Today marks the departure from Hawaii of a Sounds of Aloha member with one of the longest and most influential legacies in Hawaii's barbershop community. Thurlow "De" DeCrow is moving to the Dallas, Texas area to live near his son Steve. He has been a member of the Sounds of Aloha Chorus for 66 years.
De was a fixture in the chorus baritone section, in various chorus leadership roles, and in a number of quartets, including the especially long-lived and well-known Tiki Tones and Sugarcane Express. SOA member Bill Joor stood on the opposite end of those two quartets, as the tenor, for a combined total of 40 years.
We can safely declare De to be the foremost arranger of the music of Hawaii into the barbershop style and one of the most prolific barbershop arrangers, of all kinds of songs, ever in Hawaii. His many charts are to be found in the repertoires of the Sounds of Aloha, our sister choruses Na Leo Lani and Honolulu Blend, and many if not most of Hawaii's quartets through the years and today, as well as farther afield.
Our home-grown musical director Mark Conching credits De's influence on his own development as a barbershop musician. Another big part of De's barbershop legacy is Steve, who grew up in our chorus, was himself a member of a later iteration of the Tiki Tones, has sung with nationally top flight quartets in Texas, and is a prominent member of the world-renowned Vocal Majority chorus and an accomplished choir teacher at Lewisville High School in Texas.
We ended last week's rehearsal early to give De a send-off, and we extend to him our fondest aloha and best wishes. De, we look forward to seeing you in October in Sacramento and hearing about life in Texas!