Say hello to Paul Renhard. You will see, and hear, Paul blowing the pitches for songs during rehearsals and performances. This takes a high degree of skill and attention to detail as the “pitchman” must know the keys of all songs and the key changes that happen within songs and be able to put them out when the director needs them. It isn’t a job for the faint of heart. “Well,” Paul says, “Kenny reminds me.”
Paul is a twenty-four year barbershopper, having started as a result of tuning into a Mitch Miller PBS TV special that featured quartets like Marquis, the Southern Gateway Chorus and Sweet Adelines quartets and choruses. Paul’s wife called to make a pledge to KCTS, the local public TV station, and, wouldn’t you know it, our barbershop brothers from the Seattle Seachordsmen were manning the phones. One of those wily guys asked, “Does your husband like to sing?” The next week Paul was down at a Seachordsmen rehearsal and nobody has been able to keep him away. Paul sang with the Seachordsmen for ten years before moving to Northwest Sound where he has been a member for fourteen years. Within his first month with the Seachordsmen he was in a quartet with which he sang for seven or eight years. In Northwest Sound, for nine years, he sang with Far Shore Four which included Brian Ayers, Dick Merritt, and Chuck Benson. More recently, he has sung with several quartets as part of the Quartet Initiative. Paul was a chapter officer with the Seachordsmen for much of his time there and has held offices including five years as President with Northwest Sound, Music Team, Planning Team, Logistics Team, and Riser Crew, among many others.
Paul is retired from a career at REI, Recreational Equipment, Incorporated. When Paul started, REI was a single store on Capitol Hill. After ten years there, he became part of the management team that opened the REI store in Bellevue. When he retired, he was Assistant Store Manager at the Redmond Town Center store.
Born on the east coast, Paul has lived in Seattle from the age of six. He grew up in West Seattle and attended West Seattle High School and the University of Washington.
Paul was majoring in Oceanography at the University of Washington when he left to join the U.S. Navy in 1967. He attended training schools in the San Francisco Bay area for over a year, was assigned to a communications station in Puerto Rico for two years and then on to Newport, Rhode Island. He had been assigned to a destroyer which was in port. That ship, however, moved to Boston, Massachusetts where the ship was being serviced. So, Paul spent the last six months of his enlistment in the Boston area basically living in dorms. He had no sea duty. Upon returning to UW for a couple years after his navy service he took a part-time job with REI. REI was a perfect fit and he soon became full time. Within a few years he was a supervisor and got into management. His biggest bonus, however, was meeting his future wife Dji, a fellow employee. It could be said that she is the one who is responsible for getting Paul into barbershop in that fateful phone call with KCTS.
Paul likes to play golf and has loved playing competitive volleyball for close to fifty, yes, that’s fifty, years. He has or has had lots of water toys, loving to sail. He has slowed down a little in the last few years and has sold his sailboat but still has a ski boat and a couple of kayaks and a sailing dingy. He skis in the winter. Is that slowing down?
Paul isn’t slowing down in barbershop.