Tenor: Roger Ross
Lead: Joe Connelly
Bass: Don Barnick
Bari: Tony DeRosa
Keepsake of Polk County, Orlando and Winter Park, Florida won the gold in 1992 in New Orleans.
Keepsake was a quartet with the ability to reach across the footlights and grabs the hearts of the audience with their music. Their expressive song selection included charts written and arranged by Lou Perry, Renee Craig, Bob Disney, Greg Volk, and Clay Hine. Roses of Picardy was a popular song choice during their winning year and considered as the unofficial song of the contest in the Superdome. They reached the top with the help of top coaches like Larry Ajer, Jim Casey, Dave LaBar, and Paul Gallagher.
They were a popular quartet and booked on many chapter shows across the country as well as travels to Italy and the French Riviera. They produced three fine recordings, The Entertainer, Once Upon A Time, and Without A Song.
Roger Ross started singing barbershop at age 10 in Terre Haute, Indiana. After relocating to Florida in 1972, he sang in his first quartet on baritone with his dad in the quartet Elements of Harmony, then Center of Attraction (1980, with brother, Rusty). This was Roger’s first taste of the International contest stage and subsequently made nine more trips to the Int’l stage singing three different parts and with several quartets who also won the Sunshine District quartet championship: Popular Choice (1982-tenor), Cheerful Noise (1985-lead), and One Shot Deal (1988-lead, w/ Tony De Rosa and Keepsake (1991-tenor). Roger is one of three members to have won FOUR Sunshine District Championships: Sean Milligan (5) and Tony De Rosa (4).
Roger was also director of Orlando’s Orange Blossom Chorus. He later led Winter Park’s Sunshine Jubilee Chorusto a district championship in 1988 and directed the Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony in International competition in Salt Lake City in 2004. He has been a permanent “sub” with the famous Dapper Dans of Disney World since 1978, is former Dean of Sunshine Sizzle HEP school, was SUN District Barbershopper of the Year in 1987, is a SUN HOF inductee and served as President of the Association of International Champions (AIC). He’s working up a new quartet and plans to be on the contest stage again soon.
This was Joe Connelly’s second of three gold medals. At the age of 13, young Joe wasn’t yet awesome but joined theSouthern Gateway Cincinnati chapter and learned at the knee of his dad (Mike – bari of the Roaring 20’s). He won gold in 1987 with Interstate Rivals. “Awesome Joe” moved to Florida and directing the Orlando Orange Blossomchorus to a repeat district championship in 1989. A certified Interpretation judge, Joe also served on the Harmony College Faculty many years.
He has been an active and popular coach of men’s and women’s quartets and choruses. One of his quartets wasShowtime (1993 International Queens of Harmony). Three weeks after winning his gold in New Orleans, Joe married Showtime’s outstanding lead, Debbie. He continues his quest for gold with Old School having placed 5th at International in 2008 on their first attempt.
Don Barnick is the only two-time gold medalist to win on both tenor and bass. In seventh grade he got hooked on barbershop and formed his first foursome, The Tuneagers. At 18 he began directing the SAI Lake Erie Seaway (SAI) and later directed the Lakewood Gold Coast Chorus. In 1973 he moved to Florida and sang in Brush and Lather 4, American Tradition and Phase IV quartets. Don also sang with theOrange Blossom Chorus and the Tin Types quartet (withDick Kneeland at that time, a Dapper Dans’ Lead singer, Bill Wood, and Chuck Pritchett).
Barnick moved to Chicago and joined the Grandma’s Boyswho won gold in 1979. They retired in 1985 and he moved back to Florida and sang baritone with SideKicks placing top ten three times at International. Don is also a three-part sub for the Dapper Dans of Disney World and sings in a fun quartet with his wife Ellen called 3 Flirts and a Skirt.
This win made Tony De Rosa (19) the youngest member to win the gold. Tony grew up in a barbershop family and started at the age of 7 with his dad, Joe, director of theChorus of the Genesee in Rochester, New York. In 1981 they moved to Florida where Papa Joe directed the Pride of the Polk chorus. The family is total barbershop with Mom, a Harmony Inc. Champion (1979) and sister, Chris, singing with Toast of Tampa Sweet Ads. Tony started singing with a quartet at age 10 with Cypress Chord Club, 1984 district champion and 1985 International competitor. He joined Roger in One Shot Deal. He went on to win with Platinum in 2000 and Max Q in 2007.