Ed, the son of Dr. & Mrs. Edwin P. Dierdorff, was born and spent the first 20 years of his life in Kailua, Hawaii, where his father still practices. I mention his father so early in this profile, because of his musical influence on Ed from an early age.
Dr. Dierdorff was a popular folk singer while attending medical school in Hawaii before being introduced to the barbershop style. When that introduction came, he joined the society, and around that time formed the “Tiki Tones”, a Hawaiian-favorite quartet for the next 30 years. By the time Ed was eleven years old, his dad and the Tiki Tones were well-known Hawaiian fixtures and Ed was invited to join his Dad’s chorus. That was the Aloha Chapter in Honolulu where they attended together for the next nine years, traveling to district on the mainland several times.
One of Ed’s fondest memories was singing bass (yea, Ed singing bass!) with a youth quartet (the “Minor Chords”) on a chapter show with his Dad’s quartet as the headliners. Ed sang with the Aloha Chapter until leaving the islands for college at the age of 20.
His college of choice was Pacific Lutheran University, south of Tacoma, where Ed earned a Bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in political science in 1988. During his college days, he joined and sang with both the Tacoma Totemaires and the Seattle Seacordsmen. The Seattle connection came about because he frequently came up north for some home cooking. His mother was living there by then and was caring for her mother, a labor of love that continues (with Ed’s live-in help) to this day. (Grandma will be 103, later this month!)
Graduation from PLU did not end his educational pursuits. In 1993 Ed graduated from Highline Community College’s paralegal program and later (2000 – 2002) he earned yet another 2-year degree in computer technical support from Bellevue College. That program led to his current career at CompuCom Systems, Inc. as a Recruiting Administrator, where he manages the incoming resumes for eventual placement in computer-related contract positions for the company.
Though singing has been one of the major loves of his life, it has not come easily to Ed. He suffers from an asthmatic condition which requires ongoing vocal therapy to maintain a qualifying quality to his voice. But with dogged determination, he simply keeps coming back and improving with each attempt until he’s made it. That, in fact is what earned him his spot on the risers with Northwest Sound in the first place. Kendall Williams had been encouraging Ed to audition for some time, but it was the persistence of several auditions that finally put him in our midst in 2001.
With the passing of Ed Hartly in 2005, Ed willingly took over as Evergreen District Historian and has remained in that position ever since. If you want to know anything about Evergreen history, ask Ed…he probably has it in his head, if not otherwise in his district archives. With his para-legal training coming in handy, Ed has done the preparation of grant requests for Northwest Sound, resulting in several monetary awards to the chorus. And besides all that, he sings in a Seattle-based VLQ called “What’s Cookin’”.
From a strictly personal perspective, your author has a special appreciation for this hard-working and dedicated guy. He sang in a just-for-fun quartet with Jerry Singer, Al Zils and me for a while…we called it Northwest Blend. And in 2009 Ed was sitting next to me on the bus to District Contest at Whistler, B.C. when I got a fateful (actually fatal as it turned out) cell-phone call from my late wife’s doctor. Ed helped me sort out what to do and kept me on an even keel through that very trying moment in my life. Just the sort of thing you’d expect of a good friend. How sweet to have guys like Ed Dierdorff in our chorus…we’re blessed.