Brian Cromer became the Brotherhood’s director in August 2016, and he’s made an immediate impression. He’s a positive force within the chorus, challenging members to sing properly, with precision and artistry. Under his direction, the Brotherhood of Harmony was thrilled to capture the Most Improved Chorus award at the Illinois District convention in 2017.
After graduating in 2009 from Rowan University in New Jersey, he moved to Chicago land in 2010 to become a music teacher in the Chicago public schools. Clearly his roots were in music – playing keyboards in a high school rock band called Tokyo Breakfast and singing principal roles in operas, including Carmen and La Boehme, while in college.
His discovery of the joy of barbershop harmony in 2012 catapulted him into directing a small ensemble, listening to the close harmonies of barbershop as often as possible, and attending annual week-long Harmony Universities for the past several years.
His emphasis on fun and fellowship make rehearsals a joy – something to look forward to every week.
Brian his wife, Jess, and baby daughter, Sadie, live on the west side of Chicago. He reports that Sadie already has excellent lungs.
Bob Squires just may be “Mr. Barbershop” in the Illinois District. Name a quartet, he’s been in it or coached it. Name an arranger, he has a close relationship with him. Name an office or position in a barbershop chapter, he has held it.
As the historian for the Illinois District, he is an encyclopedia of barbershop information – but Bob is much more.
He’s sung with twelve District quartets placing in the top 10 thirty times, served as musical director for three chapters, was lead section leader for 1987 International Chorus Champions, West Towns Chorus, and sang lead in two International Senior Champions. In 1987, he won the Illinois District’s Award of Barbershop Excellence, and the following year was presented the District Quartet Champions Association Music Man Award.
As the Brotherhood of Harmony’s VP of Music and Presentation, Bob leads a music team that challenges the chorus to grow in membership and in musical excellence.
Bob and his wife, Julie, live in Plainfield.