It is with great sadness that we are reporting the passing of one of Rocky Mountain District’s giants in the Barbershop world. Our friend and barbershop brother, John Elving, passed away on November 22nd, 2018.
Almost everyone in “barbershop” knew or crossed paths with John over his 37+ years of barbershop. John’s esteemed reputation was enormous. Most recently, John was serving his final few days as Immediate Past President of Rocky Mountain District (RMD). He was President of RMD in 2015-16, and served on the District Presidents’ Council. John was also RMD “Barbershopper of the Year” (in 2015) for his many accomplishments in our District. He served several Vice-Presidential duties of RMD (as a member of the operations team) for many years prior to his rising the ranks to become District President. In addition to serving as Immediate Past President, John was current editor of our RMD newsletter: Vocal Expressions.
On the chapter level, John served the Mount Rushmore chapter as an officer (primarily as VP of Music and Performance or Marketing and PR) since 2007. He was chapter “Barbershopper of the Year” twice. He has served his chapter in many capacities, to include section leader and assistant director. John has 8 Man of Note Awards. He has been in three registered quartets between 1999 and 2014. John wrote many show scripts, served as a show chairman, and was an arranger of musical scores.
In addition to all of his chapter accolades, he was an instructor and quartet coach at Rocky Mountain Harmony College, served as an MC for District conventions, was a Leadership Academy Instructor, and certified as a Standing Ovation Evaluator.
John was also very active in PROBE (Public Relations Officers and Bulletin Editors). He has been an officer of PROBE for many years, and is a past President of PROBE. He also won their Outstanding Achievement Award.
He has been editor in-chief for many years of Mount Rushmore chapter’s newsletter: The Voice of Rushmore. During that time, his publication has been among the very best in electronic bulletins in BHS, placing 1st in 2007 and 2nd in 2006 in PROBE’s electronic bulletin contest. The Voice of Rushmore has placed in the top 10 for many years among the Society’s best chapter bulletin publications in the International Bulletin Contest. John was also a Certified Newsletter Judge.
John Elving was also very passionate about sharing music with kids. He was instrumental in his participation with the International Music Camp Summer School of Fine Arts.
John was very proud of his children, and loved his wife, Barbara. Most of all, we all felt the particular pride John had for his son Jeff, whom he got into barbershop over 12 years ago. John was a military veteran, and we are all thankful for his service to our country, his community, his Chapter, his District and the Barbershop Harmony Society. We shall miss John’s booming bass voice, his musical and directorial advice, his terrific sense of humor, and his wise counsel. Goodbye old friend!
Pasco W. Scarpella, President-Elect
Rocky Mountain District