Every once in a while, a new chorus member joins a barbershop chapter and makes an immediate impact, not just on his section or even just on the chorus, but on the whole organization itself. Enter: Joe Hage.
Mr. Hage (pronounced HAYJ) is another singer who found Northwest Sound by looking around online. He’s a long-time musical theatre performer, going all the way back to playing Nathan Detroit in his high school’s production of “Guys and Dolls,” and he’s always liked harmony. He came across the website information for “Sing, Sing, Sing!” in October of 2010 and says it made him want to “do, do, do.” But at the time he was in the middle of a production of Twelfth Night Productions‘ “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at Kenyon Hall in West Seattle (a venue, it’s worth pointing out, that’s one of our reliable chorus sponsors).
Thankfully, Joe contacted Fergie anyway, so he got added to the contact list for the next round of “Sing, Sing, Sing!” Smart move on Fergie’s part, because a year later Joe opted for “Sing, Sing, Sing!” instead of doing the play again. Outcome: A new bass, and another Man of Note for Fergie.
Joe was born and raised in Brooklyn and went to college at NYU. After college he wanted to be an investment banker, but, finding that hard to break into, he eventually “settled” for going to Wharton for his MBA. Joe later found out it was his love of performing that got him into Wharton: He told the admission interviewers he was desperate to get into the Wharton Follies, and they decided a guy like him would “add color” to the student body.
That same passion, however, apparently prevented him from getting his preferred summer job during B-school. The company interviewer later said Joe livened up so much when asked about the Wharton Follies that it made for an uncomfortable contrast with his level of enthusiasm when discussing investment banking.
As a result, Joe shifted his focus to marketing, and after graduating and a position at Kraft Foods and others on the east coast, he and his family relocated to the Seattle area in 2004 when he got a job heading up marketing for StockPot, a Campbell’s Soup company in Everett. He later turned to the medical field and started his own medical device marketing consultancy, Medical Marcom.
A connector of people, Joe leads the Medical Devices Group on LinkedIn, “a spam-free, curated forum for intelligent conversations with medical device thought leaders” that just happens to be the single largest online medical device community in the world. He now hosts an annual medical device conference for the group.
Joe lives in Woodinville with his wife Beth and sons Zachary and Lucas. He also sings bass in their church choir at St. Jude Parish in Redmond.
After singing with NWS over the holidays, Joe made the mistake of asking a question from the risers about ticket sales and wound up as ticket chairman for our June 2012 show with a cappella joy and the Kentucky Vocal Union, “A Cappella Overdrive.” With a little gentle and immediate persuasion, he got us all reserving, carrying, purchasing, and moving tickets so successfully that we added a third performance, Sunday’s matinee. Talk about impact! And for those who had to miss his story at rehearsal, you missed a hilarious motivational speech about how the Jehovah’s Witnesses who recently knocked on Joe’s door left his home with show tickets in hand.
Finally, when Joe talks about the “brotherhood and love” he has found in Northwest Sound, he sounds as he must have to his interviewers in his Wharton days. Now, as then, things happen for a reason. It’s a wonderful life.