ONYX Vocal Band

Onyx News
Winter 2015

Nearly a year has passed since our last newsletter. It’s time to catch up on what’s been happening in the land of ONYX.

Over the past almost-eight years since ONYX began, our core ‘business’ has been performing for the residents, staff and guests of retirement communities throughout south-central Ontario.
It is so gratifying to watch the continued expansion of this program as we add new locations every year.

In 2014, we became associated with Big Brother/Big Sisters of York; our first venture with them was a Hallowe’en Gala/fund raiser, in which they partnered with other area non-profits for a very successful evening. We look forward to future collaborations with these great organizations.

Two years ago, we began the practice of taking the month of July for some always-needed summer vacation from all things ONYX. It has proven to be just what the doctor ordered; we are always looking forward to getting back together in August and to start putting together a revised program for our next season (September to June).
Our newest songs will be introduced to our audiences in the very near future. Enjoy!!

Several recent changes to our website have proven to be very useful and informative to our many visitors. If you have never taken time to visit the rest of the site, please go to OnyxVocalBand.com and start your journey. Your feedback will be valuable.

While on the subject of our website, we would like to introduce you to the man responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of the site, our good friend, Lyle Southam. Following is a profile, in Lyle’s own words:

I have been doing web work since the 90's and joined the Barbershop Harmony Society in '93, presently singing in Hamilton with a large chorus. My wife Joanne too has been doing web design for many years and, about 7 years ago, she joined a top Sweet Adelines chorus.

We do a lot together - including hosting about 50 web sites on web servers in Montreal through WebLady.ca. As well as webmaster 'at work' for the Mississauga Library system, wife Joanne is a barbershop webmaster for Sweet Adelines International, Region 16 and North Metro Chorus; together, we look after a number of other sites - mostly Barbershop groups on the local and national scale.

Like the ONYX site, all of these sites are of a custom design working with each group to provide what they want rather than a cookie-cutter approach. Hard to do? Not at all for us!

I often compare working on the ONYX Vocal Band web site to singing in a Barbershop chorus. In a chorus, it's the singing that brings members in and the camaraderie that keeps them. Likewise, when the other three guys approve Dave's marketing plan, Dave then works with me to get the design up and running and that keeps both of us busy for brief times of the year.

In the process, here too we have great camaraderie. Many of the aspects you see on the site are a result of Dave and I exchanging ideas and brainstorming together. Frequently, we may sail off topic and perhaps an hour later, get back to work. Really, for both of us, working on the ONYX site is like play.

This newsletter series is the result of Dave's work and I understand that it brings ONYX great results. I know no other quartet who are so booked that they turn down multiple requests simply because they are already so busy. I have attended some of their performances and can tell you that they entertain well and take their audiences on a musical journey that clearly brings smiles to their faces.

ONYX site is the result of input from all four members of the quartet and, working with Dave, we have put a good marketing presence on the web. I am pleased with the results and I hope all the readers are too.


The vocal band is in the process of developing a new mini-set of some of the best-known Beatles songs. We have selected the titles, already working on the first one, and the others will either be currently-available arrangements or produced by our main go-to man, Murray Adams. It’s always exciting to explore new directions.

Moving forward into the last half of our current season…January to June…we wish all of you a happy, healthy and successful 2015. As you’re going about each day, please don’t forget to enjoy the harmonies. They’re all around you - just listen.

One more thing – keep an eye on future newsletters for info about our next cabaret and our soon-to-be–launched YouTube Channel.

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