Jesse Bracy, Vance Schreider, Noah Messinger, Christian Gratz
Note: Kevin Gratz, grandson of Chris Gratz, provided Bluffton Forever with this story.
It’s 1917. The Richland Male Quartet is making a name for themselves while performing to audiences in Bluffton, Pandora, Ottawa, Findlay and wider communities.
They are a hit, so say their audiences. The four are: • Jesse P. Bracy, first tenor
• Vance B. Schreider, second tenor
• Noah D. Messinger, baritone
• Christian A. Gratz, basso
Too bad, You Tube didn’t exist during their era.
Their printed program with their photo includes seven very impressive reviews from area newspapers and from educators.
“(we) are more than pleased, not only with their high class music but also with their gentlemanly conduct.”
“…one of the best musical aggregations that has ever invaded the county.”
“They will be heard from.”
“…(they) sing their way into the hearts of the people who have the privilege of hearing them.”
“The voices are of good timbre and blend pleasingly.”
Kevin Gratz notes that in his immediate family, male quartets and musical performances have continued to perform for appreciative audiences. And, this tradition continues in its fourth generation as Kevin’s daughter, Kara Zink, is the Bluffton High School music director.