Tenor: Frank Lanza
Lead: Dick Chacos
Bass: Don Beinema
Bari: Richard “Doc” Sause
It’s not unusual, with today’s modern highways and plane connections, for members of a quartet to live some distance apart. But in the mid-1960s, when the Four Statesmen were working their way toward the 1967 International championship, it was almost unbelievable that a quartet could live in four different states.
Yet such was the case for tenor Frank Lanza, Providence, Rhode Island; lead Dick Chacos, Nashua, New Hampshire; bari Richard “Doc” Sause, Meriden, Connecticut; and bass Don Beinema, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Twice weekly they drove a total of 800 miles to rehearse. What’s more, they continued the long distance harmonizing from the time the quartet was organized in 1963 until it disbanded at the end of 1978 – a total of more than 15 years.
The Statesmen were all “old pros” in the barbershopping world when they first got together. Frank had been a member for 17 years and had sung in four quartets from three chapters. Dick Chacos, a 14 year veteran, had made the International finals five straight years, 1959 through 1963 with his quartet, the Merry Notes. Doc Sause had been a member for 22 years and had sung in both chorus and quartet competition on the International stage – in the latter case with the Connecticut Yankees. And Don had been a member of three different quartets in his 12 years with the Society before joining the Statesmen.