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Boys' night out

Seattle Men’s Chorus bring its 2007 seasonal celebration concert to Tacoma

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The Seattle Men’s Chorus is bringing its 300-voice ensemble to the Broadway Center’s Rialto Theater for two performances of its 2007 holiday production, “Home for the Holidays.” The shows, set for Saturday, Dec. 8, at 3 and 7:30 p.m., also feature Seattle’s Vaudeville-style solo entertainer, the “definitely eccentric but always musical” Hokum W. Jeebs.

Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC), now in its 29th year, has been presenting its distinctive musical take on the Holiday season from the start. Each holiday concert is built around a specific theme. This year, the program focuses on the varied meanings of “home” during the Holiday season — families, friends, the “wonders of childhood,” explored through a mix of carols and tunes both familiar and new. Some selections are intentionally nostalgic (songs sung in barbershop style), while others draw from more contemporary musical forms. Also presented are storytelling sequences — including true tales of people whose personal resumes reflect experience playing Santa Claus and a recently-penned story about an “aluminum Christmas tree who just wants to find a home.”

This year the singers of the SMC are joined by Seattle’s own vaudevillian, Professor Hokum W. Jeebs, who entertains his audiences with an assemblage of musically tuned Coke bottles, a tuba, and a musical saw (on which he renders a personalized version of “I Saw Three Ships”).

Originally from Syracuse, N.Y., Jeebs began “goofing on the piano for laughs” at community talent shows. He had a career as a public school music teacher, but the professor eventually turned his love for the quirkier side of musical entertainment to a life on the road. He was a traveling solo street musician who blended Vaudeville routines and humor with one-man-band virtuosity.

“I played a muffler, a tuba, a toy piano, the saw, a snorkel,” he recalls. “Then I added a calliope and a piano-on-a-tricycle.”

During his one-man-band days, Jeebs performed in cities ranging from Orlando to Sydney, to Anchorage and Tokyo, as well as points in between. Now semi-retired, Jeebs lives and continues to perform in Seattle.

The Seattle Men’s Chorus, which was founded in 1979, was joined by a sister organization, the Seattle Women’s Chorus, (SWC), in 2002. They represent the largest community choruses in the country — and are the largest gay ensembles in the world. The SMC has more than 300 members. The SWC features more than 200 voices. SWC also presents an annual Holiday concert program.

To learn more about SMC and SWC, visit the two groups’ home on the Web, Flying House Productions, at

[Rialto Theater, Saturday, Dec. 8, 3 and 7:30 p.m., $34-$45, 310 S. Ninth, downtown Tacoma, 253.591.5894,]

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