New Stage to be Dedicated to Champion Schmitt Brothers Quartet on July 15

Two Rivers, Wis. – May 23, 2023 – The community is invited to attend the official dedication of the Schmitt Brothers Stage beginning at noon on July 15, 2023, in Two Rivers Central Park. An integral part of Central Park West 365, a $1.6 million project to upgrade the city’s most significant public space, the Schmitt Brothers Stage will honor the famous champion quartet. “It was in this very park that Two Rivers welcomed their hometown heroes after they won the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA) title in 1951,” said former Mayor Jim Schmitt, son of the quartet’s lead singer. “If the quartet were alive today, they would be thrilled to hear the harmony of this wonderful celebration and see this city coming together to create and enjoy this beautiful park.” “We are very pleased to work with the Schmitt family on this project and delighted to honor the quartet for supporting their hometown,” said Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley. “This is a celebration of hometown values and a demonstration of the great things our community can accomplish.” Events include a ribbon-cutting ceremony by officials and family members, such as Greg Buckley, Jim Schmitt, the surviving wives of the quartet, Mary Ann and Toni Schmitt, as well as author P.T. Rivers. In addition, an anonymously donated replica of the medal won by the quartet will be presented to the Two Rivers Historical Society for their display of Schmitt Brothers memorabilia. The extended Schmitt family, who raised more than $122,000 for the naming rights, will be the first to perform on the stage in honor of the quartet. At 2 p.m., a barbershop show will feature more than a dozen quartets and choruses, including many district champions and groups that sang with the Schmitt Brothers. The line up for the three-hour show presents the Clipper City Chordsmen from Manitowoc, Vintage Mix Quartet from Milwaukee, Fox Valleyaires Chorus from Appleton, 2023 International Junior Champion YTBN quartet from Burlington, the Capital Chordsmen Chorus from Madison, 2021 District Champion Coulee Classic Quartet from La Crosse, 2022 District Champion Forward Harmony Chorus from Greendale/Oconomowoc, the Winnebagoland Chorus from Oshkosh, District Champion Checkmate Quartet, HHT A-Capella Chorus from Plymouth, 2023 District and 2018 Senior Champion St. Croix Crossing Quartet, Northern Gateway Chorus from Stevens Point, and multi-year District Champion Midwest Vocal Express from Greendale. In addition, the 1975 International Champion Happiness Emporium Quartet from Minneapolis, who performed many times with the Schmitt Brothers and are the only other international champions in the Land O’Lakes District, will take the stage. During the event, civic organizations will sponsor a variety of food and snack stands, the Cool City Brewing Company will offer a special edition brew for the occasion, and the Two Rivers Historical Society will scoop ice cream cones in the park and serve sundaes at the nearby Washington House Museum to honor the invention of the sweet dairy treat in Two Rivers. P.T. Rivers, author of “The Schmitt Brothers,” will autograph copies of the book. The public will also be invited to sit in a vintage convertible to have photos taken with the Schmitt Brothers. The barbershop show will be followed by an afterglow beginning at 7 p.m. at the J. E. Hamilton Community House, across the street from the park. On Sunday, July 16, the city will celebrate the dedication of the overall park project. For more details on Sunday’s events, visit About the Schmitt Brothers The Schmitt Brothers—Jim, Joe, Paul and Fran—grew up in family of 17 just down the street from the park. The first contest they won was not in front of a crowd of 8,000 at the international barbershop convention in Toledo, but on WOMT radio in Manitowoc when the youngest was just four years old. They learned to sing in the St. Luke’s church choir and won the SPEBSQSA title after singing barbershop for only 18 months. With performances routinely booked years in advance, the quartet sang together for 35 years, spreading harmony from all the major stages in the country as well as the Ed Sullivan, Arthur Godfrey and Lawrence Welk shows. In the meantime, they raised 35 children, ran successful local businesses, and participated in and led civic organizations from the Elks and Lions Clubs to the local chamber of commerce, school and church boards. More Information • Visit • Follow The Schmitt Brothers Quartet on Facebook • Listen to The Schmitt Brothers Greatest Hits on Apple Music and Spotify • Read “The Schmitt Brothers” book, available at the Washington House Museum in Two Rivers, Heart & Homestead and LaDeDa Books & Beans in Manitowoc, and on • Visit the Washington House Museum to see the display dedicated to the quartet

The Schmitt Brothers quartet posed with the SPEBSQSA trophy following their victory in 1951. (Back: Fran and Joe. Front: Jim and Paul.)

When their train rolled into the station in Manitowoc, the Schmitt Brothers were greeted by thousands of people and a cavalcade of hundreds of cars. Joe, Jim, Fran and Paul led the parade to Two Rivers Central Park in a convertible with their proud mother Anna.