Category: Blog

Hello, friends and fans!

Summer is drawing to a close, fall is just around the corner, and ‘Shoptimus Prime has some big news to announce. 

As some of you may have heard, our quartet is gaining another ‘Shopt-alumnus. Seth Bocknek, our baritone and close friend, is leaving for Beijing, China, in early September to continue his studies in Mandarin at Tsinghua University. Three years ago, Seth was the spark that set in motion the creation of our quartet, and for that we are all extremely grateful. While we’re sad to see him go, we know that he will have great success in this next stage of his life, both in his studies and in creating the new Chinese affiliate organization to the Barbershop Harmony Society (we can only assume).

If you’re getting a sense of déjà vu, it may be because less than two years ago, we had another member move out of Ontario to further his post-secondary education. Just like last time, we’ve found a La Scala from Buffalo, NY to replace our departing member. Michael, Tom, and Mike are very excited to announce that Joel La Scala—brother of tenor Michael La Scala—will be the new baritone of ‘Shoptimus Prime going forward. We look forward to singing with Joel in our upcoming performances, and as we prepare to (hopefully) qualify for our final year in the international collegiate contest next year.

Wanna hear the new formation? Click the video below!

4 thoughts on “Changing of the Guard

  1. We’re excited to compete alongside you in this year’s International Barbershop Collegiate Quartet Contest! We miss Seth too, but we think that we couldn’t have asked for a better replacement. You rock, Joel!

    Here’s to bringing home two medals this year!

  2. Hi Guys! I’m Holly Beck – clearing some of your arrangements for Brent Graham. I was checking out your website and saw that Seth, prior baritone, went to Tsinghua University in Beijing. Such a coincidence. In the early 2000s, Brian and I went to China (me five times in 2.5 years) to teach barbershop harmony. We put together two quartets from Tsinghua University and eventually brought them to the US for the college quartet contest and the rising star contest. The girls came in 3rd that year!! We were so proud. Is Seth still there? I wish I could remember the name of the young choral director there. He was very talented!!

    Just thought I would share that!


  3. Well….Main Street rocked the house, and Signature made me cry, but your quartet gave me the most Bshop thrills I have had in many years with this hobby. Can’t understand why you did not make the second set. Wish I lived up north again, because I’d put down my money for any show you will appear on! Sign me…..”seasoned in Ft Myers”

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