Featured Member in the Spotlight!
This page is dedicated to featuring beloved members of Perfect Harmony.
Kathy Hohl, Lead
Kathy has had a very unique life. And she has many stories she can tell. Here is what she has shared with us:
“I was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. While my Mom & Dad were divorcing my grandmother sent me to a Catholic boarding High School during my Freshman year. Roller skating was my hobby and after High School I followed the love of my life and husband for 66 years, Marvin, to California. He had joined the Marine Corp in San Diego, and I was living with my Great Grandma in San Francisco. It was there I achieved many skating medals for Dance, Freestyle, Figure Skating & Judging. I also worked for 9 years as a Comp-to-meter (a forerunner of today’s computers) for a company that made the “Jaws of Life” used for Emergency Rescue by Fire Departments. Before Marvin went overseas, we married and when he got back from Korea we started our family in Milwaukee. Within a 13 year period I had 9 children, 6 are living (4 boys & 2 Girls) and I was a Foster Mother for 1 child who grew up in our family until she was 5 ½ years old. Our children still invest in our lives today. When my oldest child got a job, cashiering for a Roller Rink, it enabled all of her family to enjoy skating for FREE! After a few years our boys, and one daughter joined the speed team and I started to Judge again. After I got to be known I was gradually asked to Judge at different local meets. (Of course, I couldn’t judge when my own children were competing.) Later I went to the Olympic Grounds in Colorado Springs to review twice a year, every year. One week I reviewed for speed, and 1 week for Art, which included dance, figure skating & freestyle skating. Sometimes I would get Airline tickets and hotel accommodations when I judged a meet. I was chosen to be a National Judge for the National Speed Meets. I did that for eight years. I judged for a few Art Meets but was uncomfortable when I was told by other judges WHO was to win. At the Olympic Training Center I asked if I would be eligible to be an International Judge and was told “I would never become one because I was a woman”. This was in 1985! I walked away and never looked back. My daughter did earn the right to be chosen for the US National team in 1977, which is a great honor. She competed Internationally as well. My son made a career of skating, owns a Roller Rink, and competes in Senior Competition Meets today.
In 1997 when Marvin retired from Pfizer after 47 years in Senior Management for the Hospital Supply facility, and our children were all gone, we moved to Bella Vista. Since living in Bella Vista I have volunteered at the BV Library as a reader to children and worked with them in small crafts. I supplied the craft pieces for them, it was wonderful to be with children again and I enjoyed working with them for 14 years. One of my hobbies is repairing, painting and dressing Porcelain Dolls back to their original beauty. I have a bedroom dedicated to all my dolls. I also do restorations for clients. While at the Catholic boarding High School, I had my first encounter with a wonderful teacher who coached me and taught me music. After one year I had a four octave range and could sing high soprano down to bass, but I enjoyed singing Soprano because it was the easiest. One day during my water aerobics class in Bella Vista I was singing with the music when Helen Smiley heard me and asked me to join the Perfect Harmony group. After a few weeks I came to a practice and I was HOOKED! The group is so welcoming and loving, I am grateful to Helen, Karen and all the girls who participate. Now, when Perfect Harmony calls, I’M READY!” Kathy
The most rewarding event in Kathy’s lifetime is “acknowledging to the Lord that I am 86 years old and still alive, when all my relatives and friends have already passed”. Kathy would like to visit Disney World and revisit the Badlands and the Black Hills. She has several fond memories of traveling from Wisconsin to California with their 9 children (and a babysitter) and stopping in the Dakotas. Some trips they hauled a camper and packed a tent so they could explore the area on the way. Her favorite colors are blue, particularly aqua. When Kathy first wheeled into the church parking lot for rehearsal in her little red convertible, you knew she was a woman you would want to know! She has shared many interesting stories that have made us laugh. Her dedication and support for the chorus is obvious when she walks into rehearsal with a smile. Undoubtedly, there will be more chapters that will be added to her life story, her experiences with Perfect Harmony will be one!
Katie Scherz, Bass (and occasionally Baritone)
Katie is one member that has had an exciting career with Barbershop groups, here is her story.
In 1951 in Peoria, Illinois at 14 years old I was asked to sing Baritone in a quartet called "The Mellowaires". My sister sang bass. The quartet felt that even though I was young I could handle the Baritone part. I surprised them and did better than they expected! Then in 1958 I joined a struggling Sweet Adeline chorus in Fairbury, Illinois and chartered with them singing Bass. I drove 15 miles to rehearsal each week. In 1963 I moved to East Moline, Illinois and immediately found a Sweet Adeline Chapter and a Harmony, Inc. chorus to sing with. I was in seventh heaven singing with both groups for several years. One quartet I sang Baritone with called “Chord Teasers" decided to get serious and compete in the Harmony Inc. International competition. I decided why not? We competed 4 times and placed 5th in Ottawa, Canada in 1967, 4th in Hamilton, Ontario in 1968 and 2nd in Burlington, Vermont in 1969. We FINALLY, won the International Title of "HARMONY QUEENS" in 1970 in Providence, Rhode Island. It was a wonderful time during our year of reign doing Barbershop shows all over the United States. Flying to and from at their expense and being featured on their annual shows. We even made an LP record during that time. After The Chord Teasers broke up, I started a new quartet called "Moline Tradition". I was singing Baritone. We had top notch coaching and it paid off. We won the competition in Harmony Inc International competition the 1st time on stage in Montreal, Quebec in 1973. We spent a year of traveling to and from shows. Another wonderful year. “Being part of the winning quartet two times in Harmony Inc. competition is a special Personal Accomplishment for me.”
I married Chuck Scherz in 1968. Chuck also sang Barbershop harmony and loved the hobby as much as I did. I was singing Baritone in 1976 with a Sweet Adeline quartet called "IV Part AlaCarte". We competed in a Regional Contest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and WON the Regional award. That win allowed us to compete in the Sweet Adeline International contest in Cincinnati, Ohio. What a RIDE for six years. I was the luckiest girl alive. In l977 Chuck & I purchased a fishing resort in Minnesota. The nearest Sweet Adeline chorus was 65 miles away in Fargo, North Dakota. I drove it once a week for 18 years to sing Bass. The Fargo chorus did place 1st in AA Division in San Antonio, TX in 1993 at International Competition. In the winter Chuck & I would become Snowbirds and found groups to sing in such as Sweet Adeline and Harmony, Inc choruses in Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Las Vegas, Iowa, across Illinois and Texas. My 'favorite' time was singing with the Houston Horizon chorus for 3 winters. They were top notch and worked hard. I was 1 of about 70 members.
I sang with a group in Joplin, Missouri for 6 years driving 50 miles to rehearsals. In Arkansas, I helped charter the Sweet Adeline group and also started the quartets "Special Design", "On-the-Go" and most recent "Persnickety". My most memorable time was when the Harmonaires (a group I sang with from Illinois) called me in Bella Vista to ask if I could learn 12 songs in 2 weeks singing Baritone for a couple of important performances in Illinois and a biggie in Florida and I DID IT. They sent me a tape to listen to and it was in my ear for 2 solid weeks. That was the only way I could learn the songs since I don't read music. Those two jobs didn’t pay well, but I had a great time! Barbershop singing is a wonderful hobby that I've enjoyed for 66 years now. I’ve counted over 14 groups I have sang with, which include mixed quartets of men & women. I just gotta hear those Barbershop Chords, I love Barbershop! - Katie
Although Katie no longer sings competitively, she continues to use her harmonizing skills in our Perfect Harmony Women’s Barbershop Chorus. During the time Katie was so active in competition singing she also had a career of a Caregiver for 40 years. With all she has accomplished she considers her most rewarding events to be her “two beautiful daughters and four wonderful step children.”
Yellow and blue are her favorite colors (no surprise here! they reflect her blue skies & sunny disposition).
Hats Off! To Katie for her years of Barbershop experience and her love of MUSIC.
Karen Frankenfeld, Director
We feel fortunate to have a Director with the experience and dedication of Karen Frankenfeld. Perfect Harmony was started in 1999 by Karen when she was asked to start a women’s barbershop chorus in Bella Vista after the Sweet Adeline chorus lost its director. She will celebrate 20 years of directing our chorus this fall, 2019. Barbershop singing has been a part of Karen’s life for many years giving her a resource of tunes that account for the variety of songs we have in our portfolio. These songs may include classics from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, modern pop, seasonal songs, patriotic, gospel and novelty numbers. Some songs give her an opportunity to add a special touch to the arrangement and to let the women have a little fun with it for audience appeal. Arrangements in Barbershop style are four part harmony. Karen researches a wide variety of music before selecting a song for the chorus to sing. Her vision of our Perfect Harmony Barbershop Women’s Chorus was to have a group of women that would have fun singing and entertaining others. And she has done just that, as well as encouraging a sisterhood relationship within the chorus.
Before coming to Bella Vista Karen retired from 38 years of teaching in Missouri and Iowa where she taught high school Vocal and Band music. She received her Master’s Degree in 1968 and was recognized as Outstanding Alumni at Park University in 1983. Her directing experience also includes Sweet Adeline choruses and church choirs. However, her most rewarding events in her lifetime were “marrying my husband Bob, now deceased, having two wonderful children and hosting 8 exchange students from all over the world”. Another rewarding event for Karen is “having four grandchildren all in their 20’s who are busy with their lives but make time to visit grandma 2 to 3 times a year.” She credits their parents for having done a great job with them. (No doubt those parents learned their parenting skills from Karen and Bob.)
In her spare time she enjoys reading magazines, watching sports and game shows. For 16 years she has found time to volunteer at NW Medical Hospital and currently sings in the BV Women’s Chorus.
A train trip across the NW United States and returning by way of LA and KC, is on her bucket list. If you visit Karen in her home you will see that she has an interest in antiques and amazing South West décor.
Purple is our Director’s favorite color, she looks good in our purple outfit!
Thank you Karen for your dedication to Perfect Harmony and the love of Barbershop music that you share with us.