbershop Chorus. As time went by, these men noted that there was a significant number of men in the Visalia area who were also interested in Barbershop singing, but didn't want to travel each week to Hanford. In March of 1982 five singers who traveled each week to Hanford, got together to discuss the possibility of forming a new Barbershop Chapter in Visalia. These five men were Bud Case, Ron Dial, Claude Feaver, Fred Hendricks and Jim Moore. They met weekly, thereafter, to develop a list of potential Barbershoppers in the Visalia area. They contacted the national headquarters of Barbershopping, The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America or S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A as it was known (now named the Barbershop Harmony Society, BHS).
This allowed them to begin the process of chartering a chapter and using official S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A. Music. The first Director of the Mighty Oak Chorus was Don Campbell, the former Director of the Kingsmen Chorus and at that time the Redwood High School Choir Director. After nearly three months of planning, the Mighty Oak Chorus held its first meeting in the Redwood high School Band Room. One hundred and twenty (120) men showed up at the meeting with about half of the number being from the Kingsmen Chorus and the Fresno Gold Note Chorus. After watching performances from the Kingsmen Chorus and the Fresno Gold Note Chorus, the 60 or so rookies performed "My Wild Irish Rose".
Ron Dial was elected as the first President of the Mighty Oak Chorus. As meetings followed more men from the Visalia area joined the Chorus. The first major concert was held November 6, 1982 at the L.J. Williams Theater. On July 25, 1982, under the sponsorship of the Fresno Gold Note Chorus, the Chapter contacted the national headquarters to begin the procedure to become an official chapter. In January of 1983, began the work of officially applying to become a chartered chapter. Sixty chorus members signed the chartering application, a very large number for a new chorus, and on March 30, 1983, the Chapter was officially chartered.
The chapter has been a community asset over the last 40 years with many shows, singing Valentines, hosting FWD conventions and other performances. We are proud of our tradition of Caroling at no cost in many senior care facilities each year. Before the pandemic we established a Christmas Concert. In 2011 and 2012 we hosted Youth Festivals as a way to educate our youth about our Americana music style.