POLITICIANS AS PERFORMERS: Finding politicians of various affiliations in complete harmony is rare, if not impossible. But seven Brockton city councilors are singing the same tune, and hope to snag a prize while raising money for charity.
The Council Chords, seven councilors of various political stripes, are among the finalists in “The Voices of Champions,” a singing contest put on by the Charity Guild social-services agency in Brockton. The groups compete for top honors (prizes include recording time in a studio), based on audience voting, at the Guild’s Harvest Gala Thursday at the Shaw’s Center in Brockton. Ayla Brown of “American Idol” will sing and be an honorary judge for the event, which benefits the guild’s food pantry.
“We get together, practice just before a show, and just have a lotta fun,” said Tom Monahan, second-term councilor and more-or-less official spokesman of the group.
The core group is Monahan, Thomas Brophy, Timothy Cruise, Todd Petti, Jass Stewart, Paul Studenski, and Robert Sullivan. All sing, some play instruments. The lineup shifts from time to time and can include state Representative Michael Brady, former Brockton Police Chief William Conlon; School Committee member Anthony Donegan; and Jim Larkin, host of “Sounds of the Emerald Isle” at www.live365.com.
“We first started doing it my first term, a few of us had gone to the Council on Aging St. Patrick’s Day party, told a few jokes, and one of us sang a song — and he wasn’t that good,” Monahan joked.
From that sprang more regular get-togethers, and it was Conlon “who got us into this Charity Guild event,” Monahan said, which meant “we had to practice more. We never practice that much, and even then had to bribe the members with beer and food.”
As the preliminary contests unfolded for the guild competition, “we tried to put a little harmony into it,” Monahan said. “We came in second. That’s what practice will do, I guess.”
If it appears self-deprecating humor is a specialty of the group, it is, he said. But they can’t be all that bad: 45 performers auditioned for the contest, 20 made the preliminary round, and 10 are in the finals. Those finalists include Gerard Burke, former president of Massasoit Community College; Nicki Draves, development coordinator of Catholic Charities south; and students in college, high schools, and middle schools from six South Shore towns.
“We have six or seven songs, and the best thing we did was pick up Larkin, he plays banjo and 12-string guitar, and makes us all sound a lot better,” Monahan said, adding with a laugh, “I play guitar too, and so does Donegan, but we try to drown him out.”
“We are very pleased to have the Council Chords among our singers because they’re fun and fine musicians, too,” said Michael Molyneux, executive director of the Charity Guild. “The judges gave them second place among our 20 semifinalists. You might think this would be just a lark to them, but they really put on a good show.”
Tickets for the show are $75 and reservations must be made by calling 508-583-5280 or visiting www.thecharityguild.org.
“We’re not professionals, we make fun of ourselves, laugh, tell some jokes,” Monahan said, “and no one takes it seriously.”
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