VERSAILLES — Local barbershop group The Quintessentials performed to a packed auditorium at Versailles High School’s Performing Arts Center Saturday afternoon and evening. Following up their Ohio Has Talent victory in 2016, the group intends to audition for the television show America’s Got Talent in Orlando this November, a dream community members, volunteers, and attendees at the group’s shows have helped make a reality.
“This is a completely community-driven show,” said Quincy Baltes, a band member and Versailles High School graduate studying animation in Savannah, Georgia. “Without them, we have nothing.”
Fellow band member Isaac Buschur agrees.
“Not only have people donated money, but they’ve donated time,” said Buschur, a Nursing major at Wright State University’s Lake Campus. According to Buschur, community volunteers have helped out with every aspect of the band’s shows, up to and including the lighting.
“They’re at least 50 percent of the reason we’ve been able to pull off any of the stuff that we’ve pulled off,” Buschur said.
Other band members agree that everything from the matching red suits they wear to the sound equipment that makes their shows possible, couldn’t have happened without the support of the community.
Keith Rawlins, father to band member Mitchell Rawlins, comes from an arts background himself, serving as Artistic Director for the Darke County Center for the Arts in Greenville. He agrees that community support has played a big part in getting the boys where they are today.
“The support is evident in the amount of tickets that were sold,” Rawlins said. “I think the community showed that they’re really rooting for the guys. They just want them to do the best they can, and they wanted to show their support by being there for them, and I think everybody went away a winner.”
And ticket sales aren’t the only way attendees at the Versailles performances showed their support.
“People were so generous, too, with donations, on top of the ticket cost,” said Rawlins. “Just the regular donation bins, with nothing to gain, nothing to get back, except for knowing that they helped these guys continue on with their dream.”
And in return, the band has tried to use those talents to give back to the community.
“One thing that’s always made me so proud of these boys,” Rawlins said, “is that they can’t give back to the community financially, the way the community can give to them. But I’ve seen them pile into a car and go to a nursing home and sing. They sing at churches. They walk around neighborhoods and sing Christmas carols. They’ve done a lot of little shows for next to nothing – I used to joke with them that sometimes they got paid in pizza! So they try to give back and show appreciation the way they can, which is with their talents.”
Ultimately, Rawlins said, the band’s success comes down to a combination of their musical talents, hard work, and community support.
“There were really only five young men up there on stage,” said Rawlins, “and for those five young men to be able to draw over 800 people to come see their show is tough to do. And it couldn’t be done without the support of the community.”
The Quintessentials. From left to right: Mitchell Rawlins, Brody Hyre, Kyle Wuebker, Quincy Baltes, and Isaac Buschur.
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