Let’s get to know another of our new basses, “Larz” Hommel. Anyone who heard him demonstrating parts of “Mona Lisa” for the chorus in a quartet with Drew Osterhout, Chuck Caplan, and James Jones a couple rehearsals ago won’t be surprised to learn that Larz is a seasoned quartet singer. His first quartet was the Lords of Chords, a District finalist quartet in the mid-1980s, and more recently he sang with Night Magic and Ovation, both of them second place quartets in the District in the 1990s. He also sang Bari in a quartet called Hotwire.
Larz lives and works in University Place, just a few blocks, it turns out, from Curtis High School, where Donny Rose teaches. He and his wife Brandi are raising her seven-year-old grandson VaShaughn. Brandi is a clinical pharmacist with Group Health.
Larz grew up in Spokane and has been a barbershopper for about 25 years. He studied voice and sang in choral groups at Spokane Falls Community College, and after he graduated a classmate who was a barbershopper introduced him to the Spokane Pages of Harmony. He made his way to the Tacoma area just about two and half years ago after spending a couple of years on Maui and a couple in Portland.
Larz works in a dental lab called Custom Dental Aesthetics, where he makes zirconia crowns and bridges. He recently switched from the night shift to part-time day work, which enabled him to return to singing. And, by the way, he’s also a licensed massage practitioner.
In addition to barbershop, Larz has sung with a variety of choral groups, including the Eastern Washington University Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the Spokane Symphony Chorale. His other pastimes including spending time with his dog and watching stock car races. He’s an occasional speedster himself, either in the stock car his brother races in Idaho or on the indoor go kart track in Tukwila. And he’s a volunteer tutor at VaShaughn’s school, Chambers Primary, which he finds very rewarding.
Larz says Northwest Sound has been “a thrill” from the moment he stepped onto the risers. He’d respected the chorus over the years, and now that he’s experienced it firsthand he likes the quality of sound, the learning tools that are available, and just the overall level of organization. And we like attracting and keeping singers like Larz. If you haven’t introduced yourself to him yet, please do.