In the summer of 1965, four men – Earl Bittinger (lead), Bob Carthew (tenor), Dave Landis (baritone), and Gary Forry (bass) formed a quartet and began singing barbershop-style music in Hanover, PA.
They soon decided to attempt to form a chorus and apply for a charter as a chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. So they sent letters to men in this area whom they thought might be interested in joining a chorus. About fifteen men attended a first meeting held at the Utz Potato Chip Co. pavilion in early October 1965. Formal meetings began on the first Monday of April, 1966. At that time, the first elected board of officers considered selecting a name for the chorus and decided to call the group “Chorus of Conewago”.
On the first Monday of March 1967, the Executive Board members of The Hanover Chorus met with the Area V.P. of the Mid-Atlantic District, the Penn Dutch Area Counselor, and the President of the York Chapter to discuss the procedures for incorporating, licensing, and obtaining a charter as a chorus of the International Society. By February of 1968, the incorporation had been completed through the York County Court, and the formal application for a charter was sent to the International Society. The Chapter was formally presented at the first Annual Harvest of Harmony Barbershop Show on September 14, 1968.
In 1973, the chapter membership voted to change the chapter’s name to the “Standardbred Chorus” because Hanover is well-known as the primary location for breeding standardbred horses.
What a remarkable history, thanks to remaining charter members Don Myers and Dick Weaver plus all others who worked and cooperated to make it happen!