Renaissance Raconteurs

 No doubt you have seen and heard them perform, many times.  It may have begun with the new residents welcome breakfast, or the holiday sing along in the clubhouse lobby, or you may have seen them at a memorial plaque dedication, or the 4th of July celebration in back of the clubhouse, or the 9-11 memorial around the flag pole.  It may even have been at one of their annual concerts.  Have you ever wondered how the Raconteurs got their start?

Sometime back in 2001, Arthur J. Byers, then a resident Trustee on the Renaissance B.O.T., and now a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was watching something on T.V.  He can no longer remember what, and he saw a performance by a barbershop quartet.  He thought that a similar a capella group would be a great idea for Renaissance at Manchester.  He put a small article in the Renaissance Times, sent emails to all of the residents on his address list and made an announcement at an RHOA meeting.  He had only a few responses, but enough to get started.  He used his own guitar and piano skills to arrange some barbershop harmony songs.  Then a cataclysmic event took place: Joe Acciavatti joined the group.  To quote Art, “his boundless enthusiasm, his great leadership abilities, his likeability, his management skills, and his showmanship were the real spark.”  Joe also came up with the name, “Raconteurs.”  The next significant thing that happened was the addition of a genuine barber shopper Bass, Dick Bodmer.  He introduced the group to real barbershop arrangements and it took off.  When Art retired from the group and moved away in 2004, we were very fortunate to acquire another member, John Huetz, who is an experienced barbershop chorus director, and is now our director/conductor.  In 2002, there were six men in this fledgling barbershop chorus.  As of November 2007, the membership is up to 28, including five female Tenors.  Our repertoire now includes not only songs like “Sweet Adeline”, “The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” and “Goodbye My Coney Island Baby”, but “Under the Boardwalk”, “Hello Mary Lou” and George Harrison’s “Something.”

 The Raconteurs are today a well-disciplined chorus singing four-part a capella, sweet sounding barbershop harmony.  So hurry on out and find out where our next appearance will be.


Click Link Below here to see

Raconteurs Sing God Bless America  Citi Field Mets baseball game 7-8-2012


Click Links Below for Our Next Appearance

Raconteurs' December 9th Holiday Sing-A-Long


Click links below for Photos The Raconteurs